August 23, 2018
Ivanka Trumps Reskilling challenge makes it a perfect time to be a worker. According to the Trump Administration’s workforce vision, the focus is to get more skilled labor. Politics aside, when we are addressing the future of the trades industry we are looking at some pretty dismal statistics. For every three tradesmen, there is only one trained person to fill his or her position. The Dallas Morning News reported commentary about Ivanka Trump’s leadership to build workers’ skills. Ivanka had an interesting take on the fact that we are indeed losing valuable workers in our trades industry. She spoke of a term called “America’s Re-Skilling Challenge”. What this challenge basically means is that the world we live in now is evolving. There are new tricks in the trades, new systems being built, and quite frankly- just a whole lot of NEW! We need to challenge workers in the trade industry to keep up to date and renew their skills to keep up with technology. Ivanka is quoted in a recent article by Roy Maurer in the SHRM journal: “There’s an unprecedented opportunity for people to not only enter the workforce and have more choices but for them to seek new opportunities within existing careers or change their careers,” she said. “Whether you’re a young student or worker embarking on a career or, increasingly, whether you’re mid- to a late-career worker who’s looking to learn a new trade and enter a new line of work, this is an optimistic time.”
Ivanka Trumps reskilling challenge works side by side with the Trump Administration’s main focus. The main objection of the Trump Administration is economic growth. With this growth comes the addition of more jobs and an increased demand for skilled workers. Currently, there is an excess of 6.6 million unfilled job vacancies in the United States as of May 2018. The labor force does not possess the skills required to fill these job openings. It’s a critical matter to develop skilled labor through more education and outreach. Promoting skilled trades is the first step to build public awareness. The momentum that is building with the economy is dependent upon the development of our workforce. Addressing American’s Reskilling Challenge can be read in full in this Whitehouse PDF.
Ivanka Trumps reskilling challenge speaks of a “skills gap” in our generation. She said the main reasoning behind this is from workers not necessarily knowing what skills are in the highest demand right now. Maybe this is up to the communities to list such needs in their towns. Being from a small town in Indiana, I can say this is true. It’s hard knowing the exact skills that your town is looking for. Ivanka wrote that these listings all need to be in an online database. Creating such a tool and making it easily accessible with benefit the worker and the employer.
Now, what are the right skills you may ask? Is it a specific skill for a specific trade, or is it that your skills are just out of date and you need a refresh? Ivanka Trumps reskilling challenge might be the most overlooked term. We think once we receive our license then we are invincible. I think of it as this- your driver’s license. You take a few classes when you are 16 years old and now you’re skilled for life? Wrong. A few years ago, in my hometown, they installed round-a-bouts… You would have thought no one had driven before in their life! But with much-much practice, we have now got it down! This is much like the trades, yes, you took the courses, but there will always be new skills to learn and practice! Take the time, update and re-skill yourself. I will link an online course to get you back on your game here!
Ivanka has realized the value in the workers of the trades. She has acknowledged that employers are having a tough time locating the right people they need with specific needs. She has also acknowledged that the workers are unsure of the skills they need to acquire. This is a huge communication issue, but this should all be resolved soon. Our market for workers willing to learn new skills is growing. We need to shift gears and focus on re-skilling our people. We need for every three tradesmen leaving, three more arriving with the skill set our jobs are requiring. Apprenticeships help workers develop on-the-job skills with employers. Apprenticeships make up less than half a percent of the workforce in the United States, compared to about 2% to 4% in other countries such as Australia, Great Britain, Canada, and Germany. Expanding apprenticeship models is the Trump Administrations focus, and state-led efforts are showing promising results.
A new report from the White House Council of Economic Advisers calls outlines the importance of “reskilling” of adults in their prime working years. This can be done through apprenticeships and/or creating federal Pell Grants for shorter-term education programs. “The concentration of investment in skill development and education among workers with a bachelor’s degree and those under age 25 is a strong indication that America’s reskilling effort is not optimized to address future challenges,” the report concluded.
Legislative proposals for short-term Pell Grants have attracted bipartisan support, but there are concerns about quality control. Current Pell programs that are less than 600 clock hours or 15 weeks in length are not eligible. Lawmakers have suggested dropping minimum requirements to 150 hours and eight weeks in order to meet the need. The council cited potential issues with making the Pell into shorter-term programs, concerned about the eligibility criteria in order to protect quality.
It’s a great time to be willing to learn new skills and trades. It’s a great time to be willing to work. And, it’s one of the best times in America’s workforce to make high wages and a secure financial future. Ivanka Trump’s reskilling challenge is something every American seeking employment should know about and act upon. PHCEid International, we are standing behind Ivanka Trump’s initiatives to promote the skilled trades and encourage people to get into the trades. If you would like more information about the trades to be sure to sign up for our free E-book that tells you exactly how to get into the Plumbing, HVAC or Electrical industry.
For Ivanka Trump’s full article, click here!