Lindsie van der Horst

Lindsie van der Horst

Always looking for opportunities to put craftsmanship in the spotlights. Fulfils the role of founding daughter based on the craftsmanship characteristics; continuous learning, perseverance and having fun.

More articles by Lindsie

Keeping it cool

How to keep it cool?

  How to keep cool while welding; what are the possibilities? It’s holiday time and so we are happy with beautiful and warm days. For

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The future of craftsmanship

The future of craftsmanship – where it all began

Back in 2015 I wrote the article you are about to read. About my father, his craft and especially about the fact that craftsmanship seems to become rarer and rarer. Looking back at it now, this was the true start of Welding Academy. The idea of the platform you see today was nowhere in sight yet, but the wondering that later gave rise to the idea was already there. And although it is written with The Netherlands in mind, I believe the same is true in many other countries. 

Old-fashioned?

“This welding machine does not work as promised. Come and pick it up.”  My father is very happy with these kinds of remarks. Strange? Not when you consider that he is an old-fashioned craftsman. He jumps into his car, passes the men in suits, puts on his dust jacket and joins the people in overalls to get to work on the aforementioned problem. The fact that the problem is solved, in all cases, in fact, boils down to craftsmanship. Through knowledge, experience and persistent curiosity, the settings are adjusted, perhaps other filler material is chosen and it works. Always.

Craftsmanship remains necessary

My dad’s retired, actually. But why stop doing things that make you very happy? If the balance is right, I think he’ll keep doing this for a while. An underlying, less visible motive is his concern about the disappearance of craftsmanship in welding technology. The disappearance of patience and its prestige, to build up knowledge and experience by doing and learning continuously.

An intriguing statement in that respect: “You still need a craftsperson to properly set up a robot.”

The robotisation of many jobs is a realistic vision of the future. If you are only able to see that as a threat, then the discussion will be about disappearing jobs and high unemployment. However, you could see it as an opportunity, as a result, the discussion will be about producing in the Netherlands with high quality jobs for professionals.

Craftsmanship – do we appreciate it enough?

The Netherlands is fully committed to the “knowledge economy”. As I understand it, that means promoting work that doesn’t get your hands dirty. And therefore also of education that prepares for that. To limit myself to the above subject, who will be able to set up a welding robot properly in the (near) future? It wont be possible on the basis of theory alone. Craftsmanship is achieved by combining theory and therefore knowledge with doing, with experience, with continued learning.

Slowly but surely, the ‘old-fashioned’ craftsmen are starting to leave. The influx of young professionals is insufficient. This raises a lot of questions: How do we transfer the knowledge and experience of departing craftspeople within organisations and networks? How can we ensure that people do not leave from one day to the next, but can continue to contribute for longer on the basis of their willingness to do so? How can we tempt young people to invest in craftsmanship? How do we organise good training for future professionals? How can we contribute to the prestige and appreciation of craftsmanship? After all, this country cannot do without it.

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