Closing the Worker Gap: Trade Schools Seeing Higher Enrollments

5 Tips to Keep Your Construction Project as Efficient as PossibleA construction firm relies on skilled craftspeople for success, but workers like these have been hard to come by in recent years. With trade schools gaining popularity, however, the outlook for construction worker recruitment stands to improve.

Seeking a Promising Future

The high cost of a four-year college education and limited job opportunities for graduates have left many wary of taking the traditional college route. These concerns, combined with the after-effects of a shaky economy, are attracting an increasing number of students to trade-based careers that offer stability and a solid income.

Statistics from the U.S. Department of Education show that the number of certificates and associate degrees awarded in construction and related fields rose by 67.8 percent between 2000 and 2012. That’s more than 20 percent faster than the growth in four-year college enrollment during that time.

Job security isn’t the only motivation for choosing career and technical education (CTE). Many students choose a trade after discovering an aptitude in their high school technical classes or discussing options with their guidance counselor to find something they’re truly passionate about. The growing prestige of trade schools and apprenticeships, thanks to their graduates’ success, also draws students.

More Workers with In-Demand Skills

The real challenge in construction worker recruitment comes in finding enough carpenters, electricians, plumbers, and other tradespeople with advanced skills and hands-on experience. These are things even someone with a four-year general contractor degree may lack due to these programs’ emphasis on business skills such as cost estimating and job scheduling over actual construction skills.

By focusing on the practical skills sought after in today’s construction market, trade schools are filling in the gap. Courses offered are firmly grounded in the STEM (science, technology, engineering. and math) disciplines. Students gain proficiency with cutting-edge technology such as software programs used to model electrical and plumbing systems. Beyond this, trade schools help students develop soft skills such as adaptability and conflict resolution that make them valuable team members.

For more tips on construction worker recruitment, contact us at Construction Monitor.

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