As technology continues to advance at an unprecedented pace, concerns about the potential for robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) to render certain professions obsolete have prompted a notable surge of interest in hands-on trades. The fear of job displacement by automation is driving individuals to seek out careers that are resistant to being replaced by robots. Experts in the field of employment are observing this shift and its significant impact on the job market.
Malcolm Tuckett, a course advisor at Engineering Real Results, an institution specializing in tradesperson training, has provided insights into this growing trend. He asserts that the field of electrical engineering, in particular, is experiencing a surge in popularity as individuals seek new career paths. This trend is expected to continue in the years ahead due to several driving factors.
Renewable energy and technological advancements fuel the trend
The UK’s concerted efforts toward carbon reduction and the increasing influence of technologies like robotics and AI are influencing career choices. People are becoming acutely aware of the importance of acquiring skills and expertise that will remain relevant in the face of automation.
Traditional occupations, including factory workers, retail assistants, and even roles in writing and editing, are perceived as increasingly vulnerable to replacement by robotics and AI platforms such as ChatGPT. This awareness is reshaping the job landscape across the UK, with more individuals considering careers in hands-on trades, such as electricians, plumbers, and welders.
Mr. Tuckett elaborates on the rationale behind this trend, stating, “It’s a trend that’s having a major impact across the UK jobs market, and more and more people are considering how hands-on jobs and trades such as electricians, plumbers, and welders will continue to be highly in demand.”
Hands-on trades remain indispensable
One key factor contributing to the resilience of hands-on trades is that they cannot be easily replaced by robotics or AI. While automation can perform many tasks efficiently, it cannot replicate the skills and expertise of skilled professionals in trades. For example:
1.Electrical engineers: As the UK shifts its focus towards renewable energy and adopts advanced technologies, electrical engineers are in high demand. Robotics and AI systems rely on electrical engineers to install and maintain them, ensuring their continued functionality. This dependence ensures a consistent need for electrical engineering expertise.
2. Plumbers: Homes and businesses will always require plumbing services. Plumbing is a vital component of infrastructure, and while automation can assist in some aspects of maintenance, the complexity of plumbing systems necessitates the involvement of skilled plumbers.
3. Welders: Welding is a skill that finds applications across various industries, from automotive to aerospace. The precision and craftsmanship required in welding make it challenging for automation to fully replace skilled welders.
These hands-on trades play a crucial role in various sectors and are essential for maintaining infrastructure, technology, and daily life.
Engineering real results addresses the skills gap
Engineering Real Results (ERR), a provider of trades skills and training, is actively contributing to bridging the skills gap that exists in the UK. This gap affects vital industries such as construction and renewable energy, where skilled professionals are in high demand.
ERR offers specialized training programs and places students at development sites where they can gain practical experience while working on live projects. This hands-on approach not only enhances their skills but also helps them earn NVQ qualifications, making them more competitive in the job market.
Mr. Tuckett highlights the diverse backgrounds of ERR’s students, stating, “The majority of our students are between 25 to 55 and often come to us to switch their career.” This shift in careers encompasses individuals from various fields, including retail, hospitality, call centers, and transportation. These individuals seek greater control over their careers and income, motivating them to acquire skills that will remain relevant in the face of automation.
He also notes that learning a trade offers the advantage of potential self-employment, a significant draw for individuals seeking work-life balance and a satisfying income. In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, people are increasingly determined to find such balance and financial stability, making careers in trades an appealing option.
The fear of job displacement by robotics and AI is reshaping the career choices of individuals in the UK. Hands-on trades, which remain indispensable and resistant to automation, are experiencing a surge in interest. Industries such as electrical engineering, plumbing, and welding continue to thrive, driven by the need for human expertise that cannot be easily replaced by technology.
Engineering Real Results is playing a pivotal role in equipping individuals with the skills they need to excel in these trades, helping bridge the skills gap in vital sectors like construction and renewable energy. As individuals seek to future-proof their careers, the allure of hands-on trades becomes more apparent, offering not only job security but also opportunities for self-employment and a fulfilling work-life balance.