Heritage Skills

Good day folks, just a little moan of this government, but mostly against British unemployed, how many jobs could be created if the young of any age learned skills that have been going for centuries, a skill that maybe hard at times, but retains traditions, ie, hurdle making, dry walling, making leather belts, making wooden rakes, blacksmiths, basket weaving, are among many, skills and traditions that are slowly dying, not caused by immigration but by companies bringing in cheap foreign imports for better profits, the government through the cultural minister could splash the cash for the young to learn, the work maybe hard, maybe in bad weather, but the fruits of labour are immeasurable, a good wage, the satisfaction of making something from nothing, and more, the supermarkets push organic, someone should push the old skills, Brian

hi brian

there has been a massive increase in the number of craft fairs.

people swarm to watch a skilled craftsperson at work and queue to buy their products.

so i agree with you whole heartedly.

thanks for an interesting post

carole x

How about learning to become a roofer plumber builder etc through becoming a apprentice the old fashioned way

Youngsters go to collage now for 2 days a week get thier money paid if they do manage to get a job they are shocked

They are expected to work all week.

It’s all about education now if they are not able for uni or collage it’s on to the dole they go.

An interesting thought, but you forget one thing - technology, and the changes it brings.

Back in the 1950’s I was an apprentice. There is no demand for the skills that I had - the need does not exist.
I could (and did) set up multiple carburettor systems (Amal or SU). The modern car has a computer controlled fuel injection system, and the technician just connects up his computer - gets a fault readout - one click and the setup is now correct.

Who needs a blacksmith, when all you have to do is program a computer, and hook it to a forming machine?
Who needs to be able to re-metal bearings, and scrape them in when you can get machine-made off-the-shelf components that are just as good. Who needs to know how to use a lathe, or a milling machine, in an era of “fit new”, and the few remaining folk who do have the skills charge big money for them.

Twenty years ago I was a computer expert - now I have to call on an up-to-date expert.
Twenty years ago, every small town had a camera-shop that would process your film and print your pictures. Now you take the memory card from your digital camera into the nearest supermarket, and a young person plugs it into a machine and runs off your prints. No skill needed, just press the right buttons. At least I can still edit and print my own photos.

The out-door skills like dry stone walling are not dead, but those who have them now make their money running courses in how to do it, for people who will brag about the wall that they have just built over a G&T. Most of the old farming skills have gone under the pressures of technology and cost (profit).
Who wants a plough set up to produce perfect furrows, when what is wanted is a machine that will turn the ground over at a reate of acres per hour (and yes, I can still remember how to set up a plough - and I am probably the only psychologist who knows how to do it).

People cost money every week of the year - a machine costs a lot of money, once, and is available all year.
The only time you need people is for the jobs that a machine cannot do - cutting cauliflowers, say - and you can get East Europeans to do that for peanuts. All you do is pay the gang-master, and you forget about employment legislation.
Technology has killed a lot of the jobs, cost has killed a lot more, but no-one will put their hand up and admit thay they were not willing to pay the cost.
Look at the rise of the low-cost clothing firms (Primark or Matalan say) and think what happened when M&S dropped their Made in Britain policy - but not their prices (letting in the Primarks, etc.

The world has changed, get over it or pay th cost. Your call.


1 Like

Hiya Geoff, you are right about technology but man, or woman, power is still required, I was lucky to be in the creme de la creme of construction workers, a joiner, but would the youth of today like to work outside in subzero temperatures, mud, water etc, to make good wages, the health and safety have vastly improved working conditions, no more climbing up scaffolding to fit roofs trusses, I’m sure every industry has lost through improvements in H&S, technology, but corners don’t need to be cut, but companies, with government help, must invest in the youth for the tomorrow’s, monies are the B all and end all, but would the price of the item done by hand be a lot more if not for the profit for shareholders being as much again as the cost of item made, Brian

My son is a plasterer, a very good 1, he’s never out of work. My husband is a Landscape gardener, he’s never out of work. They work in all weathers, rain or shine. My brother is a builder, again always working. All hard grafters & most of their tools are still the same design as they always were. Not all professions have changed that much, they still have to climb scaffolding, trees & hop ups to do their work. I’m not sure anyone has come up with an electric trowel yet, I may be wrong, but my lot don’t use them!!!

There is no point in a company imvesting in training unless there is some certainty that the newly skilled worker will stay on and benefit the workforce (and the company). There is no point in a young person even entering a training program unless there is some garantee of a job at the end. Even 25 years ago, a trainee nurse was only sure of a job for 3 months post qualification - things are no better now and we are short of trained nurses. I don’t blame either colour of government, but I do blame the civil servants who draft the legislation. It seems to me that they are afraid of someone else getting the sort of employment terms that they have. Obviously, none of them will have to work out-doors in driving rain, up to their ankles in mud, etc, so they leave those sorts of job alone. But take a job that needs a degree, and we will make the student pay for the priviledge. Take a job that needs a company car, and we will tax the person doing the job - and this carried on to all the people who did not need a company car, but got one because it was cheaper than a pay rise. Think on … Geoff