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time served tradesmen
19-01-2009, 04:35 PM
Post: #1
time served tradesmen
Does it matter any more if you are time-served?
What is the best way to learn?
Did the old craft certificate mean more than the NVQ, or is the NVQ more 'practical'?
how about those who 'just pick it up'?
What do y'all think?
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19-01-2009, 08:31 PM
Post: #2
RE: time served tradesmen
hi
I am a timeserved bricklayer in cumbernauld and have been laying bricks and blocks for over 23 years and i have seen "timeserved bricklayers" who i would personally exclude from bricklaying for life,I have also seen "6 monthers" who leave a very neat job indeed.
I am a great believer in that many can do the job ,but only those with pride in their work and ability do a good job.
90% of the bricklayers(and other trades) knowledge is gathered after their time is out,problem is most have lost interest in learning by that time and stay at a certain level.
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20-01-2009, 03:34 AM
Post: #3
RE: time served tradesmen
bigtrowel Wrote:hi
I am a timeserved bricklayer in cumbernauld and have been laying bricks and blocks for over 23 years and i have seen "timeserved bricklayers" who i would personally exclude from bricklaying for life,I have also seen "6 monthers" who leave a very neat job indeed.
I am a great believer in that many can do the job ,but only those with pride in their work and ability do a good job.
90% of the bricklayers(and other trades) knowledge is gathered after their time is out,problem is most have lost interest in learning by that time and stay at a certain level.

Similarly to Bigtrowel I served an apprenticeship but I studied Carpentry & Joinery, I was unfortunately disabled during that time, having to wear a leg-iron / caliper so was precluded from site and spent most of the time in the joinery shop. Nevertheless, I did manage to get my City & Guilds and City & Guilds advanced craft certificates along with the Full Technical Certificate and eventually, I made it out onto site, advancing through the ranks to Project Manager.

I think where the difference lies nowadays is the methods are different in that we used to be expected to make stairs and windows on site whereas it's now all bought in, we didn't have battery operated anything, it was all done manually, even plugging was done with a rawlplug jumper!

I have had the pleasure of working alongside some brilliant chippies who never did an apprenticeship, but nevertheless could use a roofing square as good as anyone who did, in those days we had to 'Cut' our roofs - no trusses then except huge bolted creations!

I still believe that the construction industry is a good environment for youngsters to evolve in and City & Guilds or NVQ shouldn't be an equasion, Good craft teachers and the return of 'Trade Pride', I believe, is the key - that is once the 'experts' have sorted out the mess that they've got us into?

Regards

MVM
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20-01-2009, 12:38 PM
Post: #4
RE: time served tradesmen
I think there’s generally a lot more respect for time served tradesmen who later become managers. I’m acutely aware of my ignorance of how the tools work & wouldn’t mind some time spent on them myself just to understand some of the problems faced. How exactly can one manage if they have not been there themselves? Though there would be so much to learn & it would take years to gain the required experience in every trade. There’s always the possibility of having the wool pulled over your eyes by some of the more ‘imaginative’ workers too. Rolleyes

-Vesper

[i]-=Nescus Quod Vesper Vehat=-[/i]
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20-01-2009, 04:41 PM
Post: #5
RE: time served tradesmen
Vesper Wrote:I think there’s generally a lot more respect for time served tradesmen who later become managers. I’m acutely aware of my ignorance of how the tools work & wouldn’t mind some time spent on them myself just to understand some of the problems faced. How exactly can one manage if they have not been there themselves? Though there would be so much to learn & it would take years to gain the required experience in every trade. There’s always the possibility of having the wool pulled over your eyes by some of the more ‘imaginative’ workers too. Rolleyes

-Vesper

I think managing construction based queries is more of a mathematical problem nowadays?

As a Site Manager, a million years ago, I was charged with every responsibility there was, from ensuring that there were adequate supplies of toilet paper in the loo’s to not killing anyone, it was a simple as that and thankfully, through being able to spot a potential hazard arising or maybe just being lucky, I didn’t manage to kill anyone!

This is certainly a very different industry to the one I joined back in the late sixties, but I believe it remains a sound environment (Current Climate excused) and one that still should be attracting the youngsters, whatever the position that's being sought.

Regarding your “experience in every trade” comment, don’t knock yourself out, there’s a lot going on out there and a good way to pick it all up is, study your drawings and specifications, then watch and learn and perhaps more importantly, talk to your trades, ask them Why, ask them How, that’s the way forward, you’ll pick it up in no-time.

The “Wool over the eyes” syndrome will sort itself once you have managed the above paragraph but always try to remember one thing, those trades, like you and me, are there, not only to hopefully provide value for money, or to keep the shiny suit brigade in their shiny suits, they are perhaps more importantly, there to put food on their families tables, to clothe their kids and pay their bills.

Bottom line is – Years = Experience
Regards
MVM
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20-01-2009, 11:03 PM
Post: #6
RE: time served tradesmen
I'm an ex YTS Carpenter and joiner. Feeling slightly inadequate at the lack of label "time served" I went for the City and Guilds but had a fall out with the teacher.

Whilst I regret that, I carried on in a workshop and was "guided" and encouraged by an old bench hand.

The attitude of someone is higher on my list when assessing a tradesman. Willingness being the most important. Of course a level of competence is required.

Agree mvm, getting out and in amongst it all and asking why is a great way to learn.

Bill
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21-01-2009, 09:18 PM (This post was last modified: 21-01-2009 09:20 PM by Mike N.)
Post: #7
RE: time served tradesmen
mortarmonster Wrote:Does it matter any more if you are time-served?
What is the best way to learn?
Did the old craft certificate mean more than the NVQ, or is the NVQ more 'practical'?
how about those who 'just pick it up'?
What do y'all think?

There's NO other way to learn, it has to be over time and with the right people, and yes, those who have the nouse and ability Do pick it up and go on to be decent trades. There's a joke about NVQ translating as not very qualified and I'd tend to agree having seen what turns up with a ' wedding album ' of certificates but little or no real on the tools experience. Does an NVQ certified electrician know how to wire a contactor ? seems not, in fact it's lucky this one couldn't even work out the coil wiring or we'd have had a fire...can the chippie hang a door, yes, but not if you need it to to close correcty and a blank look when asked if he'd allowed for the carpet.

I don't want to generalise, however having been at the rough end for over 30 years I've watched the decline in quality and it's a slippery slope that's getting steeper. Parrot fashion learning is not a good way forward for the building trade, and apart from the few who have a natural flair you can't achieve what arrived out of a four or five year block apprenticeship with a few months at college.
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22-01-2009, 11:25 PM
Post: #8
RE: time served tradesmen
quote=molevalleyman]
II have had the pleasure of working alongside some brilliant chippies who never did an apprenticeship, but nevertheless could use a roofing square as good as anyone who did,
[/quote]
how did they learn if not apprenticeship?
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22-01-2009, 11:28 PM
Post: #9
RE: time served tradesmen
Bill Goodman Wrote:I'm an ex YTS Carpenter and joiner. Feeling slightly inadequate at the lack of label "time served" I went for the City and Guilds...

Yeah, me similar, thats partly why I asked. Did a 6-month TOPS course. Those courses were very good, but at the end of the day its only 6 months, so i felt i had a lot to learn and did 18months as 'improver' and C&G basic and advanced... like you "Feeling slightly inadequate at the lack of label "time served"....
Why is that?
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22-01-2009, 11:35 PM
Post: #10
RE: time served tradesmen
Molevalleyman talked of the Full Tech certificate route that probably quite a few of us went down. and Vesper said
Vesper Wrote:I think there’s generally a lot more respect for time served tradesmen who later become managers. I’m acutely aware of my ignorance....

Which raises the interesting question of those who become site managers straight form degree courses etc., which is of course becoming more and more common...
What do people think about that?
What are the differences?

(@Vesper: with the attitude you have of being aware of your ignorance, you will learn very fast and people will help you I am sure. As someone else said, ask questions... But those who think they are 'better' than someone on the tools will never get, or deserve, any help.)
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