The Trades Stigma
For students entering university or college, many have their sights set on a specific major. With endless options available, one may think that the trades would be just as viable an option as say, a major in economics or biology. But, many students seem to be veering away from the trades, which is an issue that’s been around for a while. Why are so many students turning their backs on the trades?
The trades have always been attached to an unfair stigma that they’re a last resort. A plan Z for students who couldn’t make it in the field that they actually wanted. However, in the midst of sneering at the trades, people seemed to have overlooked just how viable an option they are for a lot of people. The trades is anything but a last resort.
Much of the stigma surrounding the trades comes from being uneducated ( and sometimes ignorant) on the jobs available, and what it actually takes to do them. Some students hear the word “plumber” and think that it’s beneath them. But, this is an obvious fallacy. Electricians, plumbers, construction workers, and computer programmers are all the kinds of jobs that require skill and education, just like anything else. Not to mention, you can immaturely laugh at someone who wants to be a plumber but that doesn’t negate the fact that they’re saving your butt when you need them and they also make a lot of money.
In order to get people more interested in the trades, the stigma needs to end. Educating students about the time and effort that goes into these jobs could very well paint them in a better, well-deserved light. Portraying trades workers as the hardworking and educated members of society that they are lets young people know that they worked just as hard to get a career.
Understanding more about what the work entails is another way to encourage young people to join the trades. Trades jobs need specific certificates, a specific skill set, and lots of training. For example, according to https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/job-profiles/welder , welders usually need to accomplish an apprenticeship first before applying for a trainee welder position. They need to be detail-oriented and well-versed in math and measuring. In addition, there are also several places within the city to attend a certificate program for welding.
Welding is just one example. There are countless job opportunities for people who want to engage in a hands-on environment. However, there is also a misperception that all trades are “hands on”; this is not true. There are many trades that are not considered “hands on” (see our articles in the Trades section on “Non-Physical Trades”).
Young people are often taught that trades jobs are merely for people who couldn’t get “real” jobs. But, through education and open discussion, students can learn that trades jobs are as real as they get.