Am I the only one thinking that many students are committing career suicide by spending more time politicking, writing up their antics on FaceBook and Tweeting about some crap or other. Well if you are now suddenly thinking about this it may just be too late.
Birds of a feather flock together.
When it comes down to career choice, what are you looking at? Are our matric leavers making the correct choices, do we all have to get a B.A. B.Com or whatever. Everywhere we read about this great new Messiah, A.I. What is A.I. actually and would this now be the “next big thing in South Africa?” Actually not. Very much not actually.
Students are more often than not selecting subjects which will see them get some sort of tertiary qualification – that already is going to prove a problem if there is no demand. Sure we need accountants, medical doctors and engineering degrees. Right now in South Africa we have a very severe shortage of artisans. An engineer is absolutely nothing without that artisan but the artisan can still move ahead without the engineer. We have everything botched up here and it starts with the schooling. Here one can easily refer to the many discussions Kieno Kammies had on the early morning Talk show with regards to this, we just cannot seem to wrap our head around the fact that our schooling system is archaic. Not only that, it took a pandemic for business to realise it’s more profitable to have the staff working from home that could. The Cape Chamber of Commerce has complaining about this for at least ten years. But here’s the thing, will things change over the next year. Some things that I was taught over the last four weeks:
i) Using Teams or Zoom is never as good as direct contact, eye to eye, one on one. I really don’t agree here, watch how the professionals do it and you’ll almost think you are in the same room. Most training sessions I have had are with people that did not have either formal training or were first timers but I am sure there many professional trainers out there that will tend to agree, things could be a lot better. And, a very important factor, Zoom and Teams are still very much in the teething phases – let’s see what we have by the end of the year.
ii) One should not look at the old school tie when hiring people. Is that so? I love watching managers glossing over CVs and doing comparisons of education and achievements. And no, this should not be so – you are not hiring someone in your image.
This post is not about CVs, it’s about the lack of talent in South Africa, artisan talent. Over the last year, through the lockdown I have had countless discussions with people about how they were ripped off by essential personnel, plumbers, electricians, mechanics. In 99% of my own experiences when it comes down to motor repair the people are off the scale in being useless. Mostly auto electrical work and automatic transmissions.
My wife has a very serious complaint which should not be taken lightly, she believes that women drivers are ripped off by mechanics. By the mere fact that her car clutch has been replaced twice and the release bearing is still noisy either shows a really dodgy driver or mechanic. She does skip around but I now go with when things need attention.And yes, when someone goes to the mechanic and tells him what is wrong I usually cringe.
The feedback we get is mainly negative, from the car dealers. I have a colleague whose Audi is more in than out. To say he is getting pissed is putting it mildly. He states openly that the dealer principle is ripping off the manufacturer. But here, would you trust anyone else to work on the car – modern vehicles cannot just be signed off by someone working from his backyard. And now for the interesting bit, not one of the faults actually relates to having to put special testers on to the vehicle to determine fault type etc. This really sounds like shoddy workmanship.
There are however, many service centers whom are more than qualified to carry out this work and I will be glad to see whether there will be a proper control going forward but moreover, that the increased workload will cause good competitive practices. Alas, though, this is South Africa.
If you are a parent, do yourself a favour and look at other courses available – we have so many graduates but well, I’m wondering what we are going to do with them all. And oh, a good plumber or electrician earns more than a university graduate.