Something unusual last week. I'd written an editorial in 009 News about skills echoing much of what I'd written here of late.
An email rolled in from an 009 Society member who is I discovered within walking distance of me. He mentioned the editorial and how his task this year was to learn to solder. He'd enrolled in what sounded like an expensive soldering/jewellery making course as he couldn't find anything locally that would teach him railway modelling type soldering skills (wire to rail, etched brass etc.). I bit my knuckle and suggested that I could probably teach him all he needed to start in an hour for the price of a cup of tea.
He wandered up the hill and it actually took an hour and a half. After which time he could solder wire to rail, two bits of brass together and a whitemetal fitting to brass with not too much effort. Three things are possible here: either I'm an excellent teacher, he's naturally talented and was worrying about nothing, or it's not as hard as everyone makes out. I suspect the later.
What it does prove is that most of these perceived skill shortages are easily solved. Why is more of this sort of thing not going on?