The Making Of Good Tradespeople
Today I dropped my 19 year old daughter off at the Queensland Police Headquarters, for her entrance exam. My daughter has a fierce determination to serve and protect our country. When she was denied entrance to the Royal Australian Air Force last year, simply due to being lactose intolerant, her first thought was not of self-pity, sure maybe a feeling of unjust, but very quickly, to what her next step would be.
In high school, my daughter wanted to be a vet, she knew she would not receive the OP required to achieve entrance into university to study to become a vet, so decided to do a degree that would allow her a position above the usual vet nurse. Although she received the OP require to secure a position in this course, so did too many other students, and long story short, she missed out on a place. Again there was no self-pity, just a regrouping and new focus.
When I put it on paper, it sounds like a bit of a raw deal, but do you know, how very grateful I am that these things went wrong for my daughter? More than I know how to express, and why? Because these opportunities to reflect and redirect herself have created a resilient, strong and passionate young woman, who is well equipped to deal with the normal everyday curveballs of life.
What has all this got to do with a building and construction blog? I am trying to demonstrate what a positive it is to allow children the opportunity to fail, stumble and fall, as long as they have to pick themselves up. If we as parents are there to cushion their fall, every. single. time. How are they to grow and learn from their mistakes?
Sure it is our responsibility to keep them safe, but if we wrap them up in cotton wool, how do they ever learn risk assessment? Imagine if we employed an apprentice, who didn’t have the ability to assess the risk in his working environment? I would have lost my home by now to pay for his medical bills, or his wages for ever once he was seriously injured.
In dealing with tradies all day every day, I need to have faith and confidence in their ability to risk assess, if these skills haven’t been developed prior to starting on our site, we are in for some real trouble!
As employers, there are times in which we allow our apprentice to make mistakes. Again these are important for him to learn furthermore, when he does make a mistake our job is not to solve them for him, but to be patient and allow him the opportunity to sort the mistake, and take responsibility for it himself. It is our opinion that this then creates better tradespeople, and that is our responsibility as employers.
Do you allow your children to make mistakes? What do you think makes for strong, resilient people?