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The apprentice learns the skills of his masterSir Alan Sugar hosts the entertaining show The Apprentice, but I’ve noticed a subtle change, he’s actually looking for a business partner, not an Apprentice. Each year the candidates candidly say how good they are, and as the episode unfolds we soon discover that common sense, isn’t that common. The candidates sound very confident but Sir Alan doesn’t want to coax and hold their hand, he wants someone to offer a Viable Business Plan and run with it. Confidence isn’t enough alone, Apprentices need to be told when they are wrong and shown how to do it right. This needs to happen continuously to hone out all the short cuts and poor work they might otherwise be happy with.

We recently had some work done in our home, and over a few days and as I marvelled at the un-level pipework and poor fixing choices, it became apparent that apprenticeships are import to train people and give them the skills, but vitally important is how and where and with who they learn. I served a five year apprenticeship with Drake & Scull, I was fortunate to work on many different sites and with different electricians. A core value adopted was doing a good job, quite simply if you didn’t you would be lampooned. You wanted your work to be a high standard and to the approval of those showing and teaching you. I wouldn’t dream of installing something not level or plumb, a) You’d have the proverbial taken out of you and b) You’d be forced to re-do it.

Fast forward to now and due to the last 2 decades of outsourcing many apprenticeships haven’t had the pool of skilled electricians to work with so is there sufficient skilled people in the industry to teach and lampoon the next generations to ensure they are learn the job correctly.

With this weeks budget announcing £120 Billion on infrastructure projects over the next five years, its expected half will go on road and rail projects and the balance spread across schools, housing and technology, lots more apprentices will be needed. Source The Daily Telegraph 26/11/15 Autumn Statement Special.