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Monday, June 09, 2008

The Eleven Plus and Listening to Your Child

If your child wants to become a plumber – then you will naturally applaud the intentions and try to make sure that he or she is the best possible plumber around.

A plumber has lots of learn – First Fix, Second Fix, soldering, measuring, bending pipes and dealing with `customers’. The First Fix is laying the pipes and preparing the site. The Second Fix is joining the pipes to the appliances and checking for leaks. Making sure that everything is on site at the right time is a major exercise. Very few plumbers today are going to be able to have a career in plumbing without superb Information Technology skills.

We all know of plumbers who carry a little computer with them and tap into the computer when parts are needed for a particular location. The next day the parts are there – delivered and on time. A different location will have posted an invoice which a third will have despatched the goods. If there any delays the plumber will have been informed – allowing him or her to make the necessary apologies and excuses. This would be information technology working to make life easier for all concerned.

An ambitious plumber will go on to try to win contracts – possibly even working for himself or herself. Skills like quoting and managing a work force will need to be honed and developed. The business could grow and grow and one day the plumber could be the head of a quoted company – rich beyond the widest dreams.

Who is to say that the route of 6th Form and University is better than becoming apprenticed and going to college on day release?

Some children, capable of passing the Eleven Plus, may decide very early on that study and university is not for them. It is possible, however, that they may land up with an employer who argues that all a plumber needs is the ability to solder and bend pipes. Other employers will recognise their ability and understand the role that Information Technology will play in the development of both the individual and the business.

A bright and ambitious young plumber will soon see through a reactionary and backward looking employer. What we hope is that the young plumber will join a concern where there a true circle of opportunity. Older people helping the young, and in time, the young helping the even younger. A young plumber can be happy and creative. A university student on the wrong course can be depressed and disillusioned. Listening skills are essential for parents and teachers alike.

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