Recently, and for the foreseeable future, the welding industry has been experiencing a labor shortage. According to the American Welding Society, there will be a shortage of 400,000 welders in the US by 2024. There are many causes for this decline in demand, all of which can be countered using techniques like modern instructional technology and automated machinery. Let’s examine the welder shortage in more detail and how it’s hurting the industry’s operations.
WHY IS THERE A SHORTAGE?
There are many causes for the scarcity of welding operators, but most fall into two categories: difficulty replacing retirees and unfavorable impressions of the profession.
Welding is one of many professions having a sizable senior population in the workforce. Because of the aging workforce, there will need to be more younger workers to take the place of retiring baby boomers. Some detrimental implications include a less talented labor pool and a diminished capacity to compete for jobs.
Strong negative impressions of the job are another issue that plagues the welding business. Many young people lose interest in the profession because they believe it:
- Is monotonous and repetitious.
- Provides poor pay.
- Involves performing labor in unclean areas.
- Lacks potential for career advancement.
The welder shortage can be solved in part by correcting these beliefs.
RESOLUTIONS TO CURRENT WELDERS MARKET
The welding industry needs to take action to solve these issues and support a rise in interest in the discipline. Many industries, including aerospace, building, military, automotive, and many more, depending on welding. This offers a chance for practically every business, from the military to the private sector, to get involved in the campaign to reeducate the public and bring back the fading welding industry.
One common tactic is automating more labor so that fewer workers are initially needed. Although it still requires operators, equipment like improved welding arcs helps close the gap between the number of workers and the amount of work that needs to be done. Additionally, technology will only replace expert laborers’ vital contributions.
In the case of equipment breakdown and production downtime, a professional welder will still be required on-site to complete the task even when robots finally have the artificial intelligence needed to execute specialized labor. However, automation can speed up or simplify some tasks, requiring less training or allowing the employee to move on to the next assignment sooner.
The sector should also endeavor to dispel common misconceptions about welding and take measures to expand its labor force. More young people can be attracted to the workforce, and their training can be more successful by investing in education and excellent training techniques. Implementing technical education classes at the high school level allows students to fully engage with the subject and determine whether it is the best career path for them. The next step is to give kids access to post-high school welding training programs that are both inexpensive. Of the highest quality, they may pursue their career ambitions without facing severe barriers restricting entry into the sector.
Numerous cutting-edge innovations, such as augmented reality simulations, can speed up training and help students transition into the workforce more rapidly. This is helpful for businesses trying to fulfill deadlines and students hoping to complete their education quickly and begin working. To ensure that students are prepared to use new technologies on the job and can do so immediately, education is also crucial.