With the right skills, a strong desire and a little imagination, it can be surprising just what can be achieved when people put their minds (and hands) to work.

This is particularly applicable when it comes to manual labour jobs, like carpentry and joinery. Take the story of Billy Walden from Bentham, Lancaster, for proof of just that.

 

carpentry courses,carpentry training,joinery courses

 

A Cut Above

The Daily Mail recently ran a story about a teenage carpenter who incredibly transformed a shabby canal boat on its last sea legs into a holiday home for his mum and 11-year-old sister.

At 18 years old, Billy already had four years of carpentry training under his tool belt, beginning his education at the tender age of 14. He achieved his Level 1 AIM in just one year and even began his Level 2 in carpentry and joinery at just 15.

Despite his age, Billy was no stranger to renovation projects, having already completed a refurb of a VW camper. However, the camper van project left Billy with a desire for something bigger and better. The canal boat project proved to be just that.

 

Investing in Carpentry Skills

Bought by his mum, Jayne, for just £5k, the boat was a veritable steal due to the fact it didn’t pass all the survey tests. However, that also meant that it was also in need of considerable TLC – a challenge that Billy was more than up for.

Renovation costs accrued to around £2800 and, within just eight weeks, the young carpenter had transformed an uninhabitable budget barge into a unique floating holiday home.

 

Carpentry Courses and Joinery Courses

Billy’s story once again proves that not only can carpentry and joinery courses can be extremely useful, they can also be extremely rewarding from a personal standpoint too.

At Access Training UK, we offer a number of carpentry courses to suit all levels of education, allowing you to achieve carpentry goals, even if you don’t have any experience going in.

We currently offer the following carpentry courses:

 

DIY Carpentry Course

A crash course in household DIY carpentry, this course provides you with the basic understanding of carpentry required to complete a variety of carpentry tasks around the home.

Essential Carpentry Course

A basic introduction to carpentry via a foundation-level course. Ideal for those that want to gain basic carpentry knowledge and progress on to more advanced industry-level trade courses.

Professional Carpentry Course

A professional qualification, this course allows you to potentially pursue a career in carpentry and joinery. Suitable for al skill levels with no prior experience or prior knowledge necessary.

NVQ Level 2 Certification

An accredited certification course that allows experienced carpenters to gain the relevant qualifications to carry out on-site carpentry work.

 

For more information on our carpentry training and joinery courses, call today on 0800 345 7492 or drop us message online using the button below.

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Be a carpenter

Carpentry is one of the oldest occupations there is, dating all the way back to Ancient Egypt and beyond. The Bible, of course, features myriad references to carpentry, from Noah and his ark to Joseph, husband of Mary.

That being said, a lot has changed since Biblical times - it's unlikely that Noah or Joseph had any formal carpentry qualifications. But what credentials does a modern-day carpenter need in order to succeed?

 

What do I need to become a carpenter?

Carpentry isn't like gas or electrical work - there's no specific certification (or set of certifications) that you're legally required to possess. Strictly speaking, the only thing you need to do in order to enter the trade and carry out on-site work is demonstrate your competence as a carpenter.

There are a number of valid ways to do this, but one of the most popular options is to complete a portfolio of work and earn the NVQ Level 2 Carpentry qualification.

 

How do I get my NVQ?

Well, hold on now. Before you can start working towards the NVQ Level 2 certification, you'll need to actually learn carpentry.

Again, you have a number of different options here. Some people choose to do an apprenticeship, working alongside an established carpenter and gradually learning the trade from them. Mind you, it can take a number of years to go from apprentice to fully-fledged carpenter, so if you're looking to start your new career sooner rather than later, you may prefer to enrol on an accredited carpentry training course.

View Our Carpentry Courses >

Once you've learned all the skills a carpenter needs to know - and you feel confident that you're proficient enough to start work - then you can begin the NVQ process. This involves:

  • Attending a formal induction session
  • Completing a portfolio of evidence (including photographs of the work you've completed and written testimonies from witnesses)
  • Submitting your finished portfolio for assessment

If you're already a competent carpenter and you think you're ready to earn your NVQ Level 2 Carpentry qualification, click here to find out Access Training can help. Otherwise, use the links below to find out more about our carpentry training packages for learners of all experience levels.

Carpentry Training Packages >  Speak to a Course Advisor >

Are you looking to gain the skills and knowledge needed to be able to improve your outdoor living space with a self-built deck? Access Training can help! With our range of Carpentry Courses, you can gain the essential competencies required to become a professional carpenter and build your very own deck area. Whether it's for your own property or for others, we provide intensive and thorough training courses that enable you to become fully qualified in the carpentry industry and pursue a range of career goals. Click the button below to browse all of the Carpentry Courses that we currently offer here at Access Training.

Browse Carpentry Courses >

 

Why Learn to Build Your Own Deck?

So, why would you want to build your own deck? Let's take a look at some of the benefits you can experience by gaining the appropriate building skills! 

  • Cost - Probably the biggest factor to enrolling onto one of our courses to gain professional building and carpentry skills is the amount of money you can potentially save by completing the work required to build the deck yourself, rather than outsourcing the labour to another builder! The cost involved with gaining professional carpentry qualifications can quickly turn itself into an investment when you realise that you are able to do the most important and skilled elements of the job yourself. 
  • Trust - When it comes to working on your property, you want somebody that you can trust to a proper and professional job. The risk of hiring an external builder is that there is no guarantee that this will happen unless you know them of course. By gaining the skills and knowledge, you eliminate the risk of the project never being completed to the standard that you require.
  • DIY Skills - By completing one of our carpentry courses, not only will you be competent in building your own deck, but you will gain the skills to complete a number of different jobs around your home such as installing doors and repairing floors! This again can be a huge cost-saving bonus and saves you the stress and hassle of finding a quality and trustworthy carpenter to complete the job.
  • A New Career - One of the most rewarding benefits of gaining professional carpentry and building skills with Access Training is the potential that you gain in starting a totally new career! Simply by starting to learn the basic requirements needed to be able to build a deck, you can quickly gain a passion that can change your life. Become your own boss or start a team of other professional builders/carpenters with the help of Access Training today!

 

What Decking Should You Choose? 

Gaining the necessary skills and qualifications to be able to build your own deck is one thing, finding the right decking that is going to last is another. We now take a look at the options that you have and what is best for saving even more time, money and effort. 

When it comes to decking, there a whole host of choices that you can choose from, each one offering a different kind of benefit. Firstly, you have plastic. Plastic decking has been a hugely popular choice with homeowners in many countries due to its low-maintenance and cheap costs. However, it does come with its drawbacks. Most notably their complete synthetic makeup, which over time can cause them to bow or crack underfoot, meaning you have to then replace the damaged boards! Leading to more costs and time spent installing new boards.

Secondly, you have natural wood decking. This again has been a popular choice for many people when installing a deck in their home due to its natural wood look, but it also has its disadvantages. Over time, wood decking can begin to crack and splinter, as well as building up algae, causing the deck to become extremely slippery in wet conditions. These pose obvious safety hazards to you or anyone that walks on the deck, resulting in it having to be cared for and maintained on a regular basis. This again takes up much more of your time and money as you have to buy the necessary equipment and products.

Finally, there's the option of composite decking. Composite decking combines the natural wood appearance of wood decking with the low-maintenance properties of plastic decking. Eliminating the need for regular upkeep to retain its beautiful look or to keep it safe. Composite deck boards are created using a combination of natural hardwood and synthetic materials, creating a board that is the 'best of both worlds'. 

Just like our carpentry training courses, composite decking can be a real investment when it comes to building your deck. The initial costs involved with installing this premium decking option will soon pay itself back with its numerous benefits, such as never having to be stained, painted or sealed. Never cracking or producing splinters. Never fading or warping in hot and cold conditions and being slip-resistant when exposed to wet weather. All of these things combined with its organic, natural appearance makes composite decking the decking choice for any builders looking to build their own deck. 

Where to Purchase Composite Decking?

Composite decking can be bought from many known outdoor living and garden brands and companies such as Wickes and B&Q. However, we recommend that to achieve the best possible results for your deck and to use your newly learnt abilities fully, you buy composite deck boards from a specialist. One of the leading composite decking suppliers in the UK is DeckPlus - with showrooms in Cardiff, St Albans and Slough, DeckPlus have helped to transform outdoor living spaces all over the country. They offer a variety of deck boards, both capped and uncapped, in a range of colours and styles perfect for any design that you may have in mind.

DeckPlus Composite Decking >

 

It's important to remember, however, that in order to be able to properly install DeckPlus's composite decking boards, you will require all of the necessary building and carpentry skills. If you would like to be able to build your own deck, save money and time and gain the potential of starting a new career, enrol onto our Professional Carpentry Course today! 

Professional Carpentry Course >

 

For further information on our range of courses or if you have any general enquiries, then please do not hesitate to contact us today by calling 0800 345 7492 or emailing info@accesstraininguk.co.uk

 

Thinking of becoming a carpenter? Wondering what qualifications you'll need to turn professional? Read on to find out!

How to become a carpenter

Carpentry is a job that comes with a lot of perks - your skills can be applied in your own home, and you should be able to bring in a very healthy salary. If you've decided that you want to be a carpenter, you've probably got some questions, such as:

  • How do you become a carpenter?
  • Do you need carpenter qualifications?
  • Where can you go to study carpentry?

How do you become a carpenter?

Traditionally, to become a carpenter you would have to become an apprentice for up to 3 years slowly learning the skills to carry out jobs independently. Now it is possible to learn the necessary skills required in a much shorter time frame. Our carpentry courses combine practical and classroom teaching to give you the carpentry qualifications and experience you need to be able to carry our various carpentry jobs.

Whether you want to become a professional carpenter or just learn enough skills to carry out your DIY jobs at home, Access Training can help. We have designed a series of carpentry courses designed to suit a range of needs and outcomes. From courses suitable for complete beginners to professional courses designed around people with prior carpentry knowledge, you will be able to find a course that best helps you become the carpenter you want to be.

Our Essential Course will allow you to learn the foundations of carpentry, where the Professional Course will allow you to get a Level 2 Diploma in Site Carpentry which enables you to move on to the NVQ Level 2 Certification for more experienced carpenters. These allow you to prove your skills to employers and clients alike. To take a look at all the different carpentry courses we offer, simply click the button below:

View Our Carpentry Courses >

If you're still wondering how to become a carpenter or how to start a career in the other trades we are more than happy to advise you. We will help you find a course that suits your needs and will help you start the career you want. Speak to our friendly team and discuss your aims and requirements. Contact us today.

If the office life isn’t for you because you prefer working with your hands and learning practical skills you should consider learning a trade skill. These skills are in high demand here in the UK due to a countywide skills shortage. Learning a trade skill can be fun and rewarding and you won’t need to spend years in University before starting your career. Here are more reasons why you should start training with Access Training Academies.

Should I Be a Plasterer or a Carpenter?

Gain these qualifications and learn the practical skills required with Access Training Academies.


Access Training intensive courses are built to suit you, whether you are a beginner wanting to learn a new skill, or a professional wanting to enhance your qualifications, there is a course to suit you.

If you'd like advice about any of the courses we offer we are more than happy to help. Feel free to contact us today.

Even though we're only one month into it, 2014 is setting up to be a fantastic year for the construction industry and tradespeople alike with a seemingly constant stream of news to suggest Britain is truly climbing out of the recession and the industry has a long line of prosperity ahead of it. This doesn't look like it'll just mean more jobs in the industry for trainees currently going through various construction training courses, but improved benefits for you as well.

Reed, one of the largest recruitment companies in the UK, revealed that new vacancies on its website rose by 29% in January compared to 2013 - with construction and property leading the way with a 74% increase. This is due to the construction boom the industry is currently in the midst of, along with a significant rise in both private and public housing planned. Reed's statistics showed that around one in five of the national workforce actively searched for a new job in January.

However despite the gradual increase in job vacancies there have been over the last few months, the average salary hasn't seen much change at all. This is set to change though as a skills shortage, particularly in the construction industry, has become prevalent. Many fear that there is simply not enough trained labourers to replace those that will be retiring in the next five or so years - and so fully qualified plasterers, carpenters, tilers and bricklayers in high demand. Knowing that there's a construction boom currently taking place, workers have also gained newfound confidence in their careers. And of course, the ever-growing cost of living is also a factor in why employers are being pressured to (deservedly) increase pay.

So what does this mean for new construction trainees? Well, for starters there's never been a better time to start a career in the construction trade, whichever sector you think may be suitable for you! Qualified construction workers have always been in demand and commanded impressive salaries, but the industry really is at the top of its game right now - not only will you find yourself in an exciting and varied line of work, but your skills will be valued more than ever.

But what's the quickest and most effective way to break into the industry? College courses can be beneficial, but not only are many understaffed with limited facilities but they can also take years to complete. While the industry is expected to enjoy this "golden age" for a fair few years, there's no guarantee that the high demand for workers will last this long. What you need is an intensive trades training course - the very kind we provide here at Access Training Academies. Our training courses last a matter of weeks rather than months, and pack the same (if not better!) quality you'd find elsewhere. In smaller class sizes you'll learn from tutors with a number of years' experience in their field, completing both theory and practical work before earning valued qualifications here at our accredited Cardiff training centre. These qualifications come from awarding bodies such as City & Guilds, and represent exactly what a plasterer, carpenter, tiler or bricklayer need to break into the industry successfully.

To find out more about the construction training courses we offer, call Access on 0800 345 7492 and speak to one of our course advice team. They'll be happy to answer any questions you have and arrange a full tour of our facilities so you can see exactly what we do before signing up.

2014 is a brand new year - take hold of it and take the steps toward that new career you've always dreamed of.

We could go on and on about why we feel Access Training is the best place to come for your trade qualifications, but our words don't mean anything unless the students we train can attest to the quality we aim to deliver. That's why we're going to start showcasing some of the positive feedback we've received about our range of intensive training courses, so that any of you reading that are on the fence can see that we really are dedicated to giving our candidates the best qualifications and practical trades training available. You can read more of the testimonials we've received in the past here.

After spending several years abroad, Mark Todd came home to kick start his new career on our Intensive Carpentry training course…

After leaving the Royal Marines around four years ago I got into working on maritime security on ships in East Africa. However after about 3 years I wanted to get a career back home, and I’ve always had an interest in carpentry. I’ve done a few little jobs here and there in the past but wanted to take it a bit further and get qualified.

I was originally going to go back to college but obviously that would have taken around two years to do. With Access Academies I’ve been able to come here and do the course in two months which has been so much better. I’ve come out of the course finishing on a Friday, then gone straight into a job the following Monday.

The eight weeks I’ve spent here have been excellent and I’ve really enjoyed my time. The tutors have been absolutely brilliant – I’ve learnt so much from them and they are always ready to give any advice you need. Not just with the work we do here, but if we’ve got anything else going on outside they’ll do the best they can to help which is really good of them to do off of their own backs. It really gets you raring to go – it got to the point in the last week where I just wanted to get out there and start working.

I’m about to start work with two carpenters doing some refurbishment in a nursing home. The work is ongoing, it’s local and I’ll be picking up experience from people who have been in the trade for 20 years each. Right now I still feel the need to carry on my learning. I plan to self-employed eventually but for the next six months to a year I’m just going to try and pick up as much experience as I can so I’ll be fully prepared.

- Mark Todd, Swansea

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Have you considered stepping into a brand new career and becoming a fully qualified tradesperson? Here at Access Training Academies we offer a full spectrum of trade courses including plumbing, gas, electricity, carpentry, tiling, plastering and painting & decorating. By training with us not only will you enjoy our state-of-the-art facilities and experienced tutors, but also gain exactly what you need for a long and prosperous career. To find out more please get in contact with our course advisers on 0800 345 7492.

To round of the week we turn to capentry for our quick definition guide. Hopefully this post will give you a beginner understanding of some of the more basic terms carpenters use, and you'll be able to use them to build up your own DIY knowledge or even as the first step in becoming a professional carpnenter!

Architrave: The ornamental mouldings fitted around a door or window frame. These also cover the joint between the plaster and wood framing.

Auger: A long drill-bit-like tool turned with the hands, usually by means of a handle.

Bead: A rounded shape cut into a square edge to soften the edge and provide some protection against splitting. When several beads are placed together, they are called Reeds. If the bead lies below the surface, it is referred to as a Sunk Bead.

Bench Hook: A workbench accessory used to provide a stop against a piece of wood being worked can be placed to hold it steady whilst cutting, planing, or chiseling that piece of wood.

Brace: A part of a timber or metal structure spanning a diagonal space that adds strength and stability, and resists compression or tension.

Dado: Decorative panelling applied to the lower part of an internal wall.

Dado Rail: Decorative moulding applied to an internal wall at a height of around 1m. 

Dowel: A short length of wood, round in section, used for a variety of purposes such as joining timbers, plugging fixing holes etc.

Eaves: The bottom edge of a roof that meets the walls of the structure. This is also where the water is collected into the gutter.

Fibreboard: A lightweight and weak manufactured board often used when making cheaper furniture.

Grain: The appearance, size and direction of the fibres of the timber.

Hardboard: Manufactured board made with compressed particles of wood formed together. One side of the board smooth with the other side rough. Hardboard in sheet form is often used and subfloor covering to give a smooth and flat surface.

Joists: Lengths of timbers that support ceilings and floors, usually fixed in parallel.

Mitre: A 45 degree angle joint that neatly joins two pieces of timber together.

Stud wall: A timber framed internal wall faced with plasterboard that is non-load bearing.

While this should be enough to get you started on the theory side of things, the next step is to find the correct carpentry training that can offer you exactly what you need. You might want to gain qualifications and seek employment as a professional carpenter, or alternatively you could simply be looking tp build up your DIY skill set properly. Access Training offer a range of carpentry courses to suit both parties, and are available to everyone no matter their background or skill level. To find out more about what we can give you, take a look at our courses page or give our team a call on 0800 345 7492.

While there will always be a demand for qualified tradesmen such as electricians, plumbers and gas engineers, setting yourself apart from the other tradesmen in your local area is an important factor is getting your name out there among potential clients. And the best way to do this is to consider qualifying in more than one skill. Commonly gas engineer training goes hand in hand with plumbing qualifications, but there are far more potential combinations that could benefit your future career.

For example, if a plumber were to undertake electrical training it would open up a variety of new work for them that they wouldn’t be able to complete otherwise without a second tradesman. They would be able to properly install power showers, and by achieving a Part P qualification would also be permitted to sign off the work themselves once they had joined a relevant Competent Person Scheme.

In turn, if an electrician had plastering qualifications, they could provide a fresh finish to a wall surface after tearing it apart to complete an installation. The same applies for combining plastering, tiling and/or carpentry courses. You’ll be increasing both your eternal potential and boost your chance of success when starting up your own business.

Take note though, it’s vital that you train properly for your second skill just as you did the first. A plumber should not be attempting any electrical work without the proper electrical qualifications and the same goes for any other potential trades. Not only would you be putting yourself at risk, but your customer as well. By training properly, you’ll be able to do the job properly and known as a tradesman capable and competent enough to get the job done on their own.

If you would like to find out more about the multi-skills training routes available to you, give Access Training a call on 0800 345 7492 and our team will be happy to tell you more.

There are a few options open to you if you want a change of career, the good news being it's not as difficult as some people think. If you're looking for a more active job which involves a level of craftsmanship, have you considered one of our intensive carpentry courses? Of course, the first thing you need to decide though is which you would prefer to be - a carpenter or a joiner?

A joiner is the one that makes the time products that a carpenter then fixes on-site. For example, a joiner may be employed to make the doors, windows, stairs etc., "joining" the wood in a workshop. Meanwhile carpenters normally install these products made by the joiner. On-site carpenters will fit door frames, joists, roof trusses and more. Therefore as you can see carpentry and joinery are quite different trades. A joiner might make a beautiful circular window, but the carpenter may do a better job installing it. Similarly, a carpenter may hang a door to a high standard - something a joiner might not be able to do.

Once you've decided which trade you wish to pursue, there are a few options open. The college route will take the longest, possibly up to two years to achieve a CAA Level 2! Being an ex-college lecturer, I've also found that "mature" students mixed in with a class of 16-17 year olds can be a little challenging for an older person. The other route available is an intensive eight week course, which we run here at Access Training. This will give you the same qualification (CAA Level 2) but in an adult environment. It has the added advantage of changing your career in a very short time span and can then be further developed to obtain your NVQ Level 2, which requires some addition evidence being demonstrated at your workplace. Once you have your CAA if you only wish to work for yourself this will be an adequate qualification, however if you wish to go and work "on-site" or in a joiner's workshop then you would need to achieve the NVQ as well. This will give you the full CSCS card required to work in these places.

Once you have your qualification a good place to start (and build your confidence) is by doing jobs for friends, family or neighbours. One of the biggest factors in making a career change is having the confidence to go and try it - the help, training and expertise is out there. Having been training with people for over 16 years I can assure you that it is possible and achievable with some effort on your part

If you would like more information on Access Training's range of carpentry and joinery courses, including the professional qualifications you can achieve from them, give us a call on 0800 345 7492.

- Richard James