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Apprenticeship's Replacing Staff - The Future?

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This is anecdotal so there is no problem being dumped in that area later .... I rarely post, however this certainly raised an eyebrow for me.

I was working in a large Engineering firm as a Senior Design Technician (Civils, Marine, Bridges, Structures). I left for many reasons (winding down as the next thing hits the fan). Fire fighting with free overtime fixing other peoples rushed jobs was a good 30% of it. Within my leaving period my Wife who was working there at the time got slapped with capability meeting, so she told them to stick it the next day. This was by a Director who had not had her on any of his projects for 4 months :D. Everyone else was queuing up to get her to work on projects. Thought it was a bit strange at the time but heyho sometimes people don't mix. As she left 10's of youngsters got hired.

A few months later redundancies are rolling, some with 20 years experience. Others in their 20's just taking on HTB mortgages. These guys are already studying HNC. A few days ago Apprentice Technician positions appear. These roles take about 5-6 years to be hands off (2 with occasional supervision or a bit of brains between the ears), not colouring in. Its not huge numbers but it gets you thinking when you see Adimn roles £24k+ let alone design, or programming. Good timing on my part to go producing something I own in a different industry, while enjoying low debt!

Last crash was unseen by most Firms, they just went all in 80% Technicians, 20-30% Engineers gone in months. Keep Project Managers sweeping schemes along with toothbrushes. Looks like this time it is turning into 100 chimps to get 1 good drawing, then sack 95% of the staff later on ^^.

Is anyone going to be paying income tax next year lol?

https://www.gov.uk/apprenticeships-guide/pay-and-conditions

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Strangely enough, the same thing is happening in the company I work for, thinks it can outsource engineering design yet everything it produces is almost one off specialist plant for its own use. The companies it goes out to provide poor quality resources, and what quality individuals there are are spread thinly on the ground, over worked and over stressed.

Apprenticeships, mechanical and electrical design are offered in-house and there is a huge demographic gap i.e. loads of apprentices and graduates then a big gap to the rest who are in their 50's and 60's.

Lots of time is spend guiding the younger employees to do fairly basic taks correctly at the expense of the older more experienced yet already overworked staff.

Meanwhile a plague of project managers, project engineers & planners go round talking up what a good job they are doing as they attempt to outsource all the design work to other so called more cost effective companies who have the same problems if not worse.

The problem basically revolves around the fact that the finance, project management and planners have too much sway over the engineering function whereas when the UK was strong in the engineering field the reverse was true.

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I wonder if the demographic skills gap between the ages of 20 and 50 covers the nulabour public sector and finance bubbles sucking up all the ambitious graduates and trainees between 1996 and 2010, give or take

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Within my leaving period my Wife who was working there at the time got slapped with capability meeting, so she told them to stick it the next day. This was by a Director who had not had her on any of his projects for 4 months :D. Everyone else was queuing up to get her to work on projects.

I've seen narcissistic managerial personalities in various places of work, they finger someone to lay blame on for something generally going wrong, usually someone they feel threatened by, ie someone who is actually competent. Best left in my experience.

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At the lower end of the labour market, the use of apprenticeships rather than conventional employees seems well entrenched. My son was looking for his first work (sans degree) and quickly realised that there was a surfeit of barely paid apprenticeships in things like retail, childcare, and hairdressing. Even a lot of office admin type jobs were being recruited as apprenticeships at minimal pay. He got a decent real office admin job at £20k but for someone with no experience, he felt this was rare.

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This is anecdotal so there is no problem being dumped in that area later .... I rarely post, however this certainly raised an eyebrow for me.

I was working in a large Engineering firm as a Senior Design Technician (Civils, Marine, Bridges, Structures). I left for many reasons (winding down as the next thing hits the fan). Fire fighting with free overtime fixing other peoples rushed jobs was a good 30% of it. Within my leaving period my Wife who was working there at the time got slapped with capability meeting, so she told them to stick it the next day. This was by a Director who had not had her on any of his projects for 4 months :D. Everyone else was queuing up to get her to work on projects. Thought it was a bit strange at the time but heyho sometimes people don't mix. As she left 10's of youngsters got hired.

A few months later redundancies are rolling, some with 20 years experience. Others in their 20's just taking on HTB mortgages. These guys are already studying HNC. A few days ago Apprentice Technician positions appear. These roles take about 5-6 years to be hands off (2 with occasional supervision or a bit of brains between the ears), not colouring in. Its not huge numbers but it gets you thinking when you see Adimn roles £24k+ let alone design, or programming. Good timing on my part to go producing something I own in a different industry, while enjoying low debt!

Last crash was unseen by most Firms, they just went all in 80% Technicians, 20-30% Engineers gone in months. Keep Project Managers sweeping schemes along with toothbrushes. Looks like this time it is turning into 100 chimps to get 1 good drawing, then sack 95% of the staff later on ^^.

Is anyone going to be paying income tax next year lol?

https://www.gov.uk/apprenticeships-guide/pay-and-conditions

This is something I have noted. There are lots of companies taking on apprentices, this is because those jobs are paid by the government. Some the government is in fact subsidising companies via the back-door to overcome EU laws forbidding government government subsidies in a "free market".

The engineering sector and construction sectors are the first to be hit by a recession. I know from a reliable source that JCB is sacking some very experienced people because they have taken a hit on profits. Maybe Lord Bamford's idea of a factory in Brazil was not such a good idea after all.

Also in the news, Ford Dunton has sacked shitloads of engineers and other staff last month. Chances are that Dunton's days are numbered. They where building houses next to the test track in order to make mad gainz. I expect Ford to re shore their R&D to America (or Mexico if Trump doesn't win).

Strangely enough, the same thing is happening in the company I work for, thinks it can outsource engineering design yet everything it produces is almost one off specialist plant for its own use. The companies it goes out to provide poor quality resources, and what quality individuals there are are spread thinly on the ground, over worked and over stressed.

Apprenticeships, mechanical and electrical design are offered in-house and there is a huge demographic gap i.e. loads of apprentices and graduates then a big gap to the rest who are in their 50's and 60's.

Lots of time is spend guiding the younger employees to do fairly basic taks correctly at the expense of the older more experienced yet already overworked staff.

Meanwhile a plague of project managers, project engineers & planners go round talking up what a good job they are doing as they attempt to outsource all the design work to other so called more cost effective companies who have the same problems if not worse.

The problem basically revolves around the fact that the finance, project management and planners have too much sway over the engineering function whereas when the UK was strong in the engineering field the reverse was true.

I have also seems this in IMechE conferences, the massive gap in age between Engineers seems to indicate that in the 80's it was not a profession to go into.

I've seen narcissistic managerial personalities in various places of work, they finger someone to lay blame on for something generally going wrong, usually someone they feel threatened by, ie someone who is actually competent. Best left in my experience.

Everyone has. There's always one.

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.

I have also seems this in IMechE conferences, the massive gap in age between Engineers seems to indicate that in the 80's it was not a profession to go into.

.

That is consistent with the rise of the city of London?

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As you say, apprentices are subbed by government. This results in direct financial incentive to replace expensive, skilled, experienced staff with cheap, inexperienced apprentices.

Combined with other distortative schemes such tax credits, it's almost as if there was a concerted policy to turn the UK into a low skill, low wage economy.

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As you say, apprentices are subbed by government. This results in direct financial incentive to replace expensive, skilled, experienced staff with cheap, inexperienced apprentices.

On the other hand the young deserve a chance, and there is the financial inertia of incumbent job blocking to overcome

Just offering a counterpoint...

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On the other hand the young deserve a chance, and there is the financial inertia of incumbent job blocking to overcome

Just offering a counterpoint...

There's always a feel-good rationale for government interference. Same with tax credits - topping up wages of the low paid sounds very altruistic. A politician or party gets short term gains - either in popularity or in personal sense of an "I made a difference" warm glow. But the longer term consequences, the price of this short term fuzzy warm glow, are paid by the country.

And a low skill, low wage economy - with the young and old scrapping it out to be cheap labour with the Chinese and East Europeans is too high a price, IMO, to pay for Gordon Brown's[1] ego trip.

[1] Or whichever politico is behind whatever society benefitting wheeze. They're all the same.

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The coucnil use a lot of 'trainees' they get them to Level 2 of whatever and then they get rid of them and get another lot. There's no real jobs for them. The idea is they're giving people the skills to go and work somewhere else. I think it's crap.

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There's always a feel-good rationale for government interference. Same with tax credits - topping up wages of the low paid sounds very altruistic. A politician or party gets short term gains - either in popularity or in personal sense of an "I made a difference" warm glow. But the longer term consequences, the price of this short term fuzzy warm glow, are paid by the country.

And a low skill, low wage economy - with the young and old scrapping it out to be cheap labour with the Chinese and East Europeans is too high a price, IMO, to pay for Gordon Brown's[1] ego trip.

[1] Or whichever politico is behind whatever society benefitting wheeze. They're all the same.

That's fine. So get rid of job security and employment rights for the incumbents and see how similarly quickly employers bring in young lower paid staff to replace them.

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Wow the thing about this website as I always suspect is that its full of engineers, computer folk, scientists and entrepreneurs ( real ones not BTL). Personally for me I am seeing loads of good people getting sacked or dropping out. The people I would consider the brains of society.

Its almost like the clever folk are being pushed out and the human race is simply all going to "manage" each other till the robots take over. The UK is being managed to death on all levels.

I think when house prices do crash I dont think they will EVER recover due to automation, relentless downsizing and outsourcing. I then think the UK will pretty much spiral downwards for many years with the result being poverty massive civil unrest and social instability. I cannot see any new industries propping up and making a bunch of new jobs.

In terms of housing there is a very real chance you could spend the next 25 years paying down 200k on something that ends up worthless and in a shithole .

The only thing I am sure of is that I am going to "outlast" the UK on its current trajectory.

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Combined with other distortative schemes such tax credits, it's almost as if there was a concerted policy to turn the UK into a low skill, low wage economy.

At the expense of sounding a bit 'tin-foil-hat' its hard not to draw that conclusion, and was further reinforced to me after reading Nicholas Comfort's book "The slow death of British Industry - A sixty year suicide". Highly recommend the book.

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On the other hand the young deserve a chance, and there is the financial inertia of incumbent job blocking to overcome

Just offering a counterpoint...

Yes, they do - but if you (likely) have to work until you're 70 then few are likely to be willing to move aside for them.

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Yes, they do - but if you (likely) have to work until you're 70 then few are likely to be willing to move aside for them.

I'll raise you the lump of labour fallacy

Just because some more senior employees are surplus to requirements doesn't mean they're on the scrap heap

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At the expense of sounding a bit 'tin-foil-hat' its hard not to draw that conclusion, and was further reinforced to me after reading Nicholas Comfort's book "The slow death of British Industry - A sixty year suicide". Highly recommend the book.

The British have never real liked Engineering in the same way the Germans or Americans do, they tolerated it. Even though it has brought this country great wealth.

This isn't new. One of my favourite stories is of Brunel travelling to the West country in a stage coach which broke an axle, Brunel who was inside got out to jury rig a fix and then was subject to abuse and a heated debate ensued because he was thought of as someone who could work with his hands and some passengers wanted him to ride on top not in the coach!

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Not in that industry anymore (I worked in production but worked closely with design/engineering) but when I was about a year ago, this was just starting. The MD's and Ops Director's eyes lit up when they realised they could get free, young labour. I recruited a couple and a few more followed in other areas of the business. None of them came to much (not their fault) as they were given no training whatsoever (experienced staff spinning a thousand plates and fighting fires all day). Used as a dogsbody basically. Seemed to be a huge turnover with the apprentices as there was with other staff. Not a good company to work for. As someone involved on the other end of the design/engineering process I couldn't quite believe how short-sighted management gets with that function. We were at one stage losing money hand over fist from drawing errors which meant scrapping whole fabrications (at huge material and labour cost) or fire fighting on site once installed. There was huge pressure to get drawings out (nonsensical KPIs), putting enormous pressure on people and leading to avoidable mistakes. Really bad culture of blame too. Sounds familiar I guess from this thread?

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Apprenticeships are indeed at the heart of today's government agenda, they plan on creating 3 million apprenticeship by 2020 which is massive. It has gotten to a point now, where any major contract awarded by government has a clause init that a set number of apprentices must be recruited by the company awarded the contract.

I started as an apprentice when I was 17 and I saw a number of restructures and staff losing jobs and being replaced with apprentices, this of course is the result of harsh cuts set by government to reduce the deficit in this country.

I personally do not like apprentices, as most of the ones I have come across are not ready for work,lazy, arrogant and cause more damage than good. I had to work extremely hard as an apprentice to prove my worth in order to make my skills be seen as a asset rather than a liability. I am now a team leader on 28k, I started on 5k as a apprentice 3 years ago. Apprenticeship are good for the right people who actually want to work, rather than just go into it for the money.

The government plans to create more apprenticeship has lead to experienced staff being cut and replaced with apprentices, who are simply not ready and really dont know what hard work is all about, especially these day were apprentices are getting paid as much as 20-25k. I beleive all appreitnces should start on the minimum and earn their worth along the way. This will reduce staff being cut as company dont need be paying extra money for apprentices.

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Guest eight

I personally do not like apprentices, as most of the ones I have come across are not ready for work,lazy, arrogant and cause more damage than good. I had to work extremely hard as an apprentice to prove my worth in order to make my skills be seen as a asset rather than a liability. I am now a team leader on 28k, I started on 5k as a apprentice 3 years ago. Apprenticeship are good for the right people who actually want to work, rather than just go into it for the money.

I started on £7.5K as an apprentice twenty-five years ago.

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We started with apprentices a couple of years ago at work at the same time there was a generalised move towards what seems to be de-skilling the job (electronics/mech engineering) which has caused ill feeling.

The apprentices themselves are a decent lot and it is nice to have a fresh influx of young blood and new attitudes. However the training they receive is very basic mostly consisting of lots of very short courses and they aren't sent on day release to study for decent qualifications as I was. Instead they do a low level NVQ which doesn't even cover the basics of what they need to know. Without a higher level qualification they will be stuck in low level jobs without a hope of moving upwards.

The ones I really feel for are in their mid twenties starting an apprenticeship after completing a useless degree (Linguistics anyone) from a decent Uni or getting an engineering degree from an ex-Poly. They are now saddled with a huge debt earning bugger all and working with 16 and 17 year olds straight from school.

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That's fine. So get rid of job security and employment rights for the incumbents and see how similarly quickly employers bring in young lower paid staff to replace them.

That's a bit of a non sequitur in relation to my post, I think.

But your point is interesting. I don't think employment rights regarding redundancy are sufficiently strong or distortative so as to incentivise employers to overpay or retain deadwood staff. Statutory minimum redundancy is the square root of FA.

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We started with apprentices a couple of years ago at work at the same time there was a generalised move towards what seems to be de-skilling the job (electronics/mech engineering) which has caused ill feeling.

The apprentices themselves are a decent lot and it is nice to have a fresh influx of young blood and new attitudes. However the training they receive is very basic mostly consisting of lots of very short courses and they aren't sent on day release to study for decent qualifications as I was. Instead they do a low level NVQ which doesn't even cover the basics of what they need to know. Without a higher level qualification they will be stuck in low level jobs without a hope of moving upwards.

The ones I really feel for are in their mid twenties starting an apprenticeship after completing a useless degree (Linguistics anyone) from a decent Uni or getting an engineering degree from an ex-Poly. They are now saddled with a huge debt earning bugger all and working with 16 and 17 year olds straight from school.

The smartest don't go to uni or work, they start a business and do very well

The next smartness level go to uni and get excellent jobs

The next level don't go to uni but do almost as well

The next level leaches off the system - not that stupid really

The most stupid go to uni and do a stupid worthless degree getting into debt for no point. these are just sheep to the slaughter really. societies no-hopers. the real village idiots.

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I'll raise you the lump of labour fallacy

Just because some more senior employees are surplus to requirements doesn't mean they're on the scrap heap

So older incumbents can hardly be job blocking the young then? There would be plenty of work for both if they can add value to an organisation?

Edited by StainlessSteelCat

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My experience is that too many businesses prioritise trying to save money on wages over doing things properly. Employ young people, give them a fancy job title, pay them more than they've earned before (which isn't much) and then work them until they burn out - then repeat the cycle seems to be the way - so much better than employing skilled & experienced staff who know what they're doing better than the "management", such a nuisance they are thinking they know better.

Apprenticeships done properly are such a good idea, only in this country could we make such a total f**k up of them.

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