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Tradesmen Discourage University

According to Electrical Contracting News this month, a growing proportion of Electricians want their children to follow a trade career.

The article comes following research, which concludes that many contractors in the electrical industry would rather their children didn't follow a corporate career path due to huge university fees and a slow graduate employment market.

Going further than this, the research of customer respondents said they would actively recommend the electrical profession to their children for a number of reasons, including:

  1. It offers a stable and promising career
  2. It offers variety
  3. It is an extremely rewarding role

Those respondents also reported that they believe an apprenticeship provides young people with a stable base for the future and that the electrical industry is a far more sustainable career than a corporate one.

The findings of this report are corroborated by a BBC article, which says that higher education has now become the standard and 2013 saw the highest number of university students ever recorded.

Despite the fact that getting such a high uptake of higher education places was a goal of the Government’s, there are some who say that we are educating too many people to degree level.

There are clearly a number of careers and roles that require the training and knowledge of higher education in a particular field. However, research now suggests that those entering the market following a degree, with no prior career goal in mind, believing that a degree will benefit is now no longer the case.

In fact, this goes further and new research by the Institute for Public Policy Research reported that there are now more graduates in the UK than skilled jobs for them to do and with this trend set to continue, the country is facing a problem.

However, with some reports claiming that many workers in trades such as the electrical industry are demographically over 40 and older, and with less young people choosing trades, we face the issue in coming years of a larger skills gap.

But, with an ever increasing demand for skilled tradesmen, the challenge is to highlight the advantages of trades like the electrical industry to young people.

Although, an increasing availability of apprenticeships has created many opportunities for young people to enter the industry and become the electrical industry professionals of the future. But, until the national focus moves from the belief that a degree is the only route to take, the trade skills gap will remain.

However, there are many within the industry who are already working on this issue and trying to highlight to more young people entering the jobs market that the benefits of gaining a skilled trade far outweigh not going to university.

And, in an age where having a degree is no longer something that sets people apart, and good quality electrical industry experts are in high demand, more young people should look again at trades.

What’s your opinion? Tag us on twitter using #seaward and let us know your thoughts.


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