Electrician courses and a toolbag are not all it takes to be an electrician. You need to have the drive and the determination to succeed in the industry, alongside a passion for learning and understanding. If you’re considering becoming an electrician, but you’re not sure whether the career is for you, check out our quick guide to the skills and traits which stand prospective electrical students in good stead.

Genuine interest
This is the only characteristic which really matters – the rest are just bonuses. You can overcome any problem or weak spot if you genuinely care about the area and truly want to learn and improve. The very best electricians are those who love what they do and haven’t simply ‘hopped on the bandwagon’ as the profession is stable and lucrative. Taking joy in technology, problem solving and working with electrics will ensure you pass electrician courses with flying colours and go on to have a promising career as a spark.

Eye for detail
An eye for detail is a real asset when undertaking electrical work. Being able to spot small issues within a big picture can be a big advantage.

In terms of actual eyesight, the work can be very precise and delicate which means that good vision is very useful indeed. If you haven’t had your eyes tested for a while, ensuring you have the correct prescription is a good idea.

Colour blindness is one area which many prospective sparks worry about. The Equality Act (2010-11) means that you cannot be discriminated against for a disability so there is no cause for concern. Very few varieties of colour blindness cause problems for sparks. Monochrome or red-green colour blindness can be problematic but they can be worked around if you have the patience, dedication and drive.

Hand-eye coordination
Electrical work will find you up ladders, in tiny corners, scrambling in attics –being relatively agile will help with the demands of the job. Equally, close electrical work with small implements can be very fiddly and painstaking, making good hand-eye coordination a good asset to have.

Problem solving abilities

Electrical work can sometimes be a bit like a great big sodoku. If you relish getting to grips with a problem and using logic and practical know-how to solve it, you should start hunting for electrician courses today!

Here at Access Training we offer electrician courses for all levels of ability, whatever your background and whatever your goals. To learn more about our flexible electrician courses, please explore the rest of the Access site or speak to one of our friendly advisors today on 0800 345 7492.

The government’s fight against tax avoidance has had many targets over the past year. From self-employed tax return cheats, to tax-dodging comedians, the crusade continues. Now the subjects of the crusade are tradesmen who receive payment cash in hand, and the clients who facilitate it.

For many of us who have trained or are training on plumbing courses or electrician courses, cash in hand payment is a common and convenient form of working. Yet, according to Treasury Minister David Gauke, the government loses an estimated £2bn every year to what he describes as the ‘black economy’ – largely due to cash in hand payment for tradesmen.

Granted, there are opportunities for abuse of the system when cash in hand payments are made. It is simpler to pocket the payment and therefore avoid taxation, yet not every graduate from plumbing courses or electrician courses works in this way and a great number of those who accept cash in hand payments are scrupulous and honest about their earnings.

Mr Gauke has hit out particularly at those tradesmen who offer ‘discounts’ for cash in hand payments. Of course this area is particularly difficult to police. For those tradespeople who manage payment in this way the arrangement is beneficial both for themselves and for their clients. The taxpayer’s money it would take to tackle the minority who operate in this way would far exceed the gains to be made by ensuring every single transaction is fairly taxed.

There is strong opposition to Mr Gauke’s comments regarding the “moral wrongness” of cash in hand transactions. Labour MP Austin Mitchell has denigrated Gauke’s remarks as “petty”. Equally, just a short time after the MP’s expenses scandal, hints of governmental  involvement in the Leveson enquiry and frankly shocking evidence of the immoral actions of banks like HSBC in Mexico and Barclays worldwide, this accusation of immorality seems really rather rich.

Are you an alumni from our plumbing courses, electricians courses or other types of trades training? What’s your preferred form of payment? Do you accept cash in hand? We’d love to hear from you on this subject.

If you are considering enrolling on plumbing courses or electrician courses, Access will help train you in all areas of your trade. From hands-on technical work, to running your business and working out tax - for flexible, thorough trades training courses, across the UK, contact Access today on 0800 345 7492.

If you’re wondering what happened to the summer, your guess is as good as ours. After what seems like months of torrential rain, freakishly large hailstorms, floods, gales and general meteorological misery you could be forgiven for feeling a little bit down in the dumps. For plumbers, however, all this heavy rain is causing an overflow in work. With intense downpours across the country, Britain’s pipes have been under a serious amount of pressure.

For those on plumbing courses, this is a great example of just how in demand skilled plumbers are. This is not just reliant on heavy rain. In fact a recent study into current course numbers and job prospects revealed that those on plumbing courses and other skilled trades courses have around 2 job opportunities per every student.

But back to the rain. Blocked and burst water pipes are a big problem in serious deluges and require the attention of a skilled plumber to fix. In seriously nasty weather undermining is also an issue. Undermining takes place when soil surrounding and supporting a pipe is washed away, causing the pipe to crack or even collapse.

If you are the victim of a burst pipe but you don’t have the advantage of plumbing courses under your belt, there are some steps you can take to reduce the damage whilst you wait for the plumber to arrive…

1.    Find your stopcock
Usually located beneath your kitchen sink, turn off the stopcock to stop the water supply to your home. This will help prevent any further water damage,

2.    Drain your system
Turn on all of your cold taps and flush your toilets – this will clear your plumbing system of excess water.

3.    Turn off any water heating systems
Central heating, immersion heating and other heating systems all need to be turned off. Once everything has been turned off, turn your hot taps on to drain your plumbing.

4.    Turn off your electrics

We all know that water and electricity don’t mix so, if the water from your burst pipe/s is  anywhere near electrical items or fittings, turn off the mains. If the mains switch has been in contact with water, do not do anything! Call a plumber and an electrician immediately.

5.    Grab a bucket and bail!

The sooner you can locate the burst pipe, the more damage you can prevent to your property. It won’t always be possible but, if you can, collect as much water as possible in buckets to minimise damage.

6.    Call the plumber
When a pipe bursts, you’ll need a trained plumber on hand. Steps 1-5 will all help minimise the damage but you’ll need the expertise of someone who has completed plumbing courses to fix the pipe.

If you’re keen to pick up the DIY skills required to fix such issues yourself, or if you’d like to train on plumbing courses to establish yourself in a new career – Access can help. We offer accessible, flexible and highly regarded plumbing courses which will help you learn the skills you want in a way which is ideal for you. To learn more about our flexible plumbing courses for all abilities, contact Access today on 0800 345 7492.


Colleges and further education establishments have been criticised for providing training in areas which have very few real life job prospects. Meanwhile, with an excess of electrician and engineer positions available, colleges have not been encouraging enough students to enrol on electrician courses and their ilk.

This year it has emerged that 94,000 hair and beauty students completed training only to find that there were just 18,000 new jobs available in the sector. Media professionals and personal trainers are facing an identical problem – with thousands of new trainees every year and too few positions available to allow them to begin careers.

Electrician courses undersubscribed

Meanwhile, there are distinct gaps in the types of training which are being taken up. In areas where more newly qualified professionals are required, there simply are not enough students interested to fill the labour gap. Electrician courses, plumbing courses, engineering training and training for environmental work are all undersubscribed. An astonishing 40,000 students trained to fill 72,000 new positions in engineering and building. In the world of construction, 123,000 newly trained alumni had the pick of 275,000 positions.

Further educational focus is misplaced

The LGA (Local Government Association) is furious that educational establishments have not yet managed to find the correct balance to address this issue – especially at a time of high unemployment. According to one spokesman, the problem lies in colleges focussing on exam results and pass rates instead of ultimate job prospects. The drive to attain the best pass rates and secure the highest level of funding can lead colleges to encourage students to undertake easier ‘popular’ courses, like hair and beauty.

Alongside the surplus beauticians and joblessness there is another problem. In an economy where unemployment is rife at least 17% of job vacancies are attributed to skills shortages.

There are so many opportunities for fresh trainees in the trades sector currently, with an estimated 2 jobs available per student. If you’re interested in job security and excellent prospects, talk to Access about enrolling on plumbing, gas and electrician courses today on 0800 345 7492.