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"Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together." - Marilyn Monroe

Restart your career

If you're one of the thousands who have been furloughed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, what should you do next? And could you turn your furlough experience into a career opportunity?

If you are in this situation, what options do you have? Do you persevere and hope things will eventually return to normal...or do you know, deep down, that this may not happen? Should you look for a new job now, or think big and chase your long-held aspiration to start something new?

As it stands, thousands of people in the UK are already finding themselves out of work. Others are being protected from this fate - for now - by the government's furlough scheme, putting them in a state of employment. But with the Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme ending soon, the threat of redundancy is looming ever closer for furloughed employees.

Furlough figures - September 2020

What should you do if you're one of the people affected by this situation? You may be feeling very stressed right now, but the end of furlough could also be your opportunity to begin something new - something far more rewarding than the 'normal' that you knew before.

The furlough scheme is due to end on 31 October, so there's no time to waste. Here are 5 steps that you should consider:

 

1. Contact your employer if you haven't already done so.

Don't be afraid - even if you've barely spoken to your employer while you haven't been working, you can still get in touch now to request some details about your situation and the company itself. You may even wish to ask how the economic forecast is shaping up; does it look like the business will still be able to employ you after October, once the furlough safety net has been taken away?

 

2. Take some time to reflect.

Really focus on what you desire from your life. Think about your career and your professional needs: what do you want to do now, and which direction do want to go in?

 

3. Consider whether you really want to return to your old job.

Ask yourself simple, direct questions: 'Am I happy to return to this job if it's still there? Is this genuinely the career I want, the work I find most fulfilling? Can I see a long-term future for this industry and my place in it?'

 

4. Plan your next steps.

If redundancy is inevitable - or if you've decided that, regardless of whether your position remains secure, you don't want to go back to the old normal - then it's time to think about what you want to do next. Do you take this opportunity to retrain and learn some new skills? Identify what knowledge and qualifications you'll need to make your dream career a reality, then find out how best to reach the required level.

 

5. Look for a clear, realistic career path.

Above all, look for the path that will lead to real opportunities in an area that's sustainable and growing. Whether you're looking to reboot or switch careers entirely, now is a great time to dream big and start building a new picture of your future career.

 

Sometimes, the most important decisions are the ones made for us. As daunting and unprecedented as the current crisis is, it could be your springboard to improved career prospects, especially if you have a long-term goal or ambition that didn't seem realistic before.

Inevitably, emotion will be a factor when you're asking yourself the big questions. It's impossible to provide a detached, purely rational answer to questions like 'If my profession ceased to exist, what career would I want to pursue instead?' or 'How can I reinvent myself?' If you've always thought about re-skilling (or up-skilling) but didn't have the inclination or the need a year ago, now may be the perfect time to take that leap, but use your head to think clearly - don't be swayed entirely by your emotions.

Ultimately, life is never without its difficulties, and there are bound to be setbacks along the way. We can't plan for every single occurrence, but what matters is how you bounce back and move forward. There's always light at the end of the tunnel, and this crisis won't last forever.

Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

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Are you being left behind by the UK government's new plans for those aged 16 to 24?

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak recently announced that the government would be creating more than 300,000 paid job opportunities for unemployed people aged 16 to 24. This is great news and a much-needed show of support for young people who may be struggling to find work right now due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But where does this leave everyone else? What options are available for unemployed 25-year-olds and others who are too old to benefit from the UK government's new initiative?

Photo by J J Ellison (Wikimedia Commons)

 

"The most dramatic hit to the UK labour market in 100 years"

The number of people out of work and claiming work-related benefits in the UK recently jumped to more than 2 million as the coronavirus crisis forced thousands of businesses to close. Highlighting the impact of the pandemic on the workforce, the figures for May found that the number of jobcentre claimants increased to 2.8 million from 1.24 million in March, representing a 126% increase since the beginning of the lockdown.

The UK government have revealed strong plans to help unemployed 16 to 24-year-olds, but have not announced any support for the country's largest working demographic.

Because of this, people aged 25 and older are now looking for the best way to achieve both job stability and job satisfaction. It is widely accepted that careers in the construction, electrical, and plumbing and heating trades are some of the most stable positions available in the current UK climate; these career paths also provide job satisfaction with the option to be your own boss.

Construction training providers across the UK are now seeing increased demand for training and an increase in demand for tradespeople. Trade courses are seen as a viable solution for those struggling or wanting to change career.

Call Access Training on 0800 345 7492 or contact us online to learn more about our wide range of trade training programmes for people of all ages.

Electrician Courses   Plumbing Courses   Construction Courses

Retraining for a new career

If your current job has become frustrating, uninspiring, or just plain dull, then it may be time to consider retraining for a new career. You can retrain at 20, 30, 40 and beyond - regardless of your age, it's never too late to change your path!

While lucrative careers that require no qualifications or prior training do exist, such opportunities are relatively few and far between, so it's generally a better bet to undergo some form of retraining before embarking upon your new career path. The best careers to retrain for can take many forms: some people choose to go back to university, or even to a sixth form college to retake their A-levels. Others enrol on apprenticeships or vocational courses.

Of course, the best retraining route for you depends very heavily on what kind of career you're looking to pursue. So the questions you should be asking, first of all, are as follows:

What career should I retrain for?

Typing 'best careers to retrain for' into Google produces all sorts of different answers to this question. One website tells you to become a chef; another recommends logistics, firefighting and air traffic control. There doesn't seem to be any real consensus as to what the best career path is, and while that's perfectly understandable - everybody is different, and one person's dream job is another person's nightmare - we'd like to make the case today for learning a trade and re-training as a tradesperson.

There are countless opportunities for qualified tradespeople in the UK right now. The government made house building a key focus of their latest budget, and if their targets are to be met, the country will need a lot more workers who are capable of building new properties and providing them with water and electricity. And that need is set to become even greater over the coming years - according to The Telegraph, the UK's construction industry workforce will decrease by 20-25% in the next decade. New, skilled workers are needed to fill that gap, so if you're weighing up prospective career options, getting into the trade could well be a very good training choice indeed.

Training options for budding tradespeople

The government's stated goal is to build 300,000 homes a year. Lots of different skills are required to construct a habitable modern home; bricklayers and carpenters will be in very high-demand, of course, but so will the following people:

Electricians

Homes need electricity, and only a qualified electrical engineer can legally perform electrical installations. Why not retrain as an electrician with the help of Access Training?

Electrical training courses >

Plumbers

Homes also need water, and there many jobs for a plumber to do within a house building project. Sinks, taps, baths, toilets, showers, dishwashers...the list goes on. We offer a variety of plumbing courses if you'd like to retrain as a plumber.

Plumbing courses >

Gas Engineers

Many plumbers choose to also train as gas engineers and join the Gas Safe Register, as this enables them to carry out a wider variety of tasks (e.g. boiler installation). This is a rewarding and challenging profession for people looking to retrain.

Gas training courses >

Kitchen Fitters

Professional kitchen fitters are required to have a strong grasp of numerous specialist skills, from measuring and marking up to cutting worktops and installing cooker circuits. Retraining as a kitchen fitter will provide you with a lucrative career, and might even come in handy at home!

Kitchen fitting courses >

To find out more about the best retraining options here at Access Training, and to start retraining for your dream career please contact us today.

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For many young people today, it's easy to think of university as an automatic route - the default next step after leaving school. With fewer vacancies and greater competition, it can seem like there are not as many opportunities available nowadays as there used to be, and so going to university comes across as being the safest option.

But is the experience of university worth the enormous tuition fees and oppressive debts that come with it? Is university really the surest route to a successful career?

The answer is: no it isn't, at least not for everybody. Many other equally prosperous options are often overlooked by parents, teachers and students alike.

What does university cost?

In 2012, university tuition fees in England almost tripled, going from £3,375 per year to £9,000 per year. At the time, students were promised increased value for money, a far higher quality of university teaching, and far better future prospects - and if the higher fees actually were justified by a far higher quality of learning and a better future for students, then perhaps this could be seen as a fair deal. But with the number of students increasing each year, the value of a degree has if anything fallen since 2012.

And that's not the only problem. The latest report on student debt by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) revealed that graduate students are currently facing a lifetime of debt, averaging around £57,000. On top of tuition fees, which are continually increasing,  this extortionate lifetime bill is made even heftier when maintenance fees and general living costs are taken into account.

So unless a university education is undoubtedly, unquestionably what you want to pursue, why saddle yourself with such a huge backlog of debt?

Is it worth it?

Many students who started university courses after fees were increased have now completed their degrees, but a lot of them are not doing too well; according to The National Union of Students, nearly half of all students who attended university as undergraduates in 2012 are now back to living with their parents.

And the struggle to find employment is only going to become more difficult, according to Sharon Walpole (the Chief Executive of Not Going To Uni, an organisation devoted to spreading awareness of options other than university to help young people secure a strong future). Walpole warns that graduate intakes for large employers will be reduced when an apprenticeship levy is passed in 2017. This levy will include an investment of £2.5 billion into funding apprenticeship training, resulting in an influx of apprenticeship placements and less room for graduates.

With more and more graduates achieving university degrees, things are only likely to become worse, with more competition, fewer opportunities, and less room for work. Read this article to find out how newly-graduated students are finding life after university, and how successful they have been in finding work

What else can your child do?

Leaving university owing £40,000+ is no way to enter the world of work, and a debt of that scale can be a huge financial and mental burden, not only for the students themselves but for the families who then have to support them. With far less priority now being made for graduate employees, finding work is becoming extremely difficult.

If you are thinking of attending university, and are not 100% certain about this choice, we implore you to consider all the available options. If academia is not your forte - if you are better with physical, hands-on work - then the trade industry might be just what you’re looking for, and Access Training is the best establishment in the UK to train and qualify aspiring tradespeople.

Please give us a call today on 0800 345 7492, and enquire about the courses we have on offer. Our course advisors will be happy to give you all the information you require.

Alternatively, select one of the following options to find out more:

BBC Wales Cymru have unveiled plans to move to a brand new purpose-build broadcast centre in the centre of Cardiff, prompting hundreds of new construction-based jobs in Wales.

After options to upgrade the current BBC Wales centre in Llandaff were ruled out for being costlier, disruptive and more time consuming, the decision was made to relocate to Cardiff's capital square - currently the site of its Central rail and bus stations. The BBC have said that the new centre will be roughly half the size of the current premises, making it less expensive to run.

This project is also expected to kick off "one of the capital's biggest urban regeneration projects in recent decades", with a new masterplan in the works for the north and south sides to the railway station. This, along with Cardiff's Queen Street station, are already undergoing massive rennovation work.

Cardiff City Council leader, Phil Bale, said: "This is very exciting news for the city and will fast-track our plans for the area. Currently this part of Cardiff city centre doesn't give the best impression and our aim is create a place that the people of Cardiff are proud of and one that leaves a lasting impression for visitors.

"This type of investment comes around once in a generation. It boosts Cardiff’s emergence as a leading centre for creative industries in Europe. The new gateway will show Cardiff in its true light, a modern fast growing vibrant capital city which has so much to offer for business and those who choose to live here."

Hundreds of new jobs means hundreds of new opportunities for both beginner and existing tradespeople. So if you want to gain the skills and qualifications to work in the construction industry professionally or simply need a top-up of your existing toolkit, Access Training can help you. Offering courses suitable to trainees coming from a variety of background and skill level, these courses offer the same level of quality you'd find in a college course in a fraction of the time. To find out more you can get in contact with one of our course advisers on 0800 345 7492.