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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:54 pm 
retrobike rider
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Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:58 pm
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Location: Bournemouth
Hi guys

I have decided it's time for a career change, and I'm thinking of training to become a welder / fitter, with my ultimate goal of being able to build my own bike frame.

I have 0 experience, and will be learning from scratch. Does anyone have any advice on what I need to do, any contacts that would take on a 34 year old apprentice? I will be Bournemouth based

Many thanks
Tim


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 1:06 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:23 pm
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i dont know the industry itself, but most apprenticeships, including the one i did, are geared at the 16-22 age range. i would suggest it best to approach local engineering/welding companies and offer free labour in exchange for training.

a college course of course will help, but thers simply no substitution for applying yourself in the real world. additionally most courses can leave you in a catch 22 situation where you cannot 'qualify without live work experience, yet cannot gain the experience without the qualification.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 1:07 pm 
Gold Trader
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Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2007 12:28 pm
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i recently looked into this im also in bournemouth, i looked into the one advertised on gumtree but decided it was probley a bit expencive, bournemouth and poole collage do courses, theres alway ads looking for welders localy i guess most would test your ability.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 1:14 pm 
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also, if your aim is just to be able to build your own frame, then why not look at one of the 'experiences' available form on of the big frame builders? its an expensive way of getting a frame, but may be cheaper than a career change :D


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:09 pm 
retrobike rider
retrobike rider

Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:58 pm
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Location: Bournemouth
The bike building goal is a personal thing, I'd love to make bikes for a living, but I realise this is a long shot. I've always been interested in making things, and am bored in my service job. I left my job on Friday, and am flying home tomorrow. The career change is happening, and it was the Bournemouth and Poole college course that made me consider welding, as it was always an idle ambition.

I am lucky that I am in the process of selling my flat, just waiting to complete, and have been offered rent free accommodation in my old mans flat, as he's living in Malaysia, and my wife has a good job to cover the bills, so now is my chance to step out of the comfort zone.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:32 pm 
Gold Trader / rb Rider / Special
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Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2009 12:26 am
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Location: Rurally close.
Be careful what you wish for. I have always wanted to work in a bike shop and now i do (albeit not a very good one) it isnt all that. It hasnt made me lose interest one bit as i see it as work but it can for many.
Incidentally for as long as i can remember have wanted to make bikes/parts to sell but i reckon there isnt really a huge market for it.
Your choices should be ok though just applied in a different way and seems you have a good chance to make a really good go at something living rent free etc.
Might be worth asking some local engineering firms if maybe you could just sit inn or whatnot (training?) in exchange for some free evenings labour as mentioned.

I did my work experience at an art and design facility. The artists i worked with made pieces mainly in metal. Maybe that could be an option? Be a free apprentice for an artist. I did some blacksmithing and welding and a few other interesting things.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:36 pm 
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Location: Camden, London
while unemployed I did city & guilds welding, mig gas and tig level 1 then mig level 2 and was doing tig when got a job. I'm not a welder, I just learnt to do my old land rover. Basic welding is easy, good welding much harder and takes practice. Frame building is probably years of experience.


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