Welcome to the site; I hope you find it informative. I'll discuss a wide variety of trades-related topics that reflect my own path in the trades, and issues relevant to what is happening with the new "College of Trades" here in the province of Ontario. Be sure to check older posts, and I'd welcome your comments


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Sennett's "The Craftsman": A Review

It's taken a while to get through a book I'd very much looked forward to reading, but a couple brief tries I'd found difficult. Following on-line reviews explained why. I've been a lond admirer of Richard Sennett for his insight, wisdom and genuineness, and since his writing had always be very professional it was a shock to several of us to see such a poor treatment of an important subject published with such an obvious absence of an editor. Typos are numerous and sentences often disjointed.

In Sennett's book a topic that is based on long practice, tolerance of failure, struggling with internalized standards of excellence, becomes "craftman-ness" presented as a quality to be shared with all who do work well. If fact, the modern day exemplars are, if you can believe it, Linux contributors, self-styled programmers. If Sennett thinks these guys are craftsmen, then for all his disjointed and rambling assemblage of snippets of research on the topic, he certainly doesn't understand it at all.
What's New?

Substantial changes have taken place in the trades here in Ontario! In summary:

1. For over a hundred designate trades who traded a wall certificate entitled "Certificate of Qualification" updated every three years with a blue seal for a much more expensive letter attempting to convince us how much better off we will be when we update,  much frustration and anger with regards to lack of benefit from the change. No efforts to better regulate trade certification and prevent fly-by-night unqualified contractors gave made any impact on the trades in my view.

In fact, the only impact has been new apprenticeships such as 'call center operators' who train in hours and weeks not years.  Believe it or not, I say a tradesman today who still carries just that qualification from previous employment at which time he received a pseudo- apprenticeship and two thousand dollars "tool allowance". All so that somebody somewhere could take credit for expanding apprenticeships and the government could congratulate themselves while real apprenotices struggled to pay bills and get in enough hours to complete their trade certification.

Next post:
2. Why the core mandatory trades hold their distinction in site of civil respect for labour related jobs that have been included in the fold for someone's convenience.