Poor Drafting Practices
I think the key word in Thursatim's post is "apprentice." Years ago, there were designers, drafters, and apprentices.
As an apprentice, all you were allowed to do is pickups. You had to try and emulate the lead designer's lettering and make the drawing look exactly as if he had drawn it himself. This way you picked up line weight, spacing, and presentation skills. CAD has done away with this step - a monkey could draw a centerline on a drawing and have it come out the same weight every time.
You eventually moved up to becoming a drafter. These folks would be given the task of making a drawing, but it was initially laid out and directed by the designer. Here you picked up the most important skill: layout. How many details should go on this sheet? How big should they be? How much room should I leave for dimensions? Notes? Callout tables? This is where there is a HUGE, GAPING hole in the system today.
We have older guys that learned this on the boards and keep our drawings straight. We have CAD "monkeys" that can make a line and a circle and sometimes even hidden lines . The problem is, the older guys are retiring (and fast) and leaving a void behind them. There are a few consciencious up-and-comers that "get it" and really work to put out a good product, but they are few and far between.
As for blame - there are many factors involved. Schedules are compressing with crushing force. Do today's designers really have the time to mentor their staff? With the advent of the computer, there is a perception that all of this stuff should be done much faster, and with less effort, than in the past. Faster, maybe. Less effort? Absolutely not. Computers are only facilitators and are only as good as what you put in (for more on how I feel about computers in this industry, see Computers don't care about people, discussion #11595). I'm not against computers in the industry, I'm against the push-button approach to engineering and drafting that is alarmingly becoming the norm. Automation is wonderful, but without the wisdom that created the automation, it can be disastrous, and downright dangerous. What I'm afraid of is that this wisdom in the drafting departments will all but disappear with the retirement of the remaining board-trained designers.
Sorry about the rant, but I get heated on this one...
All I can say to you experienced guys is TEACH! Buck back when schedule pressures increase. Push for more time with the folks coming in. Don't let the shoddy work slide. Don't be afraid to send a drawing back with more red ink than black. Never relent. Yes, I get grumbles when I walk back to drafting and give them my markups, but I get better quality drawings the first time, as well. When it comes off of the plotter, they go back to their desks and check it before giving it to me. Too often you see them just give it straight to the engineer. It starts with the experienced guys. You CAN make a difference...