Well-paid positions in fields where employment prospects are on the rise may go unfilled because of a lack of interest and qualified skill set among young people, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article entitled Help Wanted: Mechanics, Not Chefs.
Poor perceptions of â€œblue collaredâ€ jobs, lack of awareness of job opportunities, and high costs of some technical schools appear to contribute to the shortage of these skilled workers, the article said. Anthony Carnevale of Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce called the trade-skills positions â€œorphan jobsâ€ because they are overlooked and perceived to be dying professions. However, that is not the case, he said.
“They’re in industries that no one thinks are growing and no one wants to go into,” Carnevale said in the article.
So where do these students go? Dorothy Walker, interim dean at the School of Technology and Applied Sciences at Milwaukee Area Technical College, said young students are looking to programs in information technology, healthcare, video game development and culinary arts. Walker, however, said she is seeing â€œhuge demandâ€ for job candidates in the machinist, welding and manufacturing areas; studentsâ€™ interest in these fields are lacking.
Erin Uy, Communications & Marketing Manager