Finding New Faces

Dec. 1, 2016
How can the declining enrollment in the locksmith ranks be reversed?

A news article crossed my desk recently which was sent by the Fire Industry Association (FIA) in UK. The article explained that their industry is very insular, and employees are often recruited from the base population which exists within their industry.  As older persons retire there is a decreasing amount of new people interesting in taking their place.

Similar words can be said about the locksmith industry.  Siblings can be influenced by the occupations of their mother or father and tend to follow in the parent's footsteps. This hand-me-down system has worked for many years during the time when technological changes outside of the locksmith industry had no effect on our industry.  But recent events are having their effect.

The first event has been an increased expectation for all high school graduates to attend college. Children growing up in some European or Asian countries face exams at approximately age 12.  Those with high scores are sent on a learning path towards college. Those with lower scores are sent on a career path towards learning a trade.  The educational system we have in this country results in a declining amount of high school graduates who consider jobs in the trades as a worthy goal.

The next event is in new technology.  Go to any public place and look for someone in the child to young adult age category. Any time this group has a moment to spare you will find them swiping screens on a tablet or cell phone.  Every part of life these days has some dependency on electronics.  Mechanical technology is considered by young adults to be old fashioned and certainly not something to stake a career on.

Somehow trades such as locksmithing have to be presented to young adults as a worthy occupation.  Students leaving college are often burdened with tuition fee payments for years to come while at the same time entering a very competitive job environment.  If graduates only knew that security products are becoming a mix of mechanical and electronic components, perhaps the declining enrollment in the locksmith ranks can be reversed.