As a contractor, you’ve probably run into this recent dilemma; Where can I find some quality young workers? It’s an interesting question, as you’d expect plenty of folks to be up to the task. Working outside, learning new trades, it’s all very exciting (well, to us it is). Where is that manual labor mindset? Where are the young folks who want to work construction for a living? The truth is, not many want this kind of work right now. You’re not alone either, many firms in this industry are struggling to find quality work that isn’t coming from the baby boomer generation. The reason? More and more kids are going to college or getting a formal education to work in different sectors. Computer science, engineering, medical and business fields are soaking up all of the talent after kids decide to take on formal schooling. The market is driving them toward it, as many will earn far more than they ever could in construction. College isn’t for everyone, though and unfortunately, trades are generally just overlooked. Avenues driving young people to the trade sector just aren’t getting the attention they used to.
With all of that said, what happens when the economy continues to do well, and less young people are getting into the industry? It means there is more and more work to be done, and no one to do it! This means construction wages are becoming more attractive as firms pay more to bring on young, better talent. Moving forward, we may see a shift from the college mindset to construction, barring no downturn in construction demand or overall economic health. Soon, we should see many baby boomers exit the sector as they become retirement eligible. This will add additional value to young folks looking to get into the industry.
Moving forward, we can take steps to attract more young people to this industry. We can do better in presenting trades as an alternative, and a good one, to college. Tradesman will always be a part of our society and it would be a shame if we let it completely dry up. It is our responsibility for young people to know their options coming out of high school. When the time comes, we want trades to be a viable option for them.
Thanks for reading!