How tradespeople can keep their skills up to date

In any profession, demands change and you need to adapt to the changes. You may be qualified and experienced in your field, but it’s important to keep your skills up to date.

Furthermore, technological and other advances are developing all the time, so it’s essential to keep up with the latest trends and developments. Whether you’ve just completed your apprenticeship as a plumber, or have years of experience as an electrician, every tradesperson needs to keep their skills up to date.

However, in the midst of demanding work schedules and personal commitments, it can be easy to ignore this and let training and refreshers courses fall to the bottom of your to-do list. Here are some handy tips to make sure you keep your skills up to date.


Enroll in training

There are plenty of trade training programs around, so make sure you regular enroll in these programs. With every piece of training you participate in, you take your income will increase. Adding more education and training to your resume will increase your chance of landing a new job and help you to do better in your current job. On-going training will give you the skills you need to grow in your current job.

There are various training options you can consider, from full-time courses to classes in the evenings or on weekends. In the latter, you can join a training program while continuing to honor your work commitments. These courses are available on a range of trade-related topics, from plumbing training courses to electrical safety. There are also many online courses where you can study remotely and often on your own schedule. 

Get on-going support

You should work closely with your work mentor or supervisor to learn new skills. Your supervisor will keep track of the changes in the industry and will be able to tell you about the latest training available. Furthermore, when your supervisor attends training, conferences, or events they can fill you in on the latest industry trends.

You should also discuss the skills that you need to achieve your goals with your manager. Talking to your co-workers and others in the industry can also be helpful. Additionally, there are many industry-specific forums and blogs online. You should read them regularly to learn about the latest trends and developments. By joining the online community you get the chance to exchange your views and ideas and learn new things about your industry. 

Engage in reverse mentoring

Reverse mentoring is a very rewarding way of keeping your skills up-to-date. This involves providing mutual coaching and support to a colleague. This way, you will teach each other something new and this mutual coaching will be very effective. For example, you can teach a younger colleague about team building and in turn they could help you to improve your computer skills. 

Attend seminars and workshops

Many organizations provide workshops and seminars on trade-specific topics. These single or multi-day workshops or seminars allow you to learn new skills and trends. Taking part in these events allows you to network with others in the industry and you can learn a lot from them. 

Join a professional association

Every trade has a professional association. Joining your professional association is a great way to keep up with the latest changes in your industry. You will learn about the latest industry trends and get insight into the skills required to do well in your trade. Most associations also have regular announcements about upcoming training programs and seminars. 

Read industry journals

You will also probably find career journals specific to your trade. These journals publish articles and news that will help you to stay up-to-date with the skills in demand in your trade. You will keep up with what employers are looking for and how prospective candidates can sharpen their skills. Additionally, you’ll find information about training and courses to improve your skills. 

If you are running a business, your human resources are essential. You need skilled people in your team to grow your business. To achieve this, you need to train your employees regularly to keep them up-to-date with the latest trends and refresh their skills.

Keep your skills up to date

It’s important to evaluate your skills from time to time so that you don’t fall behind others in your trade. One way to determine areas that need improvement, take a look at your last performance evaluation and check the negative feedback. If you failed to get the promotion you wanted, that’s also a sign that your skill is not up to the mark.

The nature of your job may also change due to changes in the market. Skills that served you well a year ago may no longer be sufficient to succeed. This is when you need to learn new skills. By keeping your skills up-to-date you will build confidence , become more efficient and productive, and put your career or business in the fast lane to success.

Photo by Mika Baumeister