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Won't somebody think of "young people"? (Edit: and No, older people aren't "to blame")

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Jelly

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Can't expect to stay in the game if you don't understand the rules of how to win and too much ground has been given already to the bleating voices of those whom want to study "art history" on the taxpayers penny that has led to an almost complete annihiliation of trade apprenticships and places to learn the trades.)

The YOUTH did that, not the old, and only now 20 odd years later are they realising thier monumental mistake.
I'm just going to put aside the vitriol about art history (although, I would note it's not that far removed from the history of furniture or interior joinery, which I think a few people on the forum have more than a passing interest in) and assume you're unlikely to be convinced of the value of scholarly research in anything which can't immediately be translated into money, or by the concept of transferable skills in a "knowledge economy".



Having done that I can safely say that your assertion about apprenticeships is entirely inaccurate.

I've had more than passing involvement with trying to establish new degree apprenticeships (it's very difficult and horrendously burecratic) and have spent a fair bit of time speaking to older colleagues who were heavily involved with CITB and PROSkills (The process industries skills council) about the decline of apprenticeships.

In their estimation the end of the craft apprenticeship came about as the result of ongoing political meddling by people who wanted to turn everything into neat qualifications, whilst not listening to the voices of Industry Representatives who actually hired apprentices and skilled workers.

That's got damn all to do with young people, but at least a bit to do with who their parents and grandparent's voted for.


Also, even if we suddenly got the old apprenticeship schemes, and all the poly's and technical colleges which supported people who started via an apprenticeship route to develop into foremen, (and managers, and engineers, and even directors) back tomorrow...

We just don't have the industry sectors which could support a huge number of skilled apprentices anymore, because of...

Wait for it...

Political and Economic decisions made as far back as 40 years ago.



Like it or not, when it comes to the big issues around access to well paid, skilled employment and the vocational training which enables that in the UK; the die was cast a long time ago...

In fact there's a good chance that the root causes stem from decisions which were being made in westminster back when you were still in short trousers!

Decisions which had become largely irreversible by the time I was born, but wouldn't fully materialise for decades
 

Billy_wizz

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I'm just going to put aside the vitriol about art history (although, I would note it's not that far removed from the history of furniture or interior joinery, which I think a few people on the forum have more than a passing interest in) and assume you're unlikely to be convinced of the value of scholarly research in anything which can't immediately be translated into money, or by the concept of transferable skills in a "knowledge economy".



Having done that I can safely say that your assertion about apprenticeships is entirely inaccurate.

I've had more than passing involvement with trying to establish new degree apprenticeships (it's very difficult and horrendously burecratic) and have spent a fair bit of time speaking to older colleagues who were heavily involved with CITB and PROSkills (The process industries skills council) about the decline of apprenticeships.

In their estimation the end of the craft apprenticeship came about as the result of ongoing political meddling by people who wanted to turn everything into neat qualifications, whilst not listening to the voices of Industry Representatives who actually hired apprentices and skilled workers.

That's got damn all to do with young people, but at least a bit to do with who their parents and grandparent's voted for.


Also, even if we suddenly got the old apprenticeship schemes, and all the poly's and technical colleges which supported people who started via an apprenticeship route to develop into foremen, (and managers, and engineers, and even directors) back tomorrow...

We just don't have the industry sectors which could support a huge number of skilled apprentices anymore, because of...

Wait for it...

Political and Economic decisions made as far back as 40 years ago.



Like it or not, when it comes to the big issues around access to well paid, skilled employment and the vocational training which enables that in the UK; the die was cast a long time ago...

In fact there's a good chance that the root causes stem from decisions which were being made in westminster back when you were still in short trousers!

Decisions which had become largely irreversible by the time I was born, but wouldn't fully materialise for decades
To be fair the engineering firm my dad worked for stopped taking on apprentices a few years after he Finnished his because they got fed up of training people for them to leave as soon as they where qualified!
 

doctor Bob

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I'm just going to put aside the vitriol about art history (although, I would note it's not that far removed from the history of furniture or interior joinery, which I think a few people on the forum have more than a passing interest in) and assume you're unlikely to be convinced of the value of scholarly research in anything which can't immediately be translated into money, or by the concept of transferable skills in a "knowledge economy".
I spent a good half an hour looking at "a bike wheel on a bit of white woodchip wall paper" in the MOMA, New York. By heck it don't half make you realise what it's all been about, I was absolutely delighted my wife decided we should spend the whole day there, just to really really understand it all, my day was topped of when a group of dancers in body stockings started to do a dance workshop. A modern interpretation of childrens games, it was at this point I had an epithany and became enlightened and one with the piece,, unfortunately they threw me out when I tried to join in.


........ they didn't really throw me out..... :ROFLMAO: but they did want punters to participate.
 
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Jelly

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To be fair the engineering firm my dad worked for stopped taking on apprentices a few years after he Finnished his because they got fed up of training people for them to leave as soon as they where qualified!
That usually points to them not paying them what they were worth in the labour market.

It's a common enough pitfall for employers to fall into, the normal story being either:

  • The company has rules restricting pay progression for staff, but other companies will pay a premium to get a skilled person right now...

Or

  • People trained in house are subject to the "rusty halo" effect, because everyone remembers a time before they were competent, whilst someone joining fully trained doesn't have to deal with that, and gets ahead faster. When everyone coming up behind them sees that happening they think "stuff that, I'm not staying" and get out at the first chance.
 
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Jelly

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I spent a good half an hour looking at "a bike wheel on a bit of white woodchip wall paper" in the MOMA, New York. By heck it don't half make you realise what it's all been about, I was absolutely delighted my wife decided we should spend the whole day there, just to really really understand it all, my day was topped of when a group of dancers in body stockings started to do a dance workshop. A modern interpretation of childrens games, it was at this point I had an epithany and became enlightened and one with the piece,, unfortunately they threw me out when I tried to join in.


........ they didn't really throw me out..... :ROFLMAO: but they did want punters to participate.
Modern art isn't exactly my cup of tea either, but you can't argue that people aren't making a decent whack from it... (Or rather from being persuasive enough to part the pretentious from their money).

You think of the profit margin on that "installation" you saw, hell you could fish the bike wheel out of the canal, a fragment of woodchip from a skip on the street, it's pure profit!

The question remains... Did you actually join in with the dancing, we've got to know!
 

Billy_wizz

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That usually points to them not paying them what they were worth in the labour market.

It's a common enough pitfall for employers to fall into, the normal story being either:

  • The company has rules restricting pay progression for staff, but other companies will pay a premium to get a skilled person right now...

Or

  • People trained in house are subject to the "rusty halo" effect, because everyone remembers a time before they were competent, whilst someone joining fully trained doesn't have to deal with that, and gets ahead faster. When everyone coming up behind them sees that happening they think "stuff that, I'm not staying" and get out at the first chance.
They got fed up of being out competed by firms that incurred no extra costs training people but offered a small wage increase to newly qualified staff according to my dad firms where constantly trying to poach people directly from school grounds so everyone stopped training and the skills went!
 

Jelly

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They got fed up of being out competed by firms that incurred no extra costs training people but offered a small wage increase to newly qualified staff according to my dad firms where constantly trying to poach people directly from school grounds so everyone stopped training and the skills went!
Sounds like the apprentices were looking out for their own best interests which is entirely reasonable, whilst the various companies were fighting amongst themselves as they are wont to...

In principle this is the kind of thing the apprentice levy is meant to prevent, by forcing all large companies to fund training at the same level of, and redistributing a portion of that funding to smaller firms to level the playing field...

Unfortunately the process of developing and delivering apprenticeships which qualify for funding is phenomenally burecratic, which pairs with a 20+ year break in delivering "proper" apprenticeships has made the results so far underwhelming to say the least.
 

Billy_wizz

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Sounds like the apprentices were looking out for their own best interests which is entirely reasonable, whilst the various companies were fighting amongst themselves as they are wont to...

In principle this is the kind of thing the apprentice levy is meant to prevent, by forcing all large companies to fund training at the same level of, and redistributing a portion of that funding to smaller firms to level the playing field...

Unfortunately the process of developing and delivering apprenticeships which qualify for funding is phenomenally burecratic, which pairs with a 20+ year break in delivering "proper" apprenticeships has made the results so far underwhelming to say the least.
I wonder how many are left that can teach high lvl apprenticeships especially in engineering?
 

Jelly

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I wonder how many are left that can teach high lvl apprenticeships especially in engineering?
At least in Sheffield there's a huge number of people and resources, with a number of strong programmes running.

The integration between the University, the UTC (University Technical College, an FE college focused on engineering supported with resources and staff from the two uni's), the Advanced Manufacturing Research Center, AMRC Training College, Rolls Royce, Boeing, McClaren, Kyrocera and Sandvik are pretty tight, delivering HNC and Degree level apprenticeships for about 7 years now.

Sheffield Forgmasters maintains a full range of craft apprenticeships in all aspects of forge, foundry, fabrication and machining work.

LUK/Schaffler have craft apprenticeships in metallurgy and machining, with high performing apprentices offered the opportunity to go on for a HND, Degree, or management trainee program on the company...

What's notable however is that they're all tied to gigantic well resourced companies of the sort that are comparatively rare as employers in the UK these days.
 
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Billy_wizz

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At least in Sheffield there's a huge number of people and resources, with a number of strong programmes running.

The integration between the University, the UTC (University Technical College, an FE college focused on engineering supported with resources and staff from the two uni's), the Advanced Manufacturing Research Center, AMRC Training College, Rolls Royce, Boeing, McClaren, Kyrocera and Sandvik are pretty tight, delivering HNC and Degree level apprenticeships for about 7 years now.

Sheffield Forgmasters maintains a full range of craft apprenticeships in all aspects of forge, foundry, fabrication and machining work.

LUK/Schaffler have craft apprenticeships in metallurgy and machining, with high performing apprentices offered the opportunity to go on for a HND, Degree, or management trainee program on the company...

What's notable however is that they're all tied to gigantic well resourced companies of the sort that are comparatively rare as employers in the UK these days.
Judging by the firm's involved there looking for the 1 percent! So how much work are the apprentices actually doing? Are we going to end up with another generation of school based learners that can talk the job better than they can do it?
 

Jelly

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Judging by the firm's involved there looking for the 1 percent!
It's been that way for as long as I can recall, when I left school the people going on to apprenticeships in desirable engineering disciplines tended to have done A-Levels or a mix of A-Levels and a B-Tech.

At this point it's substantially harder for a school leaver to get one of those apprenticeships than it is to get a place at a good university on a related course.

I'm aware that Unilever at Port Sunlight had several hundred applicants in a week all applying for a single apprentice vacancy in Process Engineering when they launched their apprenticeship program, which highlights both the desirability and relative unavailability of those opportunities.



So how much work are the apprentices actually doing? Are we going to end up with another generation of school based learners that can talk the job better than they can do it?
I know someone who apprenticed at LUK in metallurgy, who did 4 days a week working and one day a week at college, and a couple of month-long training courses in Germany.

Started out initially very heavily supervised, but by the end of his apprenticeship (5 years) was assigned to teach and supervise uni students on summer placements.


Similarly the Forgmasters Apprentices are properly craft trained, because there isn't really another option.

With SFI being one of only 4 or 5 companies in the world who can do what they do, and working projects one or two orders of magnitude bigger than anything you might see elsewhere in the UK, they have to teach a bunch of those skills in house.


Rolls Royce is a similar deal, they're probably the single biggest employer of engineering apprentices in the UK (predominantly at Derby) and the Sheffield site specialises in a single-crystal casting process which is extremely niche, if not the only plant with those capabilities worldwide.


It's notable that most of these opportunities are looking to take school leavers to at least QCF level 4 or 5 (HNC/HND) which would previously have been an indentured apprenticeship + Night School afterwards; so there's a significant academic component in addition to the on the job training. By all accounts it's quite intense, but we'll rewarded with excellent opportunities.
 

Terry - Somerset

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We are in danger of applying lessons learned during our lives (I left school 50 years ago) to a very different very different world today. It is at best only partly helpful, and at worst completely inappropriate.

Young people need to think about what the world holds in the next 30-50 years, not what happened and expectations 30-50 years out of date.

Traditional career paths will become increasingly rare. Career success will rely on product design, product development, promotion, logistics etc. Service industries will continue to thrive with greater leisure time.

The rewards will likely go to those who have very good social and service skills, and are responsive to changes in their market and business sector.

As work will favour the bright, innovative, responsive, articulate, imaginative, the opportunities for lifes "plodders" will become more difficult. A life working in mundane but sound jobs (eg: railways, retail sales, building, assembly lines, etc) will become scarce.

This transition is the reason for current debates over "universal basic income" payable to all to provide a minimum standard of living.

The balance between material success and other of lifes pleasures may also be changing. Covid may have made people increasingly appreciate the value of friends, family, community, health etc, and the relative triviality of material goods once basic needs are met.
 

Shane1978

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oh and read more bloody history so that they don't go on a rampage pulling down statues of people they think are the sole reason for slavery in the 16th & 17th centuries when the black people themselves have a lot to answer for in that regard (and the arabs and pretty much everyone else - oh and the christians advocated it as well, go check for yourself - have they ransacked any churches? nope.)
If you are referring to Edward colston a statue in bristol I can assure you nobody thought he was the sole reason for slavery. Also the crowd was made up of a large range of ages - lots of over 40s. Bristolians understand that he was just one slave trader, but he’s the one who built bristol. He’s the one who had his statue put up 100 years after he died and that’s the same statue that Bristolians campaigned to remove for 20 years. Where are the people campaigning to put it back? There are none. The colston society voluntarily voted to disband. Sounds like democracy to me. Like every other civic monument - the people decide if it stays there, not ‘history’.
Ps. Edward colston was a Christian - that’s the moral justification for his actions and he gave lots of his money to the church. Its not either/or with colston and the church, they’re the same.
Sounds like you need to read more history.
 

billw

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We are in danger of applying lessons learned during our lives (I left school 50 years ago) to a very different very different world today. It is at best only partly helpful, and at worst completely inappropriate.

Young people need to think about what the world holds in the next 30-50 years, not what happened and expectations 30-50 years out of date.

Traditional career paths will become increasingly rare. Career success will rely on product design, product development, promotion, logistics etc. Service industries will continue to thrive with greater leisure time.

The rewards will likely go to those who have very good social and service skills, and are responsive to changes in their market and business sector.

As work will favour the bright, innovative, responsive, articulate, imaginative, the opportunities for lifes "plodders" will become more difficult. A life working in mundane but sound jobs (eg: railways, retail sales, building, assembly lines, etc) will become scarce.

This transition is the reason for current debates over "universal basic income" payable to all to provide a minimum standard of living.

The balance between material success and other of lifes pleasures may also be changing. Covid may have made people increasingly appreciate the value of friends, family, community, health etc, and the relative triviality of material goods once basic needs are met.
Exactly this. A voice of reason!
 

Shane1978

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I don’t like the constant critique of ‘influencers’ while simultaneously championing ‘production’. There seems to be something missing here:
The older generation have created a world is mass production and mass consumption. To sustain it they’ve created a sophisticated advertising and communication network that allows them to sell more of the stuff they’re making more of.
‘Influencers’ are people who take manufactured products and make them look desirable. That’s why they exist. The same producers who you all champion are funnelling products into the hands of ‘influencers’ in order to sell more and charge a premium. And it works.
Yes, many of them are idiots. So are many factory managers and CEOs. Humans sometimes are idiots. But young people with YouTube channels are not misguided youth wasting their lives, they’re the driver of all the production you’re hankering for.
At the moment, one of the best ways to make British-made ‘products’ and brands profitable is if they/their names end up in the hands and on the lips of ‘influencers’.
 

ivan

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Interesting to read comment from all ages.

When leaving school (early '60's) we were advised to go for subjects that interested us. Getting a degree then meant you were in the highest 2.5% academically, and advisers said any pure subject degree would tell a future employer about your relevant transferrable skills. Job specific stuff called training came after you got the job. Mind you there were a lot of badly managed firms then, and a decade later Training Boards were set up to push more companies to train. Many didn't change and died in the Thatcher years - her lame ducks. Others blamed the unions, but a one time director af a Clyde side family of shipbuilders confessed recently that he now recognised how poor they were at management, and consequently they got the workers (attitudes) they deserved.

Now were're global and stuff gets made where it costs least - that's the market economy - so it's inevitable that only firms making higher order stuff can survive here, and higher order stuff requires higher order staff. There will be fewer jobs for those with low skills and abilities, and the education system has not begun to address this problem. Unfortunately my grandchildren appeared to take the view that the world owes them a living. Often soon with partner and 2 kids, renting, and claiming that should be entitled to move into a house just like mum and dad's with all the white goods and a good car or two. Reality came as a huge shock, from which some have not yet recovered, and still cannot see why their fractured employment record will make gaining an interview increasingly difficult.

Indeed it is now a different world...
 

houtslager

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But at least we had the industries that could have helped, Steel, Mining and ship building. I lived through the Thatcher years and for us baby boomers it was like our version of the blitz. She finished the days when you left a job Friday to start a new one Monday, so many companies fell and dole ques grew with estate agents doors being blocked by the numbers of keys returned.
Roy . as I am a " boomer " child born in 1961 I can can say that I had a lucky childhood an a Cumquats teenager period, growing up with the fuel crisis, armsrace , fear of the 3rd WW possiblities of a thermo nuclear war. Top that with my generation entering the workplace in 1977/8 into massive young peoples unemployment and very few oppertunities for work.
I was lucky in that I was accepted into the Army, so as a young soldier through the end of the Cold War I matured, never earned enough to buy a house, though managed with my then g/f to buy a flat, which on a posting to NI I had to sell as she walked out on me, leaving me on a squaddies salery to pay a mortgage of 100k at 15% = sold and had to give her 40%.
Since then I have never been able to buy a place of my own in the UK.
IMHO Maggie killed the UK by selling everything to her friends and friends of friends. UK Plc, ruined the country for the workers, the bosses got richer and still are getting richer, on ther peoples sweat.
Now after 25 years in civi street working as a sawdust manufacturer, I get by here in Europe, I gave up chasing money , and switched to a lifestyle where peace of mind, ability to pay ALL my bills and get a couple of weeks a year where the sun shines [ Greek islands]
Sorry to be long winded, just had to add my 2 pennyworths.
karl aka the woodbutcher
 
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