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.

Wired for Success is an exciting initiative launched by the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA). The scheme is providing electrical training to 11 women from the same housing association and aims to get them off benefits and into full time employment by equipping them with valuable practical skills.

As the first female president of the ECA, Diane Johnson has masterminded the electrical training scheme and hopes that soon projects of this sort will be springing up across the country in a wide range of different trades.

There are many barriers which prevent women from entering the trades and a lack of flexibility is one key problem area. Many of the women undertaking the electrical training are single mothers who between full-time childcare and housekeeping could find little time to train on conventional courses. The Wired for Success scheme has rebalanced the situation for these dedicated women, offering electrical training which fits around their schedules and allowing them to develop their abilities at a time and pace which suited them.

Financial problems are another serious issue which stop mothers on benefits from gaining employable skills. One woman on the scheme found that she did not have the spare cash to travel to the training centre, for example. Thanks to the commitment and understanding of those behind the project, hurdles like this can be overcome.

Although a significant amount of time, energy and support is required from both the Wired for Success participants and creators, the ultimate outcome appears to be more than worth it. By finding the time, space and finance to complete electrical training, these women will emerge with extremely employable skills which will allow them to stop receiving benefits and provide for their families.

Yet even the benefit system makes life difficult for women who want to develop employable skills. The Job Centre does not recognise the Wired for Success programme as a training course and therefore pressured the participants to look for work or face losing their Jobseekers’ Allowance.

It can be extremely difficult for the unemployed to gain the skills they need to get off benefits and begin productive careers. At Access we offer electrical training on flexible courses which allow you to train at your pace and at a time which is convenient to you. We hope to see more schemes like the Wired for Success springing up across the UK soon, until this happens we are dedicated to offering the most accessible and flexible electrical training to candidates from all backgrounds. Contact Access today on 0800 345 7492, or explore our website to learn more.

You won’t find ‘kitten rescue’ on the syllabus of many plumbing courses, but this week a heroic group of plumbers in Memphis found themselves with a furry little problem in a very long pipe.

Usually kitten retrieval is the gambit of kindly firemen, but this time the problem was not stuck perilously up a tree, it was deep in an underground pipe. Using all of the tools at their disposal and everything they’d learnt on their plumbing courses, the Memphis plumbers sent a camera down the pipe to find out what the little critter was up to.

The monitor revealed a tiny tabby appearing bewildered but otherwise unharmed several metres into the pipe. Not wishing to cause the creature any distress or risk injuring it, the team lowered food down to the kitten and set a live trap beneath a nearby manhole to capture the creature when it eventually emerges. Working with the theory of ‘what goes up must come down’ the plumbers found they had little else to do to help.

The plumbing team were called in after neighbours were bothered by mewling coming from a local vacant property, after tracing the sound of the disorientated tabby to the pipe’s entrance, a neighbour called in the plumbers.
 
You might not learn about pet rescue on Access plumbing courses, but you will learn everything you need to know to begin a bright career in the plumbing industry. However you like to learn, whatever level of experience you have and wherever you are in the UK, Access have the ideal plumbing courses for you. To learn more about the plumbing courses we offer, from NVQ level 2 to renewable energy courses, please get in touch with our informative team on 0800 345 7492 today.

Recent research has been conducted over in the US into the difference in efficiency of hard and soft water and the subsequent impact on plumbing and heating systems.

The study has been conducted by the Water Quality Association, which recorded the drop in efficiency caused by hard water in both stored and tankless gas water heaters. The study found that for every 86ppm (parts per million) of hardness in the water (with 150ppm the common measure of hard water) there was a resultant drop in the efficiency of the systems of 4 per cent when using 190 litres a day.

So for those living in hard water areas the reduction in efficiency could amount to just under 10 per cent, whilst individuals in very hard water areas could experience a decrease in efficiency of 20 per cent. The research also found that hard water and subsequent build up of lime scale could damage water heaters, leading some to fail in less than two years.

This inefficiency increases energy bills, which many households are struggling to pay with the economy in such a sad state. There are however some excellent systems on the market that can protect your hot water systems from limescale and corrosion and increase the efficiency of the system along with its likely lifespan.

Most of these soft water systems use a patented zinc sacrificial anode system, which releases and combines zinc ions and calcium/magnesium ions together to from aragonite, which is a non-adhering lime. Once treated the water is perfectly drinkable and still contains the natural minerals that occur in water naturally.

To learn the latest techniques used by plumbers and to achieve the qualifications you need to get ahead in the industry, plumbing training here at Access ensures courses that fit around your existing schedule, with pass rates for many of our courses exceeding 95%. Call us on 0800 345 7492 for further information.

It can be difficult deciding which path to take in life. You’ve made the bold decision to retrain, but how do you decide where to go from there. This guide will give you an idea of what you can expect from a career as a gas engineer.

Currently the UK is experiencing a shortage of ‘Gas Safe’ installers, which means if you do plan on taking the plunge, now is a particularly good time to do so. Skilled workers are in demand by both domestic and commercial customers, so at least you know the work is out there. By choosing the right trades training course you will ensure you are in a strong position to land the jobs in your area.

Here’s what you can expect from a career as a gas engineer:

A competitive salary

As with any career, your earning potential can vary according to your experience, level of skill and location. However, to give you an idea, a newly trained gas engineer working for a regular contractor could earn in the region of £30,000, whilst an experienced and talented gas engineer with a diverse range of skills would be closer to £50,000. Of course many people retrain with the aim of becoming their own boss. If this is the route you choose then your earning potential is uncapped.

A job with prospects

Think career rather than job. You can earn a comfortable living and forge a rewarding career as a gas engineer as long as you have the necessary trades training skills. The profession is also secure which in our day and age is all too rare. Whether you are self employed or working for an employer, the skills of a ‘Gas Safe’ registered engineer will always be in demand.

Plenty of challenges

No two days are ever the same when working as a gas engineer. It can be a challenging job, both mentally and physically, but it is this that keeps things interesting. The mix of commercial and residential work means that one day you may find yourself installing a domestic boiler and the next you could be working on an industrial heating system as part of a team.

If you think a career as a gas engineer could be your perfect next step, you need to ensure that the trades training you receive is the very best available. Contact Access Training today on 0800 345 7492; with state of the art training facilities and exceptional pass rates, we can guarantee the highest standard of trades training.

A new initiative, known as ConstructED, has been launched to promote diversity in the world of construction. From plumbing courses to the building site, the new scheme aims to bring all genders, races, religions, physical abilities and sexualities into the construction industry.

The scheme has already been backed by the North East Chamber of Commerce (NECC) along with a number of construction – next stop the whole of the U.K.! Even here at Access, our plumbing courses, tiling courses and other trades training courses are dominated by white, heterosexual males. It’s time for a shake up!

There are myriad benefits to a diverse and representative workforce. Every individual brings their own set of skills, abilities and insights to the table and the more diverse the construction industry, the more ideas and talents our economy will benefit from.

This is the first scheme of its kind to be launched in the UK and has been designed to create fairer and more equal workplaces, where all Equality Act (2010) and European Commission on Human Rights obligations are met.

This means eradicating any form of harassment, victimisation and discrimination in the industry and ensuring every company who vie for a public sector contract have the requisite equality and diversity credentials.

At Access we believe in open and equal learning for all. We work hard to ensure our plumbing courses and alternative construction training courses are friendly and respectful environments where every student can reach their full potential, irrespective of their background, gender, race, religion, sexuality or physical ability.

To find out more about our open, flexible and welcoming plumbing courses, please get in touch with the Access team today on 0800 345 7492 to discuss your goals and your future!

Speak to any experienced plumber and they’ll always have a plumbing disaster story to share.  Plumbing, by its very nature is just waiting for a disaster to happen.  From the blocked drain ready to spew out onto the street to the sneaky little drip that suddenly becomes a collapsed ceiling and thousands of pounds worth of damage, plumbing is one professional that could never be called dull!

If you’ve been considering plumbing training there are many courses that will give you all the knowledge you need to help avert and deal with disasters.  When plumbing goes bad it can go really bad and your skills could help to prevent further damage and devastation.  Whether you decide to specialise in a particular area or you simply want to learn some basics to get you started, a professional plumbing course is the best way to pick up the skills you need. 

Modern plumbing systems are becoming more complex in nature.  This isn’t usually down to the components changing, but more our needs and preferences changing.  For example, rain showers that are plumbed into the wall are all the rage right now, but if fitted incorrectly could cause a lot of damage if a leak starts.  That’s why an experienced and fully qualified plumber is worth their weight in gold.  Whilst many plumbing jobs can be handled as a DIY project, it’s the more advanced jobs that require the services of a professional and this is where you could come in very handy. 

Be That Knight in Shining Armour

If you’re considering a change in career, there are many entry-level plumbing courses available resulting in an industry qualification such as City & Guilds.   Those looking to change career, brush up their skills, or simply learn more for DIY projects around the home will find a course run by an accredited centre invaluable.  What you learn in one day could equate to more than you have ever learnt from books or online and you’ll be learning in a structured way. 

Plumbers looking to advance in other skills or becoming fully qualified can also take a lot away from plumbing training.  Gas training and renewable energy training are just some of the areas you can take specialist training in.  Simply by holding some professional qualifications you make your services more desirable and instantly command more trust and respect from customers. 

There are so many benefits to learning a trade.  Whether you choose to work for another company or go it alone, people are always going to require the services of a plumber.  At Access we take great pride in our range of plumbing training courses and we’d be delighted to help you on the road to a rewarding and exciting new career.  Take a look at our course options or give our team a call on 0800 345 7492.  We can tell you all about the most suitable plumbing courses and if you want to get started, we can get you enrolled right away.

Before, during and after plumbing training courses you’re likely to hear an awful lot about how plumbing is a ‘recession-proof profession’. True, no matter how desperate a country’s finances get, somebody will always need to be there to fix leaks and handle plumbing crises, but is plumbing really totally unaffected by the recession?

To be perfectly frank, no industry has been completely unaffected by the recession, yet plumbing is bearing up far, far better than many. It is becoming a little more difficult to get started on the career ladder but, once you’re in there, things look good for the time being.

Yet one problem with an unstable economy is that it is very difficult to predict what is next. With that in mind, how can you work to guard your plumbing future against an extremely uncertain economic outlook? In this article we’ll be taking a look at a few steps you can take to make your plumbing career truly recession-proof to help you get ahead when everything seems to be going under!

Diversify

In many areas you’ll find that emergency call out plumbers are everywhere. If this is true for your local area, it’s time to offer something different. Equally, if your local market is inundated with fittings and alternations specialists, take some time to assess supply and demand and then stretch yourself!

One of the best ways to diversify is to learn skills which few others in your industry have. Invest in yourself by enrolling on plumbing training courses which will equip you for less ‘run-of-the-mill’ projects and you’ll find yourself in demand, even if things get really difficult. Access offer an extremely broad range of plumbing training courses including:

•    City & Guilds Bathroom Fitting Plumbing Courses
•    Water Regulations (WRAS) Certificate (BPEC/WRAS Level 2)
•    Unvented Hot Water Systems Certificate (BPEC Unvented G3 Certificate)
•    & many more

Look forward

A little bit of foresight can go a long way. Over the coming decade renewable energy is going to be the bandwagon every plumber wants to be on, yet getting ahead of the curve, getting the plumbing training you need, building up experience and establishing a reputation as a great solar thermal or ground source heat pump expert right now could stand you in very good stead very soon!

Don’t overlook the basics

Whilst diversifying and looking forward are important, it is vital that you do not lose touch with the roots of your profession. After all, one of the key things which makes plumbing such a recession-resistant profession is that there is always demand for plumbing basics. The bread and butter of the plumbing industry is enough to sustain many through nasty economic times.


Yet it isn’t necessarily as simple as offering basic plumbing services. If you want to make your living from this type of plumbing work, you need to gain respect, trust and a strong client base. The only way to do that is through hard grind, a positive attitude and a great service your customers will come back for time and time again.

If you’d like to learn more about offering the very best plumbing service, Access’s plumbing training courses can help you be the best you can be. Hone your skills whatever your level of ability or experience, pick up the plumbing skills of the future or learn niche techniques to allow you to diversify.

To learn more about how Access plumbing training courses can help you to recession-proof your plumbing career, please explore the rest of the site or speak to one of our experts today on 0800 345 7492.

You might be a whizz at rewiring but if your electrician courses didn’t teach you to handle your finances correctly, you now have less than a week to sign up to repay any undisclosed tax to HM Revenue and Customs if you want to avoid huge fines and even criminal charges in the worst cases.

This window of opportunity was created after the government decided to get tough on tax. With high levels of tax evasion (intentional or accidental) present in industries where self-employment is common, HMRC decided to look into professions like plumbing and electrical work. They have given electricians a time frame in which to register to pay any undisclosed tax to encourage responsibility before taking tough action on tax evaders.

By Tuesday 15th May, any electricians who discover that they have not paid the full amount of tax will be required to have registered to pay back any unpaid amounts. If they submit their unpaid taxes by this time, they will receive radically reduced penalties of just 10-20%. If, however, they fail to register any unpaid tax, they will face up to 100% of penalties and could even be confronted by criminal charges in extreme cases.

Once owed tax has been registered, the electrician in question will have until 14th August 2012 to repay the full amount and any reduced penalties incurred. The overall scheme is being called the Electricians’ Tax Safe Plan, and is a vital lifeline for those with outstanding tax accrued either accidentally or intentionally.

Outside of the Electricians’ Tax Safe Plan, HMRC have developed tools to help them track down tax dodgers. Using trade directories, trade suppliers, professional electrical safety certificates and tax records, the HMRC have the resources to track down those who have failed to pay the correct tax. All the more reason to get your house in order before the ‘tax amnesty’ elapses.

Good electrician courses are designed to equip future sparks for work in the real world, and organising finances properly is a key part of life as a successful, thriving electrician.  If you’d like to learn more about electrician courses that will help you develop your real life skills, Access can help. With dozens of flexible, City & Guilds accredited electrician courses available, Access can set you on the right track to a bright electrical future. Call our friendly team today on 0800 345 7492 today.

The IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology) has identified worrying gaps in the knowledge of many working electricians, prompting commentators to wonder whether refresher electrician courses may be a wise idea for many of those who have been in the job for years and may not have kept up to date with shifting regulations.

The IET’s concerns were raised after it was discovered that up to 76% of UK electricians may be working without a copy of the most recent edition of the IET Wiring Regulations. This might not sound like a great travesty or a big deal, but the updated regulations include big changes and entirely new sections which modern electricians need to be aware of – no matter what they were taught on their original electrician courses.

The new regulations include essential information regarding:

•    New protocol for inspection reporting
•    Electromagnetic disturbances
•    Overvoltage protection
•    Maintenance gangways
•    Medical locations and operating

It is the responsibility of all electricians to keep abreast of important changes in the industry after completing their electrician courses and training. Learning, after all, is a life-long undertaking. Yet with just 66,000 copies of the new regulations sold, there could well be 211,000 electricians who are not complying with EU and international standards.

According to the IET’s chief electrical engineer, Geoff Cronshaw: “It’s important that all…electrical engineers familiarise themselves with the amended IET Wiring Regulations to ensure that the work they do complies with the current standard.”

Whether you’re an old hand or a new recruit, there is always more to learn. Keeping abreast of current best practices and new techniques through electrician courses is one great way to ensure you are always at the top of your game and providing the best possible service to your clients.

Access offer electrician courses designed for all levels of experience and areas of expertise. To learn more about how electrician courses can help you be the very best at what you do, explore the rest of the Access site or call 0800 345 7492 today.

One thing they don’t teach you during plumber training is how to overcome the plumber stereotypes prevalent in British society. No matter how much plumber training you have undergone, no matter how hard you have worked or how considerate, cost-effective and industrious you are – chances are you’re going to be put in a little box marked “Inconsiderate, over-priced, lazy rip-off merchant’!

A new study has shown that British preconceptions of plumbers are not shifting – in fact they are stagnating. The survey asked homeowners a series of questions to gauge their attitude to those in the plumbing industry. The findings were pretty disappointing – especially in the 21st Century when stereotyping of any kind is out-dated and narrow-minded.

Only one in eight of those polled believed that plumbing training creates highly qualified professionals. Meanwhile, only one in six women said that they viewed plumbers as polite and 15% of respondents said that, yes, they still associated plumbers with an unsightly builders’ bum.

This research might be disheartening, but other facts revealed during the study are actually very good news for those embarking on plumbing training courses. For starters, the vast majority of those asked claimed that they had absolutely no idea how to fix basic plumbing issues in their homes. The need for plumbers, therefore, is great and no matter what preconceptions the public might have of those in the plumbing business, there is plenty of opportunity to change their minds!

If you’d like to be that plumber who challenges stereotypes and offers a great service which is of real value to clients, Access offer the plumbing training necessary to prepare you for a life in the plumbing profession. We offer flexible, thorough plumbing training courses to help you start your journey into a bright future. Call today for more information on 0800 345 7492.

You’ve completed all the required plumbing courses, you’ve gathered years of great experience, you’ve established yourself as a true professional and identified your client base – at last you’re ready to start your plumbing business. But what do you call it?

Of course you could go down the simple route. Your name with the word “plumbing” after it is a tried and tested solution, but it doesn’t really stand out, does it? A.B. Plumbing, Dave Pryor Plumbing, B & R Plumbers – not very inspiring and hardly likely to keep your business in the minds of past and future customers…

So how do you come up with a great name for your plumbing business which helps you stand out but also makes sure your customers take you seriously?

It can be extremely tempting to go down the plumbing pun route, but this could throw a spanner in the works and suggest to customers that they will be throwing money down the drain on a plumber who isn’t going to have an altogether professional approach to their plumbing problem. Yet a pun or joke can make your business both memorable and friendly, so if you can come up with a good one it might be worth a shot! Be careful though, many plumbing puns have been done (and done badly) before…

•    Round the Bend Plumbing
•    Plumb Role Plumbing
•    Plumbing the Depths
•    Royal Flush Plumbing   
•    Straight Flush Plumbing
•    Go with the Flow Plumbing
•    Pipe Dream Plumbing
•    Flushed with Success Plumbing

Yes, we know, they’re terrible. The problem with a ‘punny’ plumbing name is that it has to be genuinely funny for it to work and very few of them actually are…

When it comes to setting up after your plumbing courses, you can judge your trade name ideas for your plumbing business by asking yourself a few questions:

1.    Does it accurately convey what you do?
2.    Does it portray your business in a positive light?
3.    Does it help you stand out from the crowd?

If the answer to any of these questions is ‘no’, it might be time to return to the drawing board…

If you’re yet to embark on your plumbing path, the first step is to get some great plumbing courses under your belt. Access offer flexible, future-oriented plumbing courses which will thoroughly equip you for your future career, wherever you are in the UK and however you want to learn. For more information about Access’s plumbing courses call their team today on 0800 345 7492.

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