I have a dose of bad spelling at the moment, as I am thinking as a Hairdresser!
Having other Master Craftsmen in my heritage was a sort of mindset I suppose.
I do wake up in the morning with random thoughts!
I think there is a huge skills problem these days, because of over specialisation. For instance during a build, you get all the different workmen blaming each other because they can't organise who needs to be on site, and what order to do things in. Then one lot trash the work the other lot have already done, because they haven't put the wiring in where it needs to be, or the plumbing when they were on first fix.
Anyway, I think the idea of getting young people through courses as quickly as possible just to do one trade is a waste of time.
I would rather see a multiskill course done for 3 years, which would leave the person very capable of doing all kinds of maintenance work, and could do home repairs and day jobbing.
The problem is that so many new houses are built, that you then want to do minor works on to upgrade. Then you have to get an army of different trades organised to work together just to put in a new kitchen or bathroom, or even change a tap. (which costs a fortune as they want £50 for turning up before they do any work! That's if they do turn up).
There are no people who do repair works, as they all want to work on building sites, and don't have the diverse home mantainance skills anyway.
Then if they want to be self employed they have a far higher self employed stamp, and the tax people are all over them like a rash, (just in case they get a cash job). So the cost's of doing this work are made unatractive by the government.
The next thing is that in order to do the smaller jobs, and even some of the more adventurous things, the home owner who is not qualified, has to learn some rudimentary DIY and go down to B&Q to get their tools, bits and bobs, and have a go themselves. Then it either goes horribly wrong, or never gets finished so you live with it, or have to pay to have it fixed. Of course if you do this stuff yourself, you aren't going to get insurance certification.
I would say it would be better for all of these trades to do a 3 year multi skills course, so that they can be useful between jobs, or simply be self employed 'fixers', and small project people.
Then if they choose to specialise in an area offer a further 2/3 years in that particular skill. This might actually revolutionise the building trade, and we would all get our work done better, without the waste of time and precious attitude each of the individual trades has at the moment.
I did explain in a previous post about the way the French issue pre paid social security/tax cheques. This way the workpeople are paid with this cheque, and the social security/tax is automatically deducted when the cheque is cleared.
This way the person does not have to pay higher social security as a self employed person, than their counterpart who works for a contractor. It makes tax returns easy for everyone.
I was discussing this idea with one of our states members the other day, and suggested that if Jersey, or jointly with Gurnsey had it's own dedicated clearing bank, all the employers, and self employed could use this system. Then we wouldn't need so many civil servants in two seperate buildings doing two seperate things, costing us so much to support the system. The idea would be to put tax in one states account, and social security in another, and put the pre deducted remainder in our accounts.
We then put the redundant tax and social security people in one building (The clearing Bank), and everybody is happy. It means that business people don't have to spend hours working out the tax and social security for staff which we don't get paid for.
As everybody would be using the system, the BACS and cheque charges (at about 20p per time would add up to 60p for each cheque/ BACS payment, as there would be a 3 way split going on. I wouldn't have minded paying for this as an employer, as it was awful having to do all the paperwork for each person on a weekly basis. Hairdressers and Beauticians work on commission, so every week/month is different. A spreadsheet is fine, but filling in all the return forms and keeping copies for years, then having to deliver them by hand, (It costs a lot to post a months worth of returns)... la, la, la,...
You also get the people who work on the black and don't pay tax, as if we only pay tradespeople with cheques it all gets sorted out for us. In my opinion someone who pays cash for work knows that the person doing it won't declare it, so they are equally guilty of defrauding the tax man.
You might think I like paying tax! No, but I don't get any public services if I don't.
If I earn it, I have no problem paying tax. I get to keep quite a lot of my pocket money, pity i have to spend it on survival, but it's better than the alternative. So long as the government don't waste it, and do good things that benefit future generations, its a good thing.
It also amazes me that people are put in prison to rot who are criminals in these specialisations.
Car theives. They nick cars and do some amazing reconstructions to re-sell them. You get better work out of a respray workshop that is re-processing cars than you do taking it to a normal workshop! They obviously like doing it, so why not have your car serviced and re-sprayed at the prison. It can't be that expensive to set up a workshop. Then they can train their mates in nick who don't have a trade. Why not train them to restore old cars? I would love to have mine done up.
Fraudsters Hackers, and Embezzelers. You have to know a system very well to be able to scam it. These are often skilled very smart people. They would love to bring down those who nicked them. If you want to find out where all the billions get wasted, and where a scam is likely to happen you get these people on your side. Pay someone to find loopholes that thinks like that, let them serve their time helping sort out these rogue banks, then give them a job as watchdogs.
It's just we don't value each other and our skills enough. We all have some incredible talents, a lot of people just never get their real opportunity to shine.
Talking of shine, we have our fabulous boutique music festival this weekend. It is supposed to be one of the best. We only live about half a mile away, so we get to boogie round the garden for the next couple of days. There are over 2000 visitors turning up for it, which is good for our tourism.
Obviously you get the moaners. That's what double glazing is for in my opinion! The Dog gets a good bark as well. It is incredibly well organised. All the honorary police turn out to monitor traffic, and do crowd control. The atmosphere is fantastic.
I used to let my staff who wanted to go have the weekend off, and the next day to get over it. You are only young once! They just had to make sure they got all their bookings organised, and work harder either side of the festival, so they didn't drop productivity. That wasn't a problem because all their clients wanted to go too. No point having staff stood around doing nothing.
Nerina Pallot's new album is amazing, I want to get it. She owes us a signed copy of her last one, which my Husband won in a local JEP competition... we are still waiting Nerina! Please can we have the new album signed instead! We have some fantastic music exports... http://www.jerseylive.org.uk/2011/
We also have great surf, and good diving waters and schools.
I might take students next summer. It is great having some youngsters about. We mostly get Swedish. I told my Husband we were not having girls the last time we did this... He has a heart complaint already, I don't want him having a heart attack watching them walk around in skimpy shorts and T shirts!
The great thing my Husband used to do was teach the boys how to cook as well, so that by the time they went home they could cook their Mum a meal. We often got comments from the Mothers that they sent a boy to us and got a Man back in exchange. This transformation only takes 3 weeks! We still get postcards and e-mails from our students we had years ago.
Obviously we like to have good food. One of the surprising requests we had was after explaining that pheasant is an aquired taste. It makes a very rich stew. It has to be cooked by a 'wet' method as to roast it it is a dry meat. However a brace of pheasant bought is very expensive. We get them given by friends who go shooting. Anyway these boys wanted to try it, so we did it as a winter dish with the fluffy dumplings. They said it was their favorite meal the three weeks. So I don't agree that young people will only eat junk food. If that's all they are given, they just don't know what else is on offer...
Mostly their classmates were being given cheap freezer food, burgers and fish fingers. We only make these ourselves though, as I always want to know what is in my food. Because they hadn't seen these things made at home, they wanted to learn how to make them, as they thought they tasted better. It's surprising how quickly a boy can learn to use a washing machine as well, they were just amazed at the things we did, and that we enjoy doing them so they wanted to copy.
We are talking 14-16 year olds here! The ones that needed a bit of a sort out, the Dog looked after.
She is a very savvy Dog. The ones that needed a homesick cuddle would get Dog sweetness. (She can be sweet and cuddle up). The ones that needed a bit of livening up, (that drag their feet around), she would take on herself to nip their heels going up the stairs. I don't know if she would do that now she is older!
Anyway I am off to get more Blackberries, we have eaten all the first lot of jam we made a week or two ago. It is such a wonderful taste and colour (without the pips!). I want more!