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Recruiting Strategy

094: Trending Topics – What Gen Z’s Return to the Trades Means for Recruiters ft. Lex Winship

May 16, 2024

lex winship
sam kuenhle

Trades are gaining attention from Gen Z as a viable career option, leading to a surge in enrollment in vocational schools and trade programs — so what does this mean for the job market, and for recruiters?

Throughout this Trending Topics conversation, Lex and Sam dig into some of the forces at play here — and what is pushing Gen Z to question the value of higher education and pursue other vocational training programs instead. As the college premium shrinks, the government invests in apprenticeships and trade programs, and industries like construction and healthcare are begging for workers (while layoffs are aplenty in tech), it’s no surprise that the decision between college and trades is becoming a bit more nuanced. And recruiters have a significant role to play in filling the shortage of skilled tradespeople and can focus on niche areas — when armed with the right information.

If you like this episode, you’ll probably be interested to hear us touch on this in our Trending Topics episode on LinkedIn’s “big predictions” for 2024 — there was a lot of talk about Gen Z’s impact on the workforce, and it’s interesting to see which predictions are already playing out (or not).

Interested in learning more about this topic? Check out this written breakdown of Gen-Z’s return to the trades’ impact on recruitment.


00:00 – Podcast Intro
04:07 – The Journey to Now: Trends and Background
11:09 – Hot Industries: Where Interest is Booming
13:19 – College or Trades: Assessing the True Value
26:22 – The Future of Work: How AI is Shaping Jobs
31:10 – Key Lessons for Recruiters: Adapting to Trends
42:42 – Wrapping Up: Main Points and Lessons

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