Another international perspective on the importance of Apprenticeships. USA

Alabama Moves to Deal With Shortage of Apprentices

Alarm bells began to ring loudly seven years ago.

In 2005 the Construction Labor Research Council warned that with many workers in the industry of an age when they would retire in the next decade, unless more apprentices were brought into construction there would be a severe shortage in skilled trades such as carpenters, electricians, pipefitters and welders.

By 2007 the U.S. Department of Labor was forecasting a 1.5 million shortfall of construction workers by 2012. Although the recession that followed meant the industry lost jobs, the situation has improved to a point where Alabama is already seeing fewer craftspersons than are needed. This problem will be exacerbated as the economy recovers, particularly with potential growth in the state’s automobile manufacturing facilities, anticipated upgradings of infrastructure, and transportation and energy projects.

Given that the average age of craftspersons now working in construction is 47, and that currently for every four workers who retire or leave the industry only one enters it, the situation will become more urgent with each passing year.

A major factor in the shortage of apprentices in construction is the current strong focus on college degrees as a path to a successful career, leading to neglect of skilled trades as a viable and equally valuable career choice.

During his recent testimony to the Senate on the looming crisis, Mike Rowe, host of the popular TV series Dirty Jobs, noted that “American manufacturing is struggling to fill 200,000 vacant positions.

Paul ChampionStrategic Project Manager

Mobile: 07540 704920

Sent from my iPad

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