Reading the various reports coming from Government sources has led many to conclude that as of the end of 2010, ‘no one will be able to become an electrician unless they are on an apprenticeship’. Here at Access Training we know this is simply not the case. Consider the following scenario... One particular individual, let's call him Dave, is looking for a change in career and would really like to become an electrician. He currently works in a call centre for a popular and well advertised gas company answering calls each and every day.  The pay is poor and the hours are long.  He has a friend who recently completed an intense course and is now a successful plumber. Up until now, his present job has been sufficient. He has been enjoying life and glad of the regular income which supports this. At the age of 30, Dave meets a girl and decides / hopes she is the one. They move in together.  They now have two incomes, and although small the rent is covered, bills are paid and they enjoy regular nights out. 

Dave then reaches his 31st birthday; he decides that now is the time and pops the question. She accepts, he breaths a huge sigh of relief, and they start thinking about buying a house.  Dave then discovers he is due to be a father, and after some thought realises his income really needs to increase if he is going to be able to provide sufficiently for his family.  He needs a change of career and has always liked the idea of being an electrician. He has done some research and discovered that his earning potential will soar, giving him and his family the lifestyle they crave. He has already discussed working with his plumber friend; he currently has no qualifications and doesn’t know where to get trained.  He pays a visit to a few local colleges and enquires about going on an evening course.  The tutor explains the courses are full and there is a substantial waiting list. He also discovers that even after the completion of such a course he will only be qualified to lower level, not giving him full electrician status, allowing him to get a  job as a ‘mate’ or an ‘improver’. He is also put off by the length of the course which lasts a matter of years; realistically he would much prefer a high intensity course which lasts just months. 

He then sees something in the national press which talks about Adult Apprenticeships and thinks great, this could be my chance. After a little research he realises that finding an employer who is willing to take him on an apprenticeship is virtually impossible. Now he feels completely lost.

Then one day just by chance he spots an advert in the local press from Access Training, a company that specialises in providing training for career changers and offers intensive and focused training which fits around an individual’s job, lifestyle and family commitments. This sounds great. He gives them a call and they explain everything he needs to know about becoming an electrician, allaying all the myths and taking the time to carefully explain, impartially, the facts relating to his prospects in the industry. They explain how the technical know-how and industry recognised qualifications he will receive will act as a carrot-on-a-stick to employers; he could even set out on his own when he is ready.  Within a short period of time he could have all the necessary qualifications to work as a fully qualified and graded electrician, more than trebling his previous income. 

Dave attends the course, becomes fully qualified, and because he’s his own boss he can spend as much time with his family as he likes. His earnings leap towards levels he never thought possible. There is also great benefit to the industry as a whole as the skills shortage is addressed, with the addition of an enthusiastic, motivated and well qualified electrician. Everyone’s a winner! 

This wonderful opportunity exists out there in the labour market today; you just have to know where to look. Yet governing bodies such as Summit Skills would not record this as a success. They are so blinkered that they are only interested in youth apprenticeships and not adult trainees with internationally recognised qualifications accredited from the NICEIC and City & Guilds.

With a massive decrease in apprenticeships offered by companies over the last few years, coupled with the ‘Credit Crunch’, there are more people than ever out of work.  Lots of people want to be electricians, plumbers, gas fitters and trades people but cannot find the necessary training to make progress.  Many mature individuals don’t believe they can become electricians at all as they falsely believe they have ‘missed the boat’ or are ‘too old’. Many adult learners know they want to learn a trade and do something with their hands. But for whatever reason, information on how to get good trade training as an adult is not easy to come by. This is where commercially aware, honest private training providers like Access Training come in. Just take a look at our testimonial section for examples.

So is a career change really a good idea when the information and advice can seem confusing?  Well, yes, in the majority of situations it is.  A career change brings fresh impetus, a new outlook on life and for many people, an opportunity to improve their financial situation.  This is the driving force behind most adult trainees, who, with careful introduction and thoughtful application by training providers like Access Training, can successfully change their lives for the better.

The problem is that for a mature individual, interested in a career change, making the right choice is never easy. However, planned correctly with the help of Access Training, adult students have a great opportunity to get out there and fill the skills gap, in a job which is both enjoyable and financially rewarding.

The conclusion is simple: colleges and apprenticeships are not always the answer; certainly not for a mature individual looking for a career change. Here at Access Training, we are not at all worried about the future of our adult students. We have many success stories across all the trades. Amongst all the doom and gloom in the current economy and the jobs market, the future is very bright for any individuals looking to become electricians, plumbers, gas fitters and more.

Call us today to find out how an intensive electrical training course or plumbing training course will prepare you for the trade, putting in place the industry recognised, expert qualifications you need

Access Training have today launched a new website for our training courses, we would welcome any feedback from you.

As you can see we have also attached a news blog to our website and we hope to keep you informed on new courses, accreditations, trade industry news, success stories and more. Please have a read through our blog posts and come back from time to time to read up on our latest posts.

Speaking after her inauguration as the first female President of the ECA (Electrical Contractors Association), Diane Johnson gave a stark warning about the skills shortage in the UK:

We are sitting on a ticking time bomb. If we don't act now, we will not have the home-grown talent needed to fulfil this country's potential. The consequences of that will be more far reaching than most people realise.

All too often the valuable role of our tradespeople is ignored. When we are no longer able to call on a qualified electrician, plumber or joiner, for example, to carry out essential work in our homes and businesses, because they are in such short supply, it will be too late.

I worry about what the landscape will look like in 10 years and who will be teaching our future captains of industry. For too long now the emphasis in the UK has been on University education rather than on-the-job skills training, with the craft route often seen as a lesser option. But I have young graduates knocking on my door with increasing regularity asking for the chance to learn a trade as their degree has proved almost worthless in the job market. This is particularly alarming as the cost of a degree is causing more and more graduates to leave with quite a scary level of debt, before they've even entered the "real" world, and with limited prospects.

What people often forget is that qualified tradespeople will often go on to set up their own businesses and become employers themselves. Without this natural pattern of events taking place the future looks very bleak. Critically, the UK is fast falling behind other countries, such as Germany, which still recognise the need for craftsmen and women and have continued to train much higher numbers of apprentices. This will affect our young people's long term chances of employment as foreign companies undertaking contracts in the UK will be forced to bring in their own skilled labour because we will not have the skilled labour to compete for those jobs. Our industry is still climbing out of a very tough recession and we recognize the Government has to take tough measures to help aid the Nation's recovery.

However, we must not lose sight of the fact that we still need to train people to carry out these essential skills in years to come. If we don't value our trades and the Government doesn't properly incentivise employers to take on apprentices, it's only a matter of time before the bomb will explode.