Training courses

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Training courses

Postby ProDyker » Mon May 12, 2008 7:26 pm

Training courses, good for the trade or a easy buck for the"professional"waller. :?:
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Postby Tracey B » Tue May 13, 2008 5:35 pm

Hi ProDyker. Would be interested to know what YOU think. What prompted the question? Come on now; bring out that axe for sharpening.
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Postby jerryg » Tue May 13, 2008 9:28 pm

An easy buck for some unscrupulous types.

I attended a dry stone walling training course in Derbyshire in the 1980's. I already knew how to wall I just wanted to learn more as the trainer was a very very well known DWSA Master Craftsman and I thought it would be good for me. Well I was sadly disappointed as all he did for most of the course was to brag about how much money he made from doing training courses and to denigrate those like me who just wanted to make an honest living by just doing it.

There was another trainer on the course who was "just" a local professional waller who was helping out. I learnt a lot off him and he was one of the main reasons I carried on.

I must admit I could never quite work out how the trainer had become a master craftsman, since he never seemed to do much. I suppose he must have been a founder member of the DSWA and the award was self-bestowed.
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Postby jim scott » Wed May 14, 2008 9:05 pm

I think that todays Master Craftsmen are far better trained than in the 80's,as instructors and dykers/wallers.In your area ,Gerry are some of the finest wallers in UK, DSWA Master Craftsmen ,in fact I would say the World,they are excellent instructors and very good at passing on the craft,after all the instructor,can only pass on the techniques and information,It's up to the individual whether he or she wants to be, the best they can be,or go for cowboy status, once they have the basic knowledge,after all you cant force them to do a good job
As for the point on how the "trainer had become a Master Craftsman",I sometimes wondered that myself, I think they must have slipped through the net in the early days, but fortunately,I think the most of them have been weeded out or sidelined now.
As for Prodyker's question,"good for the trade or easy buck for the professional dyker",I can make more at my own work than training weekends,so it is not for the "easy buck ",I do training,I do it to pass on
40+years experience in the trade,plus I like to see the general public,take an interest in one of the oldest trades.
The DSWA is an organisation run by both amateurs and professionals,I dont know if you are members, or not,but if you are not happy with the way the way the organisation is run,get involved and try to get things changed,instead of sniping away from the sidelines,the old saying is,"If you aint been there dont knock it",there seem to be a lot of people on this site, who put the DSWA down.
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Postby rabbit » Wed May 14, 2008 10:45 pm

Hmm, people certainly have long memories in this trade. Jerryg's memory of a particularly bad training course in Derbyshire from between 20 and 30 years ago! That Master Craftman must have been a cretin.

They do get weeded out though, one particular Master Craftsman from Derbyshire has lost his examiner status because of his surly nature and damnright rudeness. Basically he brought the the DSWA into disrepute. This I might add was following a letter to the DSWA from myself! Who knows it could be the same one you are refering to?

If anyone has a complaint, then write to the DSWA.

Of the other Master Craftmen I have trained with, what I can say is that they have been consumate professionals and that they themselves have said that the Master Craftsman exam is harder today than it was when they took it!

Regards
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Postby Tracey B » Thu May 15, 2008 5:45 pm

This topic was discussed previously for anyone interested enough, just scroll down the list until you find one called 'Instructors?'. I think the point here is not those worthy people who give up their time for no financial reward to run courses for the DSWA, but those who are providing their own private tuition.
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Postby jerryg » Thu May 15, 2008 9:35 pm

99% of all the training we do is unpaid. In one particular way I do lots of little bits of dry stone walling training as I am sure that a lot of you all do too.

Because we do a lot of work alongside public footpaths, we are always being asked questions by ramblers, dogwalkers, school groups and other interested people what we are doing and some of them ask if they can watch for a bit while asking how it's done.
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Postby johnthedyker » Fri May 16, 2008 8:49 am

Hi Jerry, I can Identify with that one. I was on a job beside a castle in Deeside where there were quite a lot of public visitors and we were asked to answer any questions they had. We pointed out that if we did that we would be loosing valuable build time, there was a long pause and then the compromise.We were paid Two Hours talk time per day. Result or what.
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Postby donald » Fri May 16, 2008 5:44 pm

After working on various projects over the last 30 years I can say that those with formal training are higher skilled than those who think "they don't need to be tested"
And most of those whose work I have seen who are against training is of a very poor standard, and I have found they are unwilling to take a test because they can continue to rate their worh highly without a tested standard, and if they sat a test they would fail.This includes members of DSWA.
One thing I am concerned about is that Instructors working in adult and further ed have to have a " lifelong learning "qualification in at least "preparing to teach" those Master craftsmen who have embarked on this course have complained to DSWA that the course is a "HIGH BARRIER " and was seen as a high level qualification. it isnt, it is a PREPARATORY course of 30 guided learning hours.
This illuminates the idiocy of those who say master craftsmen make the best instructors.Rubbish, walling and instructing are two different skills, and just because you're a good waller doesnt mean you're a good instructor.
There are too few people within dswa who are qualified with current lecturer status and too many misguided and living in the past.
The new qualifications are there because of past badly run courses,if the present 2qualified" DSWA instructors find that a problem, its because they do not have the knowledge they thought they had.
Its modern life, get the qualifications, and move the association on, dont wallow in the past.
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Training Courses

Postby ProDyker » Fri May 16, 2008 6:20 pm

Just a thought, how about funding to help profesional wallers to take on apprentices for a minimum of three years. All it seems to be now is every Tom, Dick and Harry making a mockery of the trade by saying "I have been on a course and have a piece of paper to prove it." I was lucky enough to serve an apprenticeship with a master craftsmen, whose family had been dykers for generations. Three years is a very bare minimum time period to be proficient enough to even consider trying to pass on the skills that you have learned. I find it hard to believe that people in the profession with only an intermediate certificate are conducting training courses. Surely the credentials of any waller should be valued by what they have built rather than the bits of paper (at whatever level) that can be waved at the general public as proof of quality work!

Does anyone remember the days (1970s) when competition walling was done by the pairs in 8yard lengths, to be completed within the day. These were tradesmen who walled for a living and would therefore produce nothing but their best on the day. Some competitions now MASTER CRAFTSMEN are sometimes struggling to complete a 2 metre stint. Where is the viable professionalism in that?
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Postby ProDyker » Fri May 16, 2008 6:33 pm

Surely Donald you meant to say "moving the profession on" rather than the Association? The association is not the keystone of walling somuch as a gathering of interested people.
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Postby jerryg » Fri May 16, 2008 6:57 pm

I totally agree with most of what donald says especially the bit about "This illuminates the idiocy of those who say master craftsmen make the best instructors.Rubbish, walling and instructing are two different skills, and just because you're a good waller doesnt mean you're a good instructor."


That's the point I was trying to make (badly) earlier. The mastercraftsman training me might have been a good waller but he coudn't teach it. The professional walling chap helping out was brilliant at passing on skills.

After about 12 years of walling I found that I had knack of being able to both train and wall and got in at the beginning of the NVQ system by doing night class courses at my local FE college in training and assessing and achieving NVQ level 4 standard so that I could sell my skills to the then Agricultural Training Board. I also trained people in other practical conservation skills particularly hedging and fencing. I was at the time disapproved of by a local DSWA group as they told me I shouldn't pass on my skills as I was not a DSWA mastercraftsman.

I very rarely do TCs nowadays,as the paperwork side of things increased exponentially, though I do do them occasionally for the general public.
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Postby jerryg » Fri May 16, 2008 7:04 pm

johnthedyker wrote:Hi Jerry, I can Identify with that one. I was on a job beside a castle in Deeside where there were quite a lot of public visitors and we were asked to answer any questions they had. We pointed out that if we did that we would be loosing valuable build time, there was a long pause and then the compromise.We were paid Two Hours talk time per day. Result or what.


Absolutely brilliant result.

I will from now on always include in my quotes 'Talk Time' whenever I work near public footpaths. ..
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Postby jim scott » Sat May 17, 2008 8:56 am

donald wrote:After working on various projects over the last 30 years I can say that those with formal training are higher skilled than those who think "they don't need to be tested"
And most of those whose work I have seen who are against training is of a very poor standard, and I have found they are unwilling to take a test because they can continue to rate their worh highly without a tested standard, and if they sat a test they would fail.This includes members of DSWA.
One thing I am concerned about is that Instructors working in adult and further ed have to have a " lifelong learning "qualification in at least "preparing to teach" those Master craftsmen who have embarked on this course have complained to DSWA that the course is a "HIGH BARRIER " and was seen as a high level qualification. it isnt, it is a PREPARATORY course of 30 guided learning hours.
This illuminates the idiocy of those who say master craftsmen make the best instructors.Rubbish, walling and instructing are two different skills, and just because you're a good waller doesnt mean you're a good instructor.
There are too few people within dswa who are qualified with current lecturer status and too many misguided and living in the past.
The new qualifications are there because of past badly run courses,if the present 2qualified" DSWA instructors find that a problem, its because they do not have the knowledge they thought they had.
Its modern life, get the qualifications, and move the association on, dont wallow in the past.

Donald,I don't believe that having lecturer status makes you any better as an instructor,the same as Master Craftsman does not make you a good instructor,In my opinion this is just another way of getting money out of Joe public,I think that most good instructors, have a natural way of putting things over ,that combined with a complete knowledge of the trade,make the best instructors,irrespective of qualifications.
I would take issue with ProDyker's quote,that" some Master Craftsmen struggle to complete a 2 metre stint",the last competition held in this area was at the Crichton farm where the stints were 4 metres,won by Steve Allen from Cumbria,unless he knows different,also I have judged a few competitions and have yet to see a Master Craftsman struggle to finish.
As for the quote " the association is not the keystone of walling",where else does a member of the public turn,to learn the basics of dyking,NOTE I said BASICS, you will only be good at the trade, with practice,under expert supervision,not all the time,but someone to point out where you are going wrong and a dedication within yourself to be as good as you can be.
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Postby rabbit » Sat May 17, 2008 9:26 pm

ProDyker wrote:Surely Donald you meant to say "moving the profession on" rather than the Association? The association is not the keystone of walling somuch as a gathering of interested people.


I have just returned from the first of two days organising / running a DSWA exhibition at a show in Derbyshire, whereby five members have volunteered at least two to three days of their own time to provide a first hand source of walling information to the general public.

If there is a keystone of walling then the DSWA is it! I cannot think of another person, persons or organisation that could be identified as a keystone other than the DSWA.
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