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"Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future." - President John F. Kennedy, 1963

Time for change

How do you start a new life in the middle of a global crisis? 2020 has been a life-changing year for almost all of us, but the economic turmoil and uncertainty have made things particularly difficult for those who were in the process of switching careers when the coronavirus pandemic took hold.

But perhaps this experience has given those individuals a head start. Whether or not your circumstances shielded you from the initial shock of COVID-19, we're all going to have to embrace change over the next couple of years.

On the 10th of August, the Financial Times reported that even established businesses - especially those in the retail, hospitality and travel sectors - were facing unprecedented challenges:

"According to the Enterprise Research Centre, a group of several leading universities, 21,000 more UK businesses collapsed in March than in the same month of 2019. The number of new companies also dropped dramatically, by 23 per cent."

Conversely, many entrepreneurs and their businesses are now thriving, most notably in construction and the trades. People in these sectors have been forced to learn new skills in order to overcome the setbacks that COVID-19 has thrown at them, and those new skills have opened up new opportunities.

In a survey of tradespeople and homeowners that was carried out by national builder's merchant Jewson across June and July, 73 per cent of tradespeople said that they were "optimistic" about the amount of work that will be coming their way over the next six months. The survey also highlighted the fact that 77 per cent of homeowners are planning to carry out work in their homes within the next six to twelve months.

Andrew Cushing, Jewson's Customer Director, said:

"We're delighted that the outlook is positive for the trade. Long may that continue, and we look forward to helping our customers grow their businesses."

So is this a good time to change careers after all? In the Financial Times article, a venture capitalist (an investor who provides funding to companies with high growth potential) said during an interview with journalist Janina Conboye that uncertainty can actually bring its own opportunities:

"If a change or a new beginning feels [...] right for you, I would say that being open to - or rather maybe willing to accept - all the unexpected opportunities is what will give you the strength to deal with the down moments of your choice or change, and ride the highs."

This might resonate with you if you're thinking about a career change but feel that it's not feasible right now because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Maybe you've been reading all the headlines about the current uncertainty, and even though you're craving change, your fear is telling you to err on the side of caution until things get back to normal.

Changing your career certainly isn't a decision to be made lightly - that's true even during periods of stability. There are many factors you must consider, including your personal commitments and your own individual circumstances. But remember: while most decisions can be reversed, regret can last a lifetime.

With so much upheaval going on at the moment, it may be helpful to think about what your answer would be if, at some point in the future, you were asked this question:

What changes did you make during COVID-19?

Will you have a good answer? Will you be able to say that you followed your aspirations and achieved your goals?

When considering a career change, months or even years ago you might have said 'soon'. Last month, you might have said 'later'. And yesterday, you could have said 'tomorrow'. Is now your time to change? Only you can decide - it really is up to you whether you make that change or not.

As the proverb says, opportunity never knocks twice at any man's door. Whether you agree with this sentiment or not, remember: changing careers is your choice. Don't waste another day, week or month - we are here to help you get there. Talk to us today!

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Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

"Where my reason, imagination or interest were not engaged, I would not or I could not learn." - Winston Churchill

Live Online Learning

Access Training Online is our bespoke online training platform. Launched in April 2020 - during the coronavirus lockdown - it was created specifically for students who needed a practical, flexible, engaging and effective way to learn. Our online courses focus specifically on the vital theory skills that you must learn in order to pass your exams and progress to hands-on trade training.

Demand for e-learning skyrocketed during lockdown, and since then, the exam pass rate of those attending Access Training's Live Online Learning sessions has sharply increased to 90% - significantly higher than before the lockdown.

 

So what exactly is 'Live Online Learning'?

We have created live online sessions that concentrate on specific theory knowledge for your chosen trade, meaning that the time you spend in our training and assessment centre is focused on all the important practical elements of the training. This has already proven to be a winning formula.

These online learning sessions are never pre-recorded. Just like in the classroom, there's a tutor delivering the teaching to a group of learners. During these sessions, you can interact, ask questions and give feedback - all without leaving your home. Alternatively, you can learn from your workplace, a café, or even the beach - anywhere with an Internet connection! You can even access our e-learning content via a mobile device.

Once enrolled, you'll be able to join in with live lectures, be part of the class from the comfort of wherever you choose, and repeat the lessons as many times as you want.

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Will I have the same interactive learning experience I'd get in a classroom?

During Live Online Learning, the tutor guides you through the course material, encouraging you to take part and learn with other students in exactly the same way as you would in a classroom. Additionally, everyone receives individual attention when they need it through the subsequent Q&A sessions.

Each webinar focuses on one specific topic and aims to give you the knowledge you'll need to succeed when you take your exams. This helps to ensure that you will be fully prepared to pass and progress smoothly onto practical training. After all, you wouldn't learn to drive a car without passing your theory first - how would you know what you were doing?

Live Online Learning combines the traditional classroom lesson structure with the flexibility of studying from home. Join timetabled live lectures online, and talk to tutors during the webinars for live feedback. All our lectures are recorded, so if you miss one, you can catch up; you can also re-watch previous classes for extra revision.

 

What are the advantages of Live Online Learning when learning a trade?

Live Online Learning suits people who want the benefits of being in class (like live tutor support and a structured approach) but wish to reduce unnecessary time spent travelling to and from the training centre when all you'd be doing is sitting in a classroom. This approach leaves more room for your other commitments, such as work and family.

There are so many advantages to learning through our online portal, including:

  • Scheduled classes that give students the benefit of a traditional classroom setting
  • Interactive classes that allow you to ask questions and make comments, just like in a classroom
  • Online learning materials that give you everything you need to study before your practical training starts
  • A discussion forum where you can keep in touch with tutors and fellow students during the course
  • Extra online content for revision outside of the webinars
  • Dedicated tutor support - get in touch with our expert tutors through LiveChat and request a callback if necessary

Tony Maus, Director of Training at Access Training Academies, said:

"Online learning has rapidly proved its value during the COVID-19 pandemic by being both efficient and engaging. It also offers unrivalled flexibility, giving our learners the ability to select when they learn and to do it at a pace that suits them. This has resulted in an incredibly high pass rate for exams.

"We have received so much positive feedback from our students, who love the freedom of logging into the platform and attending the live online learning from any location. The platform will also benefit them in the long term, as they can keep using the facility for up to 3 years after enrolling on their course. This will enable us to interact and continually develop all of our students, past and present."

Contact Access Training to find out more

Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

 

Photo from Pexels

This week, Robert Jenrick MP - the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government - announced planning reforms in a bid to get the UK building trade back on its feet.

Dubbed 'Rob the Builder', Jenrick promised to rip up red tape in order to help smaller construction firms and kickstart the British economy.

The government is planning to construct 300,000 new properties each year, and Jenrick wants a "substantial" portion of those buildings to be constructed by small and medium-sized businesses.

He said:

"We'll cut red tape, but not standards - placing a higher regard on quality, design and the environment than ever before.

"Planning decisions will be simple and transparent, with local democracy at the heart of the process. Today's reforms are going to give our brickies, builders and labourers the boost they need to get back to the business of building homes.

"Thousands of self-employed workers will be able to don their hard hats and help the country recover from the impact of coronavirus."

Many construction workers and other tradespeople have been outspoken in their appreciation of the news, welcoming moves to speed up the planning process.

One company spokesperson said: "Many building workers are paid weekly, so it's a quickfire way to put cash back into the economy."

With the UK building trade at the forefront of government plans for the nation's economic recovery, there has never been a better time to learn a trade and join the construction industry. Call Access Training on 0800 345 7492 to speak with a course advisor today.

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