Earlier today, George Clarke, a TV personality best known for presenting Restoration man, and George Clarke’s Amazing places posted a tweet raising awareness of the critical skills shortage we are currently experiencing in the UK Construction Industry. 



To say that this tweet received some interesting reply s on how people thought the industry could change to help encourage more people into learning a skilled trade.

"The wage is shocking"

Some people responded by saying that the wages for skilled workers are poor, and that the wage needs to increase to encourage more people to train. This is a common misconception about skilled work. When you are a fully trained electrician, plumber or bricklayer, you could be earning up to £100,000 per year, well above the national average wage of £26,500.

"People are being encouraged to go to university instead of learning a trade"

Other people were voicing concerns over the fact that children are being encouraged to go to university instead of learning a practical trade. However, not everybody wants to attend university. Many people don’t like the idea of carrying on their education for an extra 3 or 4 years, to then leave with an extraordinary amount of debt and not have a guaranteed job at the end of it all.

By informing children that there are other routes to work, and well-paid work, we might add. Is a crucial step that needs to be taken to close the current skill gap. This will only happen if the education system and the construction industry come together to help educate the next generation. This is a topic we have written about in the past, and it is certainly an area leaders of the construction industry are keen to explore to see if more can be done to help raise awareness and educate children, not just at school leaving age, but throughout their time in education about the importance of skilled trade’s people. 

"You can't get stable work" 

This is another misconception about skilled trade work. Plumbers and Electricians, be it domestic or commercially trained, are always in demand. People are always going to need plumbers and electricians to help them out in an emergency, or need an electrician to wire a newly built house. To increase your chances of winning work over your competitors, you can easily expand your skill set so you can take on more specialist jobs, or a wider variety of work. 

Currently the industry is is crying out for more Plumbers, Electricians and bricklayers that the chance of you landing a contract shortly after you have completed your course, is incredibly high. Thus making this the perfect time to begin learning a trade. 

Here, at Access Training we offer a variety of courses for people who are looking to learn a trade. All of our courses are designed for the complete beginner, and will take you on a journey through to becoming a true industry expert. So if you are interested in becoming a Bricklayer, Electrician or a Plumber, don't hesitate to get in touch

Since the 2015 General Election, Britain has seen many changes in the way that the UK is run, and this year is no different. Yes, we are talking about the hot topic of the moment – the EU Referendum.

The EU referendum has turned in a rather controversial issue, with people from every industry having their say on whether Britain should stay or leave. This is because an EU exit will have profound effects on how Britain will conduct future business – especially in the construction industry. Reassuringly, a survey conducted by Smith and Williamson found that only 15% of construction company executives favoured leaving the European Union.

One of the major issues that leaving the EU would present to the construction industry concerns access to labour. Presently, the UK is experiencing a huge skills shortage across the construction industry, which means that we are relying heavily on foreign workers to come over and help fill the gap.

One of the fundamental values of the EU is free movement, which makes immigration around EU counties relatively easy and stress-free. If Britain exits the EU then emigration into the UK will become more difficult, discouraging skilled workers from entering the country and focusing on countries still within the EU.  On a positive note, there will be more jobs within the construction industry, but fewer people to fill them.

The EU is a trading union, which has helped break down barriers that make it difficult for companies to do business and invest in each other’s businesses. With the threat of a Brexit looming, multimillion-pound manufacturing giants have already expressed concerns about investing in an independent UK. One of the biggest advantages to being in the EU is that we are granted free trade between member nations. This makes it easier and cheaper for British companies to export their goods and - more importantly for the construction industry - building materials.

Even though the vast majority of construction companies are currently in favour of staying in the EU, it is important to look at the counter arguments of the 15% minority. For instance, the chairman of JCB plans to vote in favour of a Brexit because it “could cut the costs of bureaucracy so much that any additional costs of leaving the EU would be easily covered”. He also disagrees with the claims that it will make trade more difficult with other EU countries because “it is in everyone’s interests to trade openly and freely.”

It is hard to predict what knock-on effect a Brexit will have on the UK’s construction industry because no country has ever left the EU before. Over the coming months we are going to hear a lot of arguments to stay or leave, and possibly a lot of contradictory information about what will happen if we do decide to exit. At the end of the day, it is up to us as individuals to come to an educated decision as to whether we think it will be beneficial for the UK to stay or leave.

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According to the latest figures, the UK's construction workforce has shrunk by 12.9% since 2008. This is particularly strange due to the abundance of work currently available to contractors, which would suggest that the industry in busier than ever, with workers often having to turn down work because they already have an existing contract or promise of work with another employer. In spite of the surge in demand, however, the amount of workers in the industry fell dramatically last year, with 16,000 less people in the profession between 2014 and 2015.

Industry experts have put this dramatic fall in numbers down to a shirking talent pool, with people previously trained in the profession either retiring, in work, or having moved to other industries during a low period of work after the recession in 2009. Since the recovery in 2012 and 2013, those who remained in the profession managed to regain regular employment straight away, but they were not joined by a high number of new or returning workers. This means that firms can no longer rely on a once-abundant pool of talent to recruit from, which prevents them from expanding and in turn, presents a barrier for overall industry growth.

What the construction industry now needs is an surge of new talent from young people entering the industry, as well as those from a non-construction background who have decided to change their career. Before expansion and increased job security is possible, there must be enough skilled tradespeople to meet the demands of the industry, and to ensure a high calibre work force. At Access Training, we've helped countless individuals to gain the skills so desperately needed in the industry, allowing them to access a new and fruitful career path. From total beginners to ex service men and women, we have helped a diverse pool of candidates to reach their full potential and begin a successful career in construction.

Some of the courses we offer include:
and more!

Explore the rest of our site to see our full range of courses and lay the foundations for your future, as well that of the UK construction industry. For more information about our courses, get in touch with us today!

The first quarter of 2016 looks as if it will prove to be an exceptionally busy period for the UK's tradesmen and women. If you work in the construction industry, you may already have noticed a surge in demand since the start of the year, and there's every reason to believe that the need for competent, professional tradespeople will remain high for the forseeable future.

So why are tradespeople run off their feet at the moment?
  • Flood damage. If you switched on the TV over Christmas, you're probably aware of the flooding that affected certain parts of the UK recently. While the flood waters have now receded (at time of writing, no severe flood warnings are in place), people are still dealing with the aftermath; the floods caused a lot of damage, and the necessary repairs will reportedly cost billions of pounds. According to simplybusiness.co.uk, tradespeople from "right across the board" can expect "a busy first quarter", with homes throughout the UK requiring all sorts of different repairs. Structural damage, ruined electrical systems, rooms ravaged by flood waters...all of these things will need to be put right by experienced professionals.

  • Cold weather. Even in years without flooding, winter tends to be an especially busy time of year for the average tradesperson. Plumbers are kept particularly busy during the colder months, with low temperatures leading to burst pipes and other problems. Gas engineers are also in high demand - the weather has been abnormally cold of late, which means that Britain's boilers are working overtime right now!

  • A shortage of competent tradespeople. As we've mentioned previously, Britain is currently battling a major skills shortage - there simply aren't enough qualified tradespeople to go around. Supply is falling desperately short of demand, and this problem will only be exacerbated by the cold weather and the widespread flood damage.
Demand for qualified tradespeople is higher than ever right now; wages have skyrocketed, and many workers are actually turning jobs down because their schedules are so full. While this could be a big problem for Britain, it does mean that now is a great time to learn a trade and turn professional - whether you choose to become a plumber, a bricklayer, an electrician, or something else again, you're unlikely to have any problems finding work!

Would you like to retrain and become a professional tradesperson? If so, please contact Access Training Academies today - we'll help you to book your course and gain the qualifications you need to succeed!
Construction industry wage
 
The average construction industry wage for workers rose by 6% in 2015, according to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. This rise is significantly higher than the average increase for UK workers in general (2%), and it proves that construction is one of the most lucrative career choices for British workers at present.

Why have construction industry wages risen so much?

Construction industry wages have risen because the demand for skilled construction workers is particularly high at the moment. This is due to the desperate skills shortage that Britain is currently experiencing; simply put, there aren't enough competent professionals in the country to cover all the work that's currently available to them.
 
(Furthermore, with an EU referendum on the horizon, many are concerned that the shortage could soon get even worse - if Britain were to leave the European Union, it would be harder for new workers to enter the country from elsewhere in Europe.)
 
This shortage has allowed the UK's construction workers to take on more jobs and charge higher prices, further increasing the construction industry wages. A recent survey showed that the majority of construction firms (61%) reported "a sharp rise in wage costs" for 2015. 

Which skills are most in-demand?

Competent bricklayers are reportedly hardest to come by at the moment, but the skills shortage is an industry-wide problem, and more or less all construction industry workers are earning higher wages because of it. Winter is a particularly busy time for plumbers; you may remember that we wrote a blog post about this matter last month.
 

Should I be worried about this?

It depends on who you are. You've probably heard about the housing crisis that's currently affecting parts of London and Southern England, and the construction skills shortage certainly isn't helping on that front; many of the government's housebuilding plans will be thrown into turmoil if Britain fails to find more builders soon. 
 
It may also be a problem if you yourself need any work done - as previously mentioned, the skills shortage has enabled contractors to charge significantly higher rates for each job, so be prepared to get your wallet out!
 
However, the skills shortage could be very good news indeed if you're planning to join the construction industry. With demand outstripping supply by such a wide margin, this is a golden opportunity for those looking to retrain and start a new career - that gap in the market needs to be filled, and there's money to made if you can do so.
 
If you'd like to gain the qualifications necessary to become a professional construction worker, we at Access Training can help. Contact us for details, or select one of the following course options to learn more:

This year, the United Kingdom has been facing its biggest skills shortage for a generation. There are huge talent gaps across a number of professions, including bricklaying and plumbing.

The scarcity of plumbers is now having large repercussions as we enter the winter months; not only are a number of construction firms having to cancel or delay new projects, a number of private firms are finding themselves unable to cope with the increased demand for plumbing maintenance and repair this winter. The country’s shortage of plumbers (combined with the increase in sick leave that’s to be expected at this time of year) is leaving older/vulnerable people without heating and hot water for extended periods of time.

In Sunderland this week, a diabetic pensioner went for 40 hours without heating or hot water because an emergency repair team was unable to cope with demand. It is reported that they had 10 emergency plumbers that were supposed to be working over the weekend; however, seven of the ten plumbers were off because of illness. This is not an isolated case, nor is it a regional shortage. This scenario is common throughout the whole of the United Kingdom.

The current skills shortage means that people who are willing to gain the skills to become a qualified plumber are getting heavily rewarded for their work. Fully qualified plumbers can earn between £1,200 and £1,800 a week, and because of the skills shortage, there is no shortage of work available. In short: there has never been a better time to enrol on a plumbing training course and gain the qualifications needed to become a professional plumber.

We at Access Training offer a large variety of trade training courses, from plumbing courses for people who have no or limited plumbing experience through to courses designed for professional plumbers looking to refresh their knowledge or to gain extra skills.

So, no matter where you live, what your circumstances are, or what your experience level is, we are confident that we have the perfect course for you.

Click here to view our plumbing training courses.

Bricklaying and plastering are two of the most common trades that come up in discussion about the skills shortage the construction industry is suffering from, but the latest State of Trade survey suggests this shortage is more dire than many may have thought - especially when it comes to small businesses.

The survey, set up by the Federation of Master Builders, found that more than a third of construction SMEs are struggling to recruit the required number of bricklayers to keep up with their workload. In additional to this, 27% of firms are also having difficulty finding the plasterers they need.

FMB Chief Executive Brian Berry said: "The results act as a stark warning that the government must not take the recovery in the construction sector for granted. Although this snapshot of small construction firms marks the fifth consecutive quarter of positive results, if we don’t have enough of the right people to complete the work, private and public projects could be stalled across the board."

With the skilled labourers demand rising in tandem with the demand for new building work, stalling projects really is becoming a major concern. The construction industry is relying on new people to earn their qualifications and join the workforce - people like you. Are you tired of your desk-based job, seek out a more physical and hands-on career or simpy want a more practical alternative to going to university? A construction career could be exactly what you're looking and for and after reading this, you know you'll be welcomed with open arms. Combine that with a varied worklife and impressive wage and you've got a pretty fantastic career ahead of you.

The quickest and most effective way to becoming a qualified plasterer or bricklayer is through an intensive training course from Access Training. In matter of weeks we can have you fully trained to a professional standard, complete with official City & Guilds qualifications. You'll be taught in a state-of-the-art centre by experienced tradespeople, who will be sharing their trade experiences as well as delivering the skills you need. And we don't just offer bricklaying and plastering either - we also have plumbing, electric, gas, carpentry, tiling and decorating courses ready and available!

Just give our team a call on 0800 345 7492 a course adviser will be in touch to discuss the options most suitable to you. Starting a brand new career has never been easier!

News via Construction Enquirer

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.

The construction industry continues to gather momentum as surveyors forecast a significant rise in Welsh house building in 2014.

According to research direct from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), up to 79% more surveyors believe workloads are going to increase this year - the highest recorded number since numbers were first recorded 15 years ago. On top of this, 25% more surveyors said work on major building projects had grown in the last three months of last year - the most positive infrastructure figure seen in the last six years.

However it isn't all good news, as the survey also highlights concern over labour and material shortages - two factors that could very easily hold back the recovery.

In Wales alone 24% of surveyors admitted to struggling to recruit the skilled labourers they needed between October and December last year. During these months 40% also claimed that a lack of materials was also a significant problem - only this figure is representative of the whole of the UK rather than just Wales. 

RICS Wales chairman Neil Brierley remains optimistic about the situation though, as he sees this increase in building work across the country as "an excellent opportunity for future job opportunities, provided growth can be sustained". In agreement with the director of the Institute of Directors (IoD) in Wales Robert Lloyd Griffiths, who said nine out of ten members in the institute anticipate the growth being stronger than it was last year.

2014 is already proving to be a more perfect time than ever to join the construction trade. Job prospects are higher than ever, and as the industry continues to flourish so will your new career as a bricklayer, carpenter, plasterer or tiler. The construction trade offers many benefits that you might not find elsewhere and/or in your current place of work - better job satisfaction, quality of life, significant earning potential and most importantly JOB SECURITY (something that's even more evident in current circumstances). 

Enrol on one of Access Training Academy's construction training courses and you'll be taught by our experienced teaching staff in a state-of-the-art centre. Our courses are all accredited by leading awarding bodies in the industry and you'll earn a professional level of skill in a fraction of the time a college course would take, along with all of the necessary qualifications.

To find out more about the construction training we have here at Access please view the course information pages on the left hand side of the website or contact one of our course advisers on 0800 345 7492.