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85% of workers are ‘petrified’ for the survival of their jobs, according to a recent poll by the Daily Mirror. And they may have every reason to be, with the anticipation of more new lockdown measures coming after more pronouncements by the government.

 

With another period of tighter lockdown measures possibly about to be put in place, the uncertainty is only intensifying. Things were precarious enough for many as they considered their jobs and whether to retrain in a new career: the ending of the furlough scheme and its imminent transfer to the Job Support Scheme, involving a notably less generous system to be introduced, for specific businesses who are told to close. As a result, there are reports that a further 1.8 million job losses are already possible by Christmas. 

These expected measures are comparable to those established at the pandemic’s outset. It’s hard to imagine what this will mean for jobs and thousands of businesses such as, bars, cafes, entertainment establishments of all kinds, who have struggled to stay open during the last six months may now be forced to close once more. Who can say when they’ll open fully again. And, more importantly, who can be assured that any job will still be there when they do lift the sanctions. 

However, this is not completely true across the whole economy and not all sectors – the construction for instance industry is, whilst having its own problems from lockdown, starting to show real signs of recovery and brighter prospects for those employed within it. Companies are not only surviving and getting by, but beginning to thrive in many cases and with that increasing productivity and recruiting. Throughout August and September, reports of a surge in construction productivity were numerous in the media, as businesses started to report a regaining of confidence and an increased workload. The construction industry is leading the way it appears, in an otherwise bleak outlook for the British economy. Building work continues to always need doing, and despite any current and future restrictions – plumbers, electricians, plasterers, carpenters – will continue to work and build their businesses and careers. 

Many people are making the decision to retrain to work in the construction industry and get a professional trade. The ITV documentary, presented by Robert Peston, in which Access Training is featured, covers this subject in some depth. See for yourself by clicking on the link below. Our centres are retraining cab drivers and caterers, entertainers and chefs – even lawyers. Wherever your interest, drive and determination lies, you can retrain in the construction industry as a plumber, electricians, gas engineer, plasterers or carpenter – just give us a call, and we’ll help you to get where you want to be.

Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

A controversial advertising campaign commissioned by the Government to encourage people to change career if they’re in danger of redundancy or at risk as furlough as about to come to an end, has been pulled following complaints abouts its content and the lockdown conditions changing once again. 

 

Social media reacted with fury after the adverts called for people employed within the arts and culture, struggling sectors to ‘Rethink, Reskill, Reboot’, with an emphasis on considering a career in ‘cyber’. The ‘Cyber First’ adverts featured 4 different people in different roles but primarily a ballerina named Fatima who is pictured tying up her ballet shoes next to the words, ‘ Fatima’s next job could be in cyber. (She just doesn't know it yet)

The reaction has been ‘negative’ to say the least, with many responding to the calls to ‘Rethink, Reskill, Reboot’, with accusations of condescension and a dismissive attitude by those in the arts and culture sector, as it asked for them to consider other new careers, in ‘cyber’. 

Whilst this is obviously an area of future growth with the digitisation of virtually every aspect of our lives, the connection of people directly to specific areas is a risky approach for many reasons. When interviewed recently, Rishi Sunak admitted that many people are going to have to abandon their current jobs and retrain in ‘sustainable’ and ‘viable’ sectors: ‘I can’t pretend that everyone can do exactly the same job that they were doing at the beginning of the crisis’, he said.

 

“If you’ve spent years, possibly even decades, working in a specific job role, then the expectation to shift suddenly and seamlessly to another is obviously a tricky prospect.” 

 

This is a wiser approach in our view, to offer advice and to suggest there are other options is far more subtle. But compounding this, the government has devised an ingenious and comprehensive online questionnaire to help you answer the big question: what to retrain as? Based on your preferences and skills, the intention was to make finding a suitable new career much, much easier. Unfortunately, however, it hasn’t quite gone exactly to plan either...

Some questionnaire results have produced some, unlikely results. And people have found much hilarity in this bizarre but welcome bit of light relief, with ‘fair-ground worker’, ‘boxer’, ‘fish-monger’, ‘stonemason’ and ‘countryside rangers’. One person reported that she was apparently assessed as being suitable to be a ‘Bomb Disposal Technician’ or ‘Bingo Caller’.

Among the thousands of unsuitable job suggestions was one lady in her fifties recommended as a stunt-double; responding on Twitter, she optimistically suggested that she should retrain as she ‘could be a stunt-double for an unfit woman in her 50s?’.

Another slight miscalculation involved a self-proclaimed ‘painfully unfit PhD student (who loathed PE throughout her school career and continues to avoid any form of exercise) should retrain as a... ‘professional sportsman’. 

But some results have, at least, shown that the test gives some accurate results, as partakers in this quiz have ended up being told to retrain in… their current job: 

 

‘I’ve just done the government assessment to see what I should retrain as’, wrote one bemused user. ‘I’m going to leave my job as a teacher to become...a teacher’. 

 

You may want to take a look and see what vocations your skills match up to (but don't say we didn't warn you about unexpected outcomes):

https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/skills-assessment

On a serious note, however, this only reflects the gravity of the situation. Many thousands of people across the country are due to have their worlds turned upside down, and forced out of happy, prosperous careers. They are being forced to consider changes that were not part of anyone's plan only a few months ago.

Thankfully though, Access Training offers the perfect way out, but for those who have a desire to get a trade. We are quite clear that there are many other options out there for new careers and training courses to get you there but we will only ever offer advice to those who have asked for it. Not preach it to everyone regardless of their situation. 

Serving those wanting to retrain and change careers to get a trade has been a goal of ours since the beginning, 2003 to be axact; thousands of people from across the employment spectrum have approached us with the aim of retraining and starting out on a fresh path into trades training. 

Now our services may be needed more than ever – and we may be the service that you need. We will however, never condescend you or take your previous experience for granted. Our Career Support Team is here to listen and advise you.

 

"Guys who’ve come from all sorts of backgrounds, taxi drivers, entertainment, even to the point where I’ve had some solicitors because they’re unsure of whether they’re ever going to go back to working in the office.

Anybody who's lost their job... my advice is don't be afraid. With hard work and the right training... you can do anything that you want."

Jimmy Adkins, Access Training Academies Tutor speaking to Robert Peston from ITV



Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.



As government reports of cases of Covid-19 show rises to levels similar to what they were at the beginning of the pandemic, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has been forced to think again on his assurance that furlough will not be extended further than October 31st. Whilst this scheme is still set to finish on this date, he has instead extended the Job Support Scheme to help pay salaries for companies that are forced to close. 

 

‘Britain risks an unemployment crisis greater than we have seen in decades…’’

Annalise Dodds, Labour Shadow chancellor

 

Case levels are rising and local lockdowns are being implemented, and many businesses are expected to close again in order to counter the curb. Employees and companies, who have already been through alot over the last six months, are currently left in a furlough limbo. Many are questioning the levels of support they are receiving, leading to searching questions for those who may need to reskill to find future employment. 

In this latest development, trying to answer the question of what to do next is increasingly impossible for many. Fresh restrictions mean another decline back into full lockdown and a raft of redundancies for businesses who haven’t had the time or notice to prepare. Who could blame anyone for looking for another way out? A new career is the only option for many. One of our tutors, Jimmy Adkins, had some advice for those facing job losses,

 

"Anybody who's lost their job... my advice is don't be afraid. With hard work and the right training... you can do anything that you want."

Jimmy Adkins, Access Training Academies Tutor speaking on ITV Tonight

 

With jobs in jeopardy, what individuals need are alternative options: a flexible route into one of the few stable careers still viable and accessible in this climate. At Access Training we are seeing many people making the move into getting a trade - we’ve been continually training people ever since the pandemic began, and for 17 years previously - we never closed, and have given people the impetus for fresh starts, new careers, trade qualifications, and most importantly, a brighter future. These things could be awaiting you, if you decide to train and fill the often advertised skills gap in the trades.

Whatever your course of choice – whether it’s a plumbing course, a carpentry course, an electrical course, or any course within construction – Access Training can provide a route out of a seemingly unending series of reports about redundancies and job uncertainties. The construction industry is seeing an unprecedented upturn in demand, and people are needed to fill that demand. Enquire about starting a course with us today.


Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

In a couple of weeks, the furlough scheme is coming to an end and economists are predicting that what began as a safety net for millions of people, will still result in mass redundancies. But there are reports that construction businesses are expanding due to demand which is great news for those changing careers and getting a trade. 

Rewind back to the beginning of lockdown, a time when furlough seemed, to millions of people, like a blessed relief. It kept thousands of people afloat, supported businesses through a tough time, and made sure that the brutality of the pandemic wasn’t made worse by a crushing economic crash. 

But now, six months on, the end of the furlough scheme is rapidly approaching. Predictions are coming through surrounding the impact of the next six months. And it isn’t looking good. 

It's clear that the situation we’re in as a country is going to be very problematic for many. So we have compiled 5 important points about the current predicament, highlighted so that you have the information you need to make a decision about your future:

 

  • 1.8 million people are predicted to lose their jobs when furlough ends. Estimates now predict a massive surge in unemployment that could reach 12%.
  • 20% of people who received furlough are facing unemployment. According to the Office for Budget Responsibility, 8.9 million people benefited from the furlough scheme. 

 

  • The Office for National Statistics reports that between 7-20th of September, only 11% of workers were signed up to the furlough scheme. This is down from 36% in April.

 

  • The Bank of England reported that it is likely that businesses have been exiting the furlough scheme quicker than we think. They suggest that only 7% of workers are still receiving furlough in September. 
  • The Times reports that, due to ‘weaker demand and uncertainty about the outlook’ ahead, businesses are ‘slashing jobs and investment’. Many workers will not be able to protect themselves from the economic downturn. 

 

However, there is a shining light coming from the construction and trades sector

 

Powered Now has reported the fastest rise in construction output since 2015. This great news was based on information coming from the UK Construction PMI (Purchasing Managers Index).






The report also noted that UK construction companies had rapidly expanded their business activities during the summer as new business had increased in spite of the wider economic issues. Powered Now also made comment on Yahoo Finance regarding the welcomed upturn:

 

‘....the building sector is back! This is great news. It means that this important sector is doing its part in the recovery from Covid-19. The whole industry is still in catch up mode and projects delayed by the lockdown are taking priority. This has helped to spike demand and we expect it to continue…’



So the trades may well be the place to be for a new stable career! Maybe it's time to consider a new direction: Invest in yourself, invest in a new career, and invest in a trade.



Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

‘Sunak explained that he saw no point in supplying further funding to maintain jobs that would be no longer sustainable...The chancellor appears to be hoping that employers will make the altruistic choice. Some will, but many will not’. – Will Clayton, employment analyst at Constantine Law.

 

In the aftermath of Rishi Sunak’s Job Support Scheme (JSS) announcement, thousands across the country have been contemplating what the new arrangement means for them – for their jobs, livelihoods, and futures. With the furlough scheme coming to an end on October 31st, it is as yet unclear who will benefit or miss out from the introduction of the JSS. How will it work in practice? Will employers follow the rules if they don’t have to? Are we about to see a spike in redundancies?

Here are five things you need to know about the upcoming changes due to take place – after all, it’s your career that’s at stake, and it’s essential that you have all the necessary information available to you, in order to make a decision about your future:

 

1. ‘Unsustainable’ and ‘unviable’ jobs are bearing the brunt

In the government’s layout of the plans ahead, they note that only ‘viable’ jobs are being supported. The definition of what is a ‘viable’ job is shrouded in ambiguity – the question is, what jobs count as un-viable? Surely every job is viable if it earns you a living?

 

‘It is fundamentally wrong to hold people in jobs that only exist inside the furlough’ – Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

 

2. JSS supports only those who are still in work

Here the scheme really emerges as a ‘watered-down’ furlough scheme. Those who are self-employed, or working in industries that haven’t been supported by the furlough scheme are, essentially, still unsupported, still struggling, still living without the certainties they deserve.

 

 

3. One third of pay will still be cut from overall wage

And even those workers who are still working in the ‘viable’ jobs with reduced hours – they’ll still have to admit a loss of a third of their wage. The new arrangement ensures that the employer and the government will each cover two thirds of the usual salary – the missing third will have to be taken on the chin. In a time of such financial uncertainty and job instability, where people have faced a 20% reduction in salary already through the furlough scheme, another third reduction is going to hit some people particularly hard.

 

‘It leaves many hundreds of thousands of workers...with a grim future’ – Julian Knight, Chairman of the Commons Culture Committee.

 

4. It costs employers more

As well-meaning as Sunak’s deal is, it takes employers’ generosity for granted. For example, imagine an employer had a workforce of fifteen, all on a third of their usual hours, yet still having to pay two-third of their usual wage for unworked hours. Why not just sack off ten of the workers, and pay the remaining five their normal full-time wage? It would save money and a headache – it’s actually cheaper just to sack the worker and pay someone else to work part-time!

 

‘We can’t continue to provide the same degree of support as we did at the beginning of this crisis and sustain it at that level … it’s not affordable’ – Chancellor Rishi Sunak

 

5. It doesn’t solve the overall problem

It doesn’t take an expert to observe that the new measures are another temporary fix. It doesn’t remove the inevitable cliff edge – we’re still heading towards it, it’s just been placed a bit further down the line.  Meanwhile, hard-working people, who have faced months of stress and uncertainty, are faced with more of the same, as what exists of the safety net gets thinner and thinner. And the reality is, if you haven’t been able to work during the lockdown months, then you simply won’t benefit from the upcoming changes.

 

6. Confusion is still rife surrounding the scheme’s practicality

It’s just another case of waiting and seeing what happens on October 31st – another leap into the unknown. Appropriate timing for Halloween? Perhaps so, as it marks the beginning of another six months period of continued degradation; another few months of watching the ship slowly sinking, and only a rubber dinghy there to save you.

 

But the future doesn’t have to be as terrifying as all this. If you’re prepared to take one leap into the unknown, in the form of this next phase of job support, then we’re here to suggest another, far more secure and rewarding leap: into a new career.

The construction industry is faring well, all things considered, under the new system – better than most sectors in the UK. Why not learn a trade and invest in your future? If you’re out of work and facing the horrendous prospect of the future outlined above, it sounds like you have nothing to lose.

 

Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

 

 

 

1. How long are plumbing courses in the UK? Well the answer is that this can vary between months and years if you’re considering becoming a plumber. An apprenticeship can take up to 4 years to complete the plumbing course. While an intensive fast track course will usually take 8 - 20 weeks in length before achieving a plumbing qualification.  

2. How long does it take to get certified in plumbing? Generally, it will take you between 1 - 2 years to gain all the plumbing qualification you need if you are undertaking a NVQ Diploma level 2. City and Guilds and EAL offer this plumbing qualification. This method of training takes less time than completing an apprenticeship in plumbing.

3. Is 40 too old to become a plumber? The answer to this is NO, certainly not. You can undertake a plumbing course and gain qualification to become a plumbing at any time in your life. You can be working as a plumber in the trade after 12 months and upon becoming certified and qualified.

4. How much does it cost to become a plumber in the UK? Plumbing courses can cost between £495 and £4,995. They teach between the very basic skills required in plumbing up to full technical and practical skills required to achieve full plumbing certification. Choosing the correct training course with the right plumbing training provider is vital.

5. How much does a plumber earn? Plumbers in the UK generally earn between £750 and £1000 per week which breaks down to £150 - £200 per day of work. Plumber’s wages can increase where demand is greater and higher rates of pay can frequently be achieved, so becoming a plumber is an excellent choice of career. 

The plumbing industry is a well respected and lucrative trade. Talk to us today to discover whether a plumbing career is right for you and which plumbing courses you need to take.

 

Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

“Output has increased for two months in a row and momentum is increasing. June’s 23.5% surge was triple the 7.6% growth seen in May… The recovery is still young and fragile, but so far it is taking the hoped-for V-shape.”

Gareth Belsham, Naismiths. Construction Enquirer, June 2020


The wider economic outlook is grim for the UK, that's been extensively reported. The OECD has forecast that the UK’s national income will slump by 11.5 per cent this year, greater than that of France, Italy, Spain and Germany. Brexit will also have an impact on the economy, but that’s another potential issue.

However in spite of all the negative predictions, the trades sector has much potential as it represents the spearhead by which government investment generates growth. These measures will seek to boost the economy in a manner not seen since the end of the Second World War.



“History shows the construction industry is the tried and tested means of driving economic recovery, just as it did after the Second World War”

Paul Gandy, managing director of Interserve Construction, Construction News 3rd July 2020



An article in Construction News in July of this year, written by Paul Gandy, managing director of Interserve Construction, highlighted the positives that could then filter down through all areas of the industry. He highlighted that jobs would be secured and created across manufacturing, architecture, planning, engineering, distribution and construction, plus many other indirectly related jobs.

He also goes on to state that the construction industry as a whole provides people with new jobs quickly and the money that is invested gives a speedy return. With the government now looking to prioritise their spending they could do no better than to provide people with a level of funding needed to create these new skilled jobs in the trades.



“If the government prioritises job creation, skills and infrastructure spending – as the prime minister has pledged – the industry could be well placed to bounce back quickly following an extremely challenging period.”

 

Paul Gandy also made it clear how valuable the sector is to the UK economy as a whole: 

 

“In 2018, the economic output of the construction sector, according to the Construction Leadership Council (CLC), was worth £413bn, equivalent to 8.6 per cent of GDP. This is nearly four times the combined annual output of the aerospace and automotive industries.”



The construction sector itself is huge with over 900,000 sole traders amongst the 3,000,000 people who are directly or indirectly working in the industry - There are also just under 1,000,000 people that are regarded as self-employed.

There is still a long way to go to ensure that these prospects are fulfilled and we have some way to go before we reach a full and sustained recovery. Demand for construction projects will continue to increase, although nobody knows exactly when this will happen, as Ragene Raithata, a senior associate in the construction and infrastructure practice at DWF Group, importantly reminds us: 



“In a post-pandemic world there will still be a requirement for more homes, urban regeneration, improved infrastructure, improved offices, retail space and more distribution facilities. We all know from past downturns that a robust construction sector will emerge but how and when, we just do not know.”



Homes will always need building, infrastructure will always need developing, modernising, adapting – and we will need it now more than ever before. When things do return to normal, Britain needs the workforce to contribute to its road to recovery, to fulfill its prophecy of re-growth. We need to create our own masterplan for revival to see us out the other end – but most importantly, we need skilled tradespeople who are able to get the job done.

It is no overstatement to predict that the construction industry will provide the means of rebuilding our country: physically, economically, and mentally. And who knows? The next decade might see the UK economy becoming dependent on the continued growth of the construction industry. 

Whatever happens, we’ll need skilled tradespeople to get the job done – and you could be one of them.

Enquire for a course today



Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

"Anybody who's lost their job... my advice is don't be afraid. With hard work and the right training... you can do anything that you want."

Jimmy Adkins, Access Training Academies Tutor speaking to Robert Peston from ITV

Today’ Rishi Sunak announced his ‘Wage Top-Up’ scheme, a plan which effectively allows employers to work a third of their hours for almost the same wage; that is, 77% of their salary for one third of their normal working day. Another skilful avoidance of complete redundancy, another catastrophe missed; but ultimately a temporary measure to delay the inevitable. 

And let’s not forget, that this indicates a reduction in payment from the previous 80% salary offered by the furlough scheme. What happens to people already struggling to make ends meet, now met with a 3% reduction? What will happen at the end of another 6 months when industries are on their knees? 

There is a great cause for concern, as Paul Johnson, head of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, predicted that 2 million people could lose their jobs by the end of this year. He called Sunak’s new plans ‘significantly less generous than the furlough scheme’; he also makes a crucial point, that only those currently working more than a third of their usual hours will benefit from this updated system – those not working at all will lose their jobs.

But we at Access Training want to reach out and reassure you that all is not lost. We want to point out the ways in which this period is an opportunity to grasp, that now is the moment you’ve been waiting for. Here are 5 tips on how to navigate the new furlough as a worker:



  1. Use gained time to retrain and prepare 

A lack of time and resources are no longer a reason not to invest in a training course. With Sunak’s new scheme announcement, you have the same wage, but two thirds more free time than before. What better way to use that free time than to upskill, retrain, and prepare for the next phase? It’s a no brainer – invest your time wisely.

 

  1. Plan ahead for the worst

If your sector, business, industry of work is likely to be one of those about to crumble, then planning ahead is crucial to avoiding a redundancy further on down the line. Why leave it to chance? Why not join the thousands of chefs, pilots, solicitors, cab drivers, and many other professionals, who are enrolling on a course with us?

 

  1. Keep your options open

Regardless of what line of work you have been, or are currently in, a construction course will cater for you. And with every other sector now under threat from financial ruin and collapse, wouldn’t it be better to have the option to jump ship if it had to come to that? 

 

  1. You have nothing to lose, everything to gain

As you read this, construction courses are reaching peak demand with new students leaving their careers to begin afresh in construction. With the continued uncertainty ahead, this makes perfect sense: a sturdy and dependable industry, guaranteed work and high demand. Upskilling is a win-win situation: you become more employable, you expand on your professional skills, and you gain qualifications which will always benefit you. In these times, it’s best to leave nothing to chance. 

 

  1. Believe in yourself – remain hopeful

As soon as self-belief is lost, then getting yourself back on your feet and moving forward can become impossible. We are here to assure you that Access Training is your way out and up to security and confidence. As Sunak inspiringly noted in his announcement speech:

 

"What was true at the beginning of the crisis remains true now. It’s on all of us, and we must learn to live … without fear.

Live without fear, and take the leap you’ve been meaning to take – because now really is the time." 



Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

From Solicitor to Plumber: How people are retraining to cope during the coronavirus pandemic

ITV News, 24th September 2020

Access Training is being featured on an ITV Tonight special programme presented by Robert Peston titled, ‘Can We Save Our Jobs’, investigating the prospects of life after furlough. The programme, as you will see, highlights the trials and tribulations of the last 6 months of furlough: the stress of having no work, the strain of having to provide for your family, and the hopelessness of a jobless future. 

But it’s not all doom and gloom.



"Anybody who's lost their job... my advice is don't be afraid. With hard work and the right training... you can do anything that you want."

Jimmy Adkins, Access Training Academies Tutor speaking to Robert Peston from ITV



The programme details a range of students already at Access Training, who have made the wise decision to begin a career in the trade industry, as a result of the large-scale effects of Covid-19. They have left their rapidly sinking jobs and have retrained as anything they wanted, regardless of their experience: cab drivers becoming plumbers, chefs becoming gas engineers – even solicitors are jumping on the bandwagon. If that’s not a sign for optimism and hope, then I don’t know what is. 

Talking to Peston, our gas tutor Jimmy Adkins gives an excellent summary of the situation, detailing how construction courses are now in such high demand.

 

"It went absolutely crazy. Guys who’ve come from all sorts of backgrounds, taxi drivers, entertainment, even to the point where I’ve had some solicitors because they’re unsure of whether they’re ever going to go back to working in the office."

 

One of our students, Chris Kruger, was also interviewed for the programme. Chris recently left his job as a chef, citing job uncertainty as the main reason for the decision. He speaks of the ‘very stressful and very worrying’ threat to his job, and indeed the whole catering industry:

 

"Not knowing whether things were going to go back to normal, whether I would still have a job, and the situation at home expecting a baby and so forth, and my partner also being in the hospitality industry. So both of us sitting on furlough, you can imagine the stress that we were getting from that."

 ITV Tonight - Watch here 

Chris very wisely decided that retraining as a plumber would secure his wife and young family’s future in these increasingly unsettling and unstable times. But instead of sitting back and letting everything crumble around him, Chris took it upon himself to prepare for the future: ‘I just said, no, I need to utilise this time to study’. If Chris can do it, so can you. 

With new furlough developments underway, allowing more free time for workers for the same pay, why not make the most of this opportunity to get trained? For those who don’t use this time carefully and sensibly, they could end up in the very same position of worry and anxiety when the next six months of furlough come to an end. This means more uncertainty, more struggling to get by, and more people out of work. You could be one of those people.

But you could also be like one of the people in Peston’s programme, who took the right steps at the right time to become a qualified tradesperson; who invested in their careers, and became proactive and determined. Access Training can be your stepping stone to a secure and fulfilling career; the safety net you need in these unforgiving times. 

"Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, demand for construction courses has gone through the roof, as many fear they will never be able to return to their previous work."

 

Demand is high, and the time is now. Take the initiative, take the leap. Enrol on a course today.

 

Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

City & Guilds and EAL logos

NVQ Level 2 (called an SVQ 2 in Scotland) is the qualification every plumber ultimately needs. Because it is assessed in the workplace and not in the classroom, it proves your competence and is based on your practical skills.

In order to gain this qualification, you will first need to achieve the Level 2 Diploma in Plumbing, as some fundamental practical skills and a basic prior knowledge of plumbing systems are required. Completing the Level 2 Diploma in Plumbing demonstrates that you have learned and retained the core skills required to become a plumber (you will receive a certificate as proof of this).

You will then need to go out into the workplace, where you will be assessed on various jobs that meet the specific criteria needed to gain your NVQ Level 2 Diploma in Plumbing.

So there are two qualifications you'll need to become a plumber...

 

Level 2 Diploma in Plumbing

  • Level 2 Diploma in Plumbing Studies (City & Guilds 6035-02)

Level 2 will equip you with the relevant plumbing and heating knowledge and skills. Once you've got this qualification under your belt, you can carry out plumbing tasks - but you may have to be supervised depending on the task.

 

NVQ Level 2 Diploma in Plumbing

There are two choices for your NVQ:

  • NVQ Level 2 Diploma in Plumbing and Heating
  • NVQ Level 2 Diploma in Installing and Maintaining Domestic Heating Systems

Both of these options comprise mandatory units, including:

  • Understand and carry out safe working practices in building services engineering
  • Understand and apply domestic hot water system installation and maintenance
  • Understand and apply domestic above-ground drainage system installation and maintenance techniques
  • Install and maintain domestic heating systems

 

Are City & Guilds plumbing qualifications the best ones to have?

1878: City of London Corporation and 16 livery companies - the trade guilds - established The City and Guilds of London Institute to develop a national system of technical education. They were granted a Royal Charter by Queen Victoria in 1900.

City & Guilds plumbing qualifications have always been the traditional route for plumbers to become qualified, and to this day, they are still recognised internationally. NVQ qualifications were introduced after this, so the qualifications that plumbers attain nowadays are NVQs - which can be provided by awarding organisations other than City & Guilds (such as EAL, who offer plumbing courses at the same level).

Browse Plumbing Courses

These courses come under the title of BSE (Business Services Engineering) and therefore include an understanding and application of:

  • Safe working practices
  • Communicating with others
  • Environmental protection measures
  • Scientific principles
  • Site preparation and pipework fabrication techniques
  • Cold and hot domestic water system installation and maintenance techniques
  • Central heating system installation and maintenance techniques

The assessments for NVQ Level 2 form part of the programme, along with practical and theory exams. These take place in a training centre as part of the plumbing course.

You will also have to submit a portfolio of work and pass performance assessments in your workplace to demonstrate your skills.

Call 0800 345 7492 and talk to us today to find out more about our plumbing courses.

Recommended Course: Professional Plumbing Course

Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

"Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together." - Marilyn Monroe

Restart your career

If you're one of the thousands who have been furloughed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, what should you do next? And could you turn your furlough experience into a career opportunity?

If you are in this situation, what options do you have? Do you persevere and hope things will eventually return to normal...or do you know, deep down, that this may not happen? Should you look for a new job now, or think big and chase your long-held aspiration to start something new?

As it stands, thousands of people in the UK are already finding themselves out of work. Others are being protected from this fate - for now - by the government's furlough scheme, putting them in a state of employment. But with the Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme ending soon, the threat of redundancy is looming ever closer for furloughed employees.

Furlough figures - September 2020

What should you do if you're one of the people affected by this situation? You may be feeling very stressed right now, but the end of furlough could also be your opportunity to begin something new - something far more rewarding than the 'normal' that you knew before.

The furlough scheme is due to end on 31 October, so there's no time to waste. Here are 5 steps that you should consider:

 

1. Contact your employer if you haven't already done so.

Don't be afraid - even if you've barely spoken to your employer while you haven't been working, you can still get in touch now to request some details about your situation and the company itself. You may even wish to ask how the economic forecast is shaping up; does it look like the business will still be able to employ you after October, once the furlough safety net has been taken away?

 

2. Take some time to reflect.

Really focus on what you desire from your life. Think about your career and your professional needs: what do you want to do now, and which direction do want to go in?

 

3. Consider whether you really want to return to your old job.

Ask yourself simple, direct questions: 'Am I happy to return to this job if it's still there? Is this genuinely the career I want, the work I find most fulfilling? Can I see a long-term future for this industry and my place in it?'

 

4. Plan your next steps.

If redundancy is inevitable - or if you've decided that, regardless of whether your position remains secure, you don't want to go back to the old normal - then it's time to think about what you want to do next. Do you take this opportunity to retrain and learn some new skills? Identify what knowledge and qualifications you'll need to make your dream career a reality, then find out how best to reach the required level.

 

5. Look for a clear, realistic career path.

Above all, look for the path that will lead to real opportunities in an area that's sustainable and growing. Whether you're looking to reboot or switch careers entirely, now is a great time to dream big and start building a new picture of your future career.

 

Sometimes, the most important decisions are the ones made for us. As daunting and unprecedented as the current crisis is, it could be your springboard to improved career prospects, especially if you have a long-term goal or ambition that didn't seem realistic before.

Inevitably, emotion will be a factor when you're asking yourself the big questions. It's impossible to provide a detached, purely rational answer to questions like 'If my profession ceased to exist, what career would I want to pursue instead?' or 'How can I reinvent myself?' If you've always thought about re-skilling (or up-skilling) but didn't have the inclination or the need a year ago, now may be the perfect time to take that leap, but use your head to think clearly - don't be swayed entirely by your emotions.

Ultimately, life is never without its difficulties, and there are bound to be setbacks along the way. We can't plan for every single occurrence, but what matters is how you bounce back and move forward. There's always light at the end of the tunnel, and this crisis won't last forever.

Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

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further education

At the Annual Conservative Party Conference, held in September 2019, the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson addressed ‘the forgotten fifty per cent’: the portion of the UK’s population which is ‘often overlooked’ when it comes to educational avenues and investment. He stressed the importance of ‘vocational education’ by arguing that it is ‘just as valuable as University education’, and indeed ‘just as important to our economy’; in short, he said that a large portion of the population had been ‘forgotten’ and ‘ignored’ by our education system.

 

Fast forward to his statement in July 2020, and these words have acquired an urgency which resonates with us now more than ever. ‘The tragedy is that for decades we have forgotten about half of our education system’, he writes, while making ‘a commitment to stand for the forgotten 50%’. It is a commitment on which the future of our economy and construction industries depends.

 

Some context: way back in 1999, Prime Minister Tony Blair made it his government’s priority to ensure that 50% of the population attended university, a target which was reached in 2017-18, where 50.2% of students went on to study at university. As ambitious and well-meaning as Blair’s target seemed back in 1999, it certainly bodes the question: what about the other 50%?

 

How we're helping the forgotten 50%

Of course, Access Training has been asking the same questions for years: what about the 50% who don’t consider going to university to be a viable or favourable option? What about those who are perfectly cut out for a career in the trades industry, who need the services we provide to prepare them for the future? What about those highly practical and skilled individuals who are now so crucial to propping up our economy?

 

These are the people that Access Training caters for, and Mr Williamson’s long-overdue call for more investment in training programmes proves that our finger has been on the pulse since the very beginning.

 

But most importantly, we must ask whether university degrees actually deliver the benefits we are told they do? Not so, according to Mr Williamson, who notes the fact that ‘five years after completion, the average Higher Technical Apprentice earns more than the average graduate’. This statistic is earth-shattering to the notion that a university education provides a more dependable route to a lucrative career – and so why have we been peddling it for decades?

 

The truth is, the overwhelming focus of the Department of Education in recent decades has been on reaching pointless statistical landmarks without questioning their value, and as a result, half of the country’s student population has been left out of the equation. No equivalent investment has been made in the futures of the forgotten 50% – despite the fact that apprenticeships and vocational tradespeople often earn more than their graduate counterparts, there is still a massive skills shortage in the construction industry: as of October 2019, 40% of construction trades experienced their highest skills shortages since 2013. Our job is to fill that gap – by treating the trades as a secondary or lower form of education, it’s looking like a steep hill to climb.

 

So after two decades, the forgotten 50% are back in the limelight. But despite Mr Williamson’s commendable emphasis on the ‘need for upskilling, reskilling and retraining’, he fails to draw his attention to the current work of Independent Training Providers who have been supplying these crucial services for years already. It is what the country needs, and it is our ticket to salvaging our economy and future job markets. In short, it’s what we need to ‘get Britain working again'.

 

Since the onset of the pandemic, Access Training has transformed its technical and vocational training into an online portal, available to everyone, anywhere, for however long they need it. It is precisely this ability to provide what Mr Williamson calls ‘flexible, practical training’ which makes our educational model so effective and popular with our students, and perfectly matches Mr Williamson’s vision for the future – right now in the present.

 

The future of reskilling and retraining is already here – enquire today about a course with Access Training.

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