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  1. #61
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    If I asked "What is a machinist?" I'd get as many varied answers as replies.

    Many trades in most countries have more or less standard requirements for being recognized as proficiently qualified in any given trade.

    Much of what I read in PM sounds as if many (most?) seem to have learned from "old timers", by watching what others do and lastly, by seeing what they can figure out by trial and error. I doubt very much if the countries that are becoming successful use any of those 3 possibilities as normal standard procedure to train machinists.

    Any good apprenticeship requires teachers that know how to teach and that are up to date in what is going on and the apprentice ending up with some kind og proof that they've learned something relevant to the trade. Everything else means taking pot luck with new employees.

    When education and training become regarded as an expense shops and companies can save on because "It isn't their business" then things just go downhill.

    How many machinists in PM can claim to have had a formal technical education at a technical educational facility?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon B. Clarke View Post

    How many machinists in PM can claim to have had a formal technical education at a technical educational facility?
    At least one. I had to wear a tux to classes...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Milland View Post
    At least one. I had to wear a tux to classes...
    Good thinking,at least your bow tie wouldn't get caught up in the lathe chuck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by camscan View Post
    Good thinking,at least your bow tie wouldn't get caught up in the lathe chuck.
    Indeed. Unfortunately, the monocle safety glass proved to be a mistake, and now my depth perception is a wee bit off.

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    I went to Los Angeles Trade Tech and studied Machining- although I did not complete the 2 year formal degree program.
    I did go to night school, after work 2 days a week, for almost 2 years.
    I wouldnt call that an apprenticeship, but I learned the basics from a retired Aerospace Master Machinist who was also a very good teacher.

    there are some programs like that still, at community colleges in the USA.
    Most, now, offer 2 year degrees in Manufacturing Technology, which includes machining.

    But only a few really large corporations, in cooperation with Unions, offer true apprenticeships these days in the USA.
    Boeing, for example. IAM/Boeing Joint Apprenticeship

    Basically, in the USA, unless a company is willing to pay for its own, in house training, or, to subsidize a local school training specifically for their industry, there is no apprenticeship program available.
    In Europe, almost all the apprenticeship programs are a 3 way partnership- between government, industry, and the Unions.
    Government and Industry provide the money, the Unions are involved every step of the way.
    For instance, in Germany, many industries are required by law to have Union representation on the board of directors.

    I visited several factories in Bologna, in Italy, which work directly with the local technical schools, buying specific machines for students to train on, and helping to write the cirriculum for training, and, then, hiring graduates directly from school. The companies help support the government run trade schools. I met employees who went thru these programs, and were still employed at the same company 20 years later.

    Without direct government involvement, these systems dont exist.
    The old school model in the USA is that the large companies would pay apprentices, and pay journeymen and masters to train them on the job, but only a very few companies still do that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ries View Post
    Basically, in the USA, unless a company is willing to pay for its own, in house training, or, to subsidize a local school training specifically for their industry, there is no apprenticeship program available.
    In Europe, almost all the apprenticeship programs are a 3 way partnership- between government, industry, and the Unions.
    Government and Industry provide the money, the Unions are involved every step of the way.
    For instance, in Germany, many industries are required by law to have Union representation on the board of directors.

    I visited several factories in Bologna, in Italy, which work directly with the local technical schools, buying specific machines for students to train on, and helping to write the cirriculum for training, and, then, hiring graduates directly from school. The companies help support the government run trade schools. I met employees who went thru these programs, and were still employed at the same company 20 years later.

    Without direct government involvement, these systems dont exist.
    The old school model in the USA is that the large companies would pay apprentices, and pay journeymen and masters to train them on the job, but only a very few companies still do that.
    What you've seen and experienced in Italy etc. is almost exactly what I meant.

    As far as "In Europe, almost all the apprenticeship programs are a 3 way partnership- between government, industry, and the Unions." goes I couldn't agree more.

    What is learned from individual shops and companies is only what they feel "needs to be known".

    I wonder if any of the US "old timers" in PM who have worked with immigrant machinists have regarded any of them as bad machinists?

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    I went through a formal 4 year apprenticeship through my employer. It's accredited with the Florida Department of Education, I was required to complete 8000 hours OJT, and 2000 hours of unpaid classroom instruction. I finished my hours in just over 3.5 years, and the classroom time was completed as scheduled (can't work overtime on classwork). I received a certificate of completion of apprenticeship from the state.

    Unfortunately, I am the rare exception. My employer has one of only 3 registered apprenticeships in the state, and it's the ONLY INJ (Individual, Non Joint) apprenticeship (meaning my employer pays all costs, vs several shops pitching in to have an accredited program).

    Since I completed my apprenticeship 3 years ago, they have been constantly upgrading it. When I was in, I learned manual machining by working with the crusty old FOGs in the molding tool repair room, as well as our prototype department. I learned on an as needed/hurry up/I'll show you once, and you better remember for next time basis. It worked well for me, because I was given the freedom to mess up, and learn from my mistakes, but for some people a more structured approach is better, and they have recognized this. Now the apprentices spend about half of their 2000 hours of classroom time at the local technical college using their manual machines (some of which were donated/funded by my employer) and instructors. They also get an education in CAD/CAM, as well as shop math. There's even talk of our apprenticeship being worth some credits towards an AA through the school, if they can figure things out.

    Again, I was lucky, and still am lucky to be where I am today. Not so many people have the opportunity that I did, and I'll forever be thankful for it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Milland View Post
    Indeed. Unfortunately, the monocle safety glass proved to be a mistake, and now my depth perception is a wee bit off.
    I assume the monocle had a cord attached which undid all the good work you put in with the bow tie. Come to my room after class.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon B. Clarke View Post
    If I asked "What is a machinist?" I'd get as many varied answers as replies.

    Many trades in most countries have more or less standard requirements for being recognized as proficiently qualified in any given trade.

    Much of what I read in PM sounds as if many (most?) seem to have learned from "old timers", by watching what others do and lastly, by seeing what they can figure out by trial and error. I doubt very much if the countries that are becoming successful use any of those 3 possibilities as normal standard procedure to train machinists.

    Any good apprenticeship requires teachers that know how to teach and that are up to date in what is going on and the apprentice ending up with some kind og proof that they've learned something relevant to the trade. Everything else means taking pot luck with new employees.

    When education and training become regarded as an expense shops and companies can save on because "It isn't their business" then things just go downhill.

    How many machinists in PM can claim to have had a formal technical education at a technical educational facility?

    I did. 4 years tool & die, got me a fancy cert from the US department of labor and everything. I don't think I have ever interviewed anywhere that even asked to see it, or verify somehow I had completed the program.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon B. Clarke View Post

    How many machinists in PM can claim to have had a formal technical education at a technical educational facility?
    I can. Moldmaker with 10,000 hours (just shy of four and a half years) on-the-job at a shop registered with the U.S. Department of Labor and night classes at the community college. The college has a machine shop with manual and CNC, a metrology lab, welding lab, and computer labs with probably 20 seats each of MasterCAM and Solidworks. I have my Journeyman card and a diploma from the college.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1974 View Post
    I did. 4 years tool & die, got me a fancy cert from the US department of labor and everything. I don't think I have ever interviewed anywhere that even asked to see it, or verify somehow I had completed the program.
    Doesn't sound as if you thought your time was well spent. Maybe because so few go through an apprenticeship nowadays that it's as good as never asked.

    It is a "big deal" over here and could be why machinists are well paid and respected.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1974 View Post
    I did. 4 years tool & die, got me a fancy cert from the US department of labor and everything. I don't think I have ever interviewed anywhere that even asked to see it, or verify somehow I had completed the program.
    That shows you something about the quality people we have running our manufacturing sector.

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