Undertaking a career change can be a daunting proposition for anyone thinking of becoming a professional tradesperson, especially if they are considering enrolling onto a training course such as one of the electrical courses with Access Training. Most people contacting the Course Advisors at Access Training explain their plans but also express their reservations about taking the leap into a subject such as electrics, where they have no previous experience at all. 

To help allay any fears or misconceptions people may have, the team at Access Training decided that some work experience could be arranged for people if they would like to gain a greater understanding prior to attending their training for example, before one of our electrical courses. We approached Steven Walker who immediately jumped at the chance of working with Access Training again, having been in the position himself of changing career and not knowing where it might lead.

Steven Walker had formed his own plumbing and electrical installation company, SK Solutions, last year after completing an electrical course with Access and his company continues to go from strength to strength. He was delighted to be able to show students the ropes and give them an insight into the trade and agreed to show the first two students the type of work he was undertaking. The result being that the student’s fears about their radical change in careers were soon put to one side as they began their work at SK Solutions Ltd.

Since completing his course, Steven has found that the amount of plumbing and electrical work was building up quickly and he was finding his services to be in much demand. He then decided the time was right to recruit a fellow student from the very same plumbing course he attended only a matter of months earlier. Such is the faith and high regard that Steven held for the quality of the student produced by Access Training, he has now gone one step further and decided to take on students before they have even begun their course.

This example shows just how highly the electrical courses offered by Access Training are regarded. We go the extra yard to make sure our students receive the service and training they deserve, every step of the way. If you are looking to start a new career and are considering enrolling on a course then contact Access Training today. Our electrical courses and plumbing courses really are the best around and we always take any extra steps we can to help our students enjoy a stress-free career change.

The UK has for the last few years been suffering from a stagnant housing market as a result of the now infamous financial crash suffered back in the latter half of 2008. As a result many homes saw an average of £10,000 wiped off their housing valuations resulting in home-owners having to put on hold their plans to move up the housing ladder. Many owners have instead deciding to make well considered home improvements to add value to their homes. As a result of this the DIY market has increased in popularity having been less favourable in previous years.

Research carried out by Idealo.co.uk discovered that searches for DIY goods online have increased dramatically compared to the same period a year ago. They accredited this to home owners continuing to view their houses as an investment and not simply a home and were attempting to counter the fall in their house value by making sometimes expensive alterations.

Idealo.co.uk found that the most popular searches were for ‘cheap tools’ which was recently also ‘trending’ in Yahoo.co.uk’s top 10 of all searches in the UK. Evidence also suggests that more people are now searching the internet for home improvement goods and bargains. Notably painting & decorating supplies were high on the list of items searchers wanted in order to create that all important new look. DIY courses as well as property development courses have also seen a rise in popularity as people seek to learn the skills they need to go it alone.

So if you are thinking about making some home improvements in an effort to maintain the value of your property and want to learn how to deliver a professional finish as expected from a tradesman, take a look at Access Training’s DIY courses or property development courses and you can start clawing back any value your property may have lost.

According to research carried out by AA Home Rescue, the level of trade skills amongst homeowners is rapidly dwindling, resulting in fewer and fewer individuals willing to try their hand at DIY projects.

This trend is being attributed to the fact that young people seem less and less concerned with the development of the practical skills required for DIY projects.

The survey concluded that in order to carry out even basic DIY tasks, many people would require the services of a professional with the relevant trade skills to be able to carry out the work. 32% of individuals under the age of 25 said they would be able to complete a DIY or home improvement task, compared with 73% percent of people aged between 55 and 65.

A Spokesperson for AA Home Rescue, stated: “There seems to be a developing mind-set amongst young people that if something goes wrong, then I’ll get someone in to fix it”.

AA Home Rescue went on to suggest that it believes many young people are becoming more and more occupied with emerging technologies and are spending far much more of their time on computers, leaving little time to learn practical skills or carry out DIY tasks.

It is also suggested that over the next few decades, home improvement, DIY and basic trade skills will diminish further, eventually to the extent that very few people can carry out even the most basic of tasks.

For further information regarding trade skills and the training on offer here at Access, browse our comprehensive list of courses, including DIY and home improvement courses and see just how much money you can save by carrying out odd jobs yourself.

The Joint Industry Board (JIB) has recently published its 2010 Labour Report, giving us an inside look into the short, medium and long term employee developments within the electrical industry. The positive elements of the report include the stability of employment in the electrical industry as a whole, even amidst the harsh economic conditions we are currently experiencing; 48% of employees have been with their current employer for five years or more, with a staggering 19% having been with the same company for over 25 years. This goes to show that if you are considering enrolling on electrical courses, you will be entering into a stable and recession proof career. 

One potential drawback (but a benefit for those wishing to become an electrician) is that the age profile of individuals in many sectors of the electrical and construction industry is steadily on the rise. The average age of a JIB electrician currently stands at 41, which in itself is no problem at all, it’s the number of employees over the age of 61 which raises concerns. This figure has more than doubled in the last ten years, highlighting the fact that the skills shortage is only going to worsen over the coming years as more and more electricians retire.

With a significant skills shortage already existing in the industry and with the prospect of a good proportion of those electricians retiring in the next few years, there really is no better time to shop around for electrical courses. The future really does look bright for aspiring electricians.

If you are interested in changing careers and becoming an electrician, here at Access Training we have a wide range of electrical courses for you to choose from, so you can find the perfect course for you.

Recent research has found that well over half of over 35 years olds do not possess the necessary levels of trades training to be able to carry out even the most basic DIY tasks. Persimmon Homes are seizing upon this research and advising people to think twice about buying new houses instead of older ones which may require work. Sales Director, John Gibbs, commented: “More than half of young adults aged less than 35 lack the basic DIY skills required to maintain their home. Although there are many homeowners who do enjoy carrying out DIY tasks and have the necessary skills to be able to do so safely and successfully, there is a significant number who do not”.

The research has also highlighted that homeowners have suffered financially after attempted DIY projects have failed. Mistakes have had to be rectified, costing nearly three times more than if the job had been completed correctly in the first instance. The average cost of putting right a failed DIY job which has been completed by an individual under the age of 35 is £2,498. This compares unfavourably to the £838 which is required to fix an ineffective job attempted by those over the age of 45.

If you want to save some money and complete DIY tasks safely and effectively, ensuring a top quality job at the first time of asking, you should certainly consider attending one of the DIY training courses we run here at Access. Our comprehensive trades training will give you the confidence to carry out DIY tasks in and around your home.

All individuals should be more than equipped to carry out DIY tasks around their homes if they receive just basic DIY training. This advice comes from AA Home Rescue, whose spacewoman said that even though there are limitations to the tasks a homeowner should expect to carry out themselves, there are simple DIY tasks which are within easy reach of all homeowners.

Such tasks include the repairing of plasterwork, patching up cracks and holes, replacing tiles, basic plumbing tasks such as fixing leaking taps, hanging pictures using hooks, putting up shelves, decorating a bedroom by hanging wallpaper and painting walls and ceilings are all tasks individuals should be able to handle given some short instruction.

Although individuals are encouraged to have a go at the more basic of tasks, AA Home Rescue strongly advise the more complex jobs, such as those which require a professional qualification and may involve gas installation or domestic electrics, are best left to fully trained and qualified professionals. A gas system must only be worked on by someone who has undertaken a gas course and has gained their GasSafe qualification. In the same respect, only qualified electricians who are Part P qualified should work on any aspect of your household electrics.

Here at Access Training, we offer the perfect DIY trades training course which will give you the basic skills to carry out all manner of simple DIY tasks. Our short and friendly courses will help you discover the sense of satisfaction which can be gained from carrying out DIY tasks yourself, as well as helping you to save a considerable amount of money. It will also provide a valuable stepping stone if you are looking to progress onto more complicated tasks in the future.

Recent research reported by Wickes’ website shows that homeowners are spending nearly double the amount of money on improvements to their kitchen compared to any other area of their home. On average, out of every £100 spent on DIY and home improvements, £33 is spent directly or indirectly on the kitchen.

So why is this the case? Well, it could be attributed to the modern perception that the kitchen is the new centre point of the home. Many properties are now open plan in layout with most new apartment designs plan focusing around the kitchen as the social centre. With the use of the appropriate trade skills older houses such as the Victorian Terraces have also been adapted over the years to reflect the prominence of the kitchen. Traditionally the kitchen was hidden away at the back of the house, with separate reception rooms and dining rooms. Now these spaces have been knocked through, revealing the kitchen as the jewel in the crown. Kitchen designs have now become a statement area for home owners, encouraging an element of creativity to show off to family and friends.

Persimmon Homes believe they understand exactly what the modern homeowner is looking for:

“At Persimmon, we invest a great deal of time and effort into designing each and every room to ensure it suits the most demanding of lifestyles. Take our kitchens for example – the household appliances we include as standard, such as the fridge/freezer, dishwasher and washing machine, are becoming less about functionality and more about chic contemporary style. Along with the tough economic climate, as well as the rising popularity of shows such as Come Dine With Me, people’s desire to create the perfect ambience for dining at home is at the forefront of their minds.

Kitchen improvements can be a daunting prospect to individuals without the necessary trade skills. Those without the required knowhow should call upon expert trained kitchen fitters to carry out the work, as the fitting of units and worktops can become an expensive mistake if attempted without prior training. Access Training offer professional kitchen courses for individuals looking to increase their trade skills. Our range of DIY kitchen fitting courses will teach you everything you need to know to be able make all the improvements you require. Click on the links below to view our comprehensive kitchen fitting courses.

To improve your trade skills and learn all the necessary steps required to successfully improve or fit your own kitchen, contact Access Training today.

Now that the Conservative and Liberal Democratic coalition government has its feet firmly under the table, we wait with baited breath to witness the effects of cuts in government spending being made across the board. The cuts, although severe, don’t seem as though they will reach the rumoured 30 or 40 percent which sections of the press were reporting. We sincerely hope it stays this way so you can survive this period of uncertainty unscathed. 

However, there is a positive element to the cuts. The drive for public sector efficiencies aims to reduce red tape, helping to ease the cost of running a business. This will include the review of established regulations, which can only be good news for those individuals who are keen to set up their own businesses and become qualified and established self employed tradesmen.

One concerning aspect is the review currently being undertaken regards current Building Regulations, and in particular, the section which affects domestic electrical installations. An example of such a review includes the Approved Document P, or simply Part P, as most people will know it.  Phil Buckle, Director General of the Electrical Safety Council, spoke about the importance of attending electrical training, and particularly the appropriate electrical training to gain the all important Part P electrical qualifications: “It is the Electrical Safety Council’s View, that the removal of Part P would be detrimental to electrical safety.

“While we have an excellent safety record of fixed electrical installations in the UK, there are currently no controls in existence for those individuals wishing to undertake certain types of electrical work. It is feared that this could lead to an explosion in DIY projects, as the finances in many households are currently tight. This would negate the efforts of recent years to improve the safety of electrical installations in homes throughout the UK”.

The ESC has been made aware that certain unqualified individuals are having their electrical work ‘signed off’ by registered installers. It goes without saying that this practice represents a huge risk, and could easily lead to injury or even death. 

The conclusions we can draw are thus: if you are ‘Part P Qualified’ and are a registered Domestic Electrical Installer, or have become a registered member of a competent person scheme, the risks are yours if you decide to sign off any individual’s work. Take note: If an accident does occur, the Health and Safety Executive may well look to prosecute as it is deemed to be your responsibility under Part P of the Building Regulations.

Secondly, attending formal electrical training and becoming ‘Part P Qualified’ represents a worthwhile investment for anyone wishing to carry out electrical installations in homes. It is a legal requirement to do so, so don’t be one of the misguided few who persist in avoiding regulation.

Here at Access Training you can become Part P Qualified in no time at all. Just view our wide range of electrical training courses and choose the one which is most appropriate to the type of work you wish to carry out. What’s more, you can offset the cost of training against your tax bill; call us for more details.

In a stark warning from the UK’s building industry, there are currently not enough plumbers, electricians, gas engineers or the required skilled manpower to build and maintain the UK’s infrastructure

We have already mentioned in earlier posts the words of Di Johnson, president of the Electrical Contractors’ Association, who has voiced her concerns about the number of skilled trades people who will be available in the future.

She warned that the failure to invest now may result in a skills crisis, which would take the country years to recover from. Johnson aired her concerns: “there will come a time when we won’t have the skilled resources to deliver major infrastructure projects.

“I work in the electrical industry where the average age is around 45. This is largely the same across much of the craft sector, which means we could face serious problems in five years time as these skilled individuals start retiring from the profession, or look for a less physical office-based job… we simply will not have sufficient numbers to replace them. This will impact hugely on major infrastructure projects. If the nation’s bid to host the 2018 World Cup had been successful I would have had grave concerns about our ability to meet the deadlines.  

“Electrical, heating and ventilating professionals are the frontline troops responsible for delivering the sustainability agenda. These professionals can advise and properly install energy saving technology to ensure maximum efficiency. Without an increase of numbers in these sectors, we will not be able to hit the UK’s ambitious carbon reduction targets.”

Without a doubt, the time is nigh for any individual looking for a change in career to seriously examine the possibility of trades training. Whether you are interested in the electrical or plumbing industry, there are currently widespread opportunities available to those who receive trades training now. Whether they form their own business, or work for an employer, you will be able to secure your long term future, as well as that of the country.
 
To read in more depth the comments made by Di Johnson, please go to votlimum.co.uk. For further information regarding the trades training on offer here at Access, take a look at our plumbing, gas and electrical courses, and you could take great strides in the industry and fulfil your ambitions.

According to recent research conducted by the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), companies looking to recruit staff with a high level of trade skills are still coming across the same stumbling block - they are at a distinctly short supply.

The report found that more than three quarters of construction related companies surveyed complained of a trade skills shortage.  They stated that the most difficult candidates to recruit were craft and trade skills workers, with a third of respondents admitting they were ‘difficult’ or ‘very difficult’ to find and hire as they are in such a short supply.

The CIOB’s deputy chief executive, Michael Brown, said: “There is still a skills shortage in the industry... no one knows what is around the corner. It will hit the industry twice as hard when we recover from the downturn as there will be a marked shortage of skills, even though we are currently operating at well below capacity.”

Interestingly, apprenticeships are currently struggling to fill the chasm in the trade skills gap. More than a third of those firms consulted during the survey employ apprentices; however, 44% currently do not do so, with 11% declaring their firm would be cutting back on the amount of people they were putting through trades training due to the testing economic conditions. However, the overall conclusion was that a third of respondents believed craft and skilled trades people were difficult to hire.

One comment made by a contributor elaborated thus: “We do not have problems attracting [apprenticeship] candidates, but unfortunately not everybody applying is of the required standard. Part of the problem is that the careers advice currently on offer seems to portray construction as a one level industry.” It seems that the best quality of candidate is not always attracted into the trades. Indeed, of the firms that do hire apprentices, 30% believed the number of individuals attracted into the industry had decreased.

This is very interesting news for adult learners and those looking into trades training as a career option. The message is loud and clear; there remains a huge skills gap with widespread opportunities available. Employers currently cannot attract the desired quality of individual, and apprenticeships are failing to fill the gap.

Here at Access Training, we teach a comprehensive range of industry recognised trade skills, which will help you secure a more lucrative and rewarding career. Contact Access Training today on 0800 345 7492.

Source: The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) and www.Voltimum.co.uk

We are regularly asked various questions regarding the two City & Guilds Inspection and Testing Courses, as there seems to be some confusion as to exactly what each course entails. Access Training is here to clear this up:

  • I want to inspect & test but which qualification do I need?
  • What’s the difference between the City & Guilds 2391-10 and the City & Guilds 2392-10?
  • I have some basic experience of inspection and testing but I want to be able to issue Landlord Certificates, so which qualification is best for me?
  • Do I have enough experience to undertake the inspection and testing qualifications?
  • What does the 2392-10 qualification qualify me to do?

By way of general advice, we will now endeavour to outline these two important City & Guilds qualifications, which are appropriate for electricians, inspectors and other persons requiring training and qualifications in inspection and testing.

The two City & Guilds qualifications relating to electrical installations are:

The 2392-10 City & Guilds Level 2 Certificate in Fundamental Inspection, Testing and Initial Verification.

The 2391-10 City & Guilds Level 3 Certificate in Inspection, Testing and Certification of Electrical Installations.

Firstly you will notice the words highlighted in bold above; these show the subtle differences in the courses which are often missed. What becomes immediately clear is that one of the courses directly leads to the other; let’s elaborate on that point further:

The first qualification, the 2392-10, is a level 2 electrical qualification, which was developed to meet the needs of the electrical industry and for electrical training centres as a means of introducing students to the basics. It is also the perfect course to serve electricians, giving them the very best possible chance when naturally progressing onto the 2391-10. This is the qualification, which after completion allows you to ‘certify electrical installations’. The 2392-10 alone does not certify you to do this.

However, the main reason for this course being introduced was that the pass rate for the 2391 full inspection and testing examination was only around 40%, as many found the leap in understanding to be too great. Directly compare this to Access Training’s students pass rate of 72% for the 2391-10, if they have previously attended the 2392-10.

This proves that by passing the Fundamentals of Inspection and Testing in the first instance, your chances of achieving the lucrative 2391 Inspection and Testing qualification are nearly doubled!

In summary, the 2392-10 is suitable for those with limited experience or those with only basic prior knowledge of electrical principles (as taught on Access Training’s Professional Electrical Course and Advanced Electrical Course), and is a purpose designed lead-in to the full City and Guilds 2391-10 Inspection and Testing, giving you a much greater chance of successfully achieving the qualification.

The second qualification is the full name for City & Guilds 2391-10 Inspection & Testing qualification, which is the one you ultimately want to achieve. It is a more advanced electrical course and is a qualification which allows you to test and inspect domestic, commercial and industrial electrical installations – in layman’s terms, issuing Landlord Certificates.

As City & Guilds states, it is a Level 3 electrical course, and therefore has a relatively high degree of difficulty. Some practicing electricians make a concerted effort to avoid this qualification due to its infamy! Enquire about our course and we’ll explain why these fears can be easily allayed. 

To surmise, our advice is simple: unless you are fully aware of the level of expertise involved with achieving the 2391-10 Inspection & Testing qualification, or have previous extensive experience of inspection & testing practices, then you should achieve the 2392-10 Fundamentals of Inspection & Testing first. Although the 2392-10 doesn’t allow you to carry out any specific work as such, it dramatically increases your chances of passing the 2391-10, leading to a far better understanding of the inspection and testing process.

For specific information on the courses discussed in this article, click on the links below or call Access Training now on 0800 345 7492.

The 2392-10 City & Guilds Level 2 Certificate in Fundamental Inspection, Testing and Initial Verification.

The 2391-10 City & Guilds Level 3 Certificate in Inspection, Testing and Certification of Electrical Installations.

If you are reading this post you are doubtless aware of the continuing debate surrounding the future of Part P and whether or not it is sufficient to meet the demands of the electrical industry, and more importantly, of the general public.

Electricians across the spectrum seem to be divided about its effectiveness, unable to agree as to whether the current electrical building regulations go far enough, or simply create a vacuum within the industry. Since the coalition government took power the regulations have been caught up in the political undercurrents which have been circulating a number of government departments.

The debate will certainly go on, but the merits of Part P of the building regulations received a ringing endorsement last month from comments made by Phil Buckle, Director General of Electrical Safety Council, who said, “I certainly agree Part P has not been seen as the electrician’s friend, but it has certainly brought about benefits for the consumer.

“As a contributing factor towards improved safety, the Council will continue to lobby Westminster for its retention. We have also made our support for Part P clear at the party conferences held in the autumn of 2010. We have already sent comments to the Minister, Andrew Stunell, as part of an initial review of the building regulations. Our entire raison d’être [at the Electrical Safety Council] is to ensure the safety of all users of electricity. It would not be acceptable to the ESC if we were to allow a vacuum whereby untrained individuals could undertake electrical work without checks – this would surely be the case if Part P were scrapped.”

There seems little doubt that with the might of the Electrical Safety Council behind it, and in conjunction with associated bodies such as the NICEIC, Part P will remain in place, continuing to protect the general public from the dangers of unchecked electrical work in domestic properties.

If you’re an electrician or tradesperson undertaking electrical work in a domestic environment, it is essential to ensure your conformation with Part P of the building regulations. We would also highly recommend joining a Competent Person Scheme such as the NICEIC.

If you would like to learn more about the Part P electrical courses offered by Access Training, or you’d like to know more about the NICEIC, call us today on 0800 345 7492.