Does it seems to you that the quiet NAFB&AE "In House" approach reaches its objectives. Seems UKHSA and NAFB&AE maybe batting on the same side, one using spinners and the other seamers!!
What has changed??
Look out for the FTAMB Stakeholders Conference in 2009!!
The council secretary/registrar's letter of response from FRC/FTA is achieved also!!
Quote:- An historical open letter.
"Given this letter covers some of the serious concerns of our membership, I feel it must be considered to be an open letter and not just privy to the parties to whom it is addressed."
"16th August 2004.
Mr Miles Williamson-Noble
The Farriers Registration Council
Sefton House, Adam Court
NAFBAE had scheduled an informal Meeting of ATF’s on 1st August to ascertain problems that our ATF members have experienced, with a view to formally present these problems to yourself in the hope that they will be addressed. You will be aware that some issues, particularly that of funding, I have raised with you in the past to little or no avail. However, with the mandate of our membership, should dissatisfaction still remain, we may well have to make alternative representations to seek a redress. However, I hope that this will not be necessary. I feel it must be considered also, that the concerns raised are not only for the benefit of the ATF’s but also the apprentices who, by the good grace of FTS, are all members of our Association.
The most pressing points of the many issues raised were as follows:-
1. ATF Renewal Certificate
Our members’ first concern was regarding the ATF renewal certificate. The certificate should be renewed 12 months prior to expiry, not having to be valid until the expiry of the apprenticeship. The current is valid for 10 years, however the FTS will not accept it’s validity beyond 6 years time. This is a ridiculous sign of distrust towards ATF’s by the FTS.
It was the feeling of the meeting that the FTS should fully stand the cost of this, the meeting did, however, note your preparedness of flexibility as to time scales, which was welcomed.
Question, will this request be acquiesced to?
2. ATF Funding
As I have mentioned on numerous occasions, ATF’s are the only parties that actually carry out training of apprentice farriers, yet the lack of funding that they receive is an absolute outrage. An amount of £300 for he successful completion of the first College attendance, I am sorry is totally inadequate and moreover is unacceptable. Further, the FTS have over the years formulated various procedures which have resulted in considerable burdens to the ATF’s and some of which have provided little or nothing to the quality of training, and in some cases have indeed been an impediment to it. If their time is monopolised in bureaucratic discharge, it will detract from the time available to train. Question, will the FTS provide adequate funding to ATF’s to assist them with the training apprentices in the future?
3. CRB Checks
Contrary to previous advise from your Department, I am advised that the Criminal Records Bureau check is not al legal requirement for ATF’s. Again the meeting universally felt that the FTS should fully fund this requirement and moreover that any existing criminal record for a proposed apprentice should also be checked, particularly given that the FTS expect the candidate in the least to be welcomed into the Master’s home, workplace and the premises of their clients with substantial trust that this situation requires. It should be noted however that the ATF’s are not adverse to the CRB checks being made.
Question, will the first facet of this matter be funded and will the second facet of this matter be acquiesced to?
4. Pre Farriery Courses
The general feeling of the meeting was that the pre-farriery courses are failing to provide suitably inducted applicants. There does appear to be an overemphasis on academic requirements in a candidate as opposed to those having practical skills ability. A minimum practical achievement level should be specified to the colleges and an applicant should not be considered until the specified level is achieved in a pre-ordained time scale for the task.
Question, will this problem be addressed?
5. Apprentice Relocation
It was noted that the existing system fails both the apprentice and the ATF. It was also universally considered that it is far too easy for apprentices to be relocated to new masters and it was felt that it should be mandatory that any apprentice being relocated should be set back one year not only to deter a breach in contract of the indentureship which has been so lightly allowed in the past, but more importantly, not only to accommodate and previous skill shortfall or failure in their training, but also to facilitate a safe and proper induction into their new working environment. This is seen as a health and safety issue. It would also discharge a duty of care to the apprentice.
Question, will this request be acquiesced to?
These five points were absolutely by no means the only concerns of our ATF members but have been limited such so as to afford them to be correctly addressed and commented upon. The meeting also felt that it should be expected that at the meeting on 25th the full Council should be present as a matter at least of best practice and duty of care together with members of the decision making process of the FTS and JFTC.
I further noted from our meeting that to expect ATF’s to demonstrate simple forging skills when they already have a proven tack record of either training apprentices or even competition accolades, is an affront to say the least. Surely a CPD record proving the ability should suffice and save the ATF the ignominy of having to forfeit at least half a day’s work and turnover to demonstrate the simple skill for which the individual may already be nationally renowned. The meeting did, however, acknowledge that there are some failing ATF’s who need to be censured but in a manner that does not cause a further burden to the many successful training provides that exist.
What struck me as an over riding theme throughout our meeting, was the lack of trust in the accuracy of information that comes from the FRC and its sister bodies, and this is putting it politely. The Trade has a right to expect accuracy of statement, particularly when they are advised that an issue is a legal requirement. I do know mistakes are made but when they are, they should be openly admitted and redressed. I am further aware that yourself, as Registrar, have often been the target for unfair criticism as by and large it is my belief that you fulfil a difficult task to the greater good of our industry for which I have thanked you in the past, and do so again. However, there are some serious injustices, particularly regarding training funding, and I will stand firm with the backing of the NAFBAE Executive Committee, to see that these injustices are resolved and hopefully this will ease the road to recovery from what is now indisputably seen to be a failing system, which in the least has not been helped by the NVQ system and the modern apprenticeship scheme which was so objected to by the then existing craftsmen in the workplace at the time of their implementation.
Given this letter covers some of the serious concerns of our membership, I feel it must be considered to be an open letter and not just privy to the parties to whom it is addressed. NAFBAE has a policy of openness and transparency, which is also an absolute requirement of Government department, and in accordance with which I request that this letter is copied to all members of the Registration Council, the FTS and JFTC.
If I can assist in any way, myself, the NAFBAE Executive Committee and our members, will be willing to cooperate for the benefit of our industry and our members in general.
May I extend my best wishes for a constructive, convivial and productive meeting.
Les Armstrong A.W.C.F. A.W.C.B.
WERE THE MATTERS ADDRESSED ??
this forum is mainly for farriers - all are welcome but don't enter if you are easily offended!
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