How To Attract Millenials And Gen Z To Blue-Collar Jobs

The Pantagraph, Bloomington, Ill.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) A survey by Deloitte found that fewer than three in 10 parents would encourage their children to pursue a career in manufacturing. With that in mind, some companies in need of skilled labor are stepping up their efforts to recruit talent from the ground up.

The Pantagraph, Bloomington, Ill.

“We are lending money we don’t have to kids who can’t pay it back to train them for jobs that no longer exist.”

Those are the words of Mike Rowe, former host of Dirty Jobs, a television series on the Discovery Channel that followed hard-working entrepreneurs and employees doing unglamorous blue-collar jobs.

Episodes feature occupations such as septic tank cleaners, bridge painters, dirt sterilizers and roadkill collectors — not exactly the type of work that comes to mind when most people ponder their dream job.

However, these jobs make the comforts of modern society possible.

Functioning cars, clean roads, air-conditioned homes, and fresh food are all the result of blue-collar output.

Unfortunately, these professions are often taken for granted, as any recruiter in a blue-collar field likely knows.

Fewer young people are pursuing blue-collar careers, largely because of the stigma that is attached to labor-intensive work.

A survey by Deloitte found that fewer than three in 10 parents would encourage their children to pursue a career in manufacturing. Instead, millennials are attending college at a higher rate than previous generations.

The total number of bachelor’s degrees earned in the United States in 1970 was 839,730. In 2015, it was nearly 1.9 million.

These macroeconomic trends have resulted in a skilled labor shortage. 54 percent of the U.S. labor market is skilled trade jobs. However, according to a 2017 study by the ManPowerGroup, the most difficult positions for employers to fill are skilled trades, even ahead of IT jobs. This includes blue-collar positions such as electricians, carpenters, and masons.

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