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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.