Sunday, September 30, 2012

So we haven't got enough tradeswomen and men!

Why do we always have to be reinventing the wheel? By that, I mean, let’s learn from the past instead of going off in directions that history has taught us just doesn’t work.
I am trying to make a link between the shortages of trades people, especially given the huge need for such people in the rebuilding of Christchurch. Those NZers who are joining the many from overseas are going to cause a drawing skilled people from other areas of NZ, thus exacerbating an already difficult situation.
 Right we agree? ---- We need tradespeople in a number of occupations. Then why not go back to the past when a good deal of the training was done on the job, with a small portion of the training done in Technical Institutes. We don’t need builders, plumbers etc. with degrees (certainly not at entry level). We need skilled tradespeople, who have learnt from their peers. Sure there were some dodgy ones in the past but a robust system would soon remove the capacity of such businesses to ‘train.’
I can hear businesses saying that it is draining their already stretched resources and that the training should be done as it is now, with a major part of the training occurring in tertiary institutes. Well, if these businesses want to thrive, then they need to take a longer term view and accept the responsibility to bring in new blood and nurture the tradesmen and women for the future. Combine this with a ‘bonding scheme’ and we may even keep more from fleeing over the waves.
Let’s train our people and keep them---for a few years at least. Maybe they will see a reason to stay and not have a huge student loan for an area of study where the jobs just don’t exist.