Government views apprentices…part 2

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After my previous post about the misguided organisation, wanting to encourage apprentices by thanking teachers, I thought I try and explain my reasoning behind it.

I have quite a bit of respect for teachers theses days, its not an easy job and they have varied difficulties to deal with, often problem pupils, pressure to meet grading targets and restructuring of learning to name a few.

So I do understand that actually encouraging a pupil towards the lower end of the job market probably is not highest priority in their mind.

Yes I said it, manual trades have generally been associated with the lower end of the job market. although if I may quote my own father here “you’ll never make a fortune working with your hands, but you should be able to make a reasonable living”

Strangely enough once again it all returns back to the correct training, lets think about this shall we. A higher percentage of school leavers attend a university or higher education course after leaving school than ever before. Many of these stay on these graduate courses for up to five years and amass over £35,000 of student debts.

If these students are lucky once they leave university they will land a junior position in the profession they have studied so hard to enter, only then with work, determination and a little good fortune will they rise up the wages ladder.

So let me get this straight, during the three or more university years many students do not earn anything, then they need to start somewhere to begin getting a wage, which over the next five to 10 years will grow

Hmmmm lets compare, say average school leaver who becomes an apprentice painter and decorator. Leaves school and attends a college course to gain manual skills, usually after failing entrance criteria for plumbing or electrical courses, get steered towards painter and decorating, if they are lucky they also get a placement with an actual firm.

At current rates of apprentice pay in 2018 anyone under 18 years old or a 19 year old in their first year will get  a minimum of £7500 / year, providing they gain experience and improve skills over the next few years that should rise so by the time they are actually proficient,  they should be on a reasonable wage not too dissimilar to someone having gone through university starting out in a junior position in a company if they are lucky. So food for thought perhaps.

I am also happy to report locally at least there is a move towards bringing tradespeople into schools to mentor pupils on their future prospects, hopefully it might open their minds than if done correctly manual labour can be rewarding.

I’m trying to educate away from the grey economy, where jobs often get carried out to a low standard for below minimum wage. We really do need to build value into all our manual trades, both as skills not to be lost and to ensure once these skills have been learned professionally they are rewarded with the correct rates of pay.


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