THE ART OF TEACHING LOST TRADITIONS TO NEW GENERATIONS

“As a mentor, I feel a great amount of responsibility to ensure that the new generation of fitters, turners and machinists love what they do and who they do it for…”

AUTHOR: Michael ‘Mick’ Pitt, Machine Shop Supervisor TEi Services

More and more we hear about lost artforms and dying trades; knowing how to read a map, mending clothes or even the ability to write by hand. One particular skill that is being lost to the next generation is being able to understand, measure and convert imperial measurements to the metric system.

Having been in the industry for the better part of two decades, I consider this a vital skill in machining and fabrication that should be as second nature as being able to tie a shoelace or ride a bike.

As an industry, its really important that these skills aren’t lost to future generations. I’m extremely passionate about ensuring our apprentices at TEi Services have the skills for a long and successful career.

So many apprentices walk into the workshop and have never even heard of imperial measurements. While the metric system took over the country almost 50 years ago, our particular industry is still dominated by imperial measurements.

With global companies such as Caterpillar still using the old system, I suspect that won’t change anytime soon. That’s why it’s so important that the next generation of tradespeople are competent in understanding and utilising imperial measurements.

I really enjoy passing on this dying art and pride myself on ensuring the apprentices are supported in their learning. I take great care in making sure that they’re across the detail, understand it and eventually know the system like the back of their hand. Patience, practice and persistence are key and skills which ultimately help in every area of life.

Before I joined TEi Services I worked in heavy industry, mining and agriculture so I’ve seen my share of young tradespeople rise through the industry and grow within their skills. As a mentor, I feel a great amount of responsibility to ensure that the new generation of fitters, turners and machinists love what they do and who they do it for.

I am so passionate about my work and I want those I teach to be as well.

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