At Plastic Surgeon, we are constantly amazed at the wide range of people we train to undertake repairs on all types of building component, to become qualified Finishers: the young, the not so young, of both sexes – and from all walks of life.
Perhaps, though, our mixed team of Finishers echoes the eclectic assortment of repair work we undertake on equally diverse substrates…from kitchen tops to doors; windows to floors; wood, veneers and ceramics…fireplaces to shower trays; sinks to stonework, and even appliances like fridge or freezer cabinets.
But interestingly – although perhaps not unsurprisingly in these austere times – we are employing more and more people from the public sector, who have lost their jobs due to the government’s spending cuts beginning to bite. We are proud to be giving them new skills and the chance to take up productive employment, giving them a new future to look forward to as a repair expert: and with Plastic Surgeon being active at a national level, this means we are providing employment in some of the regions with the highest levels of unemployment, or dependence on state funded jobs.
Indeed, this week’s intake of new trainees includes a young man who has seen action in Afghanistan, but is being forcibly shed from the RAF after just seven years’ service, as the spending cuts seem to be biting hardest in the armed forces. Whereas service careers could once be expected to last 30 or 40 years, followed by a generous pension, many are facing an early exit; and as Plastic Surgeon’s role call indicates, we have attracted many other people from the public sector.
We also have in our ranks three policemen, and a couple of blokes who worked for a decade in the leisure sector on behalf of Liverpool County Council. Then there is a former junior school teacher and a music teacher, as well as admin staff who have worked on the other side of the divide.
And while a thriving private sector company cannot afford the ‘top heavy’, bureaucratic structure so loved by councils and quangocrats, we have had people move up to sales or management, and even one to director level.
The Hampshire based RAF retiree is, meanwhile, really enthusiastic about starting his training with us, as it promises security for him and his young family, without having to move away from supportive friends to find a new home. He also believes he will be better off thanks to a remuneration package which includes a good basic salary, plus overtime, with his van and tools provided; unlike the many franchise ‘opportunities’ out there in the construction industry.
The public sector is only now beginning to experience the pain of the UK’s worst recession in living memory, at a stage when we are seeing the construction industry, and housing in particular, making a steady recovery. We at Plastic Surgeon are happy to be doing our bit to help the UK economy shift away from public to private sector expansion.