The South Island of NZ has really hit rock-bottom lately. There are reports of some companies being so short of staff, that they may have to close. And this is not only in the Electrical Contracting businesses. The same goes for Plumbing and Gas-Fitting and also the Joinery trade. But, the question that I ask, is this: What is so nasty about being a Tradesman these days?(Oh sorry, Tradesperson, have to be PC, you know! ) Our school-leavers all want to be IT Technicians these days, whatever that means and although us Trades staff haven't done ourselves any favours, with attracting new blood into our arena, what is wrong with working with Hand and Power tools and Electricity. Note that I never mentioned Builders, they have all the young fellas to keep themselves going for ages. Have we become so safe-safe, that learning to work with traditionally dangerous(In the general public's eyes) things, have become a no go zone. On the other side of the coin, are our school-leavers afraid of a bit of hard work?. What are your ideas on all of this. And is the situation the same where you come from?. Let us know!.
There is a similar situation in Ireland. The whole school system has been aimed for years here at sending people to University to do something academic. Until very recently there was absolutely no value put on trades by the country's educators.
We have made a few changes though the Regional Technical Colleges have been pumped with money and renamed Institutes of Technology and offer everything from degrees in engineering to diplomas, certificates, etc in trades. So you can actually persue a proper qualification as an Electrician, Plumber, Carpenter, etc etc.. even as a master tiler or brick layer. Interestingly, as the courses are now more formalised and less of an "old boys club" more women are becoming sparkies than ever before too.
I think with most trades a lot of people have the perception that it's all about being able to move a pallet of paving slabs single-handedly when in reality it's actually not all that physical and all very high skill.
The school programme has also been modified to give more scope for practical subjects.
[This message has been edited by djk (edited 11-10-2003).]
#139467 - 11/10/0310:16 AMRe: Where have all the Tradespeople gone?.
The sitation is similar here. I've tried to find out how you become an electrican in Sweden, but failed. Sure, it's easy, if you choose that career when you apply for high school. But it would be harder for anyone who comes later.
Similar for other trades. I suppose starting work at 6 o'clock isn't what we youngsters yearn for...
Of course, the union are happy that it's halfway impossible to get a tiler, plumber or electrican. But it is beginning to backfire. Electricians are reluctant to take residental jobs at all.
[This message has been edited by C-H (edited 11-10-2003).]
#139468 - 11/10/0311:09 AMRe: Where have all the Tradespeople gone?.
Our school-leavers all want to be IT Technicians these days, whatever that means and although us Trades staff haven't done ourselves any favours, with attracting new blood into our arena, what is wrong with working with Hand and Power tools and Electricity.
If it weren't for the guys working on the power lines, then there would be nothing to run the IT industry.
I've heard similar complaints here that many school-leavers see "IT" and computer work as the only path worth considering. As a result, some places are finding it harder and harder to find good engineers for RF design, audio design, telecoms and so on.
#139471 - 11/11/0302:50 PMRe: Where have all the Tradespeople gone?.
Trumpy, Here in the North of Ireland we intake a steady 400 elecrical installation apprentices per year. Out of a population of circa 1.5million I should imagine that this is a fair number. There appears to be no real shortage here although many firms still report a dearth of good, all-rounders! I personally tutor some 70 individuals at various stages of their apprenticeship.I find that the NVQ system leans towards unnecessary, beaurocratic recording which turns the guys into form-fillers rather than skilled electricians. Over the last few years I have tried to ditch as much of the NVQ as possible in favour of the good, old-fashioned practical approach!
#139472 - 11/11/0305:43 PMRe: Where have all the Tradespeople gone?.
In the Republic of Ireland there is a very strong tendency to move torwards trying to make everything a degree and to teach it as if it were a traditional university subject. Many of the new courses are largely classroom based with practicals done on mock up circuits and cables run behind fake walls.
It's amazing to see people learning brick laying in a classroom complete with a wall that contains block walls on benches Same with tiling! Mock up walls
#139473 - 11/14/0308:01 AMRe: Where have all the Tradespeople gone?.
Hey thanks for your comments guys, djk, You guys have the Institutes Of Technology over there too?!, our Polytechnics started rebranding themselves about 5-6 years ago to get a bigger share of the student dollar. And yes, the trainers here actively encourage female students to take on a Trade Course, but they are often lost to Business Management courses instead. C-H,
Sure, it's easy, if you choose that career when you apply for high school.
How does that work?, you'd have to pretty sure that you were going to "stick at it". Lyle, It sounds to me like NI has got a good system to ensure plenty of tradespeople in the future. Guys, this is my one pet peeve!.[Steps on to Soapbox] We SHOULD have been doing something like this over here, 10-15 years ago and now we are feeling the consequences. Now I'm not willing to get into a political debate here, but I think that the blame really has to be laid at the Government in 1990, that repealed the old Apprenticeships Act and brought in this really expensive and un-wieldly system that we are only just seeing the end of now. When I left school in 1990, the word "Apprenticeship" was almost a swear-word, that's how I ended up being a Professional Firefighter, you just couldn't get an apprenticeship as anything at the time. There is a phenomena here, that is called "The Brain-Drain", this is where our leaders blame our lack of Tradespeople on those moving overseas, taking thier skills acquired here, with them. Everyone in any sort of Trade knows that the truth, is that, all of our Immigration policies are really warped and they just let Doctors and lawyers in and people with no qualifications at all, to live on our Welfare system. [Right that's it, I'm off the Soapbox!] Djk, You had fake walls to work on?, we had to wire circuits in PVC conduit between mounting blocks on a 1m x 1m sheet of MDF on a desk!.
#139474 - 11/15/0302:13 PMRe: Where have all the Tradespeople gone?.
Mike, Having examined immigration options for various countries in the past (including NZ), I find the one thing that runs fairly consistently through most of them is a severe bias toward being an employee rather than being enterprising enough to set up as self-employed.
If you get a job offer and have your prospective employer approve it with the bureaucrats, then you're in. If you have the notion of setting up in business for yourself, they want you to jump through so many hoops that you start to wonder if it's worth it.
Canada, NZ, and Australia all have complex points systems where you have to get a minimum score to even qualify for consideration. Minimum investment levels such as $250,000 are totally unrealistic for most people.
I don't know what the rules are for Britain, as being a British citizen I've never had cause to check.
If you turn up here and claim political asylum, unable to speak any English (except for the vital phrase "social security"), then it's a different story, but we'd better not go into that!