How To Promote Trades Work in High School
We tell high school students time and time again: they have their entire lives in front of them. They indeed have the time to wander and explore if they so choose. Some will continue their education in college while others are not as sure about what their next pursuit will be after graduation. This makes high school an excellent time to promote working in the trades.
Not only are you able to highlight the many benefits of working in plumbing, electrical, or HVAC but you can also answer questions as they arise. You will be in a position to respond to whether there are trade jobs near you or not as well as answer the ever-important question of what is an apprenticeship.
If you hope to get your students to think about life in the skilled trades, here are some ideas to help.
High school students are particularly skeptical about what they are told about the future and how they should think about planning for it. They often have grand ideas about what is coming next for them. This is not a bad thing or something they should be talked out of. Instead, it can be used as a starting point to get them to consider the skilled trades. But you can’t beat around the bush. You need to take their grand visions and show how the skilled trades can make those visions possible. They will appreciate that you were direct with them and will be much more likely to respond the way you hope because of it.
Much like how you need to be direct, you need to be honest with high school students about what life in the trades will be like. Plumbing, electrical and HVAC all have their challenges and need for specialized knowledge. They all involve hard work. Students will need to understand that the trades require long days on their feet. It may seem that by being honest you may talk your students out of the trades altogether. That is why it’s so important to highlight the fulfilling aspects of the trades.
Helping families keep their homes comfortable and safe is one of the many great things about working in the skilled trades that do not get talked about enough, among others. By being honest about the challenges while also highlighting the great things about working in the trades, you can empower students to explore their options within each trade.
Talk About the Opportunities
There are so many opportunities within the trades. If you have a student who swears they are packing their stuff and moving as far away as possible when they graduate, encourage them to learn a trade. That way, if they follow through with their promise, they will be able to provide for themselves wherever they go. If you have a student that isn’t sure that college would be right for them, remind them that the trades are a great way to provide for themselves while they figure out their life’s path.
The trades allow for recent high school graduates to begin their adult lives on strong financial footing. When they ask “What is an apprenticeship?”, you can respond by telling them it is a great way to get started in a career without incurring student loan debt. Even if your students choose to go to trade school, their debt will be much more manageable than that of their four-year college counterparts. With the cost of college weighing so heavily on your students’ minds, this point cannot go understated.
Helping High Schoolers Prepare for the Future
Explore The Trades is here to help high school teachers and guidance counselors connect with their students to show them that they have options after high school. We have programs and materials geared towards doing just that. If you are interested in having these materials for your classroom, reach out today!