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Helping young people

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Bob Brown 109/05/2014 08:24:07
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I had a brief conversation with the Secretary of our local club about allowing youngsters (14 year old +) access to the vast amount of knowledge that the members have.

This was along the lines of allowing one or two or may be three access to our workshops, needless to say under supervision, with the parents permission, to allow them to build their own models or even just to make a part. I know this will not suit everyone and some will not welcome youngsters. The cost to build even a small stationary engine is quite high without the cost of the tools and that is not just the lathe or milling machine but also the tooling so my thought is share.

I am wondering if there are any implications in this nanny state we now seem to live in.

Harry Wilkes09/05/2014 09:09:25
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Great idea but yes there are implications if your club is a member of the Southern or Northern Federations then you will find guidelines to what should be done, the way my club have dealt with it is to insist they are accompanied by an adult , sad I know but that's the way it is unfortunately sad

H

Oompa Lumpa09/05/2014 09:11:08
888 forum posts
271 photos

I am involved with a local sports club. We will only allow youngsters in between 14 to 18 (yes, 18) if accompanied at all times by a parent. I have a friend who coaches youngsters at a national level, he will only coach youngsters if the parent AND another adult is present. He says the most frustrating part of the whole excercise is that he will not, under any circumstances, touch them on the arm or shoulder to adjust their posture, he has to try to describe to them how to move, which is something they don't always understand.

You will have a good few procedures and a bit of CRO checking to go through, the easiest way is to have a parent present.

A very good friend of mine was extremely proud that his son, just turned sixteen, had been offered a place at a small but highly regarded Engineering workshop locally. I helped him put together a toolbox that any of us on here would love to own, really good kit, not all new but first class stuff in a nice roller drawer cabinet, sandblasted and powder coated, looked the dogs.

He has been there two months now and my friend, the Engineering shop owner, my friends son and the local college "course supervisor" had a sort of "emergency meeting" last week. Apparently, the collage (who are of course the academic part of the apprenticeship) have discovered my friends son is actually doing things! with machinery! He has been told he has to stop. Immediately.

The bottom line is, unless he has full time supervision he is not allowed to use anything that might whirr around. There are four of them in the shop, one is a full time (excellent) machinist, one is another machinist/assembler/van driver, the other machinist is not yet 21 (the played the insurance card with this one) and not yet "out of his time" and the fourth is my friends son. The fact that he has spent two years (on and off - the last six months more 'on' operating machinery in collage doesn't seem to matter, despite the fact that there were 26 students and ONE teacher seems okay, it was a 'controlled environment' apparently.

I have to stop now as this is getting me angry. I can recite a very long list of very, very able people - masters in their fields - who will not teach because of the absolute cobblers they have to put up with for the 'privilege' of passing on their knowledge. And it's not just the colleges, a friend of mine is a Primary School teacher and she has two children in her class who have to sit at the side and read a book when Activity Time comes around. Why? Because the parents have told the school they will sue if little Jimmy comes home with a damaged knee again. Wonder what sort of perverted socially inept people they will turn out to be?

If you get this far - Kudos to you. My advice, enjoy your hobby while you can but sadly, really sadly, forget the idea.

graham.

Edited By Oompa Lumpa on 09/05/2014 09:12:41

Oompa Lumpa09/05/2014 09:42:00
888 forum posts
271 photos

"paint polishers "

I reserve the right to use that and claim it as my own! LMAO!

John is right. It is the small minority who, frankly, imagine perceived harm that have pretty much buggered the job for the youngsters. And it is a spiral, because fewer and fewer people have an understanding there is more and greater fear.

Tragic really.
graham.

(and before anyone thinks I am far too Cavalier about H&S you need to know what my job was for a good few years. I am extremely lucky to be here, my four friends I worked with are all dead. I take safety very seriously, but I don't use H&S as an excuse to sit on my hands - and have no respect whatsoever for those that do).

Ian S C09/05/2014 10:19:06
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It's situations like this that will not only cause the collapse of the model engineering community, and like hobbies, but also the nations economy as we come to rely on all manufactured items being made in countries where people are allowed to risk cutting a finger, or bumping a knee. Ian S C

Bob Brown 109/05/2014 11:19:03
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991 forum posts
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The fact "we" need to encourage youngsters in to the hobby is all to clear and our club do encourage youngsters to join and come along. They drive the trains when the club is closed to the public but on open days they aren't allow due to insurance restrictions. There are a couple of cases where they can not build models although they would like to as where they live is restrictive. The club does intend to improve the workshop facilities so at least some work can be carried (model boats) out but machining is probably going to be out due to the cost of the kit.

My parents purchased a shed to keep me out of the house when I was at school and my mum did get a little angry when I turned up at home with the bare fiberglass shell of a dingy, I was 13 at the time. The boat was built at school c/o a forward thinking woodwork teacher but those days are long gone come to think of it so has the school buildings now a collection of houses.

There are far too many restrictions these days on what you can and can not do and the fact that a lot of the hands on subjects like metal work and wood work have disappeared from schools only goes to show extent of the problem.

My intention was not to let them loose in the workshop but to supervise and pass on the skills I have after 50 years in engineering, marine and automotive.

Will wait till the workshop is complete and take it from there.

Ady109/05/2014 11:29:42
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3463 forum posts
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The masses are being de-skilled to become cheap labour for the corporate monsters

If you want someone to acquire proper skills you need to do it in secret, away from the all-seeing eye of our government clergy

As a society becomes richer more and more people become zero-wealth creation government employees

This spawns a new industry of busybodies who need an ever expanding bible of new rules and regulations to justify their existence

These people ban and prohibit more and more activities etc as they seek to continue to justify their workfare handouts from central or local government

When I visited the Republic of Ireland I was struck by how much like the UK in the 1980s it was, people just do-their-own-thing like we used to in Britain

The Government over there is too poor to interfere, and lacks the resources to micromanage peoples lives as they do here

I'm afraid gentlemen (and ladies) that a micromanaged society is a government curse that goes hand in hand with increasing wealth

Ady109/05/2014 11:44:33
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It's not the first time this has happened in our history

I used to wonder why on earth ordinary people stood to one side while the Dissolution of the Monasteries went on

There was hardly a cheep from the general population as places the size of Westminster Cathedral the length and breadth of the country were smashed to the ground

These gigantic structures are impressive nowadays, but 600 years ago they were awesome and in their prime

The problem was that the clergy micromanaged everyones life, and no-one could do a damned thing without their permission and when Henry decided to smash their cosy little world to pieces most of the population were glad to see the back of them

Ady109/05/2014 12:29:38
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3463 forum posts
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There are lots of different "political" books of varying complication that people recommend when you are searching for underlying reasons about the direction a society takes

Hayeks "road to serfdom" has been popular recently but there are loads around which can make one sound intellectual and hip

The only one that matters IMO is Animal Farm by Orwell, it's tiny and you can read it in a single day

We can't escape Darwinism

The same genetic pool which gave us the micromanaging clergy 600 years ago has given us the micromanaging Liberal society we see today

You can take the monkey out of the tree... but you can't take the tree out of the monkey

MK09/05/2014 13:13:01
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24 forum posts
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Well, I'm 15 and I have made a few engines already, and I am a member of a model engineering club. My dad had gotten a lathe a few years back and a milling machine not too long ago. I started working on the lathe when I was 13 and made my first oscilliating engine from some scrap pieces of bronze. Learning how to work with machines at a quite young age is great, but like all of the "CNC" machines nowadays It's more like an "office work" and not actually working with the machines yourself.

Oompa Lumpa09/05/2014 15:07:23
888 forum posts
271 photos
Posted by MK on 09/05/2014 13:13:01:

Well, I'm 15 and I have made a few engines already, and I am a member of a model engineering club. My dad had gotten a lathe a few years back and a milling machine not too long ago. I started working on the lathe when I was 13 and made my first oscilliating engine from some scrap pieces of bronze. Learning how to work with machines at a quite young age is great, but like all of the "CNC" machines nowadays It's more like an "office work" and not actually working with the machines yourself.

Righto Plug, you have a PM.

graham.

Speedy Builder509/05/2014 15:45:04
1843 forum posts
128 photos

We take language students from 12 - 90yrs old and try to make the lessons light hearted. Some students I take to the workshop to build model chuck gliders (Knives !), soap box go-carts (Hacsaw and wood saws), bird tables etc. One young lad was giving a hammer and some nails good punishment when I asked him what he usually did in his spare time. He replied - I play the piano grade one!! Oh my gaud... don't slip with the hammer then!

They all love it being out there, for most of them they haven't done any DIY before.

Surely there must be some sort of general insurance a club could buy on a national level to protect themselves. Also a good idea to have two adults at all times. I see that some clubs have to have a 'Child Protection' officer. It seems like the adults need more protection these days.

(Name and address supplied)

Jerry Wray09/05/2014 15:57:07
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Whilst I am totally in sympathy with the tone of this discussion there seem to be some assumptions being made.

If you take a look at the UK HSE website on this subject 'What the law says about young people at work'

**LINK** you will see a fairly clear explanation of what needs to be done.

It's much the best approach to be aware of the actual legal requirements rather than conjecture.

You will see that it is all about a suitable and sufficient RIsk Assessment, there is no one size fits all approach. I find I am given all sorts H&S reasons for not doing or using something. Risk assessments are simple to write, the trick is to get the person to read and understand it. Let training be your watchword.

I have acted as safety officer in a few engineering companies of various sizes, from totally manual to completely CNC. The approach I have adopted for the last 15 years or so, if I find I am being given the B..m's Rush is to ask where the legal text is to be found. 99 times out of 100 I receive the response 'I'll get back to you' or 'that's what I was told'.

The obvious response is for me to say 'You don't believe everything you are told do you?' but I only use that if I know the person well.

Happy reading!

Jerry

Bob Brown 109/05/2014 16:14:42
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991 forum posts
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Its not young people at work that implies they get paid and it is not any form of formal training just some where for young people to enjoy the hobby.

Andrew Evans09/05/2014 16:17:02
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A lot if what is being said here doesn't chime with my experience, albeit not in an engineering context.

My own kids (8 & 11) both go to scouts / cubs / sports clubs and while safety is very important it doesn't prevent them from boating, camping, climbing, hiking , messing about on rivers etc. Parents are not asked to come along to any events except to help out on occasion. Same story at school, they do loads of activities and sports and H&S is never given as a reason that something can't be done.

My local secondary school has lathes, milling machines etc which I saw children using (under supervision and with proper safety kit ) when we went round recently.

to the OP I would say go for it it's a great idea and I am sure it will be done very safely.

Andy

Jerry Wray09/05/2014 16:33:03
84 forum posts
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For the sake of clarity:

Work does NOT depend on being paid. If you read all the guidance to which I referred young people on any premises are discussed.

Although HSE advise on and enforce the provisions of The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 they are involved in many areas.

Jerry

Neil Wyatt09/05/2014 16:39:05
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Sadly very different from 'young people at work'. There is a lot of prcedures, child safety etc. and you have to limit hours of attendance or you could end up being classified as a 'childcare provider' and requiring Offsted inspections(!)

But don't panic too much. In my old job, we had literally thousands of young people every year taking part in our activities, sometimes without parents or school, sometimes with. yes we did have some minor accidents over teh years, but all dealt with without trauma (minor cuts and bruises, falling in canal, sawdust in eye...)

One of the things we did regularly was 'forest schools' (google it) which involves all manner of edged tools and even fire!. the basuic philosophy is teach kids to use the things safely and constructively and then when the get older they might use these things properly, not destructively.

It can be done, but if a regular thing it does require some support, and I would suggest the first port of call could be your local council for voluntary services.

I would be highly confident that a club wanting to seriously engage with younger people could raise funds from the Lottery Awards for All to help cover the costs of any training, support, equipment etc..

Neil

Russell Eberhardt09/05/2014 16:57:52
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Posted by Jerry Wray on 09/05/2014 15:57:07:

If you take a look at the UK HSE website on this subject 'What the law says about young people at work'

**LINK** you will see a fairly clear explanation of what needs to be done.

It's much the best approach to be aware of the actual legal requirements rather than conjecture.

The Health and Safety at Work Act applies to WORK. This is not relevant to helping children to learn on a private basis.

The only thing I would worry about is a child who is upset for some reason making unfounded accusations of inappropriate behaviour. Make sure tha the parent knos exactly what is being done.

Russell.

Oompa Lumpa09/05/2014 17:28:11
888 forum posts
271 photos
Posted by Jerry Wray on 09/05/2014 15:57:07:

It's much the best approach to be aware of the actual legal requirements rather than conjecture.

You will see that it is all about a suitable and sufficient RIsk Assessment, there is no one size fits all approach. I find I am given all sorts H&S reasons for not doing or using something.

Jerry

I too use the "Show Me" (the legislation) approach and of course when they cannot they throw the "Duty of Care" argument at me.

True story - A National Bus Company was taken to Employment Tribunal because they had let go a Bus Driver because - at 23 stone he couldn't drive the Bus properly! Because he was "just sacked" he, quite rightly, took the Bus company to tribunal and of course won. Cost the company over £200k especially converting a bus for him to drive. Naturally he then left the company.....
Some years later one of the Directors confided in me: "If only we had invoked the Health and Safety get out we would have saved a fortune" (Yes I know they could have used the competent person clause too - hindsight is great).

But the point I am making is that the Health and Safety IS misused and abused. Mostly because people are no longer willing to take responsibility for their own actions. H&S officer for more than 100 employees - not on your life. You were very brave to take that on.

Peter Hall09/05/2014 17:57:58
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At the risk of going off at a slight tangent....

When I was at school in the late sixties I did "Metalwork" classes. To gain rudimentary skills in forging, we were required to make a set of three throwing knives. Oh, how I yearn for the good old days wink.

Pete

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