Mike Rowe (Dirty jobs) testifies before the U.S. Senate - Page 2





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  1. #21
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    Earlier there was a comment about the schools not teaching woodwork any more, they cant. My youngest is in grade 11 and he is showing the teacher how to do these things. I feel it should be up to the parent to teach his offspring the basics, things like manners and basic skills should not be left to the school.

    I helped my father in the garage from a young age and learned much more from this tan any subject at school. I have involved my boys from the word go in all my projects at home and often on site as well and I bought them their first car....a skedonk. They had to strip it down and rebuild it, everything between the number plates. They had to work for the finances and do the work themselves, in the end they would have a decent little runabout and if it should break down they would be able to fix it themselves and as a bonus they got to know the value of money and to appreciate and look after their pride and joy.

    It would have been easier and probably cheaper to go and get a decent car in the first place but the time spent together and the lessons learned would be lost.
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  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by hbannink View Post
    ....I feel it should be up to the parent to teach his offspring the basics, things like manners and basic skills should not be left to the school....
    Amen. You preach that!

    Its unbelievable how many parents basically just assume that the school will perform these duties. If some parents have trouble teaching basic manners and ethical values to ONE child, how must ONE teacher manage to teach it to 40 in one class?

    I agree though about woodwork in school. We also do not have woodwork as a subject anymore, which I really don't like. I had woodwork as a subject throughout my high school career, and believe it or not, when I was without a job a few years ago I started using my woodwork knowledge and made furniture which I sold. Put money in my pocket, and food on my table for more than 6 months before I started my present job. Thanx to being able to work with my hands.
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  3. #23
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    Interesting one this!! I grew up learning from my grandfather, who was one of the old poms who had a garden shed full of stuff. Despite emigrating to SA, it seems the first thing he did when he got here was to set up a garden shed again, as that is the first thing I remember. I am not sure how he managed to ship the previous 40 years of Cr.p from one country to another, but that shed was full.

    If something broke, you fixed it. Simple as that. If it was beyond repair, you kept it to fix something else. Made our own tools/knives/plans for anything and everything.

    Funnily enough I hated woodwork at school. In thinking back, however, I did learn a lot, some of it even comes in useful these days.

    Ultimately, pottering around and learning like this, even if not going into a trade, has been invaluable, even if only to teach logic and reasoning to be applied to anything.

    I have no formal post Matric education, but have been able to teach myself a range of skills from programming to learning guitar to repairing vehicles (my own mainly )

    I think it is critical to have a base from which to build, as it can help you in every aspect, regardless of what you do.

    I will try instilling this into my three boys, although sometimes they do prefer playing rugby to helping dad, but we have to understand both sides of it too.

    P.S. I still get grief from SWAMBO as I picked up the same habit of never throwing away anything that might be "useful" at some unknown time in the future
    ZS1ZW

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  4. #24
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    Well between 1999 - 2004 teaching at a prominent school in PTA and having my biggest class be 44 students, having a one on one relationship and understanding is difficult. I have left the education industry and when looking back now still say that teachers should earn between 25000 to 30000 as a starting salary. One simply can not be motivated to teach the youth when getting 10k. The presures and hours put in as a teacher is HECTIC and please dont say half day job, it really isnt. So where does this leave us.

    We are now stuck with teachers that just wants to pass the day, kids being animals. So we have to also put our time in to teach our kids various skills etc.

    Now I am one with the attitide that NOTHING is impossible even if you dont understand it. If you dont know how to change a CV boot then struggle until you get it done. The same goes for welding, woodwork, etc etc. Yes you might not have that cupboard looking like the one they have in Game or such but it will be your hours your work and your pride.

    Tackle jobs with your kids, dont get aggrevated if you have been asked for the umpteenth time what something is, put a spanner in their hands and say, come we are going to do this or that. Change plugs, screw in light bulbs, change batteries, nail wood, etc etc. Always so that they also can learn on how to do it and then you will notice that they will also know the danger of certain things. You only know how dangerous something is when you fully understand it and how it works.

    But yeah agree 100% with all of you, dont be too lazy to do it yourself and if you deffinately cant do it, get a professional and pay for their expertise.

    I would love to have more space to do all kinds of things, I will have to make a serious plan due to my son growing and I want to expose him to this.

  5. #25
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    Well, I went to university. Wits, nogal! Read literature, nogal!
    Got a bit more technical went I went back to business school, Wits again
    a university education is a great privilege, and one of the most precious things you pick up is an enquiring mind
    OK, Dad was a fitter and turner, brothers are riggers, boilermakers and comms engineers. It also helped that I had woodwork and later industrial arts (wonderful days of welding pliers to the bench,etc. Building crystal sets as a project)
    But SWAMBO(graphic artist) and me skrik vir niks. I have erected a long drop. Later designed and commissioned a septic tank. Am chuffed as phuk wwith the new self-darkening welding helmet. She grouts and paint and lays bricks, had her own bakkie, chainsaw, circular saw and mitre box when we met
    The only time we give up is with cheaply made stuff that were apparently made to throw away

    I don't despair about the cackhanded youth. The rep who runs around looking for a screwdriver, doesn't know there's one in his co car toolkit.The folk who let something fray and hang and get wet until you ned to replace it.
    I'm just sad

    Yes, dad and uni taught me to always try to puzzle things out, as well as have a go
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  6. #26
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    Henk I was fortunate to have a father that taught me many skills.

    But then I look at my FIL - book keeper. I dont think he ever owned a hammer. He would phone the dealers to come out and jump start his car - LITTERALLY ! Now my BIL has NO sense of working with tools. As a result I have "helped" him with a few projects around the house (I do it and he learns). Next time I get there he used the new found skills to do something else.

    So sadly many people really dont have the oppertunity to learn these basics at home.

  7. #27
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    In the Western Cape we only have three (or four) Technical High schools. Each with waiting lists, due to the high demand for these schools.

    Now our Education Department removed the term "Technical" and opened these schools as normal academic schools in addition to the technical subjects being offered.


    Colleges who for "ages" have delivered technicians, now did away with N5 and N6. And Technicons are trying to be "technical univercities" ...

    So WHO is going to train the next generation of technicians ??

  8. #28
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    Now for a slightly different take on this problem - as I believe the situation has MULTIPLE contributing factors.

    PARENTS !

    I think back to another thread here a while back - parents talking of pocket money for kids. Some even mentioned fiigures of up to 5k per month POCKET MONEY !

    That double what an appy is going to earn !!

    WHY would any reasonable person build up a sweat, if you can sit at home and get twice as much in pocket money ? ! ?


    It is one thing to "take care" of your kids. It is the right thing to do, to offer your kid every opportunity. BUT, dont we have a resposibility to also teach them some "context" ?


    I think back of a very wealthy gentleman. His daughter had her own car etc ... BUT her pocket money was a ratio of what she earned as a temp doing weekend work.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisF
    In the Western Cape we only have three (or four) Technical High schools. Each with waiting lists, due to the high demand for these schools.

    Now our Education Department removed the term "Technical" and opened these schools as normal academic schools in addition to the technical subjects being offered.

    Colleges who for "ages" have delivered technicians, now did away with N5 and N6. And Technicons are trying to be "technical univercities" ...

    So WHO is going to train the next generation of technicians ??
    Yep, schooled at HTS Belleville, and that gave me a great start!
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  10. #30
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    Peter I also spent the first half of the 80's there.

    Then did an apprenticeship through Telkom.

  11. #31
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    Default mmm

    I think I have done OK as I can pretty much do anything I put my mind to. A genuine jack of all trades. My most prized qualification. A QBE.

    BTW - Matric was the best three years of my life.

    Keith
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  12. #32
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    Default Mechanic vers New parts fitters!

    I own a Mec Workshop in Bloem, struggling for 6 mts to get a decent "mechanic" with no luck! I do get qualified technicians, but no "mechanics"!
    The new generation don't know how to repair parts, they only want to replace, and that pisses me off!
    Ps: and for that and small amount of experiance, the want huge salaries!
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  13. #33
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    You know, I thought I was one of only a few to notice this lack of practical skills development today. As a qualified (but no longer practising) diesel mechanic I too need to thank my father (also a mechanic) for insisting that I do a trade before I take a crack at any degree.

    One thing that really pi$$es me off is that even those youngsters who ARE entering the trade are not being taught the basics of mechanical repair anymore.

    On two occasions now in the last 6 months I have taken my vehicle in to the agent and after diagnosis was quoted 'repair' costs for faulty parts on my car which did not entail any intention on their part to repair anthing at all. All they wanted to do was replace the faulty parts. In the one case I was quoted in the region of R7,000.00 to replace an airconditioner compressor when the aircon stopped working when all that was wrong was that the ground wire had come off.

    Just 3 weeks ago I again went in to the agent for a collapsed bearing on the same compressor. Again I was told that they would have to replace the compressor at a cost of over R7,000.00 this time. Again I told them to take a hike. I had the bearing replaced as well as the unit regassed for R1,600.00 including labour.

    As some of you have so correctly pointed out, the perception of the practically skilled or trade skilled labourer being a lessor or lower level human being in this country is to blame. I don't know what brought about that rediculous perception in this country because as you have also pointed out skilled labour in most other countries including the USA, GB, Oz, NZ etc. are highly sought after and if you are wondering where those skilled South African labourers are ... go to the above-mentioned countries and you will find most of them there! No-one wants to work for the frankly shocking hourly rates that artisans earn here.

    Again the big name companies that employ artisans are to blame here. They charge you R250.00 to R500.00 an hour to work on your car while their artisan earns a tenth of that himself. I understand that there are other costs attached to running these businesses as I am in business myself, but they are hardly making with the artisans while are they?! If the company that employs the artisan does not continually send their employees on training courses throughout their duration at thecompany, one can hardly expect the artisan to improve can they? Skills developement comes about by doing and learning continually.

    Frankly, I don't see perceptions changing but I can tell you this .... both my sons will get a trade just like I did and my father before me. If they want to a degree thereafter they can then go ahead and do that too but a practical grounding is a must especially for boys. Just my 2c worth.
    Last edited by sprocket; 2011/05/21 at 08:50 PM.
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  14. #34
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    Sprocket you sound just like my dad.

    But now I CAN talk with EXPERIENCE in meetings with other engineers !


    PS - you also use the dealer in Durband road ? The same one that I had my issues with earlier in the week - FULL service, and they dont even clean out the air filter box.

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisF View Post
    Sprocket you sound just like my dad.

    But now I CAN talk with EXPERIENCE in meetings with other engineers !


    PS - you also use the dealer in Durband road ? The same one that I had my issues with earlier in the week - FULL service, and they dont even clean out the air filter box.
    You know the one! The same one where my sump plug fell out 4km's after I left their workshop!!! Ja jong, that one!
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  16. #36
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    Thanks, that is a very useful link. I see this problem constantly as a university teacher. I'm involved in graduate employability research at the University of Botswana, and see the challenge as producing graduates who can think, read and count but who are also not afraid to get their hands dirty or break things.

    There are a few colleges in the US which manage to combine labour, skills and a general education. This is the story behind one of my favourites:

    http://www.deepsprings.edu/about/founder

    Grant

  17. #37
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    Lightbulb What to Do?

    Hi Guys,
    I must admit that I was one of the fortunate ones, I did a trade as an electrical tech and my dad bought me a '48 BSA ina box , with a little manual!Having managed to put that together I was hooked.
    I am in the southern suburbs in C.T. and noticed a couple of youngsters whom come from divorced homes , and invited them to help rebuild a "beach Buggy" ,working on Staurdays.One stuck it out and now he is in the process of finishing off what has become "His Car"
    My challenge to those in the know - lend a hand to those who are willing , please
    and to the rest who "want to know" find someone who can mentor your interest,

    Perhaps we could get something set up on the site where guys who want to learn how to fix things, service their 4x4 or anything like that, can make contact with someone who "knows how" and is willing.
    For my part, if you are in the "want to know " category, in the Cape Town southern suburbs, pop me a PM and I will do my best to help!
    2 x Toyotas, 2 Nissans , GC !! Pajero 2800

  18. #38
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    While growing up my dad had always fixed everything he could himself due to budget and time constraints. No use in having a tractor stand for a little niggle and then losing the days production to wait for a mech to get there to sort the issue. My brother and myself picked up a good couple of things from him and we still apply these daily.

    About three years back I picked up an old Hilux from Toyota and my dad had it "rebuilt" for me. All the broken mechanical bits were replaced. Since then I have had some big hassles with the vehicle due to it's age and shotty workmanship. I got myself the service manual and since have been doing everything myself. The biggest compliment I could hope for from my dad was that I seem to be doing alright because the bakkie is still running.

    "Necessity is the best engineer" I believe this is the one thing that will ultimately save humankind.

    The best case of how lacking people are in the skills field; Once my brother was asked by a rep how technical minded he was, he replied what would you like fixed and the man replied.. Could you fit a light bulb!!

    Best advert for a plumber: "We repair what your husband fixed!"


    1990 Toyota Hilux - In process..
    The more people I meet the more I like my dog..
    Real 4x4's have splash guards, not sump guards..

  19. #39
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    Buy a Land Rover (for your kids' sake)
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    where the comfort-zone ends.

  20. #40
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    Default Appy Salaries

    I think part of the reason people don't enter into apprenticeships is the low salaries when starting out. Here's my scenario.

    When I was fresh out of school I worked in a workshop servicing, repairing and overhauling engines on lawnmowers, chainsaws, generators, waterpumps etc. To make a couple of extra bucks I did some small afterhours jobbies on cars with the knowledge I built up. Small jobs like servicing, fitting brake pads and that type of thing. Word got out because people were happy with my workmanship and before long the owner of one of the biggest auto workshops in George(where I then stayed) came knocking at my door. He said I should come and see him at lunchtime the next day as he wanted me to come work for him and get qualified. I was so happy and excited as that is what I really wanted to do.

    Then the disappointment - I could start immediately and be entered as an appy right away but the salary he offered me was almost half of what I was getting at the Lawnmowercentre. My dream was dead.

    Please understand this - It is not that I was greedy, or thought I was too good for that salary, but I had my little backyard bachelors flat to pay, I had a little Uno that I had to pay and maintain and try as I might there was no way to survive on that amount of money.

    The salary was so low that the only way one could afford to work there is if you could live with your parents and they can still feed, drive and care for you.

    And now I am in sales, which pays the bills, but I don't love it like working with my hands. I've even said to my wife, if I got a decent opportunity today(even if it is 12 years later), I would still love to swap my career for that of a mechanic(not a part fitter).

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