In a previous news entry we discussed the confusion or lack of general awareness centring on the new Gas Safe Register, and the potential gas safety problems which can occur when you employ tradesmen who are not properly registered. In recent months, it has come to light that even more serious electrical problems are looming…

Back in January 2005, the government introduced new legislation regulating electrical installation work carried out in houses and gardens. This came after a number of electrical injuries (750) and deaths (10), which occurred as a direct result of poor electrical wiring. There existed a common misconception that electrical work could be carried out, without the relevant electrical training or expertise, within the home. These yearly figures are disturbing enough; however, add these to the 2,336 house fires caused by incorrect electrical installation and the picture painted becomes far more menacing.

There is a distinct lack of general awareness amongst the public, and disturbingly amongst trades people themselves. Part P of the building regulations explains why the dangers of electrical shocks from faulty electrical work are so widespread. As an example, in 2008, the Electrical Safety Council reported that a serious incident occurred when a woman was electrocuted following the redecoration of a room in her house. The woman received a fatal electrical shock when her decorator, who was not compliant with Part P of the regulations, replaced some electrical sockets with those of a different style. The woman was electrocuted when she picked up a metal lamp which had become live, whilst touching another lamp that was earthed. In this instance, despite the work not complying with Part P, the Crown Prosecution Service decided that there were no grounds to prosecute the decorator; however, the message is stark: you must comply with Part P and notify Building Control of your local authority when you carry out repairs, replacements, maintenance work or add extra power or lighting points to existing circuits. They will then send an inspector to assess the work and provide you with a certificate to confirm the work fully complies.

It is still possible to be registered to carry out electrical work without the need to inform Building Control, and still be compliant with Part P. This can be achieved by becoming a member of a competent person scheme, such as the NICEIC. A short electrical training course with us here at Access Training will teach you everything you need to know.  We can also put you in touch with the NICEIC to start the registration process as a domestic electrician. This will give kitchen fitters, carpenters, decorators, plumbers, plasterers, general builders and even keen DIYers the training and competence they need.

To find out more about the comprehensive Part P electrical courses we offer here at Access, call us today on 0800 345 7492. We can have you registered with the NCIEC in no time as a fully signed up member of the Competent Person Scheme.

Believe it or not, despite all the extensive media coverage at the time, many people are still unaware that the Corgi accreditation, which regulated the work carried out by gas fitters, has now been replaced by Gas Safe.

The Corgi Register changed to the Gas Safe Register back in September of 2008, after the HSE conducted a study which established the need for a new system to cope with the increase in the number of homes using gas in the UK (about 21 million). More importantly, it was designed to improve the statistics for death and injury resulting from gas installations. It was felt that a new Gas Safe Register would increase public awareness about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Stephen Manley, an Inspector for the HSE, referred to the need for more people to be aware of the change from Corgi Registration to Gas Safe Registration: “It is illegal for an unregistered person to carry out work on a gas appliance. When unqualified workers try to bypass the law in this way they are not only putting themselves at risk of prosecution and a large fine, they are also putting their customers' lives at risk.

"Working with gas appliances requires a great deal of skill and knowledge, it is also potentially very dangerous. Only qualified and registered engineers should attempt it.

Paul Johnston, the Chief Executive of the Gas Safe Register, commented: "To fit, fix or service gas appliances… that person [needs to be] Gas Safe Registered [not Corgi Registered]. You shouldn't take any risks; badly fitted and poorly serviced gas appliances can cause fires, explosions, gas leaks and carbon monoxide poisoning".

So, if you are looking to become qualified as a gas fitter, you need to become Gas Safe Registered. Access Training offer the simplest way to get Gas Safe Registered quickly and safely; our gas training courses come with a guaranteed work placement with a reputable Gas Safe Registered company, giving you the skills and confidence to fit gas appliances safely. However, just remember that it’s the Gas Safe Register and not the Corgi Register you really need to be a part of.

For comprehensive training enabling you to become Gas Safe Registered, contact Access Training today on 0800 345 7492. We have an enormous range of industry accredited trades training courses, which will teach you everything you need to know.

Vocational Courses

There are expected to be in the region of 230,000 disappointed young people missing out on a university place this year, damaging their hopes for a rewarding job, and in their view, affecting their future earning ability.

But is this truly the case? What about the wealth of vocational training options available which can lead to an extremely rewarding and lucrative career?

Vocational courses lead to higher-paying jobs

The median salary for graduates is £23,000*, which compares poorly to the average salary for an electrician in the UK, which currently sits at £31,701*.

Vocational courses cost less than university courses

At time of writing, university fees stand at £3290 per year, rising to £9000 in a year’s time. That’s £27,000 for a three year course (without the inclusion of living expenses).

For that price you could gain dozens of industry-recognised vocational qualifications, including plumbing and electrical awards, as well as becoming Gas Safe qualified and registered, with bags of money remaining to buy your first van and all your tools!

There aren't enough university places to go around

To add to the strain for university places, these potential students are also coming under pressure from competition for places from the EU, with applications for places rising by 8% already this year. It stands to reason that with the much vilified 2012 rise in fees, many more applications are being received per place as an attempt to beat the price hike, but to what end?

The surge in applicants shows a further increase on the quarter of a million that applied for a university position last year, with one in three unable to gain a place.

However, this needn’t be the end of the world; in fact it can be the start of a whole new successful chapter of an individual’s life. Vocational alternatives such as plumbing, electrical and gas courses are readily available. The Government recently announced their intention to set up 40 new university technical colleges (UTCs); however, this news was lost amongst the furore of the tuition fee protests. Such careers are extremely worthy alternatives to a university education, especially given the current skills gap in the country (which has existed for decades).    

Even EAL, the organisation which awards vocational qualifications across sectors including plumbing, electrical and gas, has called for an end to what it rightly describes as snobbery against vocational courses.

Sally Hunt, General Secretary of the University and College Union, has said:

"Our Government seems intent on ignoring the global trend of increasing access to university, which will see thousands of applicants denied the chance to fulfil their potential."

However, Hunt doesn’t acknowledge that an individual’s potential can still be fulfilled through vocational courses.

So if you want to save your money, study for less time, and develop the technical ability and skill to earn many times what a graduate would expect to earn, all without the vast huge amounts of debt, a vocational course may be the way to go. We offer a variety of vocational courses here at Access Training - browse our latest training packages here.

*Sources: www.salarytrack.co.uk and www.mysalary.co.uk

In an article entitled "Making Life Child Friendly", the South Wales Echo featured a number of our former electrical and plumbing training pupils. 

"As parents continue to feel the pinch, more and more are looking at new ways of making money while spending time with their families as well, as Cathy Owen discovered

For Sean Gully family always come first and it is the main reason he decided on a complete career change.

The dad-of-two, from Llanishen, Cardiff, had been working in IT sales, selling document management solutions.

He covered large areas of England and Wales, so it meant a lot of travelling away from his family. Work was also starting to dry up because of the recession.

 “With a wife and two daughters to support I felt it was time to get a trade and find a career where I could almost guarantee myself work wherever I went,” said the 45-year-old, who is originally from Australia.

“After some research I found that electricians were in high demand.”

He went on an Access Training course and is now working as a self-employed electrician and has a contract with an estate agent"....Read the full story

As usual, the year has raced by and 2011 is upon us before we even contemplated its existence. Well according to a survey on Gocompare.com, over 27 million people will make a New Year’s resolution to change their lives for the better. This figure equates to around half of Brits who are looking to make changes in their lives in some way. The survey identified the specific personal changes many individuals wished to make. 55% said they wanted to lose weight; 49% wanted to exercise more and 44% of people were keen to improve their financial outlook. 16% responded that they would be looking for a new job. That’s nearly 12 Million people looking to improve their finances, and over 4 Million people looking for a new career. It’s also an awful lot of people wanting to lose weight, but it’s probably best if we leave that for now. 

The turning of the year represents a time of change for many people whose money worries are likely to grow with the recent VAT hike and the astronomical cost of fuel, public sector cuts and the poorly performing economy. What is sure is a career change into a job that increases your job security and salary, whilst giving you more time to spend with your families or simply enjoying yourselves cannot be a bad thing. That’s where the specialist and comprehensive trades training provided by Access Training can help ensure you make your New Year’s resolution a reality.

If your resolution is to lose weight, then we’re sorry, it’s not really our field. However, we do have a field at the back of our state of the art training centre where you can run around until your heart’s content. It is worth noting that 54% of people didn’t believe their resolution would make it past the end of January!

So above all, health, fitness and money matters come top of the New Year’s resolution list. And there is a way to accomplish these in one fell swoop, call us at Access Training and see how we can offer you trades training for a career which will change your life for the better.

Oscar Wilde - "Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account"