Government Pushes Vocational Training As Tech Programs End Part 2 – Steel, Aluminum, Copper, Stainless Steel, Rare Earths, Metal Prices, Forecasts

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This is the second part of a two-part series. Read part one here.

I read an interesting article yesterday that explored an area quite opposed to the metals market and the legal profession, but nonetheless relates well to our previous discussion of the state of vocational training and technical schools in the United States. .

The Economist does the case that law schools and law firms sometimes find it difficult to agree on the duties and responsibilities that are expected of each other. “The lousy job market is, of course, not the fault of law schools,” the article read. “But law schools could still do more to help their graduates prepare. He goes on to quote Evan Chesler, director of Cravath, Swaine and Moore, a New York-based firm, lamenting that “they teach little of the practical skills of the lawyer, leaving the firms to do much of the training during the early stages. years of a recruit on the job. Richard Revesz, the dean of New York University Law School, responds that the needs of most firms are so specific that the law school should not be expected to provide them.

According to industry reports, this problem also manifests itself in the welding profession. We had heard that American manufacturers were experiencing a shortage of welders and with relatively high starting salaries there seemed to be a mismatch between competent welders and suitable employers, such as Thermadyne, ESAB and Caterpillar.

While some specialty welding jobs earn higher salaries than the majority of Americans, such as a welding engineer in the shipbuilding industry (shown below), the range reflects most others. occupations in the production category:

As industrial companies reduce staff and / or wages, they are forced to operate with smaller staff who have newer and more specialized skills. These companies may not have the resources to act de facto as training centers to upgrade these workers, leaving that to technical schools and community colleges. But if workers have suffered significant pay cuts or been made redundant, they may not have the financial means to enroll in retraining programs, no matter how hard the Obama administration pushes its Department of Justice initiatives. ‘education. (Some people don’t see taking on more debt, via federal loans, as a way to get better paying jobs.) If there are fewer registrations, as we reported, the already expensive equipment needs training programs become impossible to maintain. Ultimately, this reinforces the perception that the manufacturing sector is definitely abandoned.

This perception may be the biggest obstacle for future welders to optimally match their skills with those of actively seeking employers. Of course, this requires as much personal motivation as it does government assistance. A key part of the perception equation: recruiting young welders to replace the baby boomers who will soon be retiring.

–Taras Berezowsky


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