Want to Survive in the Blue-Collar Workforce? Upskill!

We are in the age of automation, and blue-collar workers need to consider upskilling to be successful. In a rapidly changing market, blue-collar workers need to get more training to preserve their jobs and earn a higher salary.

We live in an increasingly technological society where robots and artificial intelligence will soon work alongside humans in the blue-collar workplace. While some fear technology displacing blue-collar workers, I do not. Reading an article recently, I agreed with one of the experts, technology won’t eliminate blue-collar jobs anytime soon, it will only shift the scope of the type of work done by blue-collar workers.

I am a firm believer in this. Automation will actually support blue-collar work and blue-collar workers can use it as a chance to earn more pay by leading their field in learning to work with the new technologies.

Why Upskill?

Rupam Biswas is the CEO and founder of Sendhelper, an online job search website based in Singapore. He thinks that levels of automation, or replacing human workers with machines, will only increase in the future. According to Biswas, applied robotics will join people in blue-collar jobs, which will improve productivity. Today, only industrial robotics are being used, so we’re at the beginning of the curve.

“Almost all blue-collar jobs will require humans. You will always have the need for tacit knowledge, overseeing, reporting and human handling of technology tools. Tasks required under a job will change but that does not equate to a redundancy,” Biswas said. “However, upskilling becomes crucial in this case. Productivity gains will instead mean that businesses are capable of further expansion resulting in creation of more jobs.”

You hear that? For blue-collar workers, technology will mean MORE jobs.

Crossing the Blue-Collar Job Gap

The need for blue-collar workers continues to grow throughout the years. There are actually shortages of workers in skills in areas such as manufacturing and other industries that might cause enormous profit losses by 2030. According to Biswas, while there’s a clear demand for skilled blue-collar workers.

The Manpower 2013 Talent Shortage Survey spoke with almost 40,000 employers in 41 countries and found that the supply of skilled trades workers, such as plumbers, electricians, welders, and bricklayers), is the shortest across all job fields. Remember, wherever there is a supply/demand issue –  prices ( in this case wages) go up dramatically… which is what makes these jobs even more lucrative now.

Why is there a blue-collar gap? One massive reason is that people aren’t well-informed about blue-collar jobs or skilled enough to perform them. Around the world, governments, professional organizations, and NGOs are putting in efforts to bridge this gap, and, quite frankly, that’s my mission too.

Ken Rusk is a blue-collar entrepreneur who has started several successful endeavors and mentored hundreds of young people in their pursuit of a satisfying career and fulfilling life.

Find out more in Blue Collar Cash.