Posted May 19, 2022 by Mark Perna
Episode Title: Getting Their Hands Dirty
Do today’s young people actually, really want to get their hands dirty with physical labor? Here’s what a recent survey says, next on The Perna Syndicate.
Ep 464 show:
You’re now in The Perna Syndicate—welcome! Another big misperception about the skilled trades is that they’re hard, grueling, manual labor and that’s why young people don’t want to pursue them.
And yet, according to the data, only 12% of Gen Z said their aversion to manual labor was their primary reason not to enter the skilled trades. Instead, 40% say they’re steering clear of these careers because it’s just a poor fit. 56% said it was due to lack of skills—not because they don’t want to do physical work.
In our hyper-digitized culture, I think we need to start asserting the worth and dignity of physical work once again. Skilled manual labor is not lesser than other types of employment—and it can be immensely rewarding. Using your physical body, your whole self to complete a task takes skill, practice, and strength. And it seems that most of Gen Z isn’t opposed to skilled trade careers because of the hard work they can involve.
That’s why employers should partner with schools to let young people get their hands dirty by experiencing skilled trade careers firsthand. And I’m talking not just in high school, but even earlier.
It’s easier to get skilled trade careers on the table while students are still in the decision-making phase of their journey. Career exploration doesn’t have to be a boring, fill-in-the-blank exercise. Instead, it can be a true hands-on experience that this generation of digital natives actually crave—whether they know it yet or not.
Are skilled trade careers better suited to men than women? Well, that’s a loaded question, and we’re going to unpack it tomorrow on The Perna Syndicate. See you then—take care!