At Cotney Construction Law, our St. Petersburg construction lawyers know that finding an effective solution to the labor shortage problem will only benefit the construction industry including our clientele. In this four-part article, in sections one and two, we informed you of the executive order that is designed to create one million apprenticeships over the next two years and how this initiative can combat the skills gap issue in construction. In this section, we will discuss potential pitfalls to utilizing a traditional route to implement these apprenticeships.
The Downside of Apprenticeships
Apprenticeship-based education that focuses on sharpening a specialized skill can have some drawbacks. Specifically, research has shown that if this learned skill becomes outdated then it’s very difficult for these workers to adapt to new technologies. With all of the groundbreaking inventions and processes becoming implemented into the construction industry today and in the near future, this is a legitimate concern for any young prospective worker that is considering utilizing an apprenticeship to establish themselves as a professional in a particular field.
Challenges Learning New Technologies
Creating an expanded apprenticeship initiative may not resolve this problem of adaptability for workers either. According to brookings.edu, the initial benefits of apprenticeship-trained positions do not outweigh the long-term disadvantages because the “skills generated by vocational education appear to facilitate the transition into the labor market but later on become obsolete at a faster rate.” In a more simple way of explaining this notion, a young worker may get a job right out of trade school that they are trained for, but that type of work may not be relevant thirty years from now.
Short-Term vs Long-Term Benefits
For example, European countries often focus more on apprenticeship-based education and are even referred to as “apprenticeship countries” that utilize both formal education institutions and apprenticeship programs. These nations generally experience an initial higher employment rate of young workers with an apprenticeship background than the traditional formal education route. However, studies show that by around the age of 50, the apprenticeship-trained workers experience a significant drop off in employment rate and are employed less than formal education workers.
Whether this employment rate greatly reduces because of new technologies or another reason is debatable; however, as we will cover in the fourth section, we need to establish an apprenticeship program that will be adaptable to future technologies to help positively impact the future of the construction industry.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.