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2024: 4 High-Demand Blue Collar Skills

Last updated on: January 11, 2024 17:35 IST

Interpersonal skills like communication, co-operation and teamwork foster a positive and productive work environment, says V C Karthic.

Kindly note the image has been posted only for representational purposes. Photograph: Photograph: Krishnendu Halder/Reuters

Skills or a fancy degree -- what do you think can help you get a blue-collar job straight out of college?

Whether you are a trainee, an aspiring professional or an entrepreneur, employers look for specific sets of skills in order to fill the growing demand of highly skilled blue-collar jobs.

While tangible skills hold significance, interpersonal skills like communication, co-operation and teamwork are equally valued for fostering a positive and productive work environment.

For example, if you are working in the manufacturing or mechanical industry, knowing how to operate machinery and utilise specific tools is an essential and exclusive skill. If you want to excel in your domain of knowledge, you must undergo safety training and upgrade your skills and certifications.

At the same time, if you want to build your career in this industry, here are some skills sets that will help you stay relevant and ahead of the curve.

1. Soft skills

Effective communication skills are important in the workplace. Many blue-collar jobs require working as part of a team.

Soft skills such as communication (in English, Hindi or the relevant local language, especially for blue-collar profiles), collaboration and teamwork are essential for a positive and productive working environment.

They must also be able to read and distribute instructions, capture and report issues and co-ordinate with key colleagues and managers.

Strong communication skills help prevent misunderstandings and improve productivity.

Problem-solving skills where the employee can identify problems and solve them effectively will also be valuable.

Professionals who can solve problems and find practical solutions will be in high demand.

2. Digital literacy

Increasing interaction with technology has created a demand for reskilling employees. This includes familiarity with specialised digital tools, software and basic IT skills.

Blue-collar jobs are often related to manual labour but, as time evolves, these job profiles require familiarity with data-driven technologies and digital advancements to stay relevant and competitive in the industry.

Blue-collar workers must also be aware about the concept of digital interfaces and understand how to interact with automated systems.

3. Safety training and certification

Personnel with workplace safety, first aid skills, ERT (emergency response team) training and CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) certifications are always in demand and these are considered important qualifications that enhance workplace safety.

4. New adaptive technologies

Due to the rapid advancements in robotics and automation, it is important to adapt and be open to learning new technologies (attendance software, learning and development platforms to name a few).

Those who can adapt quickly to changes in equipment and production will be valued.

V C Karthic is the founder of buzzworks, a staffing and recruitment company.