On the matter of the lathe: I have known of three systems for lathe training within our space, and two outside.
The first space system was run by the (then?) owner of the lathe, who checked the user was vaguely competent and then let them use it. This has obvious scalability issues and when that person left then there was no training and no way to become authorised to use the lathe.
The second system was that a trainer would go through the production of a training project with the trainee, and upon safe and successful completion the trainee was authorised to use the lathe. This also suffered from a lack of trainers and scheduling issues, as training was 1:1, quite draining for the trainer, and took several hours.
There was a significant issue where someone had mounted a tool incorrectly (rotated 90 degrees) and had also caused one of the gib strips to fall out of the machine. This prompted the move to the current system of training.
I would also note an incident that occurred at SoMakeIt - the makerspace in Southampton - in which their lathe launched a piece of work from the chuck across the room, hitting the opposite wall. Had it hit someone there would have been serious injuries. This prompted a change from their former system (like our second system) to a system much like our current one.
For completeness, I will describe the current training. Trainees first attend a group session to be familiarised with the safety aspects of the lathe, its capabilities, and its basic operation. After this they may use it under the supervision of any fully trained user (not just a trainer). Having practiced, or used externally acquired experience, they may then be assessed by a trainer as being competent to use the lathe independently (lone working rules still apply).
Unfortunately, the pandemic has thrown a spanner in the works, as I (currently the only trainer) am not currently in Manchester, and whilst I would be willing to consider doing the first part over a video call, I feel the third requires the trainer and trainee to be in the same place. Under normal circumstances I would have been to Manchester regularly for social, space training and other reasons, but this has been advised against, and would now constitute an offence. As soon as I am able to legally (and within guidelines) travel to Manchester and deliver training I intend to do so.
Whilst I understand your frustration, there is a need for lathe users to not only be competent, but to show it in a consistent and recorded manner. People who have existing experience can potentially be shown the health and safety aspects and then immediately be assessed. Going by what you have written, this seems a likely route for you.
I will, finally, note that if someone is badly injured using the lathe because they don’t know what they are doing then it could end the space. I don’t want that, and I don’t think anyone else does either.