Eastern Courier : April 27th 2011
2 EASTERN COURIER, APRIL 27, 2011 NEWS Office Ph 272 7017 Fax 265 1285 Editor Janet Taylor email: firstname.lastname@example.org Sales Manager Stuart Palmer email: email@example.com Circulation Ph 525 2022 Fax 580 1648 email: firstname.lastname@example.org Classifieds Ph 525 2100 Fax 580 1643 email: email@example.com 39,297 Audited Circulation (ABC Jan-Dec '09.) Delivered each Wednesday/Friday to Beachlands, Botany Downs, Bucklands Beach, Burswood, Cascades, Chapel Downs, Chapel Heights, Cockle Bay, Cumbria Downs, Dannemora, Donegal Park, East Tamaki, East Tamaki Heights, Eastern Beach, Edgewater, Farm Cove, Golflands, Half Moon Bay, Highland Park, Howick, Huntington Park, Maraetai, Mellons Bay, Northpark, Ormiston, Pakuranga, Pakuranga Heights, Point View Park, Sacramento, Shamrock Park, Shelly Park, Somerville, Sunnyhills, Whitford. Includes Rural Delivery area: Howick RD. 33 Birmingham Rd, East Tamaki. P.O. 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The world seems to be divided into them and us -- and the divide is usually an age gap. The problem between the young computer- literate, technologically savvy segment of the population and the rest of us -- probably over 60, but many of us still alive and kicking, and likely to be so for the next 20 years or so -- came home to me literally the other day when I gingerly switched on my com- puter. There was a com- munication from Auck- land City Library -- or the agents they had deputed to do a survey. All questions to be answered -- no place for not applicable or irrel- evant , which many questions were for my generation. The piece de resist- ance was a section on why I used the library -- did I use it for study, to watch DVDs, to attend lectures, or other entertainments, for com- pany? Nowhere was the reason why I used the library. Luckily there was a space to write other , so I conscien- tiously typed in I use the library to borrow books to read . This was an eye- opener to me. Don t people use the library to borrow books any more? Does the young technologically expert generation not realise that there are rows and rows of books on shelves in libraries which are available to borrow and read? I fear for the future of our libraries. Apres nous le deluge! -- Name supplied The great apprentice- ship debate goes into overtime: The letter from Merv Thomas was of great interest to me, having qualified as an elec- trician myself in the 1980s. I now fill the role of industry manager for ETITO, the industry training organisation for electrotechnology. I regularly meet training providers, industry bodies and employers and I am responsible for main- taining the national training system for elec- trical apprentices. I am pleased to report that apprentice training is alive and well in New Zealand, with around 2700 electrical appren- tices in training at the moment. This number is down due to the reduction in construction activity. There are currently around 15,000 registered electricians in New Zea- land. It is true that appren- ticeship training has changed since Merv s time. Rather than appren- tices having to complete a certain number of hours on the job to get qualified, today they have to demonstrate their competence in a number of key areas that have been defined through consultation with industry. Globally it s recog- nised that the comp- etency-based system is a more robust and nationally consistent ap- proach to producing high quality electricians. You are correct -- there is currently a skills shortage in the electrical industry. The economic down- turn means that firms are more hesitant to train apprentices but with the needs created by the Christchurch earthquake, clearly we must find solutions. It is estimated that 6000 electricians will be required for the recon- struction. ETITO is currently working with the govern- ment, other industry training organisations and industry parti- cipants with some urgency to look at how we can address the issue. Those firms who take the time to understand and implement workplace safety don t find com- pliance a barrier -- it s just part of good business practice. Health and safety re- quirements are vital for everyone involved in the electrical industry -- apprentices, electricians and their customers. The special clothing apprentices are advised to wear, as Merv mentioned, is typically cotton overalls and wor- kboots. They don t cost much and the burns that can result when syn- thetic fabrics melt and stick to skin make them a worthwhile invest- ment. As Merv rightly pointed out, the electri- cal industry has an ageing workforce but unfortunately this is an issue facing New Zea- land as a whole. ETITO and the indus- try are working very hard to attract talented school leavers into trades. Lastly, in terms of generation Y-related comments, I am re- minded of a quote: The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority and show disrespect to their elders. It was Socrates who said that, in around 469 BC. If there are any employers who are interested in finding out more about training apprentices, they can contact ETITO on (09) 583-1316. -- Paul Hollings, ETITO electro- technology and tele- communications man- ager My construction com- pany has eight older builders plus myself and I specialise in building concrete in situ homes in Auckland. I virtually gave up on trying to hire another apprentice late last year. I agree that their atti- tude is shocking now. All expect the world immedi- ately and will not work Saturdays or longer hours if requested. They seem to have not grasped the idea that the fun years of mum looking after them and running them to sporting events is over and it s time to begin training for life now. My second is about to complete his time and has worked out great. But he is older, 26. All through last year I was trialling guys from my old college through the Gateway pro- gramme. This is a great initiat- ive but they need to be taught how to deal with job interviews and be interactive with people. These applicants turn up with no paperwork detailing their school results, etc. When asked about their marks they all say they were intern- ally assessed through NCEA. This means nothing to an employer like me. I always ask if they had work experience and very few have. I don t care if it s mowing lawns or paper deliveries, etc. but it is important that they have some work ethic to begin with. Hopefully I ll find a decent kid this year to continue my input back into the industry. All I want is a decent hard- working kid who really wants to learn the trade. I live near Unitec and there they have lots of trainees. However they seem to struggle to place them in the industry. I have never had one kid from there approach me on my sites. When I left school I actively searched and eventually found an employer. I wasn t funded in any way and worked my butt off to impress my boss because I appreci- ated the fact they offered me a job. -- Ross Bannan, buil- der To contact Pat Booth email firstname.lastname@example.org or write care of this newspaper.
April 22nd 2011
April 29th 2011