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70% Of Skilled Workers Eager For Diverse Tools, Survey Finds

by | Dec 11, 2023 | Employees, Facilities Management, Facility Management, Featured, Technology, Topics

NFPA survey about skilled workers
Adobe Stock/ kelvn

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) released its second annual Industry Trends Survey, which reveals employee sentiment around the current state of labor, training, and technology on the job site. In 2024, the skilled trades industry can expect the following trends based on this survey data: 

Tech Integration Remains King And Will Be Prioritized

This year, skilled tradespeople acknowledged the need for technology. When asked what additional skills or knowledge areas they believe are essential for the future success of professionals in their field, the survey found:

  • 46.4% of respondents identified tech integration as a crucial skill
  • 46% noted digital tools will help increase communication methods
  • 28% believe technology will help improve accuracy and safety in day-to-day operations (up from 25% in 2023)
  • 70% said they would be interested in trying new, diverse tools on the jobsite (up from 68% in 2023)

The Skilled Labor Job Shortage Will Remain A Concern For Workers

When asked to predict top challenges at work in 2024, 53% of respondents said the shortage of qualified hiring candidates, up from 45% the year prior. Additional responses included:

  • 39% cited lack of knowledge sharing and collaboration on the jobsite (down from 42% in 2023)
  • 30% noted an influx in co-workers retiring (up from 28% in 2023)

Additionally, the shortage will affect how respondents plan to budget in 2024:

  • 40% of respondents anticipate their organization’s budget will be focused on increased hiring to replace or add jobs
  • 32% noted budget will be used to update manual or outdated equipment
  • 24% believe it’ll be used to increase training for employees

Overall, this data remains consistent with the previous year’s data, and emphasizes the continued focus on labor within the industry as well as trainings, certifications, and membership opportunities.

Heading into the new year, over half of respondents (51%) plan to up-skill their roles by taking part in more training than they did in 2023, while 42% plan to make this same increase in certifications.

When asked to pinpoint the value of certifications, respondents noted the following:

  • 52% pointed to a higher level of confidence thanks to certifications
  • 49% upskilled their career by learning new processes and techniques
  • 35% found greater success in hiring/retention with multiple certifications under their belt
  • 32% felt safer knowing they understand the tools and process they’re working on
Survey Methodology

NFPA collected responses from 310 U.S.-based workers, 18-years and older in the electrical, manufacturing, construction, engineering, architect/design, facility maintenance, fire service, and insurance/risk management fields, via a third-party provider to determine findings of its 2024 Industry Trends Survey. The survey was conducted between October 30, 2023 – November 6, 2023.

Click here for more news and insights from the NFPA. 

Facility Executive Magazine