8 Tips for Inspiring Interest in Vocational Trades

8 Tips for Inspiring Interest in Vocational Trades

More than 74% of manufacturers say their main business challenge today is attracting and retaining employees.

That sentiment is echoed by other businesses across the trades. For example,

  • The Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. estimates it will need to attract an estimated 546,000 additional workers on top of its normal hiring efforts in 2023 to meet demands for labor.
  • The National Homebuilder’s Association’s Spring 2021 Construction Market Reportfound a 55% shortage of plumbers available for work.
  • The American Trucking Association reports that there is a deficit of about 80,000 truck drivers across the
  • Rewiring America, a leading industry nonprofit, estimates that one million electricians will be needed to perform a range of electrical jobs over the next decade.

Wires Crossed

85% of high school students see value in a skilled trades career, but . . . Only 16% are very likely to consider one.
Source: Stanley Black & Decker Makers Index 2022

With few young workers joining the skilled trades, it’s crucial for employers in these industries to invest in, and develop, marketing programs that will attract new talent, while still retaining their existing workforce. By marketing careers in the skilled trades, employers can:

  • raise awareness for the benefits and opportunities that exist in their organizations
  • provide pathways for younger generations that seek hands-on learning and careers
  • attract talent to meet ongoing demands for labor and fill skills gap left by those retiring
  • help ensure the essential skills their businesses need to operate over the long term
  • create a more diverse and inclusive workforce by attracting individuals from different backgrounds and demographics

Dollars & Sense

Median salaries in various trades that exceed the average annual pay of $58,563 for U.S. workers:

  • Aircraft Mechanics
    Median Salary: $65,550
  • Construction & Building Inspectors
    Median Salary: $61,640
  • Electrician
    Median Salary: $60,040
  • Plumber, Pipefitter, Steamfitter
    Median Salary: $59,900

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2021

What Can Employers Do?

Among the ways human resource leaders can boost their marketing efforts to attract more to their fields are:

  • Partner with educational institutions, such as high schools, vocational schools, community colleges, and trade-specific training organizations to offer internships, apprenticeships, and educational programs to create a pipeline of skilled workers and promote vocational trades as viable career options.
  • Participate in job fairs specifically targeted toward younger individuals. Create attractive and interactive booths or displays that show the range of trade jobs available, provide information about career paths, and offer opportunities for hands-on experiences.
  • Establish a strong online presence by leveraging your website and social media platforms (e.g., LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and YouTube.) to promote success stories, job openings, and testimonials from young workers that show the benefits and opportunities of working in a skilled trade.
  • Reach out to parents and career counselors who can inspire and influence career choices of younger people. Organize information sessions or workshops for parents and counselors to educate them about opportunities within vocational trades and how they can lead to financially rewarding careers.
  • Engage with influencers and leaders, including successful professionals, entrepreneurs, or popular social media personalities to share their experiences, promote the value of vocational trade jobs, and generate interest among younger audiences.
  • Target ads, particularly on social media and through online job boards. Also, tailor messaging to highlight the benefits of working in the trades, including job security, earning potential, hands-on training, and career advancement opportunities.
  • Foster networking and mentoring events that can connect experienced employees in your organization with younger workers and allow them to provide guidance, support, and insights into potential career paths.
  • Collaborate with industry leaders and associations by participating in events, conferences, and/or workshops to reach out to younger workers who may be interested in the trades.

For more tips on how to boost interest in vocational trades or to speak with an advisor, contact us today!


This material has been prepared for informational purposes only. BRP Group, Inc. and its affiliates, do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. Please consult with your own tax, legal or accounting professionals before engaging in any transaction.


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