OT: Apprenticeships

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I hope none of you mind me posting this question, as its not entirely to do with DIY but i wasnt aware of any other suitable forums.
Im currently unemployed and apart from a few A-levels and being half decent with computers im unskilled and done mostly office jobs ive hated for the last 3 years with 1 year at uni (doing IT) which definatly wasnt for me, and seeing how bad things have got in it im glad i didnt waste any more money in it (i know atleast 20 unemployed IT graduates)
To get to the point im 21 and very badly want to get a skilled trade, hopefully as a electrician but i would consider anything i could get and/or where theres demand, i loath looking at computers for 9 hours a day and answering telephones.
Is it too late for me to get a apprentership or am i going to find it very hard? I know you can get MA's between 16-24 but do employers really take on anyone over 18?
I've spoken to a few people at the job center and "advisors" but they were pretty clueless.
Any help or advice would be grately appreciated.
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I didn't know proper apprenticeships existed anymore?
They seem to have been replaced by a number of different 'training schemes' which are open to people of all ages.
The only problem with an apprenticeship that I can see, is that you will be paid the wages of a 16-17 year old as the company could just as well take one of those instead of employing you.
Consider a job as an electricians mate - which can be rewarding in terms of pay and then study at home/evenings to get he basics and then ask for day release for college. Or you could just ask for day release straight away - but it is unlikely as you are more valuable when at work.
When the employer sees that you know your stuff, and can get along on your own, then you tell him how it would be better if you could do more and how college would help you and the company.
There a quite a few areas of electrical work (domestic/commercial/ static site/ new build/ refurb etc) so consider what you want to work in first
dg

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DG, by apprentuceship i meant a "modern apprenticeship", im not exactly 100% sure of exactly whats out there tho.
I wouldn't mind not earning much money for a few years, just aslong as i know theres light at the end of the tunnel. Full time education is a complete no no for me now, so i see my options as either getting a apprenticeship or doing another mind numbing office job for a few years while doing part time college courses, i'd rather do the first one plus with the second choice i may have to start right at the very bottom with the later, going from nvq 1 to nvq 2 and so on which sounds like it could take a decade at one night a week, atleast i could hopefully start somewhere in the middle with experiance after a year or two.
Thanks for the advice on perhaps seeing if i could become a mate, sounds like a good way of getting my foot in the door, however can you really get these positions? as isnt that the sort of role apprentices would be filling?
On the whole i havent exactly narrowed it down to the exact area as apart from plumbing which most of my mates are in i dont really know much about electrical work or any other trades, i would just be happy to be "in" at the moment and then hopefully find what area of work i prefer best once in the trade. From my mistakes in life so far, i know i like work which is hands on and pratical, somewhere i get out and about, technical and with on the spot problem solving but which doesnt take a decade to figure out so to me a electrical trade, probably electrical installation sounds a good bet.
once again tahnks for your advice and i'd be very grateful for any other suggestions u may have
cheers
john

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As far as I know the modern apprentice is sent to college for a couple of years to gain some knowledge before being allowed on to the main stage. The only difference is that companies now call it sponsored learning (?), what ever that means. I'd personally call it a waste of time and money. An old apprenticeship taught you how the west was won, and how not to be the cowboys that won it.
To become a good tradesman takes more than just a learning of the job, but it is more about learning how the manners are used to the people you're working for. It's called professionalism, and this knowledge can only be gained through close contact with the men on site. You soon learn which of them are the good un's, and which ones you shouldn't emulate in your life. That's an old apprenticeship.
So my advice to you, is to carry on with your learning and become a future doctor or lawyer, or any other proudly spoken profession, and get yourself some night work in bars and clubs, become a waiter or an early morning cleaner, and this will help to tide you over the financial aspect of life. It's true that you don't get much for not doing much, so hard work always pays in the end.
A few old sayings for you ponder over. Where there's muck there's brass. You don't get something for nothing. A hard days work never killed anyone. There's profit in all labour.
I had two jobs while I was learning my own profession. I worked as a cleaner for two hours every morning before going on to college, and after the days study I used to work in a restaurant as a waiter for another three hours a night. I paid my own tuition fees. I bought myself a good bicycle to get to work quicker in the morning and allow myself the luxury of being able to lie in for a few minutes more.
If you're willing to take any work that comes along when you need the money, then you'll go a long way my friend.
Good luck with your life, and have a great new year. :-))
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BigWallop,
Thanks for your sound advice, the type of apprenticeships I was talking about is where you spend most of your time working on site with a employer and then every month or so sent to do block realease at a college for a few weeks, maybe this isnt what a modern apprenticeship is and i may have got it wrong. Im definatly not interested in going to college full time to learn a trade for a few years and actually gain no experiance. Like you said this would definatly be a waste of time and money.
I do intend to carry on with my learning, however sadly i dont believe i have the aptitude to become doctor or lawyer or any of the traditional professions, plus doubt at the current time would have the points needed to get into uni on such a course. However i am willing like you said to do whatever it takes in the short/medium term to actually get somewhere in the longterm, college part time/full time, working mornings/evenings and i have been willing to do whatever work i can get to get money and not stick my nose up at anything, but ive reached the point now where although i've never known what i really wanted to do as a profession in life i've realised thru my mistakes what things i dont like doing, thats why ive chosen to look at ways of getting a skilled trade and maybe thru that route progress onto other possibilities.
I'd be very greatful if you have any comments on what you think of this choice?
once again thanks for your advice, and i hope you have a great new year aswell.
john

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Are you any good at arts and crafts ? Can you draw and make models ? What types of things do you enjoy doing, apart from drink, drugs and sex, and can you make a life from a hobby you have. Richard Branson started Virgin Records from his love of music and the mediums it was produced on. So there's hope for all of us, surely. :-))
Sit on the end of your bed and write down what you want out of a job. Do you want it to be fun ? Profitable ? (a bit obvious that one, but what the heck). Do you want to do it for the rest of your life ?
Find out your own answers to these questions and you're on your way to finding the best thing for you. Now get up and get out for walk. Look in the shop windows for situations vacant. Ask in the public places like cinemas, bars, restaurants and things, and ask if they need dish washers or waiters. Go and grab life with both hands and live it.
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BigWallop
thanks for getting back to me on this

Yes i was very good at arts and crafts at school and got alot of satisfaction out of producing something, and have even dabbled in some painting in my own time, i get alot of satisfaction in using my hands and my head at the same time. Before i can remember ive been told was constantly taking things apart and learning how they worked. Sadly hobbies wise im pretty bare, nothing i could use for a lifelong career, i goto the gym regulary, read abit... Im interested in business and economics to a extent.

Definatly both of them! I definatly want success, but thats pretty vague isnt it? I feel like im car constantly wheeling spinning at full speed and not getting anywhere. I only know from where ive been what i dont want to do for the rest of my life, not what i do.
I'd like a job where i could be creative, solve problems, technical and not be stuck infront the same office and desk all day. I enjoy meeting new people and helping them. Im hoping a trade would enable me to use these job aspects which i enjoy. What do you think? Do you have any suggestions on other possibilities i may have not considered?
I pretty much think if i had a job where i could satisfy those job needs, earn a decent wage I think i'd be pretty happy in life.

Thanks again for your advice, im very grateful youve taken the time to look into my situation and make suggestions. I have a few interviews lined up in once again office work, however ive only applied to them because i need work while i sort myself out. Hopefully i wont have to stick at it long before i find a job which suits me.
cheers
john
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On Sat, 10 Jan 2004 19:55:35 -0000, "King Fu"

You know, you might find value in consulting a life coach who might be able to focus your thoughts by setting short-term objectives intended to develop your strengths and better understand your weaknesses.
I have to admit that I've tended to think of life coaches in the same category as snake oil salesmen - but I believe that's very unfair given that I don't understand what they do. There are lots of life coaches springing up all over the place these days.
I think many of them offer a free consultation - so why not give that a try? You can always say no if it isn't for you!
You'll probably benefit by discovering that your lifelong ambition is to become - a life coach!
PoP
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This isn't necessarily true. A company I do work for employ MAs (on a terrible salary by anyone's standard) and all the training is on the job and inhouse. They do come out of it with some real skills and experience but its in IT and there are few jobs around at the moment; but things could change.
As for a degree, there's always the open university where no previous qualifications are needed and its all distance learning but this leads to an academic qual - doesn't sound like the OP would want to go down that route.
Tony
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This kind of thing any help?
http://www.met-uk.com/AboutUs /
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King Fu wrote:

I guess if you try and get qualifications alone you will be in the 'no experience' trap when you do qualify. How about try yo get in with a small outfit as 'electricians mate' whilst doing say day release and evening studies.
You might want to look at companies providing what is called 'facilities management'. Basically they provide maintenance services to meduim to large companies who want to contract out out all but their core business. Money might not be good and the hours long but at the end you should have qualifications and experience and you will be in the company of several different skilled trades. Promotion can come from either taking on more responsibility, an additional skill both at the same site or indeed moving to another site where the same FM company have contracts. Within the FM outfit that my employer uses, Dalkia, I've seen a cleaner move up to being an electrician and in another case a chippy add plumbing to his skills ending up as on site manager of all the skills.
Have a google using <Facilties management Uk> for pointers to trade associations for FM as well as links to companies
With a grounding in several skills you could move into Health and Safety. No company can afford not to have H&S representation these days and if you develop the skill to advise how things can be done in a safe way rather than doing what most H&S people do which is to stop people doing this that might not be safe - a vital difference! then you could be in demand.
With A levels at grades good enough for Uni entry you are neither daft or not capable of study and you seem to have the motivation to get somewhere - shame about the wasted time in the office jobs but I think you are young enough to have a good chance. Hope this helps Good Luck
Bob
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Thanks for your advice, someone else also suggest that i try and get a electricians mates position which is something which i never considered, but shall definatly try and see if its a possible way in for me. Do you know if many people are taken on as mates? and what are they mainly looking for?

thanks again that sounds a very good way of getting into a role and also have a chance to look at other opportunities and move on in the company. Would you suggest i tried to obtain a electricians mate position in a local large FM company?

Thats definatly a possibilty of something which i could go onto, getting multi skilled is definatly appealing to me, and in this day in age unless you have a old profession probably the best way to stay in employment. I have a few friends who are graduates in IT, and finding it hard to get work are going back to uni to study things like medicine, its extremly sad and something i want to avoid.

Thanks for your encouragement, it gets to me alot ive wasted 3 years really, but i guess its better than wasting 6 or 10, which im sure many people have done. Im very determined to claw my way out of the current self dug hole im in, and although i cant be 100% certain this is best route, its definatly looking the best of my alternatives.
cheers
john
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King Fu wrote:

Hi John, I'm not in the the FM business myself but have observed the contracting out process that my employer has gone through. My comment about becoming an electricians mate was just an idea but I've seen people do this within FM companies and come out well. Another FM company that comes to mind is Johnson Controls.
hth
Bob
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Hi,
I've recently done something very near what you want to do...
I'm now 27... When i left school i did a couple of years at uni on an IT degree and had enough. Since then i've moved from one job to another, not really settling down to one thing for long - i got bored easily and didn't really find anything that interested me. Again, i have a couple of A levels under my belt, but that's about it qualifications wise.
Last summer i decided that i should look for a long-term career and in the end decided i wanted to do something practical.... At the time there were adverts on the local radio looking for school leavers to train as apprentices in various trades. 'Great' i thought... but then the advert said '16 - 24 years of age'... Not so great..
Anyway, to cut an already lengthy story short, i phoned my local CITB office (The Construction Industry Training Board, www.citb.co.uk), - they're the ones who placed the ad on the radio, and explained my position to their training officer.
Basically, i'm now a further 6 months down the line, i work as a trainee joiner for a local building firm (CITB put me in touch with them, knowing they were looking for someone), i'm doing a NVQ level 2 joinery course (day release once a week, and 3 block releases of 2 weeks per year, for two years), and i'm finding it a thouroughly challenging and rewarding career. The pay's crap at the moment, but you can't expect anything else in this sort of position.
I'm fairly sure that CITB deal with electricians as well, but i guess they can point you in the right direction of not... They were a great help to me... you'll perhaps even find that some companies would rather take on someone with a few years of 'life experience' than a snotty little piss-taking school leaver.
Drop me an email if you want any more info..
Ash

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On 10 Jan 2004 08:56:37 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (King Fu) wrote:

Have you considered signing up for one of the armed forces? If you haven't got attachments (wife, kids, etc) and fancy seeing a bit of the world then it could be an option. And they teach trades as well.
Leastways, they did years ago. I have no idea how they stack up these days.
PoP
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Its not a good as it used to be.
As bases and influence reduce, the scope for travel does too.
Many types of work are now contracted to civilian firms.
Unless you are involved in some of the specialist electronic work, then I don't think the concept of using the armed forces to develop 'civilian' trades is worthwhile anymore - the area of work/training is very narrow to what you could get involved in as a civilian.
Plus, who wants to get up before 8 AM? lol
dg
(King Fu) wrote:

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wrote:

I'm sure it can't be. Though I do know people who have joined the forces in recent times, and I believe they go in as a commissioned officer or some such if they take qualifications in with them.
PoP
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I havent got any wife, kids or commitments of any kind. But I dont think the army would be for me, sounds like too much paint coal black and grass green if you go in as a private.
Also i think DG is right, a few of my friends do contract work for the mod and army, cant really see how going into the army to get a trade would be the best way to go when they get civilians to do the work anyway.
cheers
john

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On Sun, 11 Jan 2004 11:41:32 -0000, "King Fu"

I think the army per sieu is only an option if you consider it as a serious career option, rather than a reactive decision because nothing else lines up.
My father was in the RAF for 28 years and it gave him a trade (electrical engineering as it happens). I vowed I would never join the armed services because of that - he didn't leave the RAF until I was 20 years old and was never there when I was growing up. I blamed the RAF for taking my father away from me. It's not for those with family commitments, in my opinion. Though I do know others with families have made it a great success.
PoP
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wrote:

I think you've also got to remember that the bottom line of the forces is killing people and possibly getting killed. Each time troops are sent to war zones we hear sob stories of servicepeople who're stunned at what they're exposed to. The forces' advertising doesn't help: they've generally focussed on the travel, training, playing with big boys' toys etc. I await with glee seeing lawyers with dorsal fins suing them for causing death or disability to their clients the way they've done for tobacco and are currently doing for fast food :-)
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