When I read words such as the headlines in the link, (paywalled….bloody Telegraph) I have, grudgingly, to admit that the gloomy prophecies are quite correct. We have to accept that the bulk of our present homegrown workforce are ill-educated, ill-motivated, technically semi-literate and broadly; bloody near useless.
What I am about to state comes, as it were, from a microcosm of British Industry, from both my own experiences when still active and working in the Engineering field, and observations disclosed to me by a trusted and close friend.
When I wrote on my own site of the stratospheric difference between German House-build teams and the alleged British equivalent, I was speaking from bitter experience. When a Huff-haus team’s inspector viewed a ceramic wall tile feature which wasn’t up to his company’s standards; he instructed the team to pull it down and re-do it to his standards. They did so without a murmur, because those were the instincts of a trained team. Can you honestly imagine the reaction you might receive if conducting a quality audit from a British workforce? I also mentioned the attitude of the steel erection team on a project upon which I was in charge. The steel girder sections were cut, welded and supplied to site, and then, where the measurements had been totally inadequate, they attempted to get really shoddy work past me. Needless to say, they did not succeed! The photo shown gives the OoL reader some idea of what I was supposed to accept as a finished project. The top section is supposed to be bolted flat onto the base girder. The steelworkers were actually mystified when I told them that the whole purpose of the joint was to achieve strength through solidity, and when I asked if they were happy with what was put forwards for inspection, they just did not understand my comments.
My acquaintance has had wide exposure to multiple facets of mass engineering within Great Britain, and his comments, though barbed, are both legitimate and pointed. In an inspection and investigative role at a UK car assembly plant, he watched wide-eyed as a team member was installing a camera component, which would form part of a road-lane sensing system. This bloke, tattooed everywhere which was visible, shoved the camera into the chassis socket, clipped in the cable, but when powering up on a trial basis produced no result, instead of carefully checking through the required test procedure, just ripped the cables off, slung the camera into the reject bin, and reached for a replacement. Another prime example was the production of ten thousand circuit boards with large numbers of components per unit at a large automotive component factory. Everything was automated, all the double-digit IQ clowns had to do was ensure that the components were fed correctly down the chutes. One item was fed in backwards, this was not picked up as the ‘Test’ board had already been checked, and ten thousand small circuit boards had to be all recalled and scrapped because they just did not work.
My very good friend, himself extremely well qualified and educated, is sometimes driven to a silent despair because the Management ‘Planners’ decide how long any task must be given, and thus never allow for the simple fact that the vast majority of the workforce in a huge assembly, test and commissioning plant are worse than useless. He and his associates have given up attempting to get systems and processes rectified, and just silently tear their collective hair out in frustration. The money paid out is good, but the product stumbles along; because of the simple truth that the workforce just does not care!