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Training Needs for Blue Collar Workers
Training Needs for Blue Collar Workers
Gojob Blog

Training Needs for Blue Collar Workers

There’s a myth out there in the service and trades industry that is ripe for myth busting—the myth that tradespeople, or blue collar workers, aren’t interested in ongoing training to build upon existing and learn new skills.

Kimberley Tyler-Smith is VP, strategy and growth, for Resume Worded, a company that helps employees optimize their resumes and LinkedIn profiles. Blue collar workers, says Tyler-Smith, “want to know how to do their jobs better to be more efficient and effective at work—they also want to keep up with the latest developments in their field or industry to stay ahead of the curve.”

Blue Collar Workers Need Both Trade-Specific and General Skills

David Reid, sales director at VEM Tooling, agrees. “Most blue collar jobs demand highly specialized abilities to execute certain duties,” he says. He suggest that workers identify their current skills and limitations to help decide what industry or roles to pursue.

In addition to specialized skills, Reid suggests that blue-collar workers also need these skills:

  • Leadership
  • Collaboration
  • Persistence
  • Discipline
  • Patience
  • Ethics

These are the type of skills needed to work effectively with others, whether colleagues, managers, or customers. They’re also skills that can help workers advance into higher-level supervisory or management positions.

All Employees Need Leadership Skills

It may, initially, perhaps seem “odd” that blue-collar workers would need leadership skills. But, says Catherine Rymsha, Ed.D., they absolutely do. Rymsha is the author of The Leadership Decision: Decide to Lead Today and a visiting lecturer, management, at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell.

“As someone who educates on leadership at all levels and for a variety of industries, I’m receiving more and more inquiries for groups that help educate blue collar workers to present on what leadership is,” says Rymsha. “Nothing overly complicated or advanced, but more along the lines of what people should know about leading others and a primer on the basics.” That, she says, is great to see because “people, regardless of what they do, are realizing the true benefit of leadership and are willing to invest in themselves to become better leaders.”

Attracting and Retaining the Best

Marty Ford is a certified shingle master and home expert and the president of BulletpRoof Roof Systems, Ltd. Ford points to a research study, in the construction industry from SEEK which indicates that “the most important factor for attracting construction candidates is salary and compensation, followed by job security and balance.” Other factors that influence candidates’ choices, he says, “include company commitment to safety, corporate social responsibility, and ownership.” Employers that can offer additional benefits “such as bonuses and profit-sharing arrangements will have a better chance of attracting top talent,” Ford says.

Blue collar workers, says Ford, also have needs for education and training. From his experience, he says, “blue collar workers are most interested in tangible things that will help them excel in their jobs.” This, he says, “includes learning about new techniques, products, and tools that can make their work easier and more efficient.”

In blue collar work environments, Ford says, employees “also appreciate being able to access this information quickly and easily without having to wade through pages of academic jargon.” Employers, he says, that can provide these workers “with access to the latest information and resources, along with opportunities for career growth, along with great pay and benefits” will be well on their way to attracting and retaining the best talent in the field.

Access to “Always-On” Training to Meet Your, and Your Workforce’s Training Needs

GoJob’s always accessible, on-demand, training resources helps blue collar workers get access to the real time information they need now—whether for their current jobs, or jobs, including leadership opportunities, they aspire to in the future. Processes change, and technology changes. It’s no longer possible for employees of any kind to stay on top of these changes. That’s where training technology comes into play offering ready access to information needed to be as efficient and productive as possible—whether on site, on the go, or in the office.

That use of technology on the job is a great fit for blue collar workers, Tyler-Smith says because “they’re interested in learning about the latest tools and technology to help them do their jobs more efficiently.”

As a recent Chief Learning Officer (CLO) article points out, in 2022 there is “no such thing as ‘unskilled labor’.” CLO says: “It doesn’t matter if someone is a data scientist or a restaurant server or a warehouse safety manager. Every employee must have the knowledge and skill to do their jobs effectively. Therefore, CLOs must champion equitable learning and support opportunities for everyone while learning and development paves the path forward and helps employees solve today’s biggest problems while building the skills that will help them be successful tomorrow.”

That’s where we can come in to help you build and sustain a workforce engaged and enthusiastic about helping you meet your goals—while you work to help them meet theirs. Learn more.