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Topic Title: Apprenticepships VS Degrees
Topic Summary: Apprenticeships still seen as poor relation to a degree
Created On: 16 November 2013 04:37 PM
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 16 November 2013 04:37 PM
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sunnyboy

Posts: 323
Joined: 12 October 2004

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/fin...tion-to-a-degree.html#

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Luciano Bacco
 18 November 2013 10:04 PM
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Zuiko

Posts: 521
Joined: 14 September 2010

Where I work, the techs earn a lot more than engineers.

A LOT.

There is so much opportunity for emergency work, call outs, standbys, out of hours work etc.

It's not uncommon to hear a tech or a fitter saying they cannot afford to come off the tools!
 20 November 2013 08:13 AM
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MosheW

Posts: 192
Joined: 14 April 2013

In Germany apprenticeship leads to higher qualifications.
State-certified Technician(Engineer) is at level 6 on DQF and EQF the same as Bachelors of Engineering.

State-certified Technician(Engineer) is some one who completed approved apprenticeship of three years and 2400 hour technical college, then passed state examinations.
 20 November 2013 10:38 AM
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sunnyboy

Posts: 323
Joined: 12 October 2004

On the ground of what you state , is such a professional qualification
recognised as an equivalent to the IEng one and so accepted in leu of this ?
I don't think so !

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Luciano Bacco
 20 November 2013 10:42 AM
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sunnyboy

Posts: 323
Joined: 12 October 2004

Originally posted by: sunnyboy

On the ground of what you state , is such a professional qualification

recognised as an equivalent to the IEng one and so accepted in lieu of this ?

I don't think so !


Accepted by the Engineering Council , of course !

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Luciano Bacco

Edited: 20 November 2013 at 11:12 AM by sunnyboy
 20 November 2013 11:11 AM
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sunnyboy

Posts: 323
Joined: 12 October 2004

Originally posted by: sunnyboy

Originally posted by: sunnyboy



On the ground of what you state , is such a professional qualification



recognised as an equivalent to the IEng one and so accepted in leu of this ?



I don't think so !




Accepted by the Engineering Council , of course !


There is some doubt that such a qualification be accepted as a short
cycle ( bachelor ) one in the European context !

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Luciano Bacco
 26 November 2013 02:31 PM
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roybowdler

Posts: 276
Joined: 25 July 2008

I'm delighted to see the positive media coverage about apprenticeships recently. The Sunday Times for example (quoting the IET) suggested that they were an attractive alternative to full-time university study for high potential young people. I was quoted in the trade press a decade or so ago, on behalf of my company as saying that we had to the best of my knowledge, employed apprentices every year since 1816. The founders of the business having been previously apprenticed to Boulton & Watt in 1803.

However by the late 90s the apprenticeship "brand" had become debased and was widely seen in educational circles as only appropriate for "less able" young people. It was still possible to attract motivated young people to a craft apprenticeship of circa 3-4 years, especially after much publicity was given to the shortage of plumbers and their high earnings (although the figures quoted would have included a lot of overtime or a small business principal). However there was a good deal of "red tape" which made it more difficult to employ trainees under 18 in particular in that sector. We rebranded our four-year premium scheme as "Student Engineers" and "Commercial Students", but still found difficulty in recruiting the most able until we were able to enhance the qualification awarded from HND to Degree.

There is a very strong sociological element to the choice between independent study at university, versus an employer led programme of training. There are also different traditions in various countries. For example in many countries initial training may be led by an academic (or vocational) public institution who arrange work experience placements, or allow flexibility of study to fit around work. The UK model has traditionally been employer led, which I personally prefer, but I'm coming from the biased perspective of my own experience, from apprentice to company training manager in particular sectors.

Leaving aside the sociology, the question for me is; which offers the most effective preparation, an "employed" training programme with an academic element, or an academic foundation followed by employment? There are distinctive advantages to each pathway and different perspectives, or measures of "effectiveness". In the sectors in which I have in depth experience, the apprenticeship route led to stronger vocational competence earlier. The additional attributes developed by a full-time engineering graduate, only rarely offered a distinctive performance advantage in the workplace, over and above a person with HNC/D/BSc (part-time). Other sectors may have different needs and have developed different traditions. In my opinion the heart of the issue is relative return on investment , by individuals in time as well as money, employers and through public funds for the good of society as a whole. Perhaps someone else has an alternative frame of reference that they think is more appropriate?

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Roy Bowdler IEng FIET FCIPD
IET Registration & Standards
 29 November 2013 04:00 PM
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benmc

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I have just finished my degree part time this year whilst running it along my apprenticeship and time served on the tools.. I personally think the apprenticeship taught me a hell of lot more over the degree and think the apprenticeships should be looked at more.
I felt the degree taught you too much of things you wouldn't need to know unless you specialized in a certain subject,
i.e electronics we learnt a lot on silicone doping etc when there was full time degree students wouldn't be able to even put a simple electronic circuit together and test it never mind dope silicone for electronic parts. We had a good few electrical engineering lessons where meters were "blown up" with full timers too on simple resistance circuits as they didn't know how to test ( yes they knew about amps in series and voltage in parallel, how ever they couldn't understand the structure of the physical circuit),
Yes I wouldn't be where i am now without my degree, but in all fairness I feel the work I do now is actually easier than previous on the tools roles...at the same time I had a decent apprenticeship .. others may not..

I am not slating the degree I just feel it teaches certain subjects too far in depth when the basics aren't "really" known.
 01 December 2013 10:07 AM
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MAWilson

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I have just finished my degree part time this year whilst running it along my apprenticeship and time served on the tools.. I personally think the apprenticeship taught me a hell of lot more over the degree and think the apprenticeships should be looked at more.
I felt the degree taught you too much of things you wouldn't need to know unless you specialized in a certain subject,
i.e electronics we learnt a lot on silicone doping etc when there was full time degree students wouldn't be able to even put a simple electronic circuit together and test it never mind dope silicone for electronic parts. We had a good few electrical engineering lessons where meters were "blown up" with full timers too on simple resistance circuits as they didn't know how to test ( yes they knew about amps in series and voltage in parallel, how ever they couldn't understand the structure of the physical circuit),
Yes I wouldn't be where i am now without my degree, but in all fairness I feel the work I do now is actually easier than previous on the tools roles...at the same time I had a decent apprenticeship .. others may not..

I am not slating the degree I just feel it teaches certain subjects too far in depth when the basics aren't "really" known.


I know what you're getting at as I took a similar track but I left work to do the degree full time. I tip my hat to you to complete it part time, don't think I'd have the focus to do that. A degree now crams a lot of material to an audience in a fair amount of cases do not understand its application in great detail. I enjoyed my degree because I learnt stuff I did in Technical College 4 yrs previously in a new way.

Did an American based course for Technicians which I believe is equivalent to an HND, but we learnt the mathematical and conceptual aspects of engineering in a method more geared towards diagnostics and application (how to test/fix something using engineering principals) while the degree was more conceptual and design based focusing on elements rather than the whole.

My personal opinion is that you need both set of skills and organisations should utilise these skill sets better. I've seen both circumstances where an Engineering position most suited for someone off the tools with tremendous experience and respect throughout the organisation is given to a degree holder strictly because of the qualification aspect and the opposite where someone is promoted because they are highly technical in one area but don't have the wider arching skill set that a degree holder might have. It's not one or the other, but utilising skill sets for the ultimate benefit.
 17 December 2013 06:48 PM
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kengreen

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The above posts all seem comfortable with the idea that we are all born equal but, tragically for some, it is not true at all.

An ex-colleague of mine had a son who was brilliant with his hands but who struggled with his head. The boy's headmaster called for a meeting early in the year where he was due to leave school; that headmaster made the point that, if the boy waited until the end of term, then he would be in competition for employment with all the best brains of that year's turn-out. He urged the father to withdraw the boy at once and get him into an apprenticeship which would develop his undoubted ability in practical work.

That the result was a triumphant success I believe demonstrates that, in trying to set a path to future success, probably the most important consideration is the abilities and personality of the candidate.

Ken Green
 18 December 2013 10:18 AM
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roybowdler

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Joined: 25 July 2008

"Boardroom beckons for apprentices"

This survey by City and Guilds confirms my own experience

http://www.cityandguilds.com/A...013/Boardroom-beckons


I wouldn't suggest that every apprentice should aspire to senior management in the longer term. I agree with what I think is Ken's underlying point, ie that the purpose of education and employer's career development is to encourage whatever latent potential exists, to emerge in a productive way.

The C&G study suggests that a significant proportion of apprentices in a previous generation had the potential for senior management. A substantial proportion also developed successful, well rewarded craft and technician careers, making arguably an equally important contribution to the profession of engineering along the way.

A good apprenticeship certainly shouldn't be seen as "second best" to full-time undergraduate study, but as I said in an earlier post the term became debased. The "gold standard" of apprenticeships that myself and many others of my generation received, wasn't the more recent experience of many. I would ideally like to see a range of apprenticeships appropriate to the range of skills needed to maintain UK competiveness.

There isn't a tradition of describing training schemes for university graduates as an "apprenticeship", but this pathway is an equally important part of the picture.

It is important that we develop excellence in research and development, which may be led by people pursuing a more academic pathway. A strong academic foundation also provides an excellent basis for many engineering and leadership careers. Unfortunately I think that we drifted too far towards, putting all our eggs into this particular basket and therefore strongly support some rebalancing to encourage more high-quality apprenticeships.

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Roy Bowdler IEng FIET FCIPD
IET Registration & Standards

Edited: 19 December 2013 at 08:44 AM by roybowdler
 19 December 2013 11:49 PM
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kengreen

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I have long believed that there is a serious problem with purely academic study leading to academic qualifications; it seems to be a process aimed at putting aspiring minds into mental straitjackets. Unless you do it, think about it, talk the talk in OUR way you run a very great risk of being labelled a maverick.

For example Barnes Wallis was given measuring equipment and circular household objects such as plates, cups and egg-cups and left to see what they could discover about such things - they discovered for themselves that all circular objects shared a constant namely pi ? The point is that they learned to probe the axiomatic. That ability has neither greater or lesser importance whether one is conducting original research or trying to solve a practical difficulty?

In today's largely nanny world we are taught, like water, to seek the easy and safe way forward. To venture outside that sacred pale is to invite ridicule or else to be shunned.

To ensure advancement in our learning it is necessary to descend into the basement and check on the quality of our building bricks. Stop encouraging the youthfull yearning towards high qualifications, so as to be rewarded with a higher than normal income, and teach them the sheer joy of coming to terms with that Universe in which they are inescapably immersed. True it is that "you can't keep a good man down"!

Equally the best of our real teachers should either stay within academia or take themselves into industry; this in turn requires an upheaval in the mindsets of those who regulate the education processes. Go one step further and there is a necessity to encourage interchange between academia (and its distribution of paper) and the practical aspects of engineering. We need both but with a knowledgeable guidance.

Ken Green
 20 December 2013 10:47 AM
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sunnyboy

Posts: 323
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http://www.engc.org.uk/news-li...irst-ieng-for-gateways

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Luciano Bacco
 16 January 2014 04:54 PM
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westonpa

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Originally posted by: kengreen
Equally the best of our real teachers should either stay within academia or take themselves into industry; this in turn requires an upheaval in the mindsets of those who regulate the education processes. Go one step further and there is a necessity to encourage interchange between academia (and its distribution of paper) and the practical aspects of engineering. We need both but with a knowledgeable guidance.

This is a really good point. Nowadays you cannot really get into teaching without the relevant degrees and certificates of education etc., and so we now have a profession which has protected itself from having the lesser qualified, but often people who have a better balance of life/work skills and experience, within their ranks. However do expect some politician to stand up and point this out at some time in the future, and of course with a plan to address it, but without mentioning that it was most likely another 'career' politician who helped remove the lesser academically qualified from schools and universities in the first place.

With regards to the Apprenticeships Vs Degrees argument it is really like comparing Oranges and Apples because both are different in many ways, but both are education and skills training and both have a valuable place to play in the workplace. Half the trouble nowadays is that we want to attach labels to everything and then talk about the labels. We are all apprentices all our working lives; no matter whether we have a degree, PhD, etc., or else went through some 4 year training program. Many employers stopped taking on apprentices because of the resources required and in this world of 'lean manufacturing' we have to cut those resources to the wire; after all it was probably an academic study which said that had to be the case in order to be successful; probably yet another PhD was awarded for it! Expect another academic study sometime soon to point out the need for less lean manufacturing and which allows more investment in the future and the training of young people through apprenticeships.

Regards.
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