The United States construction industry has a huge skills gap problem to deal with, but getting more women into the construction industry can help solve our country’s labor shortage. The expansion of apprenticeships is one of the ways in which the government plans to address America’s workforce issues. In this two-part series, our Tampa construction attorneys will focus on apprenticeships as they relate to the female workforce.
President Donald Trump’s Executive Order
Apprenticeship programs in the United States have become popular among politicians, workforce advocates, workers, and employers. In fact, President Trump’s executive order was created to “promote affordable education and rewarding jobs for American Workers.” Building and construction trades tend to dominate apprenticeships. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) projects that participants of apprenticeship programs can expect to earn an average annual income of about $60,000. However, men make up the overwhelming majority of those who participate in apprenticeship programs in the United States.
Women Underrepresented in Apprenticeships
Although apprenticeship programs are intended to have a positive impact on America’s workforce, women remain deeply underrepresented in these programs, and their wages are typically much lower than male apprentices. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, women make up around 9 percent of the construction workforce. However, the numbers get lower depending on the specific construction occupation (e.g., less than 3 percent of women in the trade workforce). Additionally, the DOL reported that about 92 percent of men and 7 percent of women completed Registered Apprenticeship programs.
Apprenticeship: A Successful Model for Combating the Labor Shortage
If your firm is serious about helping to combat the industry’s labor shortage, participate in apprenticeships. The purpose of an apprenticeship is to educate people about the different opportunities in construction, train them for work, and prepare them for entrance exams. All of this is accomplished through hands-on training and supplemental classroom instruction. In the end, apprenticeship programs profit both workers and the firms they work for. As mentioned previously, there is an inadequate representation of women in these programs, but when women enroll in these programs they position themselves to earn an impressive wage as they increase their trade skills.
As Tampa construction lawyers, we know there are hurdles that women must overcome to enter the field of construction. We will discuss some of them in part two.
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.