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"Low-skilled" workers

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Steve Maskery

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I'm pretty sure that I heard a R4 piece today referring to the increased risk of C-19 to "low-skilled" workers such as chefs. Really? I would never have put chefs into that category, I've cooked too many disappointing dinners myself to do that.
(Although this evening's spicy pineapple pork chop was ace-fab).
 

Terry - Somerset

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For low skilled, read low paid.

As a generality it is probably true - but there are plenty of low paid who are high skilled in my view - chefs, woodworkers ( :p ) to name but two.

The reverse sadly is also true - high paid, but low skilled.

May include city bankers, estate agents etc who have egos well in excess of the size of their brains .
 

lurker

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I think this is just lazy language use.
The chef is the person in charge of the kitchen , the rest are variously skilled kitchen staff.
Burger flippers call themselves chefs.

It's a bit like our use of the word engineer. In Germany were they value real engineers it is a protected title.
 

worn thumbs

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If it was heard on R4 the speaker was probably somebody who believes an Oxbridge PPE degree is a good foundation for making all sorts of pronouncements.And somebody who would be hard pressed to bang a nail in.
 

lurker

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Terry - Somerset":1r3chiy3 said:
May include city bankers, estate agents etc who have egos well in excess of the size of their brains .
Who interestingly do not require specific qualifications to be able to do their job (I carefully avoided using the word profession).
 

Lonsdale73

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Terry - Somerset":3313t9to said:
For low skilled, read low paid.

The reverse sadly is also true - high paid, but low skilled.

May include city bankers, estate agents etc who have egos well in excess of the size of their brains .
At the last place I worked there was a production Director with zero understanding of production. He would boast that he had got to this position - one of top three wage drains - having never worked a day in his life, his sole skill being an ability to brown-nose. He was brought into the company by his old chum - an accountant with even less understanding of production - and in turn he brought in two of his old cronies - one another bean counter and one with seemingly no previous experience of anything ever - to mismanage a department that haemorrhaged skilled staff daily.
 

Phil Pascoe

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I always remember an old acquaintance telling me a story from when he worked in a factory producing synthetic yarn. His manager told him to put a particular product through a machine. I can't he said, it'll blow the machine up. No it won't, he was told. It wil. It won't. OK, I'll do it as long as you put it in writing specifically what you asked. Ok he said, and did so. The machine (£10,000 50 years ago) blew up.
Some months afterwards qualifications came up in conversation. What is your degree in? my friend asked his manager. Ecclesiastical history came the reply. :lol:
 

Rorschach

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They mean low paid probably.

I have never been comfortable with describing jobs as skilled or unskilled, it can be very difficult.

Every job requires skills to do it, there are skills in doing bin collections for example and many would regard that as an unskilled job.
The difference mostly I think is that there are jobs that require training and qualification in skills to do them (doctor, lawyer etc) and jobs that you can learn the skills while on the job. Some takes years to learn, some may only take a few weeks to pick up.

"Value" is another one that irks me. All jobs are valued when you need that service but people often conflate value with wages which again probably brings in the skills argument again.
 

Nigel Burden

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That just about sums up what has happened over the years where managers have been employed posts where they have absolutely no experience. For that reason my fathers sisters late husband who was an engineer at Max Factor, would resist employing university graduates in higher positions unless they gained experience on the shop floor. He preferred to promote men from the shop floor with experience as they could deal with technical problems when they arose.

IIRC, Mercedes Benz went downhill when accountants took over running the company back in the seventies or eighties.

Nigel.
 

Andy Kev.

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Terry - Somerset":1a2r9npg said:
For low skilled, read low paid.

As a generality it is probably true - but there are plenty of low paid who are high skilled in my view - chefs, woodworkers ( :p ) to name but two.

The reverse sadly is also true - high paid, but low skilled.

May include city bankers, estate agents etc who have egos well in excess of the size of their brains .
Good point. How much skill do you need to be an estate agent? Client phones you up saying they want to sell their house, you advertise it, you show potential buyers around it until one decides to cough up. There's not much skill involved in that.
 

galleywood

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I think the 'low skilled' , 'low paid' in question are actually people that come into contact with more peolpe than the rest - hence the higher risk.
 

RobinBHM

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Andy Kev.":byhzeqby said:
Terry - Somerset":byhzeqby said:
For low skilled, read low paid.

As a generality it is probably true - but there are plenty of low paid who are high skilled in my view - chefs, woodworkers ( :p ) to name but two.

The reverse sadly is also true - high paid, but low skilled.

May include city bankers, estate agents etc who have egos well in excess of the size of their brains .
Good point. How much skill do you need to be an estate agent? Client phones you up saying they want to sell their house, you advertise it, you show potential buyers around it until one decides to cough up. There's not much skill involved in that.
estate agency is a sales job. The skills required are 'people skills'
 

Richard_C

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Low skilled has become s a pejorative term, "we don't want all those low skilled people coming to our country and taking our jobs". The new Migration rules for post EU transition are built around low skilled = worthless and skill is largely measured by qualification and to some extent earnings potential.

It's wholly misguided. There are lots of low skilled jobs I couldn't do but value highly - for instance care work where I know I don't have the patience, or repetitive physical work where I have neither the patience nor endurance.

Charles Handy wrote a book, can't recall the title, where he talked about 8 kinds of intelligence. Musical, physical, spatial. Example of spatial are good removal people, who can look at a piano, look at a staircase and know how to get it in or out. There are footballers who can barely string a sentence together - I don't watch footballers talking about football on TV - but who can instantly sense where 21 other players are and how to put the ball into a gap barely bigger than the ball itself. Interpersonal/influencing skills have been mentioned and get rewarded, as do the routes that lead to 'qualifications' for analytical or expressive skills.

We as a modern society value and pay highly for the last 2, we dismiss some of the others. The Govian approach to 11-16 education - all should do EBACC exams, non academic skills are worthless, reinforces the prejudice. Well, back in the early days of man the skill to catch and kill an elk with a spear would have made you high status, as would the skill to build a shelter.

I don't like the idea of low skilled, recognising instead that we all have different skills. As a society we must think about how little we are prepared to pay for some work, and maybe the Covid crisis will begin to change attitudes. Care workers on minimum wage - maybe not. And chefs - I agree. Not low skilled. Different skills.
 

Andy Kev.

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RobinBHM":3h2fo2fr said:
Andy Kev.":3h2fo2fr said:
Good point. How much skill do you need to be an estate agent? Client phones you up saying they want to sell their house, you advertise it, you show potential buyers around it until one decides to cough up. There's not much skill involved in that.
estate agency is a sales job. The skills required are 'people skills'
Which adds up to half decent manners and politeness. Hardly a great rarity and the training is what we used to call "being brought up".
 

Lonsdale73

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Andy Kev.":23ur9wob said:
half decent manners and politeness. Hardly a great rarity and the training is what we used to call "being brought up".
Such 'qualities' are increasingly rare.
 

Trainee neophyte

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Andy Kev.":3hme6tmd said:
RobinBHM":3hme6tmd said:
Andy Kev.":3hme6tmd said:
Good point. How much skill do you need to be an estate agent? Client phones you up saying they want to sell their house, you advertise it, you show potential buyers around it until one decides to cough up. There's not much skill involved in that.
estate agency is a sales job. The skills required are 'people skills'
Which adds up to half decent manners and politeness. Hardly a great rarity and the training is what we used to call "being brought up".
Selling is a particular skill set which involves the sales person convincing you to buy something you ordinarily wouldn't. It's not like manning a till in a supermarket (which is another skill), because it is not just taking an order. It is actively pushing the purchasor into making the purchase. Selling is a specialised, complicated and difficult skill, and actually involves the opposite of good manners. To be good at selling you need to have good empathy, yet at the same time absolutely no regard for the purchasor. It's an odd, difficult, and morally reprehensible skill to have. Most people can't do it, because it makes them too uncomfortable.
 

rafezetter

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Andy Kev.":3s4x7v4k said:
Good point. How much skill do you need to be an estate agent? Client phones you up saying they want to sell their house, you advertise it, you show potential buyers around it until one decides to cough up. There's not much skill involved in that.
Trainee neophyte":3s4x7v4k said:
Selling is a particular skill set which involves the sales person convincing you to buy something you ordinarily wouldn't. It's not like manning a till in a supermarket (which is another skill), because it is not just taking an order. It is actively pushing the purchasor into making the purchase. Selling is a specialised, complicated and difficult skill, and actually involves the opposite of good manners. To be good at selling you need to have good empathy, yet at the same time absolutely no regard for the purchasor. It's an odd, difficult, and morally reprehensible skill to have. Most people can't do it, because it makes them too uncomfortable.
Yes and no - to most of the above.

A GOOD (successful) estate agent will have the ability to empathise with the buyers, tease out information such as why they are buying the house, is it a "forever home", "just while the children grow up" or just the first rung on a ladder, selling on in five years. Are they willing to take on some remedial work to get a larger house or in a more desirable location / school catchement area - or do they want a "move in and just live" house.

They will also be able to SEE the real potential of houses that other less skilled agents and buyers have failed to grasp - what work might be done on a house to achieve it - a rough ballpark cost - whether the area is marked for urban renewal, new schools or big businesses moving into the area - the local "polytechnic" being granted "University Status" , etc etc etc.

Being an estate agent of the "throw as much muck at the wall - some of it will stick" variety doasn't require much skill I agree, show enough houses and eventually the buyers will see one they like, but being a successful agent who knows how to whittle down the potential house candidates based on given information from the buyers, so you only have to show them maybe a half dozen or dozen instead of 50, now that IS a skill that requires you to tap into and have a host of other skills - those are the ones that usually end up working in Knightsbridge selling multi million pound properties with commissions in the hundreds of thousands.

No, I don't know nor have never known any - but the program Location Location Location and all the other "buying a property" type programs on TV have shown me being a successful estate agent is far more nuanced than most people (or estate agents of the previously mentioned variety) understand.

Sales is indeed hard - that's why I wasn't that good at it, despite all the many books I read about it, such as "Think and Grow Rich", by Napoleon Hill - because I was brought up to "take no for an answer" instead of the "no means yes if you push hard enough" (which is bloody ironic considering my father has been a salesman all his life since the age of 19 selling welding gas, and at the end 52 years later a FA advising multi millionaires how to sort out thier finances) - I'm also not particularly handsome and don't have big hooters or a nice a$$ either.

I've got a stack of all those "salesman" type books and none of them worked a damn, because I have the wrong personal temperament, I'm not mercenary - TN is right that in many sales jobs, the customers needs are secondary to your own ruthless desire for the commissions. 2008 is proof positive of that.
 

doctor Bob

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I deal with a lot of city bankers and traders, all of them are super bright and switched on in my opinion.
 
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