A company that fixes smartphones is urging the introduction of an official device repair apprenticeship.
In the UK, there will be almost 72 million active mobile phone connections in 2022.
However, repair company TMT First notes that there is no industry training standard and that it created its own apprenticeship after having trouble hiring.
In contrast, there are 33 million vehicles on the road, and apprentice mechanics are gaining their skills through nationally recognized programs.
There are many young techies out there who may have even experimented with phones on their own, and they are very interested in learning how to do this better and perhaps turn it into a career, according to Adam Whitehouse from TMT First.
"If you consider the modern technology and all the appliances in our homes, those things require repair. And these gadgets will last longer if people are taught how to use them properly. ".
In Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, he established TMT First in 2006. He claims that 58 employees have completed training programs offered by his company, and the business now provides its own apprenticeship.
One of them, Daliana Bianca, claimed that when she is out during lunchtime wearing the company logo on her clothes, people stop her in the street to ask for repair assistance.
On the website of the government organization Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education, however, there are no search results for "phone repair.".
Nikki Christie, the institute's deputy director, told the BBC that there wasn't enough industry interest.
It has the potential to be a great entry point into digital careers, so we would welcome renewed interest in the creation of an apprenticeship for this occupation, she added.
Several of the organizations that had submitted a proposal before the pandemic, according to Mr. Whitehouse, were no longer in operation. His organization was one of those organizations.
According to the Department for Education, the government intends to make $2.17 billion available by 2025 for companies in all sectors to set up their own pertinent programs.
Around 10,000 smartphones are delivered each month to Mr. Whitehouse's business, which is based in a former British Gas call center and has a contract with Samsung.
His office is made up of warehouse-sized spaces that are crammed with big boxes of damaged equipment and rows and rows of orderly drawers filled with spare parts of all shapes and sizes.
Unfixable phones are destroyed in order to recover and reuse the precious metals inside, including gold. TMT First has also developed a novel method of repairing some handsets that saves the battery and outside frame, thereby reducing e-waste.
Depending on the type of damage, an experienced technician can complete 15 to 20 repairs per shift. The most frequent problem is still shattered screens.
Devices that appear to have been run over by a car are common, according to Mr. Waterhouse.
And sometimes, when we investigate further and ask ourselves "how did this happen?," it turns out that they had been struck by a car. ".
Then it was my turn to take the company's entrance exam for the apprenticeship program. Tudor Ion, head of repairs, demonstrated how to disassemble and then reassemble a smartphone in front of me, so I had to do the same.
A skilled technician can complete it in a few minutes; it took me 45.
It is fiddly but not difficult. The motherboard is attached to the frame with three additional, equally tiny but slightly larger screws that are hidden beneath the casing.
Without causing more harm, everything needs to be carefully disconnected and removed in the right order. A small amount of accidental static, like the shock you occasionally get from walking on carpet, can destroy the delicate electronics inside the device, so I also had to wear accessories to prevent electrostatic discharge.
You must have some practical knowledge. However, I believe that attitude is the most crucial factor because we can teach you how to fix gadgets. But you need to have the right mindset, Mr. Ion said.
I believe he means by this that you must resist the urge to throw the phone out the window after battling the tiniest screws in existence, but maybe I'm wrong.
Campaigners are pressuring the tech industry to assist people in fixing their own devices as a result of the right to repair movement's growth in the US and Europe.
Apple now offers long instruction manuals for those interested in taking out home loans for technical equipment. But if your repair doesn't work, your warranty becomes void.
There are numerous accounts online of people who, like me, found it harder than they had anticipated. However, is it still a danger to companies like TMT First?
There are many people who are skilled at fixing cars. There are many people who might want to work on their vehicles on the weekends. However, some people just want their car fixed, according to Mr. Waterhouse.
"[DIY repair] definitely has its place. however, I doubt that most people want to handle repairs themselves.