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Robin Whitfield

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I will say that not everyone on the training I was doing had quite the same experience - in fact the company I went to work for afterwards had one of my fellow apprentices working for them and he was paid a far more reasonable 75% of the normal pay for the junior role that he was in.
I'd also say he was treated with the same respect as anyone else in the department, but we did have a tea trolley turn up twice a day so there was no point sending him off to make hot drinks!

Needless to say it still annoyed him somewhat that I'd escaped my apprenticeship to then go and do the same job as him but with 25% more pay!
 
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schnapps95

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Blimey Phil! You have well & truly "smacked my gob"!

BTW, I would say that at least "basic arithmetic" and basic English (if you live/work in England or any other English-speaking country) ARE indeed the "be all and end all" of shall we say "basic living" in those countries!

Another BTW; the entrance exam I took to be even interviewed for the RAF Apprenticeship had a pass mark (unknown to the sitters of course) and if you failed, that was it - "end of" - i.e. you only got invited to the Selection/Interview process - 3 days IF I remember correctly - if you passed the entry exam. And the Q's were a bit more "complex" than the ones you quote above (and included English, History, "General Science", and "General Knowledge" as well as "Maths")!

What I really don't understand is that for a long while, apprenticeships stopped altogether in UK (as pointed out by several posters above). Not so in other countries such as Switzerland for example. Yes, a uni-level education really is necessary for some, particularly in "scientific" subjects, but I can't understand any industrialised country doing away with apprenticeships altogether.

I wonder if any UKW members currently working the "new" UK apprenticeships "system" have any comments about how it goes in UK today (apart from the price of beer that is)! ;)

I guess I'm just a boring old fart (as ever).
 

schnapps95

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Having just read the post by AES and others i did'nt know the UK had stopped apprenticeships at one time or am i missing something ?. We have been training apprentices for the past 54yrs and i have friend whose two sons refused to go to university and then got an apprenticeships in the steel industy approx eight years ago

Regarding any comments about the present the apprenticeships our gripe is the teachers at college when it comes to practical work, we keep getting feedback that we are doing things wrong the last time this happend i told the apprentice to ask him how he would do a fox mortice and tennon and suggested he purchased a copy of Charles Haywards book Woodwork Joints but i did'nt get a reply.

Because our work is very varied we teach them a lot of old fashioned ( like the writer ) methods and ways etc,if anyone is interested in what we do you could visit our website at (www.atkinsonsjoiners.co.uk)
 

marcros

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I don't think apprenticeships stopped, they are possibly harder to get now than many years back and no doubt they have changed somewhat over time.
 

AES

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OK, it can well be that I've got hold of the wrong end of the stick. I haven't lived in UK or been there (apart from short business or personal trips) for almost 40 years now. Sorry if I've created a red herring.

But what I THINK I do know (not 100% sure) is that the RAF don't run the sort of apprenticeship that I went through in the '60s. (No doubt someone will shout if I've got that wrong too please).
 

hawkeyefxr

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Reminds me of how my Drill Cpl in basic introduced himself to us sprogs, "I am Cpl Everidge and I'm your Drill Instuctor. I'm sure we are all going to get along swimmingly but, if we have do have words at any time the second word will be you shouting OW"
Oh those were the days
:LOL::LOL::LOL: That made me laugh.
 

hawkeyefxr

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I started an apprenticeship a decade ago on approx £7.5k a year although admittedly not in woodworking/metalworking (IT/Networking with an A/V company), and just found that it was just taking the p*ss. There was no hard work and solid training, it was just a case of pay the young guy sod all and take advantage, while sending him off to *generic training* every few weeks.
After a year of that I scrapped off the apprenticeship and (still with zero paperwork and a part-finished training course) I used my experience to get a proper job at 2.5x the pay. I had a good run there climbing the ladder then left to another disappointing role before deciding to work for myself.

Now with this lockdown situation I keep flitting with the idea of going back to that nice reliable desk job (admittedly mostly at home) to get myself a few bob to spend on more tools...

In my opinion the big issue with apprenticeships now is that they're thought of as a second choice for those who can't get the grades to go to university. This has left us with a generation of trades people who (in my experience) on the whole have little interest in excelling in their trade or taking real pride in their work.
This issue is compounded by the general attitude today that faster and cheaper is always the way to go so long as it's better than the bare minimum.
Blimey mate you were on a millionaire's apprenticeship at £7.5K, i was on 1K at the end of mine!! No insult intended there it's just a matter time passing. 72 now and feeling old, going to cheer myself up and go out on the bike.
Keeps the stories coming they are great.
 

Droogs

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OK, it can well be that I've got hold of the wrong end of the stick. I haven't lived in UK or been there (apart from short business or personal trips) for almost 40 years now. Sorry if I've created a red herring.

But what I THINK I do know (not 100% sure) is that the RAF don't run the sort of apprenticeship that I went through in the '60s. (No doubt someone will shout if I've got that wrong too please).
AES The RAF still have appos. Avionics LTechAR , apprenticeships are still done at RAF Cosford, this year the DCTT Defence College of Technical Training got an "Outstanding" from OffStEd. link for stuff here:

Unfortunately they still have PTIs there too :cry:
 

Robin Whitfield

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Blimey mate you were on a millionaire's apprenticeship at £7.5K, i was on 1K at the end of mine!! No insult intended there it's just a matter time passing. 72 now and feeling old, going to cheer myself up and go out on the bike.
Keeps the stories coming they are great.
From small part time jobs to that money it definitely felt like a lot (until I tried to leave home), but it was still something like 20x less than the average house price at the time!
 

AES

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AES The RAF still have appos. Avionics LTechAR , apprenticeships are still done at RAF Cosford, this year the DCTT Defence College of Technical Training got an "Outstanding" from OffStEd. link for stuff here:

Unfortunately they still have PTIs there too :cry:

OK, thanks Droogs, I didn't know that (see my comment above re PTIs & DIs above).
 

Distinterior

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After the 1st year in the Apprentice Training School, the 12 of us were sent out to work in various departments within the factory.

At 17 years old, one of my jobs was working assembling Electro-mechanical modules that were to be fitted into some of the machines that the company made.
My Charge Hand/Manager at the time was a real stickler for rules etc....
One day he instructed me to cut down some small M3 Metric bolts. The stores had run out of the correct length (25mm long) and only had 40mm in stock. As the Modules needed to be completed ASAP, he told me to hacksaw 150 of these down to 25mm and then file the ends [email protected]@***!!!

Now,...I knew one of my fellow apprentices had a pair of bolt/thread croppers that were likely to fit the M3 threaded bolts. He worked in the Fitters section of the factory which was just below where I worked. I left my work station, popped downstairs and asked my mate if I could borrow the correct tool for the job.
Climbing back up the stairs...., bolt croppers in hand,....as I rounded the corner, there stands my Charge Hand with a face like thunder.....
He asked me where I had been and I explained it would be far quicker & the finished result would be superior by using the proper tool for the job, so I had borrowed the Croppers from my mate...... He escorted me to his Office and gave me a reprimand .......I got an official warning in a letter from the Company.

His argument was,....I was supposed to do what I was told, not use my initiative..."Its not a democracy here" he said ..."You don't get to vote on whether you do something or not". "You do what I tell you to do and when"...

Different times....
 
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Robin Whitfield

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His argument was,....I was supposed to do what I was told, not use my initiative..."Its not a democracy here" he said ..."You don't get to vote on whether you do something or not". "You do what I tell you to do and when"...

Different times....
These days it feels like a lot of the time it's initiative that's required, but is sorely missing
 

novocaine

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Harder to get doesn't really cover it. I was of age when they basically removed 80% of the funding for the scheme, there were very limited places that year. I was informed by guidance councilor knobis maximus that I'd be eligible for 3 places and be up against something like 1500-3000 applications for each place (was also told I'd be in the bottom of the choices because I wasn't very academic and had I considered working at McDonalds, seriously). I found a place on a GNVQ in manufacturing instead then took any menial job I could at engineering places to get myself in to workshops. From that I blagged my way in to uni on a Mech Eng degree and continued to work every job I could to both learn skills and to pay for it. I have no student debt (was the first year they sacked of grants an introduced student loans and fees). I now work in what would be considered a well paid job surrounded by people who have way more letters after their name, yet they come to me when they don't understand how something works. (note, I have a few letters these days :) ).

would I have been better in an apprenticeship, who knows. I'm happy with where I ended up. :) It also turns out (as I discovered at university when the ex RAF Rupert (genuinely nice guy, no way I'd have got on the wrong side of him though) come lecturer spotted it) I am Dyslexic. I have a certification and everything. :)
 

hawkeyefxr

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I love readinf these stories, they are priceless. I also think we were very very lucky, when you hear whats 'apprenticeships' are like these days they are nothing short of cheap labour and i feel sorry for them.
My own apprenticeship was with smallish company that did sheet metal work and a machine shop where they machined allot casting (they were street light i think as i never went into the section). I did two years in the sheet metal shop, 2 years in the toolroom which was brilliant and 1 year in the drawing office, also brilliant. The drawing office has stayed with me to the present day where i do my own drawings for wood projects i make.

Keep the stories coming.
 

akirk

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I think that apprenticeships now can vary hugely - someone I knew was looking at the JLR one - you could go in on an apprenticeship scheme for 6 years and come out with a degree in engineering / 6 years experience at one of the top automotive companies in the world, on £36k p/a by the end and 40% discount on their cars while there - sounds pretty good to me (very competitive!) - at the other end I know someone who was an apprentice at a local garage - but very reliable and now becoming an experienced mechanic - may not get the same salary / degree and company car, but still has proved a valuable experience...
 

TFrench

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I work for the family business in the industrial insulation business. The only colleges that do it as a course are in Glasgow and Darlington. Needless to say, I didn't do it. A few years ago the government decided we all needed to be qualified for our CSCS cards, so they sent a man to watch us work and decide we do actually know what we're doing. I'm now Mr French, NVQ - thank you very much. We've got two young lads who work for us that we're training up as well. Explaining fractions was particularly painful....
 

TFrench

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It was a farce - the assessor was so busy blowing his own trumpet he didn't notice I just kept reassembling the same part over and over....

I left school after 3 months of 6th form because I couldn't see the point in carrying on when I was going to go to work for Dad anyway, so yes I am practically unqualified. :LOL: It's not holding me back though!
 
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