Most high school graduates are still pursuing college degrees, while other valid options still exist such as trade schools. More investment and emphasis is needed on trade schools, in both skilled trades and the manufacturing industry. As today’s students continue to choose traditional college over trade school, our skills gap will continue to widen and the labor shortage becomes even more pronounced. Continuing to encourage our students to enroll in trade schools will help close the income gap, as well as address the overall industry labor shortage.
Trade schools provide job opportunities right away
According to research, trades schools are the better bet to solve the U.S. income gap with researchers saying, “There are too many four-year colleges serving too many students, and too few institutions with greater focus on vocational education and training.” The studies also found that relatively unskilled laborers benefit from access to vocational education, thus helping them achieve the education necessary to narrow the gap with skilled labor. Additional access to trade schools not only helps train the new generation but will also train those workers already in the workforce, operating in more general positions.
Industry labor shortage can be solved with education, awareness
It’s no secret: There is a very serious labor shortage within the skilled trades industry. Trade schools are the most realistic answer to building a pipeline of new talent for the next pool of available workers. If employers along with vendors such as staffing companies continue to support and build up local trade schools, it will serve to help the industry. Stressing points like the cost of college versus the cost of a trade school is a good selling point, as the average bachelor’s degree costs $127,000 while the average trade school degree costs only $33,000. Local initiatives like Construction Trades Day also help, as they provide strong ways to introduce high school students to career opportunities within the construction industry.
The skilled workforce shortage and U.S. income gap are two things that additional trade school enrollment can help address. By continuing to support this path of education, PeopleReady employers and their partners can make a difference for generations to come.
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