Posh mechanics

I recently blogged half jokingly about vocations inheriting the Earth. Yesterday an article in The Guardian emerged to suggest this could be a very real future. In Car mechanics overtake barristers' hourly rate, Audrey Gillan reports on how the average car mechanic often charges more an hour than a doctor or a barrister.

The article also made me think back to a television programme from a few years ago called Posh plumbers - about a local technical college training moonlighting bankers, lawyers and chartered accountants the art of plumbing!

I think what surprised me the most about the article was finding out how poorly paid some professions are, rather than the going rate for craft-based labour. For instance, junior barristers earning as little as £46.50 for a court appearance whilst some garages charge £140 per hour for a BMW experienced mechanic.

Having said that, the article doesn't seem to mention the fact that most mechanics are employed and the costs for their labour is based on many other costs such as investment in machinery and the costs of administration. However, it does question in a way the extent to which young people should consider training in a craft as opposed to spending potentially many expensive and often fruitless years in higher education. My belief is you can defer a degree until you are well into your twenties, but it's probably best to get into a craft when you are just out of school, i.e. test a vocation out before taking a much bigger risk with a full-time degree.

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