Ok Robbo, fair point. I'll change my wording...SOME employers i have met or worked for in my area or have been told about from others experiences aren't very willing teachers at all and take full advantage of the trust a person brand new to the work force places in them as the employer.Lying,mis-leading etc. Some i have come across choose to prey on the young lads who are usually pretty naive being new to the every day grind of work by removing some of their basic rights to save $$$ instead of honoring their original word and being a fair boss. If you are reading this and love to strip away workers basic employment rights just to add a third or fifth level onto your own home then this is directed at you also, you make me sick. I dont really care actually who this pisses off as i have kept my head down for years and been the good little worker and said nothing so as not to rock the boat, but ''The Hits Just Keep On Comin' so decided to talk about just a SAMPLE of what i have seen and experienced in NZ. After all this is a forum, debate about an issue someone can plainly see is a good thing.
What I'm trying to say is that in my region more than a few GOOD employees are treated poorly from what iv'e experienced and I wanted to know what its like in the rest of Nz, this is not a beat up on employers in general, anything but. It is info that i seek.
Jaxcat, you make valid points but you have worded things you think all new apprentices should be doing from an experienced tradesmans point of view( no one new to the work force that has no experience of full time work) would ever think to check out if a employer is honest and trustworthy or not(how do you even gauge that from a if they use pokerface??which some do and simply lie, or it takes months to become obvious.) I feel you are blaming some employers deceptive behaviours regarding trainees back on all bad apprentices you have encountered personally. Is this forum just for business owners or something? I thought it was for everyone involved with this industry.Good apprentices deserve to be treated properly in the work place..it shouldnt be like the old days. Thats BS.
I will use myself as an example, i came from a small rural town of 4000 people, there were two plumbing companies, no polytech to check out to gather info about the company, the company was not on any trade site or plumbing company comparison website(they didnt exist), no one to speak to about the business, but if i did they would say its ok,but hey they dont work there themselves so not really helpful!!, (didnt know the other employees from a blade of grass, nor did i see them or meet them untill i started,1 of them said it was ok...) and it was the only apprenticeship going in the town at the time. I did a three month trial, got accepted after a successful trial, continued work and got told my apprenticeship papers would arrive soon(ended up taking 9months after the three month trial finished as he constantly forgot/lied that they were waiting for the ITO to do their bit etc and he would definitely sort it. In that time the cost of the apprenticeship rose from $1300 to $5000, not that he cared as it wasnt his bill it was mine. Went up $1 an hour in 2.5 years, got shown stuff all. There was plenty of yelling,verbal abuse and blame put on us when he stuffed up jobs which was a real confidence knocker as a young person trying there guts out continuously just to impress him. A fourth year apprentice was on $1 more than i was on when i started and he was more than capable of working independently with plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying and usually did. I thought that this is how the industry worked when you were an apprentice/labourer,low wages and ultra hard work. What i did know was that plumbing was hard work and wages low at first so was determined to stick it out and show him he could not break me.One week he and I did a 70hour week with no lunch breaks in the freezing sleety rain and snow,appalling conditions and i backfilled hundreds of metres of watermain sticky soaking clay dirt trenches down steepish rural hills in an isolated area by myself at his direction while he moved dirt around on flat ground in a digger. (Down play and dis- credit me if you want but i know i was there,what he said to me and how hard it really was...no ITO there to mediate Jaxcat,couldnt even get phone reception way out there) As is in the army i followed orders.As a young guy with no previous experience i had nothing to compare my work experiences to and thought this was the norm. After nearly 2.5 years I knew where i was heading which was no where fast,very low pay, little to no training but i was good at digging!!,small town and he showed his true colours, he was grumpy and an asshole to boot so i decided to leave. I may have been just the 'Boy' but i was still a human being. He wouldnt even sign me over to someone else in another city so i had to pay for the non-mutual apprenticeship transfer through the ITO. It was $500. I tried to say goodbye and shake his hand when i left on my last day, his wife in the office wished me well but he turned his back on me and walked off across the road. Clearly JAXCAT that experience was completely all my fault?? and i as a young and self-admitted slightly naive individual(at that time), who was new to the trade industry, i should have known better and instantly had the knowledge you currently have at certifying level the second i walked in that door from college in early 2003. I could have done things better to my advantage at the time but how was i to know what to do back then.
Back when i entered this trade i thought if you worked untill your hands bleed you would at a very MINIMUM be treated fairly and within at least some of the boundaries of employment law... at a minimum. Thats all i expected. I never expected it to be like it was ...but how wrong i was. You live and you learn, the next employer was much better by the way, just re-inforcing that yes there are good employers out there.Using all the services like the ITO for mediation, employment law etc is great...if as a young person you know who to see and where to go, and realise that certain actions/behaviours are un-acceptable.
I was a good honest person just looking for equality and fair treatment and a opportunity to learn when i started (2003) just like what the PGDF is all about and i was more than happy to dig and do other hard labour tasks!!
The same really should apply for apprentices as employers then....not all are bad...some actually want to learn and come from good backgrounds with strong work ethic...Maybe employers struggling to find decent help should hire what they think is a stand up decent young bloke and then get him on a trial period first and then EVALUATE his potential....that way you wont get the excuses, lateness, whineing for more money etc etc etc kind of guys...it goes both ways...its in my opinion largely the trainees fault for not performing his duties satisfactorily but also the employer letting themself down if they hire any old young person off the street and expect greatness from every one of them.Theres bound to be the bad apples that dont show up etc, more so than ever today..if it was that easy training them would be a 100% success nationwide..There are still good blokes out there who have their head screwed on and aren't on the piss 24-7 and value their apprenticeship. Maybe you should have hired me instead lol,plumbing/gas/drainlaying/roofing is my life... not saying i was perfect but hell i find the list of training downsides that past apprentices have done pretty shocking. No matter what was done or said to me or where i worked i always held my employers in high regard, was straight up and gave them the benefit of the doubt that they were still a good person.It was not untill i matured as a trades person i realised that some of them were without a doubt not who they made out to be (Pokerface), honesty and integrity meant nothing to them and they would sell someone down the river over $5 etc etc and often did.
Once again this is not a beat up aimed at any employers in nz or anywhere else in the world. Simply pointing out some of the problems young new naive workforce entrants face including myself once upon a time that we should'nt have had to, and chronicled a small selection of my first experiences as a labourer and as an apprentice to give an example. What I am trying to point out is that ive experienced young guys trying to get a head start in this industry and often have it tough, no mentoring etc and are largely on their own. I jump at every opportunity i get to help good young guys, like explaining things like how the PGDB works, exams, block courses, fees, assignment questions, what they are entitled to and what they are expected to provide.
I know a few guys in my area who went through similar things to myself and still do...the reason why i feel so strongly about this.
Sorry for trying to be an advocate for the fair treatment of all workers, especially new apprentices/labourers unaware of all of their rights.
The another thing is why should a potential apprentice have to pick a good honest employer? They should obey the basic rules of employment by default....and its the apprentices own fault etc, are you for real?
A young guy that is an 18 year old school leaver is suppose to know all those things and perform a self-diagnoses of a perspective company he is interested in working for and know everything about wages, health and safety, honesty from the employer etc. Get your head out of the clouds, no young people straight out of school are capable of working all that out. Especially when they are confronted with a 53 year old tradesman who is hard as nails, and doesnt answer questions, just gives orders etc... You should come meet some rural plumbers in the Manawatu-Wanganui area. I would love to see a potential new 18 year old apprentice make them answer 50 questions from a young newbie and dick around trying to work out if the employer is honest or not.Apprenticeships were hard to get when i started, got to jump at any chance. I have always thought a big help to having a successful business is to hire the right staff, reliable guys who work hard etc.
You really hate apprentices by the sounds of it Jaxcat...maybe you need to screen potential new staff members first. If i hired a guy that i was training who turned into a loser id blame myself in part personally for not making a better informed decision about who i was getting.
I'm not trying to get a BASH UP on employers here, definitely not as i want to be one myself soon. You have mis-interpreted my post a bit. I'm trying my best to highlight dodgy bosses that screw over there young guys, and the young guys take it because they need their job,and cant easily get another one in some towns.
All im saying is that where i come from i have had poor experiences mostly from the three employers ive had over 9 years and ive seen guys that show up and perform their duties well (above average actually) say like senior apprentices, get beat down hassled, poked , prodded, mocked, belittled, for no good apparent reason and i find it appalling. One particular employer was so bad i still think about it almost daily and that was six months ago.Once again...my previous post is not a BEAT UP on employers in general,just the dodgy ones!!
Im simply saying that ive seen some pretty terrible stuff in the region i work in and have been wondering if its widespread or not as some of the things ive seen,heard and been told to my face ive found truly eye opening and jaw dropping. To test if i was going insane or not i have spoke to other tradesman about it locally and re- created some of the conversations and repeated word for word some of the things i'd experienced. What i got was jaw dropping responses every time so it has had me thinking that if i know multiple guys operating in one city like this whats going on??? i dont plan on being like those particular individuals. I think screening and knowing who you are getting etc, getting to know them before making your decision and trial periods are important tools to use to being a good employer, not just the physical tools you pick up.
You just can't hire anyone in this day and age, first in the door and expect them to be perfect.
I will say though that it is getting harder and harder to find decent people to train FOR SURE. Lazyness, T.V, fast food, playstation . It is widespread, but i hold hope i will one day find some good guys eager to learn.
Iv'e had a few that have been put with me before that are a total WASTE OF SPACE, but i have met some really good ones aswell.