Excitement and anticipation rippled through the UK last night, as the government confidently announced its plans to bring England out of lockdown. 

June 21st is the date given for the final end of social distancing measures, with non-essential retail among many sectors able to open from 12 April. Schools will open from 8 March, and households will be able to meet outside from 29 March. 

By 17 May, social contact outdoors will be possible, and two households can mix indoors. It sparks hope for a return to normality, and life as we know it with Covid might, just might, be a thing of the past.

And this of course means one very positive thing for us in the construction world: freedom for projects to continue unhindered, and, perhaps most importantly, the ability to continue training the next generation of tradespeople. 

After adapting to an online-based learning system at the outset of lockdown, we at Access Training have spent almost a year ensuring that those wanting fulfilling careers in the trade industry could still learn, and continue developing their skills and theoretical knowledge in their field. Our tutors have prepared online tutorials, our resources have been made available to all our students, and we have carried on teaching as best we can.

But these recent developments mean we can soon return to our workshops and our training centres. We can go back to doing what we do best: preparing aspiring tradespeople for the world of work, in person, face to face, learning by practice, and working with our hands as well as our heads. 

The UK’s current skills shortage is widely reported on in the media. The possible impact of Brexit on the size of the UK’s workforce is a serious consideration for many, and the game is now afoot to make sure that we make up the numbers. 

Britain needs to ‘build back better’, and it is our job to make sure that we have the builders to make this happen. For those wanting to get involved, and start a rewarding and long-term career in the construction industry, you know what to do – give Access Training a call.

 

Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen. 

‘Infrastructural output is expected to lift the whole [construction] industry over 2021 and 2022’ – Professor Noble Francis, CPA economics director.

 

 

 

 

2021 is already promising to be a surging year of growth and productivity for the construction industry, as forecasted by the Construction Products Association (CPA). 

Economic experts at the company are predicting what they call a ‘W-shaped’ economic recession and recovery, and a rise of 14% output as the year progresses. This number is incredibly significant, as construction industry output initially fell by 14% as lockdowns were first imposed on the UK back in March 2020. A 14% rise will return output levels to pre-pandemic levels, putting the construction industry back on its feet.

And that’s not all. CPA’s economic advisors also predict a further 5% increase into 2022. As vaccines are rolled out across the country, opportunities for continued productivity are only going to increase. 

A strong recovery in the latter half of 2020, with construction sites reopening sooner than expected and demand at an all-time high, means that the construction industry is set to be among the trailblazing industries which will greatly support the UK through troubling economic times ahead. 

But what does this mean for workers in the trade industry? It means that, after all the difficulties faced in the past, the years ahead will be an incredibly busy and highly productive era for construction. It means that trade workers will be very highly sought after, well paid and not short of work. 

Most importantly, it means that now is an excellent time to be in the trade industry.

 

‘Projects have been able to effectively enact safe operating procedures [...]. Main works on HS2, Europe’s largest construction project, along with offshore wind and nuclear projects, are expected to be the main drivers of activity’ – Professor Francis.

 

Not only are the larger-scale projects thriving, but domestic work is also on the increase, as figures show a public confidence in tradespeople entering their homes and working safely. The demand for home improvement projects has soared after time spent in lockdown, and self-employed tradespeople are particularly reaping the rewards as the public need their services more than ever. 

Broken boilers, electrical faults, heating issues, are not problems which go away under lockdowns – they are highly important for safety and domestic comfort, and prove just how essential tradespeople are in the lives of millions.

And so for those who are not currently trained but are thinking about changing careers, there is simply no time to waste. You don’t want to look back at this period, perhaps still stuck in an unrewarding and uncertain job, and regret not becoming qualified as a tradesperson. You don’t want to wait for hindsight to tell you what you should have done. You need to assess what’s best for you moving forward, and take a leap that could potentially change your life.  

Economic projections, percentage figures and lofty statements, might seem distant and unimportant to the everyday worker stuck in lockdown after lockdown. But what they do tell us, is that tradespeople will play a crucial part in the years ahead. 

Work will be abundant, pay will be good, and healthy and rewarding careers will be possible. All you need are the qualifications, the determination, and the foresight to invest in yourself, and invest in your career. 

Give Access Training a call and enquire about a course – they can take it from there.

 

Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

 

 

 

 

 

We’re now already making headway into 2021, and our new year’s resolutions have likely already fallen by the wayside. But this is one resolution that is worth sticking to: getting your career and future on track. 

At the turn of 2021, Access Training was featured in a ‘Top Ten’ list by The Sun newspaper, naming it as one of ten companies in the UK that can significantly change your life around for the better. 

 

It touches on the difficulty of 2020 for thousands, stating that ‘many industries have been hit hard’, the downfall of this ‘resulting in mass redundancies’ – and they are not wrong. 1.7 million people have been made redundant since the outset of the pandemic, and this is unfortunately predicted to rise to 2.6 million by the middle of this year

If you’re in an uncertain career, trapped in an endless furlough limbo, then this must be taking its toll on your mental health and your ability to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s no life to live, being constantly in the dark about what’s to come, or where the next payment will come from, and what life will be like beyond furlough and the pandemic. Will there still be a career left for you at the end?

Thankfully, the construction industry is still on its feet, to say the least. It has been named among the two highest industries in the UK which has more job vacancies than it did pre-pandemic. Tradespeople have been kept in such high demand, with work and productivity sky high, and worker’s rates have gone through the roof and look likely to rise as 2021 progresses. That’s more work and more money in your pockets for it. It truly is now or never to become trained in construction. 

The Sun identified Access Training’s importance in getting the show back on the road, as it describes the ‘bespoke, industry-leading, fast-track training’ which we provide. For thousands of people, we have already transformed careers and futures by giving them new opportunities, new skills, and new qualifications. Employers have snapped them up, or they’ve gone out for themselves and started businesses. It’s an exciting and fulfilling career, and it’s one that you need to be a part of. 


So, listen to The Sun, and give Access Training a call to make your year one worth remembering. Make 2021 the year that you bounced back after a tumultuous 2020; make it the year that you made your future happen. If you’re good with your hands, good with your head, and willing to work hard at learning a new skill – then what are you really waiting for?

Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

 

 

I am a strong believer that no one should be stereotyped into specific roles and this includes the perception of men on the construction site’ – Jwerea Malik, operations manager at Balfour Beatty, and co-chair of the group’s Gender Equality Affinity Network.

 

After we spoke to our plumbing student, Leah Carney, and hearing her inspiring story, we’ve been determined to continue the dialogue surrounding women in the construction industry. 

Leah is an ambitious and driven individual: a designer who had taken to delivery driving for extra money, and then decided to train as a plumber at the outset of the pandemic. She is already qualified as a plumber, gaining new electrical qualifications, and setting up her own business. 

But Leah is just one of thousands of similarly hard-working people around the country who have made the construction industry their home and future. Over the pandemic, the construction industry has seemed to appeal to hard-working and skilled women, as a refuge from redundancy and an opportunity for a fulfilling career. According to Lianne Lawson, a construction manager who has been in the industry for 14 years:

 

The pandemic has taught all of us how quickly we can evolve and adapt to new ways of working, and I think the mindset for everyone has changed. [...] Having to work from home in many cases has opened the industry up to the possibility of more flexible working conditions.

 

It goes without saying that the construction industry should accommodate everybody who has a desire to work within it; and perhaps one inadvertent result of the pandemic is that this has happened. 

For decades, the construction industry has been perceived as a male-dominated industry. But hearing the stories of women in construction, we learn that the last decade or two has resulted in greater accessibility to footholds and successful careers for thousands of women across the UK. Since then, it has been exciting to witness the brilliant and essential contributions that women have made to the trade industry, only further demonstrating that there absolutely is a much-needed place for them within the sector.

 

When i joined the industry 10 years ago as a graduate engineer, I was, more often than not, the only woman in the room. I felt the pressure to be seen as a peer to my male colleagues. – Malik

 

Jwerea Malik also notes how, from being the only woman on a project, the industry has now developed to seeing 23% of new starters in construction being women. It’s refreshing to consider how far the construction industry has come in recent times, and these stories of success are a testimony to the freedoms and attitudes of today. 

But as important as it is to acknowledge and celebrate how far we’ve come in the construction industry, there is obviously further we can go in ensuring that everybody feels welcome, and to encourage everybody to contribute in a fast-growing and multi-faceted industry. Considering the skills shortages of today’s construction sector, and the huge demand for work, it only makes sense for the prosperity of the industry itself that we look for strong, skilled tradespeople from all aspects of society. 

 

I was considered a bit of a novelty, noticed more for my differences than the engineering skills and expertise we had in common. I felt I had to prove myself, not just in terms of delivering my work to the best of my ability, but to be seen as an equal to my teammates. The rarity of a woman on a construction site 10 years ago meant inclusion wasn’t second nature. – Malik

 

What’s more, it goes without saying that a successful business is an inclusive business. Those leaders of the trade who represent all aspects of society are those with a greater customer base, a broader image, and who ultimately thrive in a competitive market. It suits everybody to make sure that construction is not a career for the men only – frankly, why limit ourselves?

 

I think it was my own perception that I couldn’t do it, so I was trying to break that mentality, which the people around me helped to do’ – Lianne Lawson.

 

 

Success in the construction industry is all about ability, and should never be about any aspect of your gender and background. If you have an interest in joining the construction community, don’t hesitate; from an outsider perspective, it might look like a male-dominated environment, but as you can see, things are changing. It just takes some bravery, self-belief, and knowledge that you are judged on your ability and willingness to work, over any other factors.

Women in construction are no longer a novelty; they are essential to the industry’s future. Why not be a part of this future, and join women like Leah, Lianne, and Jwerea? It takes one call to Access Training to get your career on track.


Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

 

 

 

‘There’s an already-growing squeeze on unskilled workers; what we’ve seen is labour rates already creeping up, particular labourers, because we’re finding it harder to find eastern European workers’ – Darin Burrows, director of recruitment agency City Sites.

 

 

Industry experts are predicting 2021 to be a fruitful and financially rewarding year for construction workers, as demand for skilled tradespeople increases rapidly

If there was ever a good time to cash in on the lifeboat that is the construction industry, then this is the year to do so. Experts and industry leaders have predicted that a 10% rise in cost for labourers and skilled tradespeople is on the way for in 2021. 

That’s right. Tradespeople are effectively being awarded a 10% pay rise. And it’s highly deserved, of course; over the last year, construction workers have been among the often unsung heroes of our communities, keeping the economy and the country afloat, giving it a much-needed boost and providing essential services.

But how has this good fortune come about, and what will it mean for those working within the industry? 

 

The primary reason for this positive development for tradespeople, is that since the onset of Covid, demand for tradespeople has increased massively. But this higher demand has collided with a significant decrease in the number of workers from Europe. The Office for National Statistics has shown that, in the aftermath of Brexit, 25% of the UK’s EU-born construction workforce left the industry between September 2019 and September 2020. 

This has left a gaping hole in a workforce already struggling to cope with an enormous workload and project demand; EU nationals previously made up as much as 80% of the labour workforce for recruitment agencies such as Darin Burrows’s City Sites, and such a large decrease means that the UK is desperate for more construction workers

Major towns and cities in the UK have been hit particularly hard by this shortage; contractors in London and Birmingham, such as the London-based contractor Golden Houses, have had to bring in workers from out of town in a desperate scramble to meet labour demands, from areas further afield such as Leicester and Nottingham.

But this is, of course, very good news for construction workers and those looking to get into the trade industry. And why? Because the skills and services you can offer are now in far more limited supply, and so are valued much higher. That is, you’ll be getting paid more than you would have before – a whopping 10% more. 

This means that the UK’s construction workforce will have far more control, freedom, and success in their work; they have more power to set their rates, another reason why the construction industry is incredibly appealing for employment and working opportunities. 

 

The construction industry’s remarkable performance in the post-Covid world has been widely commented upon, as it has continued to employ thousands of people across the country, and in many respects carry on as normal. In fact, the construction industry was one of two UK industries to report a higher number of job vacancies compared to the same in 2019. 

And now, not only has the construction industry recovered from the initial blow of Covid’s initial months with more job vacancies, but it has provided its workers with this much needed financial boost. It has given thousands of people the rare security of well-paid, guaranteed work. And the importance of this cannot go unstressed: in times like these, the construction industry is completely invaluable to those who need the stability of a long-term career

We can make you that promise: that qualifying as a tradesperson will keep you busy and earning for years to come. Access Training can make sure that you benefit from this increase in rates; Access Training can give you a long-lasting and fulfilling career, with lifelong skills; Access Training can get you where you want to be in your career. All it takes is a call.

 

Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen. 

 

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