I started working as a joiner in the 1970s and you could say my age group (40-year-olds) were the last of the tradesmen to be brought through a real apprenticeship. This should have enabled us, now that some of us are in managerial positions, to pass on our expertise to the younger generation.
But it didn’t happen like that. The need to stay lean and competitive meant there was no investment; there were no apprenticeships; and the younger generation were sold on the idea that the best way to make money is to learn how to use a computer.
We need to take a step back and decide to keep the work here for our younger generation, give them the skills to take this country through this century and not to allow cheap imported labour to help us through this labour crisis.
I believe that if CSCS can get it right, this would help to keep the cowboys and cheap labour out and give the younger generation a chance to learn the crafts and skills required, and eventually to pass them on.
The lack of skilled labour should have been addressed during the 1990s. Maybe with CSCS we have a chance to address it in the 21st century.
Peter Atherton, Eomac UK, via email