A new book recently released entitled “My Mummy is a plumber” encourages young children to start thinking about a career in plumbing. This book published by butterfly books, in collaboration with the UK’s accreditation scheme for plumbers – watersafe.  Not only does it aim to reduce the current skill gap by encouraging young people to learn a trade, it also encourages girls to consider a career in trade.

Even though these books are a brilliant idea and we really think that they will help get children interested in trade work in the future, these books are aimed at children who are between the ages of 3 and 7. So, unfortunately, they do not help the close the skill gap that we are presently experiencing.  

Not only does a career in plumbing need to be encouraged to young children to ensure that the skills are not lost to an ageing population, a career in plumbing, its benefits and how people can enrol onto plumbing courses through training centres, needs to be promoted to people who are aged 18 and above, so that the present skills gap can be decreased.

To help bridge the gap, we offer a wide range of plumbing courses for people who are over the age of 18.  Access Training’s plumbing courses are so popular because they have been specially developed for students who have no prior experience or knowledge about plumbing and work with them so they can gain relevant, and industry recognised qualifications, such as City & Guilds awards and NVQ diplomas.

In our state-of-the-art training centres we aim to emulate real life situations, so our students leave our courses confident that they can tackle any domestic plumbing issue presented to them. Because our students leave our courses fully competent plumbers it is easy for them to find jobs working for an already established plumbing firm, or set themselves up as a self-employed plumber.   

So if you fancy a new challenge and always fancied a trade career, enrolling onto one of plumbing courses couldn’t be easier. Simply get in touch with us either by phoning us on 0800 345 7492 or fill out our contact form, and a member of our team will get back to you.


Recently, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors reported a shortage in the amount of trained plumbers in the UK, signalling an obvious opening for a fresh group of ambitious candidates who are keen to train in this field. In order to keep up with the demand for skilled professionals in the workplace, and to cater to the various needs of our candidates, we have devised a range of plumbing courses to suit a variety of abilities and requirements.

Essential Plumbing Course

Of all our plumbing courses, this is the option that best suits absolute beginners! Designed for individuals with little to no experience in the field, our Essential Plumbing Course is a fantastic way to gain a foundational understanding of plumbing work, upon which to build a prosperous new career. From fitting radiators to installing hot/cold water storage tanks, this course will give you an understanding of the essential aspects of plumbing work, allowing you to achieve a City and Guilds qualification as evidence of your achievements. Most importantly, you will learn how to perform all of these tasks safely, making it a great starting point for further training.

Professional Plumbing Course

If you're looking to cover a more comprehensive range of plumbing skills, then our Professional Plumbing Course is ideal. Like all of our plumbing courses, it is designed to suit the needs of individuals with no previous experience whatsoever, making it an ideal choice for both beginners and candidates with some previous knowledge of plumbing. Allowing you to train on a full or part-time basis, this course is both efficient and flexible to the needs of the individual. By the end of your training, you will have achieved four accredited qualifications, putting you on track to begin your new career as a professional plumber. 

Premier Plumbing Course

The most encompassing and advanced of all our plumbing courses, this training programme is ideal for candidates who wish to begin their career as a professional plumber and heating engineer. As part of our Premier Plumbing Course, you will gain gas and electrical qualifications as well as those in plumbing, enabling you to join the Gas Safe register and undertake a greater number of jobs. Despite the advanced nature of the course, it is still open and tailored to individuals with no experience in plumbing, as well as those who are simply looking to update their existing knowledge. On completion of the course, a successful candidate will have obtained six recognised qualifications, making it the perfect choice for those who wish to begin or resume their professional careers right away.

For more information about our plumbing courses, browse the selection here, or get in touch with us today.

Here at Access training we provide a number of plumbing courses in Kent that have been tailor-made for people who are looking to change their career. All of our courses are perfect for the absolute beginner, through to people who are industry professionals who are looking to expand their skill –set.

We know that you are all living busy lives, and changing your career path, especially when you have no prior experience can be a scary prospect. Here, at access training, we aim to make the transition as smooth as possible; we work tirelessly with our students and teach them everything that they need to know to become a fully qualified plumber in the shortest time possible.  

If you are living in Kent, or living near Kent, you can train to be a plumber at our state-of-the-art training centre located in Edenbridge, a quick 30 minutes’ drive from Tunbridge Wells.

If you are not currently living in the Kent area, we provide a range of appealing accommodation packages. It’s a good idea to stay near the training centre for the duration of your course as it is imperative that you arrive on time every day. Furthermore, some of our plumbing courses require you to read in the evenings and prepare for the next day. Straying away from your family and friends will minimise distractions allowing for you to complete your course quicker. Click here for more information about accommodation packages we offer in the Kent area.

Finally, all of our plumbing courses and training centres are accredited by City & Guilds, NVQ, and Logic. And our plumbing courses in our Kent training centre are no exception. So when you enrol on a plumbing course in our Kent training Centre, you can be confident that you will receive the highest training, and receive a nationally recognised qualification.

If you would like more information about the plumbing courses we offer in Kent, and all of our UK based training Centres. You can contact us by telephoning us on 0800 345 7492  or  you can fill out an enquiry form here and a member of our team will get back to you.

plumbing parts

Constant advancements in heating technology mean that it's crucial for plumbers and gas engineers to ensure that their skills are always up to date with the latest changes and developments. Plumbing professionals must ensure that they are qualified to work on a variety of systems, in order to guarantee a safe and efficient service for themselves and their customers.

These days, most new properties have unvented hot water storage systems, which are far more complicated and have more parts than older, open-vented systems. Even if you have a wealth of experience with other types of hot water systems, a lack of knowledge in this particular area could soon cause you to come unstuck if you attempt to work on an unvented system without the proper training.

How to get qualified

Here at Access Training, we deliver an accredited Unvented Hot Water Storage Systems course for plumbers and heating engineers.

This training package will equip you with all the relevant skills and knowledge needed to install and maintain modern hot water systems. It will also familiarise you with the G3 Building Regulations, which you will need to follow when working on hot water storage systems. At the end of the course, you'll gain a qualification that allows you to work on unvented systems (as well as solar thermal hot water installations).

Unlike some of our other plumbing courses, this course is specifically designed to suit experienced plumbers and heating engineers who wish to expand and update their skill set. When you successfully complete the course, you will be supplied with an ID card that identifies you as being qualified to deal with this type of work, providing peace of mind for your customers.

Unvented Hot Water Storage Systems Course - Book Your Place Now >

To see our full range of plumbing training packages, please visit our Plumbing Courses page. Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions about any of our courses.

As is the want of Murphy’s Law, DIY and plumbing disasters always seem to happen at the worst possible times. Whether late in the evening, in the early hours of the morning or during a bank holiday, a plumbing problem will always manifest itself with particularly poor timing.  And at specialist times like this, when immediate action is frequently necessary, many professional plumbers, who have trained on a plumbing course, will charge extortionate rates. 

Sometimes however, the problem is a simple one that you can fix yourself without involving an expensive third party. Here are some particularly straightforward plumbing problem and their simple solutions:

Unclogging a drain

When you’ve just eaten Christmas dinner or a special birthday dinner and then you find the sink to be critically blocked, the thought of doing the dishes in the bathtub fills you with dread. Usually caused by lots of bits of food or grease, a drain can be unblocked using a humble plunger or by using an instrument to poke the blockage through. 

Noisy pipes

There are some homes where particularly noisy plumbing resembles a small modernist concerto. If your pipes are banging or squeaking then it probably means they have come loose from the straps or cushions that affix them to the wall, so simply place a new piece of material around the pipes. 

Hammering pipes

When pipes start to hammer, however, there’s a different solution. Hammering pipes means that the air chambers in the pipes are empty – this can be fixed by turning the water off at the mains, then opening all the faucets to drain the entire system. Afterwards, turn off the faucets and let the water back on. The chambers should refill with air and the hammering will stop.   

Running toilet

This is one of the most common problems that people will call a plumber out for, but it can be very simply solved, usually by replacing a faulty flapper or ball assembly. However, in some cases, you may need to clean mineral deposits from the tank itself with an effective combination of vinegar, baking soda and boiling water. 

If you find that you have a natural passion for plumbing and would like to train professionally, or are simply interested in learning the ropes, Access have a wide variety of plumbing courses available. Learn more by calling 0800 3457492 today. 

We’ve all heard those scary stories about ’cowboy’ builders, plumbers and contractors who’ve overcharged homeowners and then left a property in disarray after a seemingly simple job. And although they’re very rare, it’s still important to ensure that your plumbing job is performed by a trustworthy professional who has trained on a plumbing course and who will give you a reliable service at a fair price.

So how can we tell the cowboys from the good guys?

Research reliable plumbers

Be sure to ask a variety of people who they use for plumbing services in the local area. By contacting someone who’s trusted by friends and family (preferably that you also know), you’re much more likely to avoid disreputable plumbers. Also, be sure to request references from prospective plumbers; if they don’t possess a portfolio of satisfied customers, then it may be worth looking elsewhere.

Get a written quote

It may sound simple, but a good, trusted, trained plumber will have no problem providing a written quote for the work he’s about to undertake. If your selected plumber scribbles a quote on a note or will only offer a verbal agreement, it’s not worth the hassle.

Insist on a trained individual

Plumbers of any repute will have a recognised plumbing qualification that shows they have the core competencies to get your job done quickly and effectively, so you should insist on your plumber having one.

Ask for insurance policies

A trusted plumber will have an insurance policy that will protect both you and them in the event of anything going wrong, so don’t start working with someone who doesn’t have one.

Tell others

And don’t forget, you have the capability to stop cowboy plumbers yourself by letting other people know of better tradesmen elsewhere. If your plumber is friendly, flexible and competent, then be sure to tell your friends, who will be far more likely to use them rather than an untrustworthy scammer.

Do you think you have the skills to become a plumber? Hone them with plumbing courses at Access. There are a range of different plumbing courses available – to learn more call 0800 345 7492.

The government’s fight against tax avoidance has had many targets over the past year. From self-employed tax return cheats, to tax-dodging comedians, the crusade continues. Now the subjects of the crusade are tradesmen who receive payment cash in hand, and the clients who facilitate it.

For many of us who have trained or are training on plumbing courses or electrician courses, cash in hand payment is a common and convenient form of working. Yet, according to Treasury Minister David Gauke, the government loses an estimated £2bn every year to what he describes as the ‘black economy’ – largely due to cash in hand payment for tradesmen.

Granted, there are opportunities for abuse of the system when cash in hand payments are made. It is simpler to pocket the payment and therefore avoid taxation, yet not every graduate from plumbing courses or electrician courses works in this way and a great number of those who accept cash in hand payments are scrupulous and honest about their earnings.

Mr Gauke has hit out particularly at those tradesmen who offer ‘discounts’ for cash in hand payments. Of course this area is particularly difficult to police. For those tradespeople who manage payment in this way the arrangement is beneficial both for themselves and for their clients. The taxpayer’s money it would take to tackle the minority who operate in this way would far exceed the gains to be made by ensuring every single transaction is fairly taxed.

There is strong opposition to Mr Gauke’s comments regarding the “moral wrongness” of cash in hand transactions. Labour MP Austin Mitchell has denigrated Gauke’s remarks as “petty”. Equally, just a short time after the MP’s expenses scandal, hints of governmental  involvement in the Leveson enquiry and frankly shocking evidence of the immoral actions of banks like HSBC in Mexico and Barclays worldwide, this accusation of immorality seems really rather rich.

Are you an alumni from our plumbing courses, electricians courses or other types of trades training? What’s your preferred form of payment? Do you accept cash in hand? We’d love to hear from you on this subject.

If you are considering enrolling on plumbing courses or electrician courses, Access will help train you in all areas of your trade. From hands-on technical work, to running your business and working out tax - for flexible, thorough trades training courses, across the UK, contact Access today on 0800 345 7492.

If you’re wondering what happened to the summer, your guess is as good as ours. After what seems like months of torrential rain, freakishly large hailstorms, floods, gales and general meteorological misery you could be forgiven for feeling a little bit down in the dumps. For plumbers, however, all this heavy rain is causing an overflow in work. With intense downpours across the country, Britain’s pipes have been under a serious amount of pressure.

For those on plumbing courses, this is a great example of just how in demand skilled plumbers are. This is not just reliant on heavy rain. In fact a recent study into current course numbers and job prospects revealed that those on plumbing courses and other skilled trades courses have around 2 job opportunities per every student.

But back to the rain. Blocked and burst water pipes are a big problem in serious deluges and require the attention of a skilled plumber to fix. In seriously nasty weather undermining is also an issue. Undermining takes place when soil surrounding and supporting a pipe is washed away, causing the pipe to crack or even collapse.

If you are the victim of a burst pipe but you don’t have the advantage of plumbing courses under your belt, there are some steps you can take to reduce the damage whilst you wait for the plumber to arrive…

1.    Find your stopcock
Usually located beneath your kitchen sink, turn off the stopcock to stop the water supply to your home. This will help prevent any further water damage,

2.    Drain your system
Turn on all of your cold taps and flush your toilets – this will clear your plumbing system of excess water.

3.    Turn off any water heating systems
Central heating, immersion heating and other heating systems all need to be turned off. Once everything has been turned off, turn your hot taps on to drain your plumbing.

4.    Turn off your electrics

We all know that water and electricity don’t mix so, if the water from your burst pipe/s is  anywhere near electrical items or fittings, turn off the mains. If the mains switch has been in contact with water, do not do anything! Call a plumber and an electrician immediately.

5.    Grab a bucket and bail!

The sooner you can locate the burst pipe, the more damage you can prevent to your property. It won’t always be possible but, if you can, collect as much water as possible in buckets to minimise damage.

6.    Call the plumber
When a pipe bursts, you’ll need a trained plumber on hand. Steps 1-5 will all help minimise the damage but you’ll need the expertise of someone who has completed plumbing courses to fix the pipe.

If you’re keen to pick up the DIY skills required to fix such issues yourself, or if you’d like to train on plumbing courses to establish yourself in a new career – Access can help. We offer accessible, flexible and highly regarded plumbing courses which will help you learn the skills you want in a way which is ideal for you. To learn more about our flexible plumbing courses for all abilities, contact Access today on 0800 345 7492.

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.

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!

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.

It may seem like we’re subscribing to the old stereotype of clinical German efficiency, but the German vocational training system is extremely impressive. From plumbing courses to ‘mecatronics’ apprenticeships, the Germans do it better.

With the UK vocational system long overdue for an overhaul, what can we learn from the German system that will improve the way this country administrates plumbing courses and other forms of vocational education?

Why do we need change?

In March this year the Wolf Review found that the lack of consistency and regulation in vocational education in the UK was having a knock on effect on the quality of the education students were receiving. This in turn was shown to affect the skills base in our country. Following the report, Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, implemented an overhaul of the system. This overhaul was supposed to ensure all providers of plumbing courses, and other vocational training, were working to the same standard and general curriculum.

Unfortunately this overhaul has foundered. The complexity of organising thousands of disparate providers to ensure they conform to an overall standard has forced the changes to run aground. Many providers of plumbing courses and electrician courses are prepared (Access included) but a significant number are lagging behind.


Why are German plumbing courses so good?

Across the channel, in the current European economic heartland, the Germans have had an enviable vocational education system in place for over 40 years. It is based on a law called ‘Berufsausbildungsgesetz’, which unifies the whole vocational training system, making it the responsibility of the government, the trade unions and chambers of trade and industry. This guarantees the high standard of plumbing courses and is one of the driving forces behind Germany’s powerhouse economy. The high level of exceptionally skilled labour in Germany is testament to its vocational education system.

Another reason the German system works so well is that it is closely integrated with the academic school system in the country. It is far easier for the youth to undertake an apprenticeship in Germany, which means a whopping 51% have successfully completed an apprenticeship. This hands-on, company-driven approach makes a real impact on the level of skill in Deutschland.

What’s next for vocational training in the UK?

The reasons the German system works so well are very similar to the direction Gove was looking to take plumbing courses and other training courses in the UK. A unified system, a more hands-on approach, integration with academic grades, all of these moves would make a big difference, yet it may take the UK a while to reach this point.

In the meantime, if you are looking to enrol on plumbing courses, or alternative vocational courses, speak to the training provider who knows the lay of the land. Here at Access we understand how plumbing courses, electrician courses and carpentry courses ought to be run, and we are passionate about teaching people the skills they need to succeed. Contact our team today to talk about enrolling on plumbing courses and more today! You can reach us at 0800 345 7492.