Boomers are retiring and saying goodbye to their skilled trades in maintenance, repairs, construction, and engineering. This leaves a large void in the workforce for these careers as the younger generation lacks the interest and the know-how to enter these industries.
In 2019, before the pandemic hit, the nation's skilled labor shortage was 7.6 million unfilled jobs with only 6.5 million people looking for those jobs (BLS). With the desire to go to college becoming more of the norm, this leaves behind some of the most essential careers and trades undesired and unfilled.
"It is unfortunate for those students who try college, but eventually drop out, feeling like a failure, when in fact, it wasn’t the right place for them from the start." - Sarah Chamberlain, Forbes
Passing the Torch of Wisdom
How do we increase the younger generation's presence in the most essential industries in the country? By starting with where the wisdom lies. There is no better way to spark someone's interest in a subject than a wise mentor or teacher who presents it to them in a meaningful and edifying way. Especially when 79% of millennials believe that having a mentor is critical to their career success (HuffPost).
The youth have lost interest in what the older generation cherished. Things like building muscle cars from scratch, remodeling their own home, and growing their own food. The wisdom in these industries that the greatest generation holds is priceless. When a veteran skilled in these trades pass down their on-the-job skills to coworkers, it tends to create a vacuum in the industry. This implies that you must already be employed in the field to learn the skills it takes to do the job right. Or at the minimum, be placed through a labor union that comes with strings attached.
What if a potential prospect for a company views a skilled trade as a desirable career but does not know where to begin to learn the skills required to be considered for the job? Google can help in a lot of ways but it also provides a rabbit hole with an overwhelming abundance of information. Sometimes it is easier to just speak with someone.
The torch of wisdom has a better chance of being passed down if we create an opportunity for job-seekers to learn about a skilled trade while also having experienced training from local and remote tutors. We have all learned a trick or two from our fathers, mothers, and grandparents that we have carried through our lives with us. Whether it is a special recipe, a shortcut to laying tile, or how to build cabinetry for a kitchen, there is always something the older generation can pass down to the youth.
Uedify is a community of exactly this. People passing the torch down to others by sharing their wisdom.
Filling the Gap
Other than encouraging millennials to attend two-year colleges and trade schools where they can learn trade-specific skills, two other major ways to fill the gap in the workforce is:
1) Creating mentorship programs where students can learn from skilled trade workers directly.
2) Apprenticeship programs where students work and learn onsite with their tutors.
Uedify aims to solve this by providing a teaching platform directly to mentors in every industry and also in the hands of every student wanting to learn from these experienced tutors. For example, an experienced contractor who builds cabinets can now invite those who want to learn from him or her to courses at their leisure. If this contractor does not have a shop equipped to teach people in, they can conduct live video classes, audio classes, or on-site classes at the student's location. This truly is the most efficient way to hand wisdom down, by putting the ability to teach and learn from each other directly in the hands of everyone.
Join Uedify as we aim to spread knowledge and skills in every community across the globe!