The next generation – Gen Z – is beginning to consider employment opportunities. Born between 1995 and 2014, these young people are profoundly different from Millennials in several ways that may be very good for the construction industry, says Megan Wild, a guest blogger for NCCER. She says they are practical and open to employment training. “They are very interested in steady employment and very willing to forego a college education if they can find training and education for a job that doesn't include it,” says Wild. See her 5 Tips for recruiting this age group.
According to a November 2017 Huffington Post article, “Many employers are predicting that more teens between the ages of 16 and 18 will go straight into the workforce, opting out of the traditional route of higher education, and instead finishing school online.”
That prediction seems to bear true, according to a recent report from the National Student Clearinghouse® Research Center™. New student enrollment in undergraduate programs declined compared to Fall 2016 by 63,000, the sixth straight year for declining enrollment. Meanwhile, however, the Top 5 Undergraduate Majors by percentage are all in fields that support the construction industry.
They include Construction Trades (9.4%), Science Technologies/Technicians (6.8%), Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services (6.1%), Transportation and Materials Moving (5.9%), and Architecture and Related Services (5.2%).
Meanwhile, Ironworkers are ranked in the Top 10 fastest growing careers in the construction industry, according to ConstructConnect, with 13% growth projected through 2026. Equipment Operators and Project Managers also made the list.
Steel erectors who make ironworker training and apprenticeships available will be well-positioned to entice Gen Z into their companies. Learn more about craft training resources available from SEAA and consider applying for a Training Grant. Deadline is March 15.