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Where are all the skilled welders?

October 27, 2011

Where are all the skilled welders?

As the US economy continues to recover, many of our clients are relying heavily on EWI welding technicians to fill their skills gap. Our welding technicians here at EWI are highly skilled welders and have many years of experience in the welding industry. EWI labs offer welding services for standard, as well as advanced welding processes.

As a lead technician and resource manager in the welding labs at EWI, I truly understand the lack of and the need for skilled welders. We are fortunate here at EWI to have a very skilled staff of welding technicians. Many of our member companies have workers that can weld, but fewer and fewer have the right experience for the growing need in industry. Manual welding takes a great deal of artistic and coordination skills. These skills are developed over many years of hard work, training, practice, pain, and a good attitude. This is why the skill can not easily be passed down or transferred to an average worker in a short amount of time. EWI welding technicians can help transfer these skills to your welders.

Even celebrities such as Jay Leno and Mike Rowe of “Dirty Jobs”are joining in to raise awareness of this skills gap. The question that everyone is asking is “what do we do about it?” The answer may not be so simple.

Bridging the gap between practice and production

High schools need more shop classes. Today’s high schools are geared for college prep and no longer blue collared work. Educational directors need to address this problem and help promote blue collar work again in our schools.

Train your own. Many companies today are training their own people to become skilled welders (see article).  Although it is a major cost, this is a great idea to customize the training that is needed for the job. Companies should allow much more practice time (on the job training) to develop the skill that is needed to learn the higher skilled welding (pipe welding, welding exotic materials). EWI can assist your company in setting up an ‘in house’ training program.

EWI AdvanceTrainer is a tool that can aid in the process of training a skilled welder. This patented non-contact vision technology is used to monitor manual welder performance. If every high school in the nation had one of these training units, the skills gap in welding would not be a problem.

What is your company doing about the skills gap?

Other info: http://www.aws.org/wj/apr03/editorial.html