Having your car serviced is a routine you likely are as used to as getting groceries. Every few thousand miles, you’re changing oil, having preventative maintenance done and the like. But what if I told you it wasn’t done by young lube techs working on improving their knowledge and skills, but rather the older, more-experienced technicians? What if I told you this wasn’t by choice?
The auto repair industry is desperate for fresh blood. According to the Sun Sentinel’s Andrew Boryga, “the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics concluded the industry needs an average of 76,000 new employees in the field each year for the next decade to offset retirees and meet demands for new job openings,” and we aren’t getting it.
There’s a lot of reasons for this, but one of the biggest is the lack of trades in schools.
We’ve created a situation where only those who are planning on going to a four-year school have a shot at learning job skills, and even that isn’t guaranteed. In 2015, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 37% of college grads were doing work that only required a high school degree, like sales. On top of this, despite there being a heavy focus on college readiness in schools, only 68% of grads even went to college. That means 32% of high school grads may not be receiving any kind of work-related skills. That 32%, who in years past would have taken auto shop or something similar, now don’t have the opportunity.
Check back next week for part 2.