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Author Topic: Apprentices to pay limited licence fees soon  (Read 5920 times)

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Offline newguy

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Apprentices to pay limited licence fees soon
« on: January 24, 2013, 09:11:03 AM »
What do you guys think about the fact that board is now intending to charge a licensing fee for their limited license? 
Will you wear this additional cost for them?

Linkback: https://www.plumbers.nz/licensing-and-up-skilling/45/apprentices-to-pay-limited-licence-fees-soon/1347/

Offline Jaxcat

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Re: Apprentices to pay limited licence fees soon
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2013, 01:01:56 PM »
This has been subsidised previously by tradesmen.  Obviously when the PGDB did their "consultation" plenty of the respondents must have agreed that the trainees should pay this fee.

There is a cost to the issuing of a trainee licence - the plastic card - worth say being generous including printing costs - $5-$8.  The rest of it - the administration, the Board have already been doing as although they haven't had cards they are in the Board's system.  I'm not 100% against them paying something to cover the actual costs - but I think the fee they are looking at (isn't it around $45 - $50) is not cost recovery.

No I won't be paying it for them.  I asked one of my trainees the other day if he had responded to the consultation by the PGDB - and he hadn't.  I said that this was what they got dished up if they didn't make their voices heard - and he had it better than most as we did a response as a company that they could also send in individually - and even then it was too much effort for some of them. 

I would be interested how many trainees even responded to the consultation - bugger all I bet.  I think tradesmen have been happy to subsidise trainees - after all it is a nominal amount per tradesperson, but these apprentices need to have a voice and be heard. 

The Federation has been speaking up on behalf of apprentices, but these guys also need to stand up and be counted.  Now is their chance.  Maybe till it hits them in the pocket they bury their heads in the sand.

Have you learned lessons only of those who admired you, and were tender with you, and stood aside for you?  Have you not learned great lessons from those who braced themselves against you, and disputed the passage with you?  (Walt Whitman 1819-1891)  American Poet

Offline robbo

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Re: Apprentices to pay limited licence fees soon
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2013, 01:50:50 PM »
Hi guys, I believe that is the tradesmanís duty to look after the apprentice to educate and speak up for him if the need arises. JAX, apathy is and has been rife within the tradesmenís ranks for years; this shouldnít mean that we should all be shafted by the ruling board. We know that this is just another nail in the coffin for our trades; money hungryíbarstewards`               there must be a hidden agenda by the board to limit the amount of tradesmen in our trades. (Maybe till it hits them in the pocket they bury their heads in the sand) this is true but then what will happen?? If they are one or two years into the trade will they stay or will they chuck it in?? (Plenty of the respondents must have agreed that the trainees should pay this fee) accepting the apathy in the trades there was probably not a lot of input at all, this is a board recommendation to rake in funds!!  (No I won't be paying it for them) JAX, I donít blame you, why should you? Companies have enough added costs as it is, the only thing that I would ask you is: do you or other companies make prospective employees aware of and outline all the costs and conditions that are associated with becoming a tradesman in one or more of our trades,cheers     

Offline Jaxcat

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Re: Apprentices to pay limited licence fees soon
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2013, 09:19:20 PM »
Hi Robbo - yes I do - especially for apprentices.  I also like to have their parents there (mandatory if they are under 18).  I explain the costs of the apprenticeship, the hours of study required, what I will pay and what they are expected to pay.  None of this seems to put them off.  The cost of signing up an apprentice now is around $12k spread over the four years + their wages while at block courses.  In addition as a good employer we would also try to get them on relevant upskilling opportunities with the tradesperson and in house training if applicable.  We also don't have our apprentices out on their own except on very rare occasions until pretty well finished, so there are costs for the company in that.  We pay for the first aid (as we should), along with any health and safety courses.  I used to pay for the entire apprenticeship up front at sign up but then found that we were getting staff poached at the end of their apprenticeship by companies who didn't train apprentices at all.  Then I went to a 50/50 deal with new apprentices - still the poaching hapopened, so now what I do is reimburse 50% at the completion of one year post apprenticeship.  We still pay tool and meal allowances where applicable and overtime and call outs.

We pay upskilling course costs, but try to book them after work, or at least end of day ones if we can.  Some courses are worth taking them out of the loop for a day, but with these I would ask that they pass this knowledge on to the rest of the staff in an in house seminar.  We have a couple of these coming up and it will be interesting to see how they go.

We have a staff newsletter which spells out what is going on in the trade - we post the Federation newsletter on our smoko room wall and sometimes copy it to all staff - we have staff meetings about consultations to form a company view, and then we produce a response - we ask staff to take a copy and put their own name to it as well if they agree.  I am at a loss as to what more we could do to discourage apathy amongst our youngsters.  Our tradesmen are quite politically active too and do go to some lengths to explain to the apprentices when they have them exactly what the future holds.  The only way this is all going to be stopped is if everyone stands up to be counted.  The time has come where the lazy amongst us cannot expect the others amongst us to stand up and speak for them all the time.  Apathy has been rife in our trades, but if we keep doing what we have always done we'll keep getting what we've always got.  This is a lesson trainees must learn.  I am proud to say our trainees speak up at tech and question the ITO about the state of training, and I back them 100% however I need to. 

Some apprentices may be in a work situation where it is not in their best interests to speak up, but I am disappointed when those who are fully supported are too lazy to get off their arse and sign their name to a bit of paper and then moan like f++k when suddenly they have to fork out $50.  I don't think they should have to pay it, but they need to stand up and say so.  There's nothing stopping them writing to the Board and saying they don't agree, writing to their MP and saying they don't agree, or asking the board to give them a breakdown of how they arrived at that figure.

These same youngster don't have any problem finding their voice when it comes to feeling underpaid!

Offline newguy

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Re: Apprentices to pay limited licence fees soon
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2013, 11:49:05 PM »
I don't agree with it at all. The board should not be charging a fee at all. Most apprentices (if not through the trust) take on a loan to get through their apprenticeship, they do all the dirty work and don't earn nearly what they should, education should be encouraged by the Gov and not made harder, is an absolute joke with what you can get away with a  "majority of votes".  Apprentices speak up!!! Send the board a message! Whats next if they get way with this!?

Offline Badger

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Re: Apprentices to pay limited licence fees soon
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2013, 08:25:21 AM »
I think as a necessity to the clean running of our civilisation, plumbers, gasfitter and drainlayers are integral to our health and safety.

In light of this I think the government should invest in our future, I said this to a certain head of training and MP big wig and he was not impressed, but my point is this you can't run a "school" with  out proper funding, I likened it to a public or private school. Now it is run like a private school, with the pupils and their employers paying through the nose for bullshit assessments.....then they get CPD afterwards, so as I see it, they are assessed THEN trained....talk about arse about face. It costs a lot to provide the training, so if the funds are hard to come by then the training will be compramised, most private schools are run for the rich and have plenty of funding, the better the school, the higher the cost to join.

But if the government weighed up how many future tradies were required (future planning so as not to flood the market) then you could run an entry exam to make sure you are taking on the best people ....who can at least read and write, etc (this is not a joke, they were very concerned about this in the past). The prestige of the trade would rise. A basic training could be provided, then you could get someone who knew the basics, then an employer could mould that person into something that suits their business.

Basically a "publically funded" school. The government should invest in our future.
You can't choose who you are.....but you are the sum of your choices.......

Offline Jaxcat

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Re: Apprentices to pay limited licence fees soon
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2013, 10:59:02 AM »
Sorry Newguy and Badger - I just don't agree with some of your comments.

Newguy
they do all the dirty work and don't earn nearly what they should,

While some employers are unscrupulous, most who take on apprentices actually do it becasue they genuinely want to put something back into industry and want to train their future workforce.  Of course apprentices do a lot of dirty work - that is the nature of any newbie in any job.  You start at the bottom and work your way up.   I have noticed a vast difference in the last 10 years though around the attitude of new apprentices.  They want to come in as the managing director.  I'm all for learning off each other, but mate, you need to start at the bottom and learn your craft.  Apprentices usually get paid what they are worth.  This is another problem, they often have absolutely no idea of how a business works, what the overheads are and what the employer is paying for them to be an apprentice.  There are costs such as the working at heights course, the confined spaces course, the first aid course, some  of the apprenticeship fees, tool allowance, and then unbillable hours while the apprentice is learning.  So I think apprentices DO earn what they should, but often less than they think they should. 

Badger - the government do fund a large % of the apprenticeship. The apprentices and employers only pay some of the costs, the rest comes in ITO funding from the Tertiary Education sector.  I don't believe it should be funded 100% by government, becasue government funding is actually taxpayer's paying - and from my point of view I already pay too much tax and I don't want to any more.  Relevant and affordable training is what we need, nor more government funding.

Cut some of the bullshit layers that the ITO have - more money directly into training institutions and less money into administrative beasts like the ITO.

Speaking of which - what happened to the million dollars handed over from the PGDR ITO to the Skills Organisation that was funding specifically for plumbers, gasfitters, drainlayers and roofers?  Where has it gone, what is it being used for?  It was meant to be ringfenced for use by our industries and not swallowed up by the larger organisation.

Offline robbo

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Re: Apprentices to pay limited licence fees soon
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2013, 11:50:24 AM »
hi guys/Jax, you say (They want to come in as the managing director) yeah and on a million dollar salary,cheers

Offline robbo

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Re: Apprentices to pay limited licence fees soon
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2013, 11:58:39 AM »
hi guys, well you did start me up: Jax you say (I don't believe it should be funded 100% by government, because government funding is actually taxpayer's paying their salary) i think it was when i was an apprentice.
You have to admit that it is the taxpayer that benifits from protected trades that are there to protect their `Health and Safety`,cheers

Offline robbo

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Re: Apprentices to pay limited licence fees soon
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2013, 12:18:07 PM »
Hi guys/Jax, you sound like you an upfront company, not like some that I have been made aware of, your staff should be very happy, (itís a wonder that some of them havenít been on the forum `singing your praises`). In all honesty the trades had been pretty cruisey up until about the year 2000 when all of a sudden and from then on it has been very difficult for everyone. Tradesmen and companies alike have found it difficult to get to grips with all the changes that have crept into our trades to the extent that companies and tradesmen wonder if it is worth continuing doing what they are doing. These changes always incur extra costs and happen year after year, when will enough be enough, cheers   

Offline craftsman

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Re: Apprentices to pay limited licence fees soon
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2013, 01:01:19 PM »
exactly my thoughts robbo, changes seem to be a excuse in all walks of living to make way for increases... in cost and prices

Offline robbo

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Re: Apprentices to pay limited licence fees soon
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2013, 01:43:25 PM »
Hi guys, I agree with the Federations `Solution`, (look back to see the future)  it seems that we are all over qualified for what we do and pay a princely fee for the privilege. The board in its wisdom/arrogance, and lets face it Master plumbers run/are the board, have created the elite classification of `Certifier` and of course a new pay scale emerges to go with it. Now there is argument from some senior M.P. members who have helped to create this elitism that they do not want to employ tradesmen on that pay scale sooooooo; we will have to create another classification to get around this impasse so `Exemption Under Supervision` is created.
Is the long and drawn out process and difficulty of obtaining Certifier status linked to :- we made a mistake in creating it but donít  want to admit it so will have to make it much harder to obtain. The sooner that we go back to the future the better off we will be,  cheers   

Offline Watchdog

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Re: Apprentices to pay limited licence fees soon
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2013, 01:54:59 PM »
I think people have forgotten that most construction trades are hands on and people pick these trades because they want to use their hands and head and at the end of the day they can sit back and have a beer and say I built that or I laid that drain or piped that house.

The powers to be are pushing it down our throats that we live in a technology based world and base all the training on technical knowledge not hands on skills. I look at it that I can sit at a computer all day and lean but I prefer to get in the ditch and have someone show me and them leave me to it.

The modern training schemes suck. Look at it this way it was practical hands on people that developed housing, building, plumbing and drainlaying techniques.  They didn't have computers to tell them shit doesn't flow up hill. 

Trades underestimate themselves.  If there was a technical outage lasting a decade trades people would keep this world going with creativity and common sense. Bureaucrats would become out manual labour.  Think on that for the weekend.

Offline Jaxcat

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Re: Apprentices to pay limited licence fees soon
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2013, 02:17:23 PM »
Watchdog couldn't have said it better myself.  Robbo - I think we are a good company to work for - not perfect, but we have a really low staff turnover, and we have taken guys back after they have done their OE with open arms.  A company is only as good as its newest employee and so apprentices are to be looked after, but sometimes, like kids, that means being hard on them.  Sometimes it means explaining the facts of life to them that they aren't worth a million dollars and that the f++k up they made is going to cost me the equivalent of two weeks of their wages... but that is the nature of having apprentices.  Likewise they can become very productive in year 4 and good ones in year 3 and you can make some money off them no doubt.  But best of all you train tradesmen the way you want them trained so you have a workforce that does things the company way.

The point I was trying to make right at the beginning is that we ALL (from apprentices to employers) need to stand up and say we have had enough of these costs.  And if you don't stand up then don't moan when the bill comes.

Offline Rodza1

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Re: Apprentices to pay limited licence fees soon
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2013, 09:59:47 AM »
Wish I did my apprenticeship through your company Jaxcat, Wow. I received none of that and at the end of my apprenticeship or during... excuses were made as to why they hadnt adjusted my wages up from apprentice ones once I had become fully legit as a registered plumber,gasfitter yet I was told for years when I finished wages I'd go up straight away haha.  Was running a $400k job at the time with 4 other guys on the site and I had to actually not come in to work to force them into negotiations as it had been almost 5 months since I had become registered. Only took 5 hours that day and they caved as they knew they were taking the piss. I did get a tool allowance throughout my time though....funny how that was cut the day I got my national certificates,but they made me wait 5months after I was actually added to the registers before sorting out my wage increase..

I cant believe where the board is headed on this one...They are killing these industries with their bullshit fees. Absolutely rubbing out the numbers of new apprentices coming through.The rates will significantly drop off im positive of that. How is anyone meant to survive, work hard and prosper? In NZ Its more like work until your eyes sting and your guts are hanging out for the chance just to live another week.... Meanwhile some unqualified mate over the ditch is on 100k a year for what people earn 45k a year for over here. Whats going on??

Just throwing this out there but man this country has some serious problems.......
The Plumbers Gasfitters And Drainlayers Board- "White Collar Mafia"


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