Mike Rowe (Dirty jobs) testifies before the U.S. Senate - Page 4





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  1. #61
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    Spike,you are too right.I am a Trade Tested Diesel and Petrol Mechanic with NTC3,but have been dealing cars for 7 years.I had my own workshop for 12 years and even that was not productive enough-customers complain if you charge R200 an hour.
    Yet think of this:a surgeon works on a guy,who,if he needs an Op.,is probably going to die anyway.Wether he gets better after surgery or not,the surgeon,and doctor and anaesthetist and chemist all get paid and handsomely,and the surgeon holds one sick guy's life in his hands.
    On the other hand if I overhaul a client's brake master cylinder I won't get paid if the brake is spongy or fading,indeed,I have too much pride to even ask for payment if it is not right,and the client will bitch if you charge R400 labour.
    Yet,I have how many healthy peoples life in my hands?
    The driver,passengers,other cars passengers,pedestrians,cyclists.
    But I can't get R400 while the surgeon gets R60000 labour for a hip replacement.

    I would love to go back to my Trade,restoring vintage and veteran cars,but I can not earn enough doing it to even school my daughters properly.So another skilled,experienced tradesman is lost to the economic maelstroom of the quick buck.

    Whose fault is it?
    Is it the high and mighty attitude of the white-collar yuppie?
    Is it cut-throat competition among the mechanics?
    Is it a lack of Unionisation in the Trade?

    I say lets get together as Tradesmen and agree to charge like a wounded buffalo.

  2. #62
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    Default Fast-track to disaster.

    I concur wholeheartedly with the sentiment that the skills pool in our country is on the verge of absolute depletion. I am a Research and Development / Technical Manager for an agricultural equipment manufacturer and consequently responsible for the recruitment of technical personnel. We have a very strong skills development philosophy, through our internal training, apprenticeship and internship programs, but we become more disillusioned by the day by the skills levels and aspirations of candidates.

    The biggest problem in this respect, I feel, regarding the commercial and industrial future of this country is the diluted, fast-track approach to education which has become a trademark of government and the institutions which are responsible for these processes.

    Consequently, everyone seemingly wants to be some sort of highly-paid theorist, or express themselves from behind a computer workstation - while, of course, remaining a very comfortable distance from the workbench.

    I have recently interviewed N6-level Mechanical Technicians, who, having served a 3-year internship at VW-SA (with commendations), referred to gears as "cogs with spikes on" and could not name a single tool or its application, used during their time served. He did, however, remember the name of the computer system used for engine testing - in front of which he evidently spent the majoruty of this time.

    I have sent final-phase boilermaking apprentices for pre-Trade Test assessments, who were not required to complete a single weld - but were presented with superficial questions on welding theory.

    It's little wonder that we have an unrecoverable trade deficit - we are simply not in a position t produce the human resources of a quality required to make us productive. Being involved in the agricultural sector, I welcome the day, purely for interest's sake of course, when this paralysis prevents us from putting food in the mouths of these over-qualified upstarts and the expectant hordes that bred them.
    Last edited by russelj; 2011/05/25 at 06:58 PM.

  3. #63
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    I was in the print trade for 20 years and when I left to Start my own business [refrigeration which I handed over to my son ] I was earning more than the firms accountant.Tradesmen are required all over the world I was offered posts in the USA New Zealand etc with no problems to obtain citizenship.
    Woodsy

  4. #64
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    I can remember going with my dad to sites installing swimming pools as a pre-schooler; growing up in his auto-parts shop playing between the shelves and storeroom;working at his exhaust shop during holidays learning how to weld, repair my own engine etc etc. Compared to most of my friends in this field, I look like a genius!

    For those of you who have kids - take the time to involve them on your little projects, explain and most important - let them get their hands dirty and afford them the chance to make mistakes while doing it. Kids learn by making mistakes and if your shout at them every time they make one, they will stop trying and loose interest.
    2005 Pajero 3.2D LWB Auto
    1999 Pajero 3.5V6 LWB Manual - Deceased

  5. #65
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    My Grandad used to say,' If you cant find work, mabee you not trying hard enough'.
    I think he was right and there is NO substetute for common sence or self suffiency. If its broke fix it if you dont know how- ask. Vra is vry.

  6. #66
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    It is with great interest that I read this thread. The idea of a Skill School have been milling in my mind for a while now. The testimony of Mike Row hits the nail on the head.

    In the mean time I've put up a simple website to share my vision. Please have a look at www.skillschool.za.org.

    I'm not claiming to know all the details but maybe some of you can give me direction and good advice. Maybe you know somebody who can help me make this happen, especially how to obtain finance from government etc. There are lots that must fall into place to make this happen.

    Last night I saw this on the news: http://www.iol.co.za/business/busine...jobs-1.1080299 and was very exited.

    I don't want to do this as a personal project and would need input from anybody that has the know how of how to get finance for such a vision.
    Lourens de Lange

  7. #67
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    Lourens, I would like to commend you on your intentions. Just to clarify a few issues:
    -After deciding which industry sector you wish to participate in, you would have to go through an accreditation with a regulatory body such as one of the SETA's (Sectoral Education and Training Authority), eg. MERSETA, AGRISETA, etc.
    -This can be in the form of a proposal, or after the establishment of a facility, or indeed a combination of these.
    - My suggestion would be to illicit the initial support of businesses in the relevant sector, who may then be rewarded through the added skills pool size.
    - As a small-scale start I would suggest offering to train employees on behalf of these companies; a process which would take place off-site in a controlled environment. For this you would obviously need to appoint various trainers and tutors.
    In the end, it really is a numbers game with sound planning and vision which should be shared with the participants from inception.
    Good luck.
    Russel ([email protected])

  8. #68
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    [QUOTE=Craig Rocher;776933]I was lucky enough to have a father that taught me how to work with my hands. Taught me not to be lazy and how to fix things.

    I will forever be gratefull to him!!


    DITTO x 1
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    "I don't believe in the concept of hell, but if I did, I would believe it to be full of the souls of people who were cruel to animals." Gary Larson


    “The world is changed by people crazy enough to believe they can”









  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by russelj View Post
    Lourens, I would like to commend you on your intentions. Just to clarify a few issues:
    -After deciding which industry sector you wish to participate in, you would have to go through an accreditation with a regulatory body such as one of the SETA's (Sectoral Education and Training Authority), eg. MERSETA, AGRISETA, etc.
    -This can be in the form of a proposal, or after the establishment of a facility, or indeed a combination of these.
    - My suggestion would be to illicit the initial support of businesses in the relevant sector, who may then be rewarded through the added skills pool size.
    - As a small-scale start I would suggest offering to train employees on behalf of these companies; a process which would take place off-site in a controlled environment. For this you would obviously need to appoint various trainers and tutors.
    In the end, it really is a numbers game with sound planning and vision which should be shared with the participants from inception.
    Good luck.
    Russel ([email protected])
    Thanks for the advice Russel. There are many things that must fall into place. I've been to some other training centres to see how they are doing it and got some very good ideas.

    My idea is not to be specific in any sector to start off with but rather a broad based basic training. I'm sure the accreditation part will follow in the future.
    Lourens de Lange

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