Inspiring the Disinterested Youth through Industrial Skills Training

Skilled industrial jobs have long been the hardest to fill. Electricians, carpenters and welders are constantly in demand within the industrial workforce, but more and more it seems that the hiring pool is becoming scarce. This could partly be due to the retirement of baby boomers and partly due to the disinterest of today’s youth.

A 2010 poll sponsored by Nuts Bolts and Thingamajigs (NBT) and the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association (FMA) reported that 52 percent of teens have little to no interest in obtaining a career in manufacturing, another 21 percent were said to be undecided. When the teens polled were asked why 61 percent said they would rather seek a professional career, a number that greatly exceeded the 17 percent that said it was due to pay, the 15 percent that said it was due to career growth and the 14 percent said the issue was physical work.

Perhaps one of the driving forces behind the lack of interest is the fact that many students are no longer shown manufacturing as a viable career option. Instead, it seems to be illustrated as an outdated industry or one that pays only minimum wage. But in fact, the manufacturing industry is quite the opposite, it is one that our nation thrives on and can prove to be quite a successful career with plenty of room for advancement. It also gives meaning to its workforce who is able to see innovative ideas and technology come to life. In an earlier blog we’ve addressed some ideas on how to revive interest and begin industrial training at an earlier age. Essentially, educators and businesses must partner together in order to improve the perceived image of the manufacturing industry among today’s youth. Government agencies may also get involved to help spark interest in skilled labor by implementing industrial skills training programs that encourage apprenticeships and internships within the manufacturing industry.

With the average skilled worker in today’s manufacturing industry around 56 years old, the baby boomer generation should be retired within the next 5-15 years. The rate of retirement will ultimately create a need for nearly 10 million new industrial workers by 2020. In an effort to preserve this knowledge base, businesses must step up. Manufacturing businesses should collect as much of the knowledge their aging workforce has to offer in order to use those best practices and procedures for future industrial skills training. Executing an industrial skills training program is one of the best ways to stimulate interest and further knowledge of the manufacturing industry and its methods. Contact ITC Learning today to learn how our online courseware and full motion video courseware can help train your new hires.