According to figures recently released by Direct Line, plumbing and electrical issues are the two primary headaches commonly faced by buy to let landlords across the UK.

While the diagnosis is far from surprising, the extent of the problem is certainly shocking, racking up sizeable bills nationwide.

 

house flood

 

Landlord SOS

According to Direct Line’s statistics, over half of UK landlords have had to enlist the aid of an emergency contractor in the last 12 months.

In fact, on average, landlords in the UK are said to have called out a contractor once every three months, amounting to 4.7 million landlord SOS calls a year.

The most common emergencies relating to these calls were all plumbing related, closely followed by electrical/gas supply issues and water problems.

Plumbing issues, in particular, accounted for 365k rental homes being evacuated, with electrical/gas supply racking up 293k evacuations and water issues relating to 267k.

 

A Hefty Bill

While buy to let properties have proved to be a savvy investment for many property owners, the subsequent maintenance issues have seen the need for emergency contractors impede those profit margins considerably.

Overall, Direct Line noted that Britain’s landlords have had to shell out a collective £4.5 billion on emergency contractors over the course of the last year. Statistically speaking, that equates to an average sum of £764 per call out and £2141/year per landlord.

 

Every Cloud...

Naturally, the figures paint a rather devastating picture for landlords and anyone looking to enter the buy to let property market. However, for those in the plumbing and electrical trades, the news is anything but that.

The demand for top-quality plumbers and highly skilled electricians remains strong in the UK, as the national skills shortage in this area continues. The result is healthy profits, a steady stream of work and a reliable income for those in the trade and attractive career prospects for those thinking of making the jump.

  

Plumbing Courses and Electrician Courses

At Access Training UK, we have a wide variety of courses on offer for potential plumbers and would-be electricians. These range from entry-level courses for complete novices with no prior experience all the way up to NVQ Level 2 Certification and PAT Testing courses.

Whether you’re looking to enter the electrical trade, build on your existing plumbing skills or anything in between, an Access Training course can help you get where you want to be quickly, efficiently and affordably.

Check out the buttons below to find out more right now and begin your skills journey today.

Plumbing Courses                    Electrician Courses

 

For additional details on the various plumbing and electrician courses available at Access Training UK, why not drop us a line today? Call now on 0800 345 7492 to speak with one of our expert advisors or get in touch online by clicking the button below.

Get in Touch

British builders’ merchant, Travis Perkins, has put plans to sell their plumbing and heating business on hold, citing the uncertainty of Brexit as a deciding factor.

The move comes amid a strategic run of cost-cutting by the firm and a conscious move simplify their overall portfolio.

However, the impending precariousness of the economic climate in the UK has evidently caused the FTSE 250 company to alter their game plan in favour of a more prudent approach.

 

plumbing news, business sale

 

Still on Course

Despite halting their plans to sell the plumbing and heating arm of the business, Travis Perkins is said to remain on course to achieve their cost reductions for 2019.

A statement from Travis Perkins confirmed that the upshot of these reductions would allow the company to “reduce complexity, lower the above-branch cost base and speed up decision making, and improve service levels for customers”.

 

Award-Winning Businesses

Travis Perkins had originally announced the sale plans in December 2018 with a likely deal announced by their board in July. However, it appears those plans have since fallen through and the plumbing and heating business appears set to remain under the Travis Perkins umbrella indefinitely.

The division includes the likes of FPC wholesale, PTS Plumbing Trade Supplies and plumbing merchant City Plumbing Supplies, the latter of which was awarded the title of “Heating & Plumbing Merchant of the Year” at the Builders' Merchants Awards for Excellence 2018.

 

Learn a Trade with Access Training UK

With the current political outlook for the UK described by Travis Perkins as posing “unprecedented level of uncertainty”, the move to future-proof careers has never been more timely.

Luckily, for those in the plumbing and heating trade, theirs is a vital service necessary for daily life and, as a result is one profession that is unlikely to be affected too severely.

What’s more, a shortage of skilled workers in this area has actually made it a very lucrative career path in recent years and one that is unlikely to be too seriously affected by a political shift.

At Access Training UK, we offer a variety of plumbing and heating courses for anyone looking to make the jump into this trade.

Whether you’re a total newbie with no prior knowledge or a seasoned veteran looking to sharpen your skills, we have the course for you.

To find out more about our range of gas and plumbing courses, click one of the links below for more information.

 

Gas Courses                                 Plumbing Courses

 

If you would like to know more about switching careers or upskilling with Access Training UK, why not drop us a line today? Call now on 0800 345 7492 or get in touch online by clicking the button below.

Contact Us

A new 2019 business standard is set to improve the health and well-being of construction workers across the United Kingdom.

The new ISO 45001 accreditation has been introduced to provide a framework for success in any organization from any sector, including construction.

 

iso 45001, construction worker safety

 

Health in the Workplace

The new international standard in Occupational Health and Safety Management aims to improve the mental and physical health in the workplace and presents a big step forward for construction companies in the UK.

Work-related stress and illness affects all industries, including construction, while the physical nature of site work also presents a myriad of additional dangers for those that work within the construction trade.

 

ISO 45001

The new ISO 45001 standard lays a clear-cut blueprint for construction companies to follow and allows organisations to easily formulate a successful health and safety management system.

With a strong onus on risk-based thinking and proactive leadership, the new business standard promotes risk assessment, hazard identification and emergency preparation, allowing companies to fully comprehend potential dangers and how to handle them.

Through this health-conscious business model, construction companies can help ensure a safer environment for their workers, boosting worker morale and making the construction industry all the more appealing to those looking to enter manual labour and/or learn a physical trade.

 

Constructing Courses at Access Training UK

With safer work conditions and a greater emphasis on worker health and morale, the change poses good news for construction workers and anyone considering the construction trade as a career.

At Access Training UK, we offer a wide variety of construction courses for those looking to enter the trade. These range from DIY carpentry and plastering courses for complete novices, all the way up to NVQ Level 2 carpentry and plastering courses for experienced pros (and everything in between).

Whether you’re a newcomer looking to shift gears with a new career path or a seasoned veteran looking to add to your repertoire of skills, we can help you achieve your dreams at Access Training UK.

 

For more information on Access Training construction courses at Access Training UK, why not drop us a line today? Call now on 0800 345 7492 or get in touch online by clicking the link below.

Contact Us

The summer of 2019 has seen business heat up for self-employed electricians and plumbers across the UK, according to new figures published by Hudson Contract Services Ltd.

Statistics provided by the construction industry payroll experts show that self-employed plumbers and electricians have both seen a rise in pay over the summer months.

This increase builds on an existing trend that has seen plumbers and electricians solidify their status in the top three best paying jobs of all the construction trades covered by Hudson Contract.

 

plumbing courses, electrician courses, self-employed plumbers, self-employed electricians

 

Shock Stats for Electricians

Over the course of June and July 2019, self-employed electricians have seen a 6.4 and 1.1% month-on-month rise in weekly pay.

Managing Director of Hudson Contract, Ian Anfield, had this to say:

“This is an attractive reward for young people who want to learn the trade, be their own boss and enjoy the returns of being a valued supplier. Looking ahead, pent-up demand for new housing and the necessary wiring work will ensure that demand remains strong for skilled electricians.”

 

Plumbing Wages on the Boil

The month-on-month boost was mirrored in the plumbing profession with a 4.7% increase in June, followed by a further 0.6% increase in July.

The Hudson Contract MD added:

“Plumbers are earning the equivalent of an annual salary of more than £59,000, putting them into the top 6% of households by income. Our analysis shows these skilled freelancers are earning a premium for their valuable services and are a world away from ‘gig economy’ workers.”

 

Plumbing Courses and Electrician Courses

With such attractive financial potential, both the plumbing trade and electrical trade offer attractive propositions for those looking to start their careers or change the direction of their working lives.

At Access Training UK, we offer a variety of courses in both fields, designed to help learners of all skill-levels and experience to further their journey in their chosen profession. If you are interested in becoming an electrician or learning the plumbing trade, we can help get you on the right track.

To find out more about the exciting worlds of the plumbing and electrical trades, click on the buttons below and start your journey today. 

Plumbing Courses

Electrician Courses

 

For more information on plumbing and electrician courses with Access Training UK, why not drop us a line and speak with one of our expert advisors? Call now on 0800 345 7492 or get in touch online by clicking the link below.

Contact Us

An electrician from Wolverhampton has fought back against criminals by utilising his own electrical knowledge to create a unique anti-break-in system.

Wolverhampton resident, Ray Taylor, has fallen victim to tool theft numerous times over the years, losing out on thousands of pounds worth of equipment in the process.

These frustrations led Mr Taylor to protect his van by putting his electrician skills to good use, providing any would-be thieves with a nasty shock.

 

electrical courses, electrician courses, become an electrician

 

Sparking Controversy

By modifying a battery-operated fly-swatter, Taylor was able to channel a mild electric current directly into the door handle.

The anti-theft device also incorporates sirens and high-frequency sound bombs for the ultimate thief deterrent.

While the unusual method of security seems like something straight out of Home Alone, it’s proved to be extremely effective in real-life use.

Taylor has since copyrighted his design and is selling his ingenious invention to fellow tradesmen looking to combat tool thieves.

 

Knowledge is Power

The story highlights once again that the skills gained for a career in a trade can be invaluable and their use can stretch far beyond that of the trade itself.

Electricians not only have the ability to earn a living independently but they also have the skills to solve a myriad of problems in their own day-to-day life, from issues in the home to – in Mr Taylor’s case – personal security.

 

Become an Electrician with Access Training UK

At Access Training UK, we have a variety of electrical courses for complete novices and trade professionals alike. Whether you’re looking to learn a new skill from scratch of build upon your existing knowledge of the trade, we have a course for you!

 

New Career Courses

If you are interested in learning the electrical trade, why not check out the following courses. These are available to all skill levels, even those with no prior experience.

Essential Electrical Course

Professional Electrical Course

Premier Electrical Course

 

Trade Professional Courses

For more advanced professionals looking to build on their existing knowledge, we offer a number of courses designed to help you become a more well-rounded, versatile pro.

Part P Domestic Electrical Installer

18th Edition

Part P & 18th Edition

PAT Testing

Initial Verification

Periodic Inspection & Testing

Fundamental Inspection Testing

Combined Inspection & Testing

Electrical Design Course

 

For more information on any of our courses, why not get in touch today? Call now on 0800 345 7492 or drop us line using the link below.

Get in Touch

A man from Staffordshire has been sentenced to prison time after he performed gas work in someone's home with no experience or qualifications to do so. The man, named Colin Christoper Batchelor, conducted this gas work in September 2016. He:

  • Removed an old boiler
  • Installed a new boiler 
  • Installed a gas meter
  • Connected pipework

All while being completely unregistered to do so!

When Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated this incident, they found that Mr Batchelor had performed gas work while claiming to his client that he was part of the Gas Safe register, when in fact, he was not. He was not competent to carry out the gas work that he did, and the result of his shoddy workmanship was a home left unsafe. Mr Batchelor failed to carry out any tests or examinations to verify that the installation was safe and gas-tight once his work was finished.

Mr Batchelor pleaded guilty to five separate breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and was sentenced to 8 months imprisonment for each offence. That means, that Mr Bachelor's thoughtless actions have cost him over three years of his life!

After the hearing, HSE inspector, Dr Riley Roberts, said:

"The Gas Safe Register Exist to protect the public from people such as Colin Christopher Batchelor, who are prepared to work illegally, falsify records and carry out potentially dangerous gas work. Performing gas work without being competent to do so can be highly dangerous and lead to loss of life."

Don't risk being prosecuted like Mr Batchelor. Do a gas course with Access Training Academies and we will give you the skills and practical knowledge you need to become Gas Safe registered.

Browse Our Gas Courses Now >

 

 

Here at Access Training, we constantly stress the importance of safe electrical practice in the workplace, but this unfortunate incident really brings it home!

On the 12th of April 2017, two demolition workers were tasked with removing electrical distribution equipment from a switchgear room at the Molecular Products site in Essex. The principal contractor had told the men that the electrical equipment they were dealing with had been fully isolated.

Foolishly, one man attempted to 'reassure his colleague' that the electricals had in fact been isolated by throwing a metal crowbar at the 400v ac equipment.

Unfortunately, when the crowbar came into contact with the live electricals it created a flashover (explosion) at temperatures of several thousand degrees which led immediately to quite a devastating fire. The man who through the crowbar, Mr Banks, suffered serious burns and was taken into hospital.

HSE investigated this incident and found that the task had not been properly planned at that suitable control measures hadn't been put in place. The principal contractor had failed to follow the procedures stating that all electrical equipment should be treated as live until properly checked and confirmed to be isolated. 

The Consequences:

  • Mr Banks sustained horrific burns & injuries
  • Russel Haigh and Stuart Haigh pled guilty to breaching Regulation 3 of the Electricity at Work Regulations  Act 1989 and we both fined £80,000
  • AJ Wadhams & Co Ltd pled guilty to breaching section of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 197 and was fined £80,000

HSE inspector Adam Hills said:

“This incident has had a significant impact on Mr Banks life and the injuries could so very easily have been fatal. Had the companies followed the control measures outlined in their respective risk assessments, then this incident would not have occurred. Never assume that an electrical supply is disconnected. Always check with the distribution network operator or a qualified electrician to obtain written proof of isolation before commencing work.”

Read more about this incident here >

 Electrical Training

If there's one thing to take away from this, it's that working with electricals can be incredibly dangerous (and costly) if something goes wrong. That's why we can't stress enough how important it is that you receive the proper electrical training before carrying out this kind of work!

Here at Access Training Academies, we offer electrical training for students of all ages and abilities. If you're interested in pursuing a career in electrical work, come and learn the necessary skills and practices at one of our training centres. 

View Our Electrical Courses >

If you have any questions about our electrical courses, or to arrange a visit to one of our test centres, please don't hesitate to get in touch. You can call us on 0800 345 7492 or email us at info@accesstraininguk.co.uk.

electrical services

In an age where we order food, meet our partners and find local services all via the convenience mobile apps, it's hardly surprising that people are already exploring the ways in which these innovations can be used to benefit the home services industry. 

US Electrical entrepreneur Sean Murphy is doing just that, having developed and app that aims to connect home-owners with service providers, such as plumbers and electricians. Much like the highly popular taxi hailing service Uber, the app would allow people in need of services to find local professionals, who would then contact them to discuss the job. 

Super Handy (formerly Super) is still in the very early stages, with only around 400 users and 500 professionals using it so far, however, it is still very interesting to consider how this or similar apps could affect the way the industry operates in the future. Not only could this mean a greater demand for services, thanks to the ease and simplicity of contacting a trades person and setting up the job, but it could also lead to an 'instant feedback', review-based approach to hiring a professional. 

Although Murphy himself admits that when he set up his family electrical business, much of the trade he gained was through word-of-mouth, apps like his could revolutionize our approach to seeking out and employing the services of industry workers. While he admits that the process is far from being streamlined yet, the rapid contact and review method of similar apps is something that could, if well-executed, hugely benefit both well-established businesses and new trades people.

While technology is often criticised for robbing jobs as opposed to creating them, evidence often shows that technology does more to create new opportunities that it does to reduce them. It is clear that the door to success is open to almost anyone who is willing to take advantage of the opportunities given to them, whether this means using your professional knowledge to start your own business, or simply having enough confidence in your abilities to promote yourself online. 

Whether you have ambitions to start your own business, or simply want to ensure that you have the best training possible to secure positive feedback in an increasingly demanding society, then why not consider one of our fantastic training courses? Like Murphy, you could train to become an electrician, with a view to starting your own business, or simply take up one of the many much-needed skilled trades that are hugely in-demand, particularly in the current climate.

For more information about our courses and changing your career, feel free to get in touch today, or follow us on Twitter for more industry news and updates about Access Training.

As of the 1st July, the Construction Skills Certificate Scheme (CSCS) are no longer issuing the Green Construction Site Operative (CSO) card, replacing it with a brand new Green Labourer Card.

The CSCS’ role is to provide a scheme for the construction industry that confirms site workers’ training and qualifications. However many site workers carrying out skilled occupations have been applying for the green CSO card simply as the easiest route to gain access to construction sites. This in turn has made it difficult for contractors to use CSCS cards as a reliable method of checking that site workers have the appropriate skills to work on construction sites safely and effectively.

The new card requires applicants to achieve the Level 1 Health and Safety in a Construction Environment qualification, designed to improve safe working practices on UK construction sites. This isn't just applicable to newcomers to the construction industry either - those who need to renew their card will also require this qualification.

City & Guilds will be supplying this as the 6072 qualification, which we are approved to run here in Cardiff at Access Training. For those closer to the Kent area that need to complete this to start their brand new career, we will soon also be providing the same service at our sister centre the Plumbing Academy. For more information on what this qualification entails and to book your place, get in touch with our course advisers on 0800 345 7492.

The Chartered Institute of Plumbing & Heating Engineering (CIPHE) have joined forces with BSE sector skills council SummitSkills to launch a research project exploring various aspects of the plumbing and heating sector.

The main area being explored by the project is the current apprenticeship system, specifically how EngTech registrations are working and how both can be maximised for the sector. Considering attitudes towards professional registration and competence schemes, assessing the potential for apprenticeships to meet future skills requirements and understanding the perceived value of EngTech registration are included within the research objectives.

Research will be carried out via a series of focus groups and questionnaires to be completed over the next few weeks, culminating with a report launching in the House of Lords next month.

"This is an excellent initiative which provides a great opportunity for industry to collaborate and safeguard future apprenticeships," said Kevin Wellman, Chief Executive Officer of the CIPHE. "Quality vocational training and relevant practical experience leading to Engineering Council registration is becoming increasingly important for all plumbing professionals, which is something that all our Industry Stakeholder Group partners recognise."

For more information on the research, contact Jacqui Chivers of Summit Skills on 07834 868947.

Construction expansion continues as new surveys show house building activity remained close to a 10-year high last month, moving the industry into its 12th consecutive month of growth.

Housing starts have grown to a rate of around 15,000 a month, with house prices increasing because supply is unable to meet demand. The Bank of England's deputy governor, Jon Cunliffe, has warned that it would be "dangerous to ignore the momentum that has built up in the UK housing market". A report from Legal & General has also revealed the extent of Britain's "national obsession" with house prices - values have shot up by 4,300pc over the past 40 years, and it also warned that a lack of supply could lead to housing becoming the biggest driver of UK inequality. 

The Government has been doing its best to combat this, introducing numerous schemes to increase the number of new houses across the UK. In Wales specifically Cardiff, Newport and Bridgend are just a few of the places with areas of land prepped for new builds. But while the building of new houses might solve the problem of demand, it in itself brings along another issue - does Britain have enough skilled construction labourers to make it happen? Cardiff, Newport and Bridgend were mentioned earlier as examples because these three places are facing that very problem and are in desperate need of teams of qualified bricklayers to help continue the work planned there.

The economic recession was a very difficult time for the construction industry, so seeing it recover in the way it has is a tremendous achievement. But it can only continue with your help. If you've ever considered changing careers to become a professional construction worker, whether it be as a bricklayer, carpenter, plasterer, tiler or decorator - now is the time to do it. Demand is at a high, which will not only secure you plenty of work but also an enviable wage. But first you'll need the qualifications employers will be looking for - something we can help you with here at Access Training.

We offer intensive training courses in all the aforementioned construction trades, each of which are fully accredited by City & Guilds. In a fraction of the time you'd spend on a college course, you'll learn all the skills and techniques needed to complete a professional job. From basic 1-week courses all the way to full NVQ portfolios, Access Training can help you get trained up to the standard you need. To find out more from one of our course advisers and arrange a tour of training facilities, give us a call on 0800 345 7492 today.

At this point it seems like the Green Deal just can't catch a break. After a humiliating first year it seemed like things were picking up for the Government's flagship energy scheme, but it will now be investigated by Parliament's spending watchdog after it was revealed that a staggering £36 million was spent on the scheme in the last 12 months.

A report from the Independent highlighted some of the spending the scheme made on promotion in February, including:

  • Over £300,000 on "consumer demand, marketing and communications". This included a £100,000 rebranding exercise.
  • £227,000 to a single consultancy company on Green Deal monitoring and evaluation.
  • £20,000's worth of fees to part-time staff helping to run the scheme. This is in addition to the plan's full-time civil servants.

The criticism of the scheme came following the publication of the latest uptake figures for March, released by the DECC last week. While the figures show that there is a rise in households seeking assessments and installing energy-saving measures, the increase perhaps isn't quite enough to have justified this level of spending. The report said that currently 2000 households had plans in progress by the end of March, a slight step up from February's 1754.

Meanwhile 188,234 green assessements were lodged, which is a big increase over the previous month's 25,138. The increase of 163,096 marks the highest number logged and a rise of 40%.

As for Green Deal Plans, 2,000 household were shown to have plans 'in progress'. Five hundred and thirty two were 'new' (quote accepted), 473 were marked as 'pending' (Plan signed) and 995 were 'live' (all measures installed). Of the measures installed, boilers accounted for 30%, followed by photovoltaics (25%), solid wall insulation (17%) and loft insulation (9%).

A spokesperson for the DECC commented saying that the Green Deal was always a "long-term" project that would deliver results "over a long time frame", but that didn't stop detractors from speaking out. House of Commons Public Accounts Committee chairman Margaret Hodge had this to say:

"It is pathetic when you consider that the Coalition promised to be the greenest government ever yet is spending millions of pounds on a scheme that is not even performing at the margins. Sadly, the Green Deal is looking like it is extremely poor value for money."

Is the Green Deal beyond salvagable at this stage?