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View Full Version : City and guilds level 3 + employment difficulty.







rpaul90
23-02-2012, 11:36 PM
Dear fellow engineers,
I've had a bit of a dilemma today. I go to the College on a monday and work Tuesday - Fridays and 1 in 4 weekends (on call). I am currently finishing my city and guilds level 2 diploma and NVQ. I have passed all of my exams first time round and after an inspirational talk with my tutor i decided that i will save up some money and put it into doing my level 3 qualification. My employer does not want me to do another years day release and says that i do not "need" this qualification. He said that if i wanted to do it then i would have to find another job. I've put my CV out which i have had a fair amount of response from as i Hold an F gas certificate and various other relevant qualifications, but but no one seems to want to take me on through my level 3 year. I would also like to stress that i am not looking to just use a company and move on. I am looking for a good solid company in which i can learn and build myself as a competent engineer.

Why do companies not like taking on level 3 students? And does anyone know of any companies based in Essex/London that would be interested?

Many thanks.

Charnwood
24-02-2012, 12:02 PM
I would imagine your employer would like you to pay back some of the investment they have made in you.

Were you taken on as an apprentice?

rpaul90
24-02-2012, 02:57 PM
No I wasn't. I have paid all my tuition myself and taken a days less pay per week.

Charnwood
25-02-2012, 08:45 AM
So you were fully trained when you started with them?

monkey spanners
25-02-2012, 10:40 AM
Apart from the short week, few employers like workers who know more than they do, it makes them feel self conscious.
My bosses favourite 'engineer' was a lazy yes man who never questioned any of his hairbrained schemes....

Have you offered to work tue to sat so he gets his five days?

Good luck, the industry needs more people who know what they are doing.

Tayters
25-02-2012, 12:52 PM
I found exactly the same thing. Ended up at WR Refrigeration who had a training budget and were happy to put anyone through the level 3, day release, if they wanted to (not many did) and there was money in the pot to pay for it. Other blokes in the class worked for Trane, RJC, Dunham Bush, Ensys, Two Tech and Air Control.

Maybe a larger firm who operates like that might help unless you can find a small firm out there.
Also it would help if you were working on larger stuff like packs, chillers and VRF as this is more what the level 3 is geared towards.
Have a look at Grimsby College. I think they do some distance learning stuff.

Good luck in your search,

Andy.

chilliwilly
25-02-2012, 09:08 PM
Yes Tuesday to Saturday needs to be put on the table when selling yourself. Is there much more learning on the part three then? If its anything like the electrical city and guilds courses you only tend to go over the same ground but on a smoother road with a few more stops. And its not always advantageous possessing it when being on the tools unless you work for a lager company that wants you to design and consult with clients.

I know its a good feeling to have loads of qualifications but like Monkey Spanners says it can intimmidate gaffers who have few or non. If you do manage to pursue your quest for more qualifications and you do get them, it might be better to hide them under the table at a firm that just wants engineers until you go for a job where they are asking for design knowledge.


I myself have no fridge qualifications but plenty of electrical and mechanical which hasn't always proved to be advantageous at some companies that are only installation biased in electrical and mechanical. And to be honest I only tell them about the ones that they ask for regarding the job. As I don't want a self concious gaffer thinking I'm more ambitious than them. And as I only carryout full fridge repairs for myself on a part time basis, as the firm where I work tend to sub out the repair work. And they only tend to send me to diagnose and provide an estimate to feel the customers response if I'm on or near site.

I have also been knocked back for jobs in the past where I have worked previously on a temporary basis because they have had a personnel make over. That in turn told me in the interview that they didn't think that I would be capable of carrying out the duties required for the job as I would need a degree in electrical engineering or mechatronics, despite previously working there and looking after the associated plant and machinery.

The thing that really annoyed me in the interview was when I answered all the questions regarding technical knowledge and experience. Then in turn when I asked them if any solutions had been found and applied to certain problems with the plant and whether or not if they still got them. The supervisor nor the personnel knew of or was even aware of such problems with the plant, as far as they were concerned the plant and production lines never broke down due to the outstanding ISO 9000 implemented PPM routine maintenance now being operated???

Then when the interview was over and whilst I was walking through the factory accompanied by the supervisor, an old work collegue approached me and asked how I was and had I come for the job? I told him yes and then he asked me if I remembered the correct start up sequence for the lobe compressors on the vacuum furnace. As they were always blowing the main incoming service fuses and putting the place in darkness and stopping production since the so called approved PPM was implemented. I looked at the supervisor and he couldn't look me in the eye and just played it coy, I offered to show my old collegue the sequence but the supervisor made it obvious that he just wanted to escort me off the premises to the car park. And when I asked him about the so called PPM he just continued to be coy and bid me farewell and an absolute pleasure to meet me and all the usual other fanny.

To this day I occasionally wonder if I had obtained a degree in an area of implementing business protocols and scheduling documentation, if I would have got the job as shift maintenance engineer? As I had heard a rumour from the agency who were recruiting for the job that someone with a diploma in business studies had got the job?

Grizzly
25-02-2012, 09:38 PM
Wow Chillwilly.

You Have been scarred a little there my friend. It makes sad reading but is highly relevant to rpaul90's question.
I think you knew before the interview you were stuffed. I would suspect that many, myself included have been there themselves.

You still have the knowledge no-one can take that away whatever.
Rpaul.
Yours is an age old problem and you may indeed have to change employer to achieve what you want.
I may be wrong but there does not seem to be many at the moment with training budgets.
It is genuinely hard at present and you may have to wait a little?

I hope you manage to continue with your training. However for as many with formal training that I know. the are the same number if not more that I would be proud to work with and would never belittle. With little or no refrigeration qualifications.

Don't underestimate experience.

Good Luck all the same.
Grizzly

Magoo
26-02-2012, 12:37 AM
Totally agree with Grizzly,
that hands on experience wins over everytime, but the way the world goes the system dictataes a tech needs a peice of paper that states they are qualified to carry out the job.
The thing that annoys me is the system that grinds out techs with all the quals in two odd years and most would not know which was up. Then you have to train them on the practical application of their qualifications. The whole system has been dumbed down for the sake of volume, bring back apprenticeship contract training for 5 years minimum.

charlie patt
26-02-2012, 12:49 AM
if you have drive never let a employer drive you down from the age of sixteen to the age of 26 i have always done extra courses and college work all on my own time my employer was not interested but as time went on these courses paid for themselves if i did not no it and no one could tell me i would just course it first 5 years doing the day release then the night courses then the advance courses then after that various chemical and even a arc weldind course dont laugh guys i was welding some hilti channel and it was crap so i done a course and hey presto, if you have the drive do it and in 5 years time when you go on your own it will be worth it i did and never looked back ta charlie

Magoo
26-02-2012, 12:57 AM
Further to my earlier rant.
Recently I have had young guys coming in looking for employment straight out of the rapid trainning system.
Plus alot from that continent triangle shaped between Africa and Asia. Wanting huge pay rates no overtime, mobile phone uniforms and fee use of Co vehicle.
Got past the usual stuff, quals, experince type stuff. Then asked them to do a design and equipment selection for a standard type chiller, gave them all the specs etc., and wanted it back next morning with a ghost contract proposal as a presentation submittable to a client. 75% left then, the rest came up with total rubbish

Grizzly
26-02-2012, 03:34 AM
Further to my earlier rant.
Recently I have had young guys coming in looking for employment straight out of the rapid trainning system.
Plus alot from that continent triangle shaped between Africa and Asia. Wanting huge pay rates no overtime, mobile phone uniforms and fee use of Co vehicle.
Got past the usual stuff, quals, experince type stuff. Then asked them to do a design and equipment selection for a standard type chiller, gave them all the specs etc., and wanted it back next morning with a ghost contract proposal as a presentation submittable to a client. 75% left then, the rest came up with total rubbish

Wow! I don't know about the new kids on the block my friend, what you describe there would frighten me!
But then again I would not claim I knew all that!
Grizzly

chilliwilly
26-02-2012, 08:56 PM
I suppose its one way of keeping the fire wood on the correct pile and not getting it mixed up with the French polished walnut panels. If the fire wood pile contains an walnut panel that needs polishing then you polish it and don't burn it.

I wouldn't have known off the top off my head about what was mentioned neither but then again I wouldn't apply for a job as a chiller engineer as I don't know enough about them, these days I just stay in my comfort zone with basic refrigeration such as walkins, displays, and ice machines. Having said that though if I was sent to one I wouldn't be frightened to have a go at diagnosing it or repairing it, but it might take me (much?) longer than a full time chiller man. But I did start in the deep end when I left school and didn't drown.

Grizzly
26-02-2012, 09:05 PM
I suppose its one way of keeping the fire wood on the correct pile and not getting it mixed up with the French polished walnut panels. If the fire wood pile contains an walnut panel that needs polishing then you polish it and don't burn it.

I wouldn't have known off the top off my head about what was mentioned neither but then again I wouldn't apply for a job as a chiller engineer as I don't know enough about them, these days I just stay in my comfort zone with basic refrigeration such as walkins, displays, and ice machines. Having said that though if I was sent to one I wouldn't be frightened to have a go at diagnosing it or repairing it, but it might take me (much?) longer than a full time chiller man. But I did start in the deep end when I left school and didn't drown.

Don't diss yourself my friend.
None of us know everything that's why the forum is so good in my opinion.
Refrigeration is still refrigeration at the end of the day.
Your knowledge has proved invaluable in the past and I am sure will in the future.
Some of the guys on here are really clued up but as with the rest of us they had to start somewhere Once!
Rpaul has one huge thing going for him, He wants to learn.

Chillers are like most it's not so much how much you know as, Have you access to the relevant info!

Grizzly

rpaul90
26-02-2012, 10:41 PM
Education only teaches you to spell experience i know. I am lucky in the fact that i am doing my own breakdowns and that, its very self satisfying and builds my confidence even though working for 40 per day is very depressing.
It just makes me angry that there doesn't seem to be much funding for training these days. Before i started college i looked everywhere for funding and the best i could get was a 16% loan off the halifax. I politely declined. A guy i work with used to get sent to college on a monday with all the other apprentices in a work car. They were doing supermarket work but as in the last posts their company had a training budget, (20yrs ago). I always thought to myself
"how can my mates that are going to university to do a degree in music performance get a 20k loan (re-payable after you earn 15k per year) but i cant get a discounted loan or funding to do my course in engineering?) Baffles me, plus my tutor was telling me that the college is going skint due to government cuts. I dont want to be a know it all, i bloody hate that type of engineer but just for my own satisfaction i'd like to know why it does that and not just because Dave or Paul said so.

chilliwilly
26-02-2012, 11:30 PM
Have you had a price quoted for the course then? If your that keen to do it and your only earning 40.00 a day. Maybe you could consider studying a full time course and see what funding you would get then, and consider working part time at more than one firm as and when they need you.

Otherwise the 16% loan that you were offered might be worth reconsidering. When I was at college they offered installments to pay for the course, don't they do offer that no more then?

There is an online btec level 3 course from ICS, but I don't know if the acheivement is equal to the city and guilds. I looked into doing it but it covered too much on areas that I have no interest in such as H&V. But there is a refrigeration content but I haven't seen the course sylabus content. I think about three years ago they were asking for about 600.00 for the course, when I didn't show any interest they reduced it down to 450.00.

Also there is another online course provider called elearning, but again don't know what their like.

rpaul90
26-02-2012, 11:49 PM
The level 3 is about 2800, which i can afford but need to find additional work to do it as i dont get paid overtime where i am at the mo. I'd like to have the city and guilds qual as its renowned to be one of the best and cover a hell of a lot on things like heat transfer/psychometrics which in my current job is completely useless. but i know that if i dont do it straight after my level 2 then it will be tough to get back to college if you get me. What i am hoping for is to move into a bigger company between now and sept that will be covering more supermarket packages/chillers etc but all i can do is phone round and email CV's. I dont really want my chances of being successful to be dampend by a recession.
Also i have considered leaving work and doing the course full time, if i was to sign onto the dole for a month and then apply to go to college then yes i would get funded but i want to stay working to keep my brain ticking and have experience with dealing with day to day problems. I think that its a crazy system though they need to bring back proper apprenticeships.