The pandemic has undoubtedly left its mark on companies in 2020. Skilled trades, particularly in building and construction, has suffered along with many other industries.
However, as hope looms with the entrance of viable vaccines against the deadly disease, experts are beginning to see some interesting movements in the skilled trades industry.
First off, industries that have been severely affected by the pandemic in 2020 will be hard-pressed to step up in production in 2021.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, construction, manufacturing, skilled labor, and a host of other trades are expected to see increased demand and plenty of action. Among these are:
- HVAC Specialists
- Home Inspectors
- Drivers (Buses, Heavy Equipment, Trucks, etc.)
- Heavy Equipment Operators
The only caveat to the likely increase in the demand for skilled workers in the coming year is that there may not be a corresponding increase in these workers’ salaries.
Firms and companies employing these workers are still reeling from their massive losses in 2020, so we can expect them to be more than just a little conservative when it comes to worker salaries in this coming year – at least until they get their feet back from under them.
The second interesting development is that many skilled trades firms and companies may experience a sudden increase in the demand for management and supervisory positions, along with senior-level trades workers. The pandemic is partially the cause, as its presence forced retirement of a particular age group of workers due to increased health risks. And a significant portion of this group held managerial and supervisory positions in most skilled trades firms.
The urgency to step up work to recoup losses, combined with the dilemma of losing senior trades workers, managers, and supervisors due to health concerns, puts companies in a precarious situation.
Fact is, this has been an issue in labor as far back as the 2000s (BLS). It resulted in the development of partnerships between schools and skilled trades firms to offer apprenticeship programs. However, the program was met by a rather lukewarm response by students who still looked at white-collar career paths as the way to go.
As a result, the skilled trades gap remained, and now there is a new looming shortage of senior-level skilled trades workers who can occupy managerial and supervisory positions.
Another viable option is on-the-job training and upskilling. Watch for information on this in upcoming blogs.
The bottom line is that in 2021, we can expect a steep uptick in demand for skilled trades as companies and firms race to earn back what they lost in 2020. There may be issues in filling management and supervisory positions for most of these firms’ operations, but it’s a problem that is far from being unsolvable.
What’s important is that while Covid-19 may have dealt the world an unexpectedly strong blow, we haven’t lost our human spirit. At Gillmann Services, we are dedicated to building the talent pool and connecting companies with the expertise they need to grow. We specialize in commercial, industrial, mining, manufacturing, and marine construction companies. We are dedicated to supplying quality craftsmen on an as-needed basis to help our customers complete their projects in a timely and cost-effective manner. “We Work for You” is our motto, as well as our pledge to every client and employee. Contact us today.