Dave Small – MLA member and managing director of Winlocks, based in Winchester, Hampshire.
With a background in marketing, Dave Small wanted a change in career so three and a half years ago sold his successful business to retrain as a locksmith – a career he thought would challenge him and allow him to work hours that better suited him.
Dave has enrolled on around eight training courses over a three year period with very mixed results. Dave said:
“I feel a lot of the private training courses I have been on are more ‘get rich quick’ schemes for the trainers rather than educational, career enhancing training as I had hoped. I found that there is often no joining criteria and an attitude of ‘if the cheque clears you’re in’. In some instances the training facilities themselves amounted to little more than an ill-equipped garage in someone’s garden or a hired warehouse with very few practice facilities.
Although able to carry out basic locksmithing skills, I found most of the private trainers did not appear to be experienced themselves which made gaining extra advice or seeking alternative routes to opening a lock for example very difficult.
More often than not you also found commercial tutors from tool or lock manufacturers being brought in under the guise of teaching you how to use certain tools but there was always an intense pressure for you to buy the products used which I was not comfortable with.
Although it’s fair to say that I have learnt some useful skills from one or two of these independently run training courses I have also found the more structured, association run, training courses such as the ones run by the MLA far more valuable both financially and in terms of skills gained. A lack of consistency within the locksmithing training industry causes big concern to me – outside of the MLA courses only one other training provider gave me documentation to take away and none of the others offered aftercare help despite me emailing and phoning for advice which I was assured I would receive.
I do however use the MLA member forum regularly to receive advice and speak to its members if need be – there is certainly much more willingness to help than I have found with other training providers and a much higher standard of training and professionalism.”
Recommended Further Reading
- I’m interested in becoming a locksmith what should I do?
- 10 Locksmith Career Tips from the MLA
- Details on the UKs first Locksmith Apprenticeship
- Information on all our Locksmith Training Courses
- Interviews with current MLA Locksmiths
- Locksmith Training And Qualification Advice
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