While growth in heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) and electrical jobs increase, a gap persists between job requirements and available skills.

When almost one-quarter of an industry’s work force is planning to retire in five years or less, it creates an opportunity for new workers to enter the market. When 85 percent of employers in those industries report that it is difficult to very difficult to find new hires with the right skill set to perform those jobs, it creates a potential work force disaster. Those are two of the findings recently reported in “The Fluke 2012 Workforce Trends Study.”

Conducted in July 2012, the study surveyed the views of more than 1,600 test tool users, educators, trainees and hiring managers to determine current work force trends related to test and measurement skills. It asked for their views as to what job opportunities exist in the current market, what training and experience is needed to succeed in those jobs, and how market entrants received that training.

“We are going to be looking at a lot of people exiting the work force,” said Randall Ambuehl, training director for Northwest Washington Electrical Industry Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee. “At the same time, we’re going to have to pull in large numbers of people to take their place. What we thought was going to be a training spike five years ago is going to be deeper to meet those needs.”

Included in the study are excerpts from interviews conducted with educators and trainers on job market and training issues. It also taps third party resources such as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook. The complete study can be downloaded at www.fluke.com.