The Importance of Having Positive Role Models

As we begin to set up our aspirations, we look up to people we believe can help us realize those goals. And when it comes to skilled trades, it becomes more important than ever to have positive role models. Skilled tradespeople make up an essential part of our society, providing us with a range of services we rely on daily. From electricians to plumbers, from welders to automotive technicians, every role is equally important, and having positive role models in these trades is crucial. Not only do they set an example of what we should aspire to, but they also provide inspiration for others to take on these essential trades.

The skilled trades industry is currently facing a massive talent shortage crisis, mainly due to the lack of young people opting to pursue trade school after high school. As per the National Skills Coalition, by 2025, two-thirds of all jobs will require some level of post-secondary education. However, only 46% of working-age adults in the US hold an associate’s degree, let alone attend trade school or follow a route outside of higher education. This represents a significant gap that the skilled trades industry needs to fill. And, making this industry more attractive for young people with the help of positive role models can certainly produce a powerful impact.

Here are some reasons why having positive role models in skilled trades is important:

Inspires Young People to Pursue Skilled Trades

Education and career choices are often heavily influenced by positive role models. Many young people are unsure where to go after completing high school, and those who have no clear goal in mind tend to follow the traditional route of attending a university. They see higher education as the only way to achieve a promising career. However, having positive role models in skilled trades can inspire young people to consider other career paths that may provide a fulfilling life. Positive role models help young people realize that there are multiple pathways to gain success, and skilled trades can be just as lucrative as a traditional white-collar path.

Provides a Sense of Mentorship and Guidance

Having positive role models in skilled trades also provides an opportunity for young people to receive mentorship and guidance. Many young people lack guidance and role models outside of their immediate family, making it difficult for them to make mature career choices. Consequently, having mentors in skilled trades provides an alternative outlet for learning about different careers and industries. Skilled trades mentors can help young people in developing an interest in a specific trade and offer them guidance on the path they should take to pursue it.

Encourages a Diverse Workforce

Gender and racial diversity in the workforce have become crucial issues. The skilled trades industry has traditionally been male-dominated, and increasing the diversity of the workforce means a larger pool of potential employees. Positive role models, such as successful female tradespeople, can inspire more women to pursue skilled trades, creating a more balanced workforce.

Helps Tackle the Skills Shortage Crisis

As we mentioned earlier, the skilled trades industry is currently facing a massive talent shortage crisis. This is primarily due to the limited number of young people pursuing this path. Without a skilled workforce to replace those who retire each year, businesses face a serious problem. Positive role models can help create a “multiplier effect” in this context, inspiring more young people to pursue skilled trades and creating a steady stream of qualified new hires with the right technical skills.

The Bottom Line

Having positive role models in skilled trades is crucial. They provide young people with inspiration and show them that there is more than one way to be successful in life. They also provide guidance and mentorship for career development and help create a more diverse and qualified workforce. Increasing the number of skilled tradespeople can address the current talent shortage crisis in the industry. Therefore, we should encourage successful tradespeople to share their stories and inspire the next generation to follow in their footsteps. The role model effect in skilled trades is vital and can have a powerful impact on individual lives and the overall skilled trades industry. We should no longer consider skilled trades as just a fallback option, but as a promising, fulfilling, and lucrative career path.

Photo of the Remarkables mountain range in Queenstown, New Zealand.
Photo of the Remarkables mountain range in Queenstown, New Zealand.

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