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Huge international mismatch between job vacancies and skills of unemployed-same in Ireland?


patslatt

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Apr 11, 2007
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See Schumpeter: The great mismatch | The Economist

Despite youth unemployment of 75 million globally,more than a third of employers have trouble filling jobs. Educators aren't paying enough attention to employers' requirements. A major problem is that vocational education is neglected in favour of universities.

Vocational programmes are emphasised in some countries. Korea has a network of vocational schools,catering to such trades as machine operators and plumbers. Ireland used to have successful "Tech schools" for trades,whose mission may have been lost in Institutes of Technology.

Technical schools are building exact replicas of workplaces for training,for example a gas plant without the gas in Australia. Sweden's technical schools replicated construction sites for decades.

Information on the job placement record of past graduates should concentrate the minds of educators. In the US, Columbia's Labour Observatory provides such details on every educational institution. Irish universities are supposed to start providing similar information on their graduates.

FAS probably contributed to the mismatch of training to jobs in Ireland. It was still promoting construction jobs training when the Celtic Tiger building boom was bust.
 

sparkey321

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Joined
May 4, 2007
Messages
1,385
See Schumpeter: The great mismatch | The Economist

Despite youth unemployment of 75 million globally,more than a third of employers have trouble filling jobs. Educators aren't paying enough attention to employers' requirements. A major problem is that vocational education is neglected in favour of universities.

Vocational programmes are emphasised in some countries. Korea has a network of vocational schools,catering to such trades as machine operators and plumbers. Ireland used to have successful "Tech schools" for trades,whose mission may have been lost in Institutes of Technology.

Technical schools are building exact replicas of workplaces for training,for example a gas plant without the gas in Australia. Sweden's technical schools replicated construction sites for decades.

Information on the job placement record of past graduates should concentrate the minds of educators. In the US, Columbia's Labour Observatory provides such details on every educational institution. Irish universities are supposed to start providing similar information on their graduates.

FAS probably contributed to the mismatch of training to jobs in Ireland. It was still promoting construction jobs training when the Celtic Tiger building boom was bust.

1) IT’s or the old RTC’s were not responsible for trades. FAS was and is...
2) We have a huge oversupply of trades and machine-operators.
3) FAS actually makes a pretty decent job of its trades training and as a result Irish trade qualifications are recognised in most countries around the world (after a short conversion course to understand local regulations).

Ireland should be proud of its history of vocational training and worried that its disappearing. The old RTC's were actually pretty good at what they did and filled a market, they appear to have forgotten that in their rush to become universities...
 

Jack White

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It doesn't help that there is absolutely no respect for young men in this society.

Demonstrably, the colleges of FE are more interested in devoting their energies on Creative Writing, Pilates, Gel Nails, and various elements of Angels In Your Life.

Tough luck if you want to try your hand at CNC machining.

Nor is there a lot of respect for manufacturing. We must all in the west now be providers of services, and not actually make useful things. James Dyson some years ago had some interesting things to say about the consequences for us all in shunning productive enterprise.

As for the trades as they stand, and I can only speak for the electrical side - an interesting case anyway, since it has been largely construction driven but has so many more applications than eg carpentry or bricklaying.

As I see it, the current (ha) formal elements of training that FAS is responsible for (ie the ''off the job'' phases), are largely silly, and laughably esoteric in mant respects.

They are not vocational, really. In my opinion those classroom parts of the apprenticeship are really there to lure the brighter sparks (ha) onto the degree courses, where they can jump straight into the second year.

So from that point I agree with you re

A major problem is that vocational education is neglected in favour of universities.
Of course, you can take modules of those degree courses and broaden the knowledge base that way.

But even if you take all the modules in the world, you still don't have what employers really want, which is practical, proven experience.

There are just no jobs Pat.
 

wombat

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Ireland should be proud of its history of vocational training and worried that its disappearing. The old RTC's were actually pretty good at what they did and filled a market, they appear to have forgotten that in their rush to become universities...
I have a relative who's quite senior in an Australian training college, despite being a tradesman. He met up with the leaders of his old Training college in Dublin and formed the opinion that academic credentials have displaced hands on industrial experience in the Irish setup - as he said, fine for the teaching staff but not so fine for meeting employers needs. My own experience of the IT degrees are that they neglect basic theory for the sake of whatever happens to be trendy.
 

sparkey321

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Joined
May 4, 2007
Messages
1,385
As I see it, the current (ha) formal elements of training that FAS is responsible for (ie the ''off the job'' phases), are largely silly, and laughably esoteric in mant respects.

They are not vocational, really. In my opinion those classroom parts of the apprenticeship are really there to lure the brighter sparks (ha) onto the degree courses, where they can jump straight into the second year.

So from that point I agree with you re


Of course, you can take modules of those degree courses and broaden the knowledge base that way.

But even if you take all the modules in the world, you still don't have what employers really want, which is practical, proven experience.
I disagree.

I went through the electrical apprenticeship (later in life) and was one of the first batch to go though the new scheme.

It was very difficult with very high failure rates, the unions balked so they reviewed it and made it easier. By the time I did my last release it was pretty much the same stuff we did in the first release but failure rates were lower.

Its already been dumbed down to much I think and the only benefit was nto to encourage guys to do engineering. It opened up allot of options to me.

The thing that most people forget is that not all electricians work (or worked) in construction. I never did and never had any interest in doing so. I spent my apprenticeship working on robotics, automated production lines, PLC's, some high voltage stuff but mainly low voltage. I worked on everything from a small ultrasonic cleaning tank to a multimillion Euro robotic line. We worked with machine builders. project engineers (hell we did allot of project engineering ourselves) machine rebuilds, retrofits, wireless comms, telecoms, fibre and copper comms circuits. it was great and the more theory I had exposure to the more I understood and the more options I had. I was lucky to work with some great minds who wanted to and were willing to teach including engineers, other electricians, business people. I also as lucky enough to work for a company that encouraged me to study any area I wanted and provided support (money to pay for the courses) to do so. It was quite literally the best 4 years of my life and the best educational experience I ever had...

I was genuinely disappointed at the low level of theory being taught at the later release stages.

I had a long argument with Fas at the time that they should have split the electrical trade in two, those who were only interested in domestic and industrial wiring and those that were into automation etc. It was a lost opportunity.

When I qualified I had numerous job offers, my experience was great and companies were falling all over themselves to hire me and my colleagues. Since then I have worked as a service engineer, project engineer, service manager, engineering manager, technical sales, in a variety of industries and sectors, (I not work in microbiology) and I credit allot of my career to my apprenticeship, it taught my how to think, how to find out information and most importantly how to apply it.

Don’t go and dumb it down...

The company I trained with no longer hires apprentices as they couldn't get the type of people they wanted anymore and started hiring graduates. I suspect that will change again as the experience with graduates has been poor, they take 4 or more years to bring up to the level they require and tend not to like the hands on element.. The last conversation I had with the engineering manager there was that they were looking to recruit apprentices again.
 

sparkey321

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I have a relative who's quite senior in an Australian training college, despite being a tradesman. He met up with the leaders of his old Training college in Dublin and formed the opinion that academic credentials have displaced hands on industrial experience in the Irish setup - as he said, fine for the teaching staff but not so fine for meeting employers needs. My own experience of the IT degrees are that they neglect basic theory for the sake of whatever happens to be trendy.
I agree the IT have lost the best parts of the old RTC's.
 

tatoo

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Huge amount of funds spent on education but not in a targeted sensible way. We dont need more law students but we do need computer graduates. Why not provide a free third level education for specific areas and if a student wants to study law fine arts etc they can pay for it themselves.
 

Crazy horse 6

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The government here would rather we send people into tesco packing shelves under the guise of jobbridge than actually tackle the jobs crisis. 5 years in now and we stand still with our hands in our pockets.
 

Mad as Fish

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The government here would rather we send people into tesco packing shelves under the guise of jobbridge than actually tackle the jobs crisis. 5 years in now and we stand still with our hands in our pockets.
Quite so (except the Tesco bit).
 

Mad as Fish

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FAS I have found to be pretty much a waste of time. Having done a course which was 3-5 years out of date in places I looked around to see if there were other areas to re-skill in and found nothing that was worthwhile or didn't require me to travel to the other end of the country. Basic engineering orientated skills that have a value such as panel beating/spraying, vehicle electronics or even learning to operate a lathe, all go unaddressed by them and they were still majoring in stick rather than MIG welding up to a couple of years ago!

With all this oil supposedly sloshing around beneath Irish shores how are we going to meet the need for skilled labour to extract it and at least benefit in some small way from its value if we don't start training people now?
 

sic transit

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I have a relative who's quite senior in an Australian training college, despite being a tradesman. He met up with the leaders of his old Training college in Dublin and formed the opinion that academic credentials have displaced hands on industrial experience in the Irish setup - as he said, fine for the teaching staff but not so fine for meeting employers needs. My own experience of the IT degrees are that they neglect basic theory for the sake of whatever happens to be trendy.
Many colleges also rerun the same exam content over and over again. The best students on placements, in my experience tended to be those out of the northern universities.
 

Mad as Fish

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Huge amount of funds spent on education but not in a targeted sensible way. We dont need more law students but we do need computer graduates. Why not provide a free third level education for specific areas and if a student wants to study law fine arts etc they can pay for it themselves.
One problem with this sort of idea is that not everybody is suited to become a computer graduate nor a fine art expert come to that. On balance it is probably better to have as many people 'educated' in a raft of different disciplines rather than a just a few specialists in what are considered, at the time, to be desirable skills. I'd point to web design as an example here where there is a great industry in churning out folk who can put a website together but at the moment there is not the demand for the skills that there was 3 or 4 years back and I don't honestly see that changing much.

On the whole you will probably find that those who can handle an IT course are already doing so and pushing those without the aptitude or interest into it will do neither them nor the industry any favours.
 

Spirit Of Newgrange

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the unemployed are jobless cos they didnt work at school, and now the rest of us are supposed to carry them.
 

Mad as Fish

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Jack White

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I disagree.

I went through the electrical apprenticeship (later in life) and was one of the first batch to go though the new scheme.

It was very difficult with very high failure rates, the unions balked so they reviewed it and made it easier. By the time I did my last release it was pretty much the same stuff we did in the first release but failure rates were lower.

Its already been dumbed down to much I think and the only benefit was nto to encourage guys to do engineering. It opened up allot of options to me.

The thing that most people forget is that not all electricians work (or worked) in construction. I never did and never had any interest in doing so. I spent my apprenticeship working on robotics, automated production lines, PLC's, some high voltage stuff but mainly low voltage. I worked on everything from a small ultrasonic cleaning tank to a multimillion Euro robotic line. We worked with machine builders. project engineers (hell we did allot of project engineering ourselves) machine rebuilds, retrofits, wireless comms, telecoms, fibre and copper comms circuits. it was great and the more theory I had exposure to the more I understood and the more options I had. I was lucky to work with some great minds who wanted to and were willing to teach including engineers, other electricians, business people. I also as lucky enough to work for a company that encouraged me to study any area I wanted and provided support (money to pay for the courses) to do so. It was quite literally the best 4 years of my life and the best educational experience I ever had...

I was genuinely disappointed at the low level of theory being taught at the later release stages.

I had a long argument with Fas at the time that they should have split the electrical trade in two, those who were only interested in domestic and industrial wiring and those that were into automation etc. It was a lost opportunity.

When I qualified I had numerous job offers, my experience was great and companies were falling all over themselves to hire me and my colleagues. Since then I have worked as a service engineer, project engineer, service manager, engineering manager, technical sales, in a variety of industries and sectors, (I not work in microbiology) and I credit allot of my career to my apprenticeship, it taught my how to think, how to find out information and most importantly how to apply it.

Don’t go and dumb it down...

The company I trained with no longer hires apprentices as they couldn't get the type of people they wanted anymore and started hiring graduates. I suspect that will change again as the experience with graduates has been poor, they take 4 or more years to bring up to the level they require and tend not to like the hands on element.. The last conversation I had with the engineering manager there was that they were looking to recruit apprentices again.
I'm not arguing for less theory, I'm asking for relevant theory and better material. I can be explicit in what I mean by that if you are interested.

I don't understand how your final release had the same content as your first release ? That is not the case at all now, though some of the questions at Phase 6 level final exam are a joke. Simple arithmetic; name four parts of an ESB bill; etc a lot of copy & paste repetition of questions.

I don't want to dumb it down. Quite the opposite. One way to do that would of course be to re-channel resources out of the crazily spoonfed Phase 2 (handy twenty weeks for the FAS instructors) , make that more intense and shorter duration; and tag on an extra couple of weeks at phases 4 and 6.

Totally agree with the separation out of domestic from the rest. Suggested that, with of course the resultant wage differential - nearly got skewered. The unions won't go for that anyway, because they want to keep the JIS for all, irrespective of capabilities.

As I said, I don't want to dumb it down. But even for the guys who are happier to stay on the tools, there are severe gaps in the theoretical knowledge base being presented.

An apprentice has a right to be trained in a wide variety of electrical skills, without everything being funneled for the high academic achievers to go on and finish a degree. There's a sort of snobbishness about that, I think.

The system is not fit for purpose.
 
Last edited:

sparkey321

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Back when I did phase 2 they brought in two external guys to do 10 weeks of theory. One was a lecturer (retired) and the other was an industry focused training consultant that had worked around the world...

It was seriously intensive and I think there was an 90% failure rate (if I remember correctly 2 pased)... The repeat exam was seriously dummed down(I was coaching one guy and he couldnt beleive how easy the repeat was) and by the time we got to phase 6 it was pretty much the same stuff we did in phase 1 with some additional stuff but at a much more basic level.

The two guys were great, even outside of lectures they were happy to talk discuss any topic. I was a bit (OK alot) older than most of the other guys so I went for a beer with them on a couple of occasions. They were the ones who pushed me to research stuff for myself..

It became very obvious that the course was changed from the origonal plan to skew it more towards the guys interested in construction and there was a mad panic to drive up the pass rate. The unions went nuts......

Out of interest which areas would you have liked to see covered better or included at all ??
 

patslatt

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Joined
Apr 11, 2007
Messages
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It doesn't help that there is absolutely no respect for young men in this society.

Demonstrably, the colleges of FE are more interested in devoting their energies on Creative Writing, Pilates, Gel Nails, and various elements of Angels In Your Life.

Tough luck if you want to try your hand at CNC machining.

Nor is there a lot of respect for manufacturing. We must all in the west now be providers of services, and not actually make useful things. James Dyson some years ago had some interesting things to say about the consequences for us all in shunning productive enterprise.

As for the trades as they stand, and I can only speak for the electrical side - an interesting case anyway, since it has been largely construction driven but has so many more applications than eg carpentry or bricklaying.

As I see it, the current (ha) formal elements of training that FAS is responsible for (ie the ''off the job'' phases), are largely silly, and laughably esoteric in mant respects.

They are not vocational, really. In my opinion those classroom parts of the apprenticeship are really there to lure the brighter sparks (ha) onto the degree courses, where they can jump straight into the second year.

So from that point I agree with you re



Of course, you can take modules of those degree courses and broaden the knowledge base that way.

But even if you take all the modules in the world, you still don't have what employers really want, which is practical, proven experience.

There are just no jobs Pat.
What would you like FAS to do for trades,considering its transfer into the civil service?
 

patslatt

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Messages
13,693
I have a relative who's quite senior in an Australian training college, despite being a tradesman. He met up with the leaders of his old Training college in Dublin and formed the opinion that academic credentials have displaced hands on industrial experience in the Irish setup - as he said, fine for the teaching staff but not so fine for meeting employers needs. My own experience of the IT degrees are that they neglect basic theory for the sake of whatever happens to be trendy.
Your last comment is interesting. Can you provide some details of your experience,without necessarily mentioning the college?
 

patslatt

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Joined
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I disagree.

I went through the electrical apprenticeship (later in life) and was one of the first batch to go though the new scheme.

It was very difficult with very high failure rates, the unions balked so they reviewed it and made it easier. By the time I did my last release it was pretty much the same stuff we did in the first release but failure rates were lower.

Its already been dumbed down to much I think and the only benefit was nto to encourage guys to do engineering. It opened up allot of options to me.

The thing that most people forget is that not all electricians work (or worked) in construction. I never did and never had any interest in doing so. I spent my apprenticeship working on robotics, automated production lines, PLC's, some high voltage stuff but mainly low voltage. I worked on everything from a small ultrasonic cleaning tank to a multimillion Euro robotic line. We worked with machine builders. project engineers (hell we did allot of project engineering ourselves) machine rebuilds, retrofits, wireless comms, telecoms, fibre and copper comms circuits. it was great and the more theory I had exposure to the more I understood and the more options I had. I was lucky to work with some great minds who wanted to and were willing to teach including engineers, other electricians, business people. I also as lucky enough to work for a company that encouraged me to study any area I wanted and provided support (money to pay for the courses) to do so. It was quite literally the best 4 years of my life and the best educational experience I ever had...

I was genuinely disappointed at the low level of theory being taught at the later release stages.

I had a long argument with Fas at the time that they should have split the electrical trade in two, those who were only interested in domestic and industrial wiring and those that were into automation etc. It was a lost opportunity.

When I qualified I had numerous job offers, my experience was great and companies were falling all over themselves to hire me and my colleagues. Since then I have worked as a service engineer, project engineer, service manager, engineering manager, technical sales, in a variety of industries and sectors, (I not work in microbiology) and I credit allot of my career to my apprenticeship, it taught my how to think, how to find out information and most importantly how to apply it.

Don’t go and dumb it down...

The company I trained with no longer hires apprentices as they couldn't get the type of people they wanted anymore and started hiring graduates. I suspect that will change again as the experience with graduates has been poor, they take 4 or more years to bring up to the level they require and tend not to like the hands on element.. The last conversation I had with the engineering manager there was that they were looking to recruit apprentices again.
Minister of Education Rory Quinn might be interested in reviving the innovative courses you took. Many of the courses could be totally separate from electricians' training under qualifications of electrical and mechanical engineering trades. Would electricians' union object?
 
Last edited:

wombat

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Your last comment is interesting. Can you provide some details of your experience,without necessarily mentioning the college?
It applies generally. Originally, the RTCs were to recruit teachers who, while not as academically gifted as university lecturers would have several years experience in industry. Specifically, a pass degree was the requirement rather than PhD. Over the years, the experience requirement has faded but the academic requirement has not increased, the result is that graduates have not a basic understanding of theory.
 
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