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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey guys

I am a first year apprentice with experience in new house construction (8 months) and commercial rénovations (3 months, lighting, basic conduit running) from Alberta. I put my apprenticeship on hiatus for a few years to travel. I am returning to the trade in Quebec (I know, I know lol). I can get my hours moved on the condition that I attend trade school here, its a bit longer than AB school but no biggie. Im with a company doing 6 hour mornings and some saturdays, its a big site with a laid back crew headed by vets who have 10+ years experience with each other and a combined 100+ in the trade. Its a big exciting site, all the bells and whistles of a state of the art data center.

Problem is im pretty much answering to another first year who has been on site and out of school for six months. He is a cool cabable guy but has done nothing but push broom and run product to JW's for that whole six months. no pipe, no screwdriver, hasnt even twisted a ****ing wirenut.

I know new guys have to take their licks but ive been vacuuming for two weeks and seriously considering jumping ship to a company half or a quarter the size where I know at least a third of what I do will be skills related and will have some sort or training program, banking on the idea that if I wanna run with the big dogs again, and stick my head in big chungus transformers and generators, the oportunity will come again later.

if you've read up to here, Id like to know what yall think? for refence quebec is a union province with demand greatly outpacing the labour force.

Edit 1: I Want to add that I dont think I'm being treated unfairly, Im noob. I wouldn't Want apprentices running the show either' that just the stage/way the job is being run. Just wondering if I should jump the offer of greener pastures for a learner. :)
 

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36th year apprentice & Floor Sweeper
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I would move on. Each foreman is different. Some just like to use apprentices as material handlers and clean up guys. They are doing a big disservice to the guys coming up, the EC and the local. It looks like the other JWs are following along.

I like what Tesla said on here a long time ago. The army doesn’t put the guy just out of boot camp in charge of the supply lines. Why do so many jobs take the youngest guys and put him in charge of deliveries and inventory? It makes no sense. Not to mention it doesn’t help the crew rate if all the guys working with their hands are making top dollar. You only get five years before you make top dollar. That is nowhere near enough time. The same guy that uses you as cheap labor, will be the same guy to cut you loose, because you aren’t worth JW rate when the time comes.

I don’t go with the BS that you have to learn the material first, so that’s all you do for the first year. You’ll learn the material as you use it. There will be plenty of time to mobilize, reorganize and demobilize as the job progresses, that a young guy will see material that he hasn’t had the chance to use yet, and ask questions about it.

Good luck with your endeavors!
 

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Since you left you have established that you are not reliable.
I'm not saying you're not reliable. I'm just saying you established that.
Had you stuck around before things may have been different.
 

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Electrical contractor 37 years. Electrical inspector 2 years
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With only 8 months and 3 months experience you are still inexperienced. Many younger people over estimate their knowledge and competency. The fact that you stopped working to travel tells me you are still, " finding yourself" and now you have to re-establish your line of work. A hiatus is for someone who has been established with years of work behind him. Some people pick up things very fast and correct and you might be one of them, we don't know.

Look at it from the boss's point of view. A high tech DATA center and I bet he has a time constraint. He would be foolish to let a novice do any actual work. Unfair to you but he might not have the time for teaching. I was called into a job years ago because there was a very expensive mistake made by the apprentice that was not picked up. After that no apprentices were allowed back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
With only 8 months and 3 months experience you are still inexperienced. Many younger people over estimate their knowledge and competency. The fact that you stopped working to travel tells me you are still, " finding yourself" and now you have to re-establish your line of work. A hiatus is for someone who has been established with years of work behind him. Some people pick up things very fast and correct and you might be one of them, we don't know.

Look at it from the boss's point of view. A high tech DATA center and I bet he has a time constraint. He would be foolish to let a novice do any actual work. Unfair to you but he might not have the time for teaching. I was called into a job years ago because there was a very expensive mistake made by the apprentice that was not picked up. After that no apprentices were allowed back.
All super fair points I wouldn't want apprentices running the show either lol. Its definitely nobody's fault the job is being run that way the foreman is a really cool guy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
When I was an apprentice, travel meant to the beach 8 miles away. Gotta give it to you Canadian guys. When you travel. You travel.
Too true haha😂 that's why I decided to stay in quebec actually, it seems to me that the quebecois are the most well traveled of the lot of us.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I would move on. Each foreman is different. Some just like to use apprentices as material handlers and clean up guys. They are doing a big disservice to the guys coming up, the EC and the local. It looks like the other JWs are following along.

I like what Tesla said on here a long time ago. The army doesn’t put the guy just out of boot camp in charge of the supply lines. Why do so many jobs take the youngest guys and put him in charge of deliveries and inventory? It makes no sense. Not to mention it doesn’t help the crew rate if all the guys working with their hands are making top dollar. You only get five years before you make top dollar. That is nowhere near enough time. The same guy that uses you as cheap labor, will be the same guy to cut you loose, because you aren’t worth JW rate when the time comes.

I don’t go with the BS that you have to learn the material first, so that’s all you do for the first year. You’ll learn the material as you use it. There will be plenty of time to mobilize, reorganize and demobilize as the job progresses, that a young guy will see material that he hasn’t had the chance to use yet, and ask questions about it.

Good luck with your endeavors!
Thanks, really good insight. I'll follow up and tell you how it goes!
 

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Bilge Rat
motors and controls.........
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Since you left you have established that you are not reliable.
I'm not saying you're not reliable. I'm just saying you established that.
Had you stuck around before things may have been different.
I agree.

Leaving the trade to travel will be taken as a lack of commitment, just about every employer will assume that you'll do the same thing again and not care that you leave them shorthanded.

If you show up every day, on time and don't complain about the work you're doing, eventually you'll gain trust but be careful, if you suddenly take a leave of absence again, it'll be pretty much impossible to find any kind of an actual job that pays well.
 

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Estwing magic
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I wouldn’t care much that he took time off to travel and obviously his employer doesn’t either. He has eight months of residential experience which taught him basic circuitry and how to work with tools and that is easily remembered.

It looks like he found a good company to work for except he spends his time doing clean up. He should talk to his employer to see when he starts doing real work. The next move might be a step backward to Running Shoe Electric.
 

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I wouldn’t care much that he took time off to travel and obviously his employer doesn’t either. He has eight months of residential experience which taught him basic circuitry and how to work with tools and that is easily remembered.

It looks like he found a good company to work for except he spends his time doing clean up. He should talk to his employer to see when he starts doing real work. The next move might be a step backward to Running Shoe Electric.
This. Go talk to your employer before doing anything rash.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Do they have English trade school in Quebec?
Yes, Montreal being a bilingual city you can study most trades in english. I'm lucky and found a good public school and was able to skip most of the waitlist through prior experience and pester power. I've worked a few sales job so I understand the power of persistent phone calls
 

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I also work in montreal. Are you working CCQ or not? The way you are phrasing things makes it unclear as to whether you have your apprentice card. 6 hour mornings is very strange. The CCQ is very strict in enforcing that everybody in construction has the safety course and an appropriate card. If they come by the site and you don't have the paperwork things will likely go very badly for you.

Regardless, companies(large or small) do not usually have any training programs. The DEP is more than sufficient to prepare you for what is expected of you as an apprentice.

If they have you sweeping all day then talk to them or just get out of there. There is such a demand for people that you can find a job anywhere without much effort. Call up your union and ask them to put you on the list or even just go on the internet and find one of the many companies that are hiring people.
Neither a large nor a small company should have you sweeping all day. They recently changed the rules so that the company now has the right to ask you to do things like sweeping (tâches résiduaires) but it sounds like they are just jerking you around.
Almost all of your time should be doing things that are skills related. The only times I have seen an exception to this is when someone is particularly incompetent and for some reason the company keeps them around.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I also work in montreal. Are you working CCQ or not? The way you are phrasing things makes it unclear as to whether you have your apprentice card. 6 hour mornings is very strange. The CCQ is very strict in enforcing that everybody in construction has the safety course and an appropriate card. If they come by the site and you don't have the paperwork things will likely go very badly for you.

Regardless, companies(large or small) do not usually have any training programs. The DEP is more than sufficient to prepare you for what is expected of you as an apprentice.

If they have you sweeping all day then talk to them or just get out of there. There is such a demand for people that you can find a job anywhere without much effort. Call up your union and ask them to put you on the list or even just go on the internet and find one of the many companies that are hiring people.
Neither a large nor a small company should have you sweeping all day. They recently changed the rules so that the company now has the right to ask you to do things like sweeping (tâches résiduaires) but it sounds like they are just jerking you around.
Almost all of your time should be doing things that are skills related. The only times I have seen an exception to this is when someone is particularly incompetent and for some reason the company keeps them around.
Hey man. Kept details vague but relevant because I dont love posting too much personal stuff for the whole world to see. Thanks for your concerns about the cards though, I'm all carded up and legal to work on construction sites because of a new CCQ initiative to get students on to chantiers part time en lieu of opening les bassins to anyone and everyone. Basically I lucked out to get into school when I did.🙂
 

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In that case you should ask the company if they will put you with a journeyman and if they won't then leave. The longer you spend wasting your time the less of your apprenticeship you get to learn. It is good to get your hours and money for school but the company is coming way ahead because you will have less experience when it is time for you to write your exam. Don't fool yourself in thinking that the company has any attachment to you.
The fact that you have actual work experience makes you more useful than the majority of people who have finished their DEP so you should use that to your advantage. Don't waste your time. Your apprenticeship will go by faster than you think especially with the CCQ's changes to how many hours you need to be eligible to write the journeyman exam.
 

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Gauge your company carefully. Nobody learned everything while they apprenticed. I don't know what your wage scale and bennies look like. I'm not clear if you're unionized or not (can be tough to get back in).

IMHO, what's important now is your days count and you get your regular school sessions done. That's what gets you to the IP exam. Right or wrong, most of the exam is classroom based.
 

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At the first shop I worked for, I used to wrestle the owner's 30 year old satellite dish into the correct angle so that he could watch live stream videos from NASA. This thing was probably 12' around and about 300 pounds. My jman often helped. Other times we were moving furniture when his wife needed us to, and other odd jobs when business was slow. But six months straight? The writing is on the wall, man. Either let them know you'd like real work or find someone else who needs real work done.
 

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It’s gonna come down to you. Some guys are ok with just running material around the site.

My first job as a first year in the union was a 3 floor annex building renovation for IBM. 50 electricians among all the other trades. The 2nd year apprentice they put me with started as a shop boy there and still got stuck driving the truck as a 2nd year.

A week later that guy asked how come they are letting me do work? I said because I new how to use the rotary laser and found the stash of spray paint buried in the materials trailer.

I still had to get coffee for 50 people every day but after 9:30 i tried to do as much work as I could. 2 months later I asked for overscale and was getting 2nd year money as a first year.

If you don’t take an active role in your training then it’s on you.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Started the trade in Alberta after work with operating engineers and temp with the fitters dried up. Was never afraid to quit a job - usually about the time I stopped learning. When the union had no work I worked non, so yeah, worked in the arctic, yukon, beaufort, tar sands, saskatchewan, ontario in heavy oil, nuclear, petrochemical fab shops and motor shops. Learned something everrywhere, worked with the usual ratio of great people : jerks. Only had to chat with my foreman once when I was a late 3rd about my J-man who thought I was his gopher.
My advice FWIW - talk with your foreman. If there’s no change, move on immediately.
 
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