Addressing the Labor Shortage: How Skillforce Can Help Contractors Tap into Gen Z Talent

April 18, 2024
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In a recent Wall Street Journal article, the pressing issue of America’s labor shortage was brought to light once again. With skilled trades such as plumbing, welding, and construction facing a dire need for more workers, there’s a notable shift happening among the youngest generation of American workers: Gen Z.

Key Insights from the Article:

  1. Rising Interest in Skilled Trades: Gen Z individuals are increasingly opting for vocational training programs over traditional college paths. The allure of hands-on work combined with rising pay in most trades is attracting younger workers. Enrollment in vocational programs has surged, with a significant increase in students studying construction trades, HVAC, and vehicle maintenance and repair.
  2. Demand for Trade Apprenticeships: The demand for trade apprenticeships, which offer a blend of work experience and education, has skyrocketed. These programs provide valuable opportunities for individuals to gain practical skills while earning a living. In a survey by software company Jobber, 75% of high school and college-age people expressed interest in vocational schools offering paid, on-the-job training.
  3. Changing Career Perceptions: The rise of generative AI has reshaped career perceptions, with blue-collar jobs now seen as offering better job security. Young people are recognizing the stability and growth potential that skilled trades can provide. This is reflected in the increasing number of students enrolling in vocational-focused community colleges.
  4. Shift in Pay Norms: According to data from payroll-services provider ADP, the median pay for new construction hires rose 5.1% to $48,089 last year, surpassing earnings for new hires in professional services and information sectors. This marks the fourth consecutive year that median annual pay for new construction hires has eclipsed earnings in these sectors.

Implications for Contractors:

Contractors facing challenges in hiring and retaining skilled workers need to adapt to this changing landscape. With rising pay and increasing interest among younger generations, keeping up with cultural and pay norms, in addition to investing in skilled labor solutions, is key to meeting the demands of the industry.

How Skillforce Can Help:

At Skillforce, we’re dedicated to helping contractors navigate the challenges of today’s competitive labor market. With our extensive network of skilled tradespeople, we specialize in connecting contractors with talent quickly and efficiently. Leveraging cutting-edge technology, we excel in remote recruiting, ensuring access to Gen Z workers wherever they may be. Our customized workforce solutions are tailored to the unique needs of each project and client, offering flexibility and adaptability.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can support your labor needs.