Building the skill of... problem-solving

Don’t know about you, but we in the TMiH team feel like fewer problems to solve sounds lovely right about now. However, life doesn’t tend to work like that and problem-solving is an essential skill that every single one of us needs to use. So, the only thing to do is embrace the challenge and recognise that finding solutions to problems if one of the most satisfying achievements in both our work and personal lives.

Problem-solving is also one of the eight essential skills set out in the Skills Builder Framework and it is fundamental to all technician roles.

Most technicians are expected to not just find and diagnose problems, but also come up with a range of potential solutions, assess and test those out and then arrive at and implement the best one. It can often be a long process, but ultimately very rewarding. Alan, a Senior Orthotic Technician at Peacocks Medical Group finds great fulfilment in his career solving problems which ultimately transform the quality of life for many people:

I once made splints for a lady who had been unable to stand for five years. Thanks to the orthotic splints, she was able to stand at the altar for her wedding. There’s nothing more rewarding than that. -  If you’re creative, love problem-solving and working with your hands, there’s no better career for you.

Whatever the setting, a technician apprenticeship can be one of the best ways to develop your problem-solving skills, and none come more innovative than the Vacuum Technician Apprenticeship Victoria undertook at CERN in Geneva. She knows that the problem-solving skills she developed during her time at CERN will be hugely beneficial to her in the future:

That’s the great thing, the skills that you learn – problem-solving, being organised, being able to communicate with people with different skill-sets and backgrounds to find solutions – are transferable.

Like all the eight essential skills in the Skills Builder Framework, problem-solving becomes increasingly nuanced as you progress through life and your career. Take a look at the Framework to get a better idea where you problem-solving skills are at currently and where you think you could develop further.

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