Solidarteit Wêreld
2020 – Uitgawe 5 My Werk
Occupational guilds – medieval to modern
Deur Lize-Mari | 09 November 2020

Foto krediet: iStock

By Wilmarie Brits

Guilds originated in the High Medieval Period, as craftsmen united to protect their common interests in a particular trade. Guilds were generally organisations that used an early form of accreditation and membership in the form of letters patent, which were issued by the local lord. These letters patent afforded the guild the exclusive right to deal or trade in a particular area. The guild would charge new craftsmen a joining fee, and in return they would be granted permission to practise their craft within certain jurisdictions.

In the Middle Ages, guilds played an important role in society. According to Dr Sheilagh Ogilvie, Professor of Economic History, guilds provided an opportunity for members to learn trade skills which were passed down from generation to generation. It also enabled the members of a guild to rise in society through hard work.

Some experts believe that guilds stifled innovation and creativity within industries. “It was a classic example of the status-quo maintaining its power rather than seeking advancement in skills and techniques that would benefit the industry and the community it served,” says Prateek Raj, PhD Candidate in Strategy and Entrepreneurship.

The guilds of today

According to Matt Stefon, Assistant Editor at Britannica, there are many guilds still in existence today, especially in the creative industries. “Some guilds wield large amounts of power, such as the groups that manage and protect the interests of writers and artists. However, they are overly focused on the short-term goals of protecting the status-quo over being responsive to future members and the communities they purport to serve.”

What sets Solidarity’s occupational guilds apart from the rest is that the Solidarity guilds focus on you and your development as a professional.

Why should I join a Solidarity guild?

It connects professional communities

Networking is very important for a successful career. Being part of a guild allows you to connect and form relationships with others in the same or related fields. It promotes doing business with or employing each other, it assists with training, and facilitates work on a large scale.

It protects both the profession and the professional

When you join a Solidarity guild you can rest assured that you are protected within your profession. The guild focuses on protecting both the profession and the professional in the profession. The guild also ensures fairness by acting as a watchdog to protect the interests of the profession.

It empowers you to be the best

The Solidarity guilds create an environment where professionals feel at home, work and learn together. The guilds focus on developing and presenting career-specific training, webinars or seminars to empower members with information. The guilds also offer networking opportunities within a profession, where members can discuss trends and find solutions to unique career challenges.

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Deur Cilleste van Dyk Ons sal self. Hierdie drie woorde kan baie arrogant klink sonder die regte konteks. Solidariteit sê: Ons sal self, nie omdat ons dink dat ons dinge alleen of deur ons eie krag sal regkry nie, maar omdat dat daar geen ander opsie is vir ’n voorspoedige toekoms nie. Daarom sê ons […]

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