17th July 2012
more than just my trade
” The apprenticeship I am undertaking is more than just the nuts and bolts of the trade, but rather studies in the smooth running of the workplace with a specific focus on the trade. In the last 18 or so months that I have been participating in my apprenticeship, I have undertaken numerous tasks that do not have a direct link to my trade but rather they ensure the smooth and efficient running of the workshop floor.
Just some of these tasks include fabrication of workshop tools, painting, warehousing, delivery and pick up of jobs and raw materials, stocktake and putting together purchase requisitions for minor workshop tools and consumables.
Recently, I have undertaken the setting up of a formalised maintenance schedule to add in the improvement of planning and reliability for the workshop machinery. The schedule includes long term maintenance outlooks with dynamic maintenance forecasts, formalised maintenance requests, maintenance reports, and machine specific maintenance profiles. The requirements of the schedule were developed during a meeting with one of the senior tradesmen and a company director; then it was left to myself to set a structured system to aid in the implementation and continued use of the schedule. This process resulted in multiple drafts, continually using the other tradesmen and workshop manager to improve and refine the process until I was happy with the result. This process was greatly helped by the fact that I have formed positive relationships with all my co-workers – they are all happy to help out where they can with this maintenance schedule being no exception.
Although the maintenance schedule will become an invaluable tool for improved planning and reliability, I still had tasks to perform within the workshop simultaneously. The ability to allow for flexibility in planning out jobs becomes critical when faced with unexpected interruptions, whether it be due to materials, machinery, change of job requirements or change of job priorities. To help myself become more flexible I try to obtain as much information about the job, machining techniques, planning and priority of the whole job, short term plan of other jobs I am expecting to undertake, etc. Again, as said above, positive relationships with my co-workers helps immensely with clear, effective communication of knowledge and specific information. Without this it would make my job near impossible. ”
Apprentice Fitter & Turner
more than just my trade