The IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology) has identified worrying gaps in the knowledge of many working electricians, prompting commentators to wonder whether refresher electrician courses may be a wise idea for many of those who have been in the job for years and may not have kept up to date with shifting regulations.

The IET’s concerns were raised after it was discovered that up to 76% of UK electricians may be working without a copy of the most recent edition of the IET Wiring Regulations. This might not sound like a great travesty or a big deal, but the updated regulations include big changes and entirely new sections which modern electricians need to be aware of – no matter what they were taught on their original electrician courses.

The new regulations include essential information regarding:

•    New protocol for inspection reporting
•    Electromagnetic disturbances
•    Overvoltage protection
•    Maintenance gangways
•    Medical locations and operating

It is the responsibility of all electricians to keep abreast of important changes in the industry after completing their electrician courses and training. Learning, after all, is a life-long undertaking. Yet with just 66,000 copies of the new regulations sold, there could well be 211,000 electricians who are not complying with EU and international standards.

According to the IET’s chief electrical engineer, Geoff Cronshaw: “It’s important that all…electrical engineers familiarise themselves with the amended IET Wiring Regulations to ensure that the work they do complies with the current standard.”

Whether you’re an old hand or a new recruit, there is always more to learn. Keeping abreast of current best practices and new techniques through electrician courses is one great way to ensure you are always at the top of your game and providing the best possible service to your clients.

Access offer electrician courses designed for all levels of experience and areas of expertise. To learn more about how electrician courses can help you be the very best at what you do, explore the rest of the Access site or call 0800 345 7492 today.

One thing they don’t teach you during plumber training is how to overcome the plumber stereotypes prevalent in British society. No matter how much plumber training you have undergone, no matter how hard you have worked or how considerate, cost-effective and industrious you are – chances are you’re going to be put in a little box marked “Inconsiderate, over-priced, lazy rip-off merchant’!

A new study has shown that British preconceptions of plumbers are not shifting – in fact they are stagnating. The survey asked homeowners a series of questions to gauge their attitude to those in the plumbing industry. The findings were pretty disappointing – especially in the 21st Century when stereotyping of any kind is out-dated and narrow-minded.

Only one in eight of those polled believed that plumbing training creates highly qualified professionals. Meanwhile, only one in six women said that they viewed plumbers as polite and 15% of respondents said that, yes, they still associated plumbers with an unsightly builders’ bum.

This research might be disheartening, but other facts revealed during the study are actually very good news for those embarking on plumbing training courses. For starters, the vast majority of those asked claimed that they had absolutely no idea how to fix basic plumbing issues in their homes. The need for plumbers, therefore, is great and no matter what preconceptions the public might have of those in the plumbing business, there is plenty of opportunity to change their minds!

If you’d like to be that plumber who challenges stereotypes and offers a great service which is of real value to clients, Access offer the plumbing training necessary to prepare you for a life in the plumbing profession. We offer flexible, thorough plumbing training courses to help you start your journey into a bright future. Call today for more information on 0800 345 7492.

You’ve completed all the required plumbing courses, you’ve gathered years of great experience, you’ve established yourself as a true professional and identified your client base – at last you’re ready to start your plumbing business. But what do you call it?

Of course you could go down the simple route. Your name with the word “plumbing” after it is a tried and tested solution, but it doesn’t really stand out, does it? A.B. Plumbing, Dave Pryor Plumbing, B & R Plumbers – not very inspiring and hardly likely to keep your business in the minds of past and future customers…

So how do you come up with a great name for your plumbing business which helps you stand out but also makes sure your customers take you seriously?

It can be extremely tempting to go down the plumbing pun route, but this could throw a spanner in the works and suggest to customers that they will be throwing money down the drain on a plumber who isn’t going to have an altogether professional approach to their plumbing problem. Yet a pun or joke can make your business both memorable and friendly, so if you can come up with a good one it might be worth a shot! Be careful though, many plumbing puns have been done (and done badly) before…

•    Round the Bend Plumbing
•    Plumb Role Plumbing
•    Plumbing the Depths
•    Royal Flush Plumbing   
•    Straight Flush Plumbing
•    Go with the Flow Plumbing
•    Pipe Dream Plumbing
•    Flushed with Success Plumbing

Yes, we know, they’re terrible. The problem with a ‘punny’ plumbing name is that it has to be genuinely funny for it to work and very few of them actually are…

When it comes to setting up after your plumbing courses, you can judge your trade name ideas for your plumbing business by asking yourself a few questions:

1.    Does it accurately convey what you do?
2.    Does it portray your business in a positive light?
3.    Does it help you stand out from the crowd?

If the answer to any of these questions is ‘no’, it might be time to return to the drawing board…

If you’re yet to embark on your plumbing path, the first step is to get some great plumbing courses under your belt. Access offer flexible, future-oriented plumbing courses which will thoroughly equip you for your future career, wherever you are in the UK and however you want to learn. For more information about Access’s plumbing courses call their team today on 0800 345 7492.

If you’re looking to find work in the plastering business there are many ways you can find opportunities in the construction industry.  Plastering is a skill that will always be in high demand and often the best way to learn a trade is with on the job training.  However, those serious about plastering as a trade might want to look into one of the many plastering training courses available.

Working as a plasterer can be quite a lucrative career that provides a steady income and lots of work.  Whether you find with a plastering firm or a firm that includes plastering in its range of services, you should find your skills are constantly in demand.  You may also find that once you have been working in the trade for some time and have acquired extensive experience, you might want to go it alone and set up your own plastering business. 

Get the Word Out

Plastering jobs are often obtained through word of mouth and speaking to other contractors.  If you can get the word out that you are looking for work and that you are willing to work long hours and dedicate your time to learning the trade, you may find a job comes along quicker than expected.  You may also want to enquire directly to construction site managers and tell them that you have some level of training or that you are willing to train on the job.  Whilst you might get given light labourer duties at first, you can learn a lot by being on site and getting involved.  If you can get yourself on a new-build construction site this is one of the best ways to learn more about the plastering and rendering skills you will be required to know.

Your local job centre will also have details of any plastering jobs in your area and also any training courses on offer.  Grants are often available for training and you’ll learn everything you need to start plastering straight away.  The good thing to know is that plasterers are always in demand.  If you can prove your skills and your worth, you’ll find your phone constantly ringing with offers of work. 

Fine Tune Your Skills

Plasterers often add other strings to their bow including painting, tiling and flooring.  Many domestic clients will be looking for a tradesman that has a wide range of skills so taking the time to learn new trades will open up many more doors to you.

It’s time to say goodbye to knot tying, stamp collecting and campfire building – the Scouts are now chasing down a new generation of badges for their uniforms. From P.R. and plumbing training to electrical rewiring and aeronautics, Scouts “2.0” are now offering awards in hands-on practical life skills which will equip their members for working life, apprenticeships and University.

It appears that it isn’t necessarily scout leaders who are pushing these changes – the numbers of scouts choosing practical awards like plumbing training, compared to the numbers choosing to pursue more traditional badges for activities like angling,  are very revealing. There seems to be real drive amongst young scouts to gather skills which will set them in good stead in their adult lives.

Here are a few revealing figures from the latest data:

  • 42,888 I.T. badges were awarded to beavers, cubs and scouts in 2011
  • 10,750 fire safety badges were awarded to scouts over the last year
  • Just 588 caving badges and 962 angling badges were awarded to scouts in the same period

Whilst it’s great to see young people taking control of their own futures, some may feel nostalgic for the days when being a scout was all about fun, wholesome outdoors activities like orienteering, hill walking and camping. Whilst it’s absolutely great to get a head start with your career and really explore your options, there is plenty of time to enrol on plumbing training courses or pursue a career in P.R..

Interestingly, 2011 was also the year in which the number of new female scouts exceeded the male scouts. 4,330 new girl scouts were enrolled last year, compared to 3,796 new boy scouts. It is tempting to see this as a real positive change which could have great consequences for equality and diversity in the once male-dominated trades.

If you’re a little too old for the scouts and want to really make a good start on a plumbing training course, Access Training offer flexible, City & Guilds accredited plumbing training to equip you for a bright future as plumber. If you’d like to learn more about our plumbing training, please browse the rest of the website or call our knowledgeable team on 0800 345 7492 today.