I spent an interesting morning yesterday at the National Water sports Centre Holme Pierrepont. I had applied for work there and I was invited for a practical assessment. Unfortunately the weather system which resulted in the snow storm which shut down the East coast of the USA, was passing
over the UK, so the winds were high with rain in the north.
There were a number of no shows so what had been planned to last a day only covered the morning as only one other person attended. We ended up only doing one practical test of building a raft and assembled a raft using four barrels, two long poles as six short and thinner poles and numerous ropes. We took our time and after 30 minutes built a passable raft, capable of carry four people. We were then made aware of possible safety issues where limbs could become trapped. Three instructors them demonstrated a different design using four Barrels, the two long poles and just four ropes built in 5mins and once again pointing out areas to watch when assembling and using rafts.
The winds were still strong, above the limits of normal operations so no further tests were possible but we were taken on a tour around the site viewing the Rowing course, Assault course challenge, E-combat, Sky trail, mini golf, Laser Tag and Segways. I was impressed with the Sky trail from a safety point of view as users are permanently attached to a track from start to finish and even toddlers can use a mini version, We also viewed the extensive sailing and canoeing equipment, safety boats, White Water area and Wake boarding set-up.
We finished up with checking our certificates and discussing work opportunities. One question came to light was my lack of formal certification versus years of experience. Which has the most value, ideally you need both. Rules and regulations in the UK require valid certificates, however no training can cover all eventualities and this is where experience comes into play. The question for potential employers is it worth to spend time and money in training up experienced people or do they accept only those with certification.
I now have to wait a few weeks, as they have another weekend assessment to complete, before they will invite selected candidates for a more formal interview.
This afternoon, I continue my School Governor training, having been elected in December, I need to learn more about how the education system works in the UK.