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We are indebted to Mr. H. C. Parker, of the North-Westcrn Section, for this instructive preview
of a preliminary draft of the latest addition to the literature on standardization. It deals with the
hitherto neglected subject of the proper curriculum for apprentices.
B.S.S. (x + 1)*— Post war.
British Standard Specification
The Education and Training
Engineering Apprentices
1. This specification applies to those mentally
unbalanced members of the human race, male
and female, who receive the call to apply their
skill and cunning to the design, production for
disposal (i.e. salesmanship) of machines, structures and electrical apparatus.
Whilst there is no age limit, the misguided
individual will probably feel the urge prior to
the age of 21 years, the view being held that the
more aged one becomes, the saner is the outlook,
with consequent greater tendency to give consideration to easier and quicker means of acquiring wealth.
2. Education
The assimilation of knowledge in its widest
sense touching in weak moments on matters
engineering, great attention being paid to language, with a leaning to the stronger idiom.
3. Training
The acquiring of manipulative dexterity in the
art of "foreign" manufacture or alternatively
"home office" orders. In this way one is said
to become skilled at a trade or technique.'
4. Engineering
The harnessing of the peculiarities of nature
with the ultimate object of (a) benefiting humanity
or (b) wiping it out altogether. Engineering may
be electrical, mechanical or civil. The first type
is very mysterious requiring super intelligence,
facile imagination or a high bluffing capacity.
The second is very apparent and is denoted by
an oily smudge down the left cheek. The third
is more reserved and has as its hallmark the
retort courteous.
5. Apprentices
These are neophytes who pass their time in a
like manner to their older associates, but who
receive a (very much) smaller .financial remuneration. After serving time, they acquire knowledge
over night, when the weekly allowance is suddenly raised to the status of a wage. The degree
of responsibility placed on the shoulders of
apprentices varies directly and the capacity for
receiving orders inversely as the weekly pay.
There are trade, school and college apprentices
who work, study and watch others work respectively.
6. Vocational
Much time should be spent as stooge to a man
skilled in the art of engineering, during which
period every word of wisdom falling from his lips
should be garnered with care. These may seem
strange at first, but one will soon become used to
the terminology and be able to answer back in
like manner. The apprentice will also become
familiar with engineering parts by' delivering
important requisitions to keepers of stores, and
acquire patience whilst awaiting the convenience
of these august individuals.
7. Culture
Culture receives early attention in the apprentices' career in the administration of ancient and
time-honoured customs, the most important of
which is the rite of tea brewing or "mashing."
Time, however, may witness the dying out of
this solemn and remunerative practice with the
birth of a new generation of craftsmen who "live
not by tea alone."
8. Good citizenship
A large section of the syllabus should be given
over to the development of the sociable attitude.
In this direction, the art of juxtaposition on the
correct side of the foreman should be acquired
as early as possible.
The gleaning of information and the inducing
of production men to undertake duties not
originally envisaged is more difficult and follows
in later years. Useful rules to be observed are
(a) acting dumb and (6) packet of cigs. and use
of Christian name.
This section of education will prove invaluable
to apprentices who desire to go into the more
lucrative side of engineering, viz. salesmanship.
9. The apprentice will be examined at the commencement and conclusion of the course.
The initial examination will be concerned mainly
with the location of brain and information on
the school, or better still, college last attended.
Thus will his fate be decided.
The final examination will consist of:—
• Where x = number of B.S.S. previous to the present one.
Very much an unknown quantity—probably
— 15 —
(a) Trade Apprentices.
Caliper test on the biceps.
Rejection tolerance ± 0 - 1 ' on figures in
Table I.
(b) School Apprentices.
Micrometer test on the cranium.
Rejection tolerance ± 10 thou. on figures
in Table II.
(c) College Apprentices.
Foremen's reports.
Acceptance directly proportional to the
amount of blasphemy contained therein.
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