American Machinist

Solving the skilled-worker problem. (The 1991 AWS Welding Show) (American Welding Society)

n the last few years, many

experts have expressed concern about the shortage - now and in the foreseeable future - of trained, skilled craftsmen. These experts have warned that skilled tradespeople will become an endangered species. We already see, for example, that the welding industry is falling behind in maintaining an adequate-sized workforce.

To make the outlook even worse, experts say that today's youth is not as interested in skilled technical or scientific career options as they once were.

At the same time, the number of people entering the workforce is declining, due to the lower birth rates of 15 to 25 years ago. So those aspiring to careers in the skilled trades - as well as other math and science-based fields - are a shrinking percentage of a shrinking entering work force. To make things even more difficult, recent studies predict that tomorrow's jobs will require more technical training than ever before. …

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