What Trade Should I Learn

If the office 9-to-5 life isn't for you, you'll probably be looking for a career that offers you diversity and a chance to get out and try your hand at new tasks. For this reason, you may have decided that you would be well suited to a job in a trade industry. However, with so many to choose from you may be having a difficult time pinpointing which to specialise in. You may be set on going into the trade industry but be asking yourself, "what trade should I learn?".

In general, trade jobs are appealing, for the most part, they can result in good salaries, a chance to be your own boss, learn useful manual skills and a whole other range of opportunities. Of course, every job has pros and cons and your personal preferences will determine what trade you are best suited to learning. To help you make that decision, we've come up with a few key things you should consider before diving into a trade. 

Whichever trade you decide to learn you will be able to find a course that suits you at Access Training, take a look:

To browse all of our courses you can click here

Are you more interested in building something or fixing something?

Manual work is great because it teaches you skills that you can use in your life as well as that of your client's. But some things may interest you more than others, perhaps you're a problem solver, who upon seeing a task is set on working it out and fixing the problem. On the other hand, you may not want to fix problems, you may be interested in creating things from scratch.

Building something: If you want the chance to create something then carpentry is a good move for you. From small projects to buildings, you'll be constantly creating with your ability to turn materials into something else entirely. 

Fixing something: Plumbers and Electricians are often called out when something goes wrong with someone's plumbing or electrical systems. It'll be your job to find out what is wrong and fix it. 

Do you prefer working on one project for a while or a new one each day?

If you like the stability of working in one place for an amount of time then you may be more interested in a job in carpentry and other jobs that are needed in construction work. If you are working on a building site these projects can last a varied amount of time and you are likely to see your creation grow over time. 

In comparison, Electricians, Plumbers and Gas Engineers often work on various jobs in one day. Moving from project to project offers you the opportunity to solve new problems in a short amount of time. Although you may be asked to work on bigger projects like wiring a house or constructing the plumbing system for a building. 

Would you rather spend time working indoors or outdoors?

This will depend on what kind of job you are carrying out, as most of the trades will have jobs that are outside or indoors, so hopefully, you don't mind either! Of course, there are some trades where you are more likely to work inside more than other, such as a Kitchen Fitter. However, locations for electricians, plumbers and gas engineers will depend if you're involved with domestic work or industrial work - but again, this will depend on the job!

If you prefer working outside then you may enjoy construction work. Construction workers are often working outside building houses or other buildings.   

Do you get claustrophobic working in tight places?

Some trade jobs will require working in tight spaces more than others. Electricians for instance often will have to crawl into tight areas such as ceiling spaces to access wires and other electrical systems. Plumbers are also sometimes required to work in confined spaces to access pipes and drains and other tighter work areas. 

If you know this isn't for you, then you are less likely to come across this when working in carpentry, plastering and kitchen fitting as you are often in larger areas. These trade jobs give you more opportunity to stretch your legs in general. However, you may then need to consider how you feel about working at heights and other factors. Our advisors are more than happy to discuss this with you further so contact us today

Are you colourblind?

If you are colourblind one trade you may want to rule out is a career as an electrician.  If you have trouble distinguishing colour then working with colour-coded wires will be a problem, and could be dangerous. Wiring mistakes can damage what you're working on or even lead to electrocution. 

Luckily, this is less of a problem with the other trades so you should still be able to find one that you'll love learning! 

 Here are links to some of the courses we offer:

DISCLAIMER: Of course, we've listed something you may want to consider when choosing a trade to learn, but your daily jobs will depend on the type of job you end up doing. If you are working on domestic or industrial projects for instance. Once you begin learning your trade you will learn more about how you can specialise and what these roles will involve. 

If you are still unsure about what the benefits of learning a trade are, you may be interested in our two helpful infographics "Should I learn a trade?" & "Should I learn plastering or carpentry". 

At Access Training we have plenty of courses and are sure to have something that suits your requirements if you are still unsure about which trade you are most suited for you can get in touch with one of our expert advisors. We pride ourselves on being able to help individuals find the career they love, so feel free to get in touch:

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It can be difficult deciding which path to take in life. You’ve made the bold decision to retrain, but how do you decide where to go from there. This guide will give you an idea of what you can expect from a career as a gas engineer.

Currently the UK is experiencing a shortage of ‘Gas Safe’ installers, which means if you do plan on taking the plunge, now is a particularly good time to do so. Skilled workers are in demand by both domestic and commercial customers, so at least you know the work is out there. By choosing the right trades training course you will ensure you are in a strong position to land the jobs in your area.

Here’s what you can expect from a career as a gas engineer:

A competitive salary

As with any career, your earning potential can vary according to your experience, level of skill and location. However, to give you an idea, a newly trained gas engineer working for a regular contractor could earn in the region of £30,000, whilst an experienced and talented gas engineer with a diverse range of skills would be closer to £50,000. Of course many people retrain with the aim of becoming their own boss. If this is the route you choose then your earning potential is uncapped.

A job with prospects

Think career rather than job. You can earn a comfortable living and forge a rewarding career as a gas engineer as long as you have the necessary trades training skills. The profession is also secure which in our day and age is all too rare. Whether you are self employed or working for an employer, the skills of a ‘Gas Safe’ registered engineer will always be in demand.

Plenty of challenges

No two days are ever the same when working as a gas engineer. It can be a challenging job, both mentally and physically, but it is this that keeps things interesting. The mix of commercial and residential work means that one day you may find yourself installing a domestic boiler and the next you could be working on an industrial heating system as part of a team.

If you think a career as a gas engineer could be your perfect next step, you need to ensure that the trades training you receive is the very best available. Contact Access Training today on 0800 345 7492; with state of the art training facilities and exceptional pass rates, we can guarantee the highest standard of trades training.

Recent research has found that well over half of over 35 years olds do not possess the necessary levels of trades training to be able to carry out even the most basic DIY tasks. Persimmon Homes are seizing upon this research and advising people to think twice about buying new houses instead of older ones which may require work. Sales Director, John Gibbs, commented: “More than half of young adults aged less than 35 lack the basic DIY skills required to maintain their home. Although there are many homeowners who do enjoy carrying out DIY tasks and have the necessary skills to be able to do so safely and successfully, there is a significant number who do not”.

The research has also highlighted that homeowners have suffered financially after attempted DIY projects have failed. Mistakes have had to be rectified, costing nearly three times more than if the job had been completed correctly in the first instance. The average cost of putting right a failed DIY job which has been completed by an individual under the age of 35 is £2,498. This compares unfavourably to the £838 which is required to fix an ineffective job attempted by those over the age of 45.

If you want to save some money and complete DIY tasks safely and effectively, ensuring a top quality job at the first time of asking, you should certainly consider attending one of the DIY training courses we run here at Access. Our comprehensive trades training will give you the confidence to carry out DIY tasks in and around your home.

All individuals should be more than equipped to carry out DIY tasks around their homes if they receive just basic DIY training. This advice comes from AA Home Rescue, whose spacewoman said that even though there are limitations to the tasks a homeowner should expect to carry out themselves, there are simple DIY tasks which are within easy reach of all homeowners.

Such tasks include the repairing of plasterwork, patching up cracks and holes, replacing tiles, basic plumbing tasks such as fixing leaking taps, hanging pictures using hooks, putting up shelves, decorating a bedroom by hanging wallpaper and painting walls and ceilings are all tasks individuals should be able to handle given some short instruction.

Although individuals are encouraged to have a go at the more basic of tasks, AA Home Rescue strongly advise the more complex jobs, such as those which require a professional qualification and may involve gas installation or domestic electrics, are best left to fully trained and qualified professionals. A gas system must only be worked on by someone who has undertaken a gas course and has gained their GasSafe qualification. In the same respect, only qualified electricians who are Part P qualified should work on any aspect of your household electrics.

Here at Access Training, we offer the perfect DIY trades training course which will give you the basic skills to carry out all manner of simple DIY tasks. Our short and friendly courses will help you discover the sense of satisfaction which can be gained from carrying out DIY tasks yourself, as well as helping you to save a considerable amount of money. It will also provide a valuable stepping stone if you are looking to progress onto more complicated tasks in the future.

Recent research reported by Wickes’ website shows that homeowners are spending nearly double the amount of money on improvements to their kitchen compared to any other area of their home. On average, out of every £100 spent on DIY and home improvements, £33 is spent directly or indirectly on the kitchen.

So why is this the case? Well, it could be attributed to the modern perception that the kitchen is the new centre point of the home. Many properties are now open plan in layout with most new apartment designs plan focusing around the kitchen as the social centre. With the use of the appropriate trade skills older houses such as the Victorian Terraces have also been adapted over the years to reflect the prominence of the kitchen. Traditionally the kitchen was hidden away at the back of the house, with separate reception rooms and dining rooms. Now these spaces have been knocked through, revealing the kitchen as the jewel in the crown. Kitchen designs have now become a statement area for home owners, encouraging an element of creativity to show off to family and friends.

Persimmon Homes believe they understand exactly what the modern homeowner is looking for:

“At Persimmon, we invest a great deal of time and effort into designing each and every room to ensure it suits the most demanding of lifestyles. Take our kitchens for example – the household appliances we include as standard, such as the fridge/freezer, dishwasher and washing machine, are becoming less about functionality and more about chic contemporary style. Along with the tough economic climate, as well as the rising popularity of shows such as Come Dine With Me, people’s desire to create the perfect ambience for dining at home is at the forefront of their minds.

Kitchen improvements can be a daunting prospect to individuals without the necessary trade skills. Those without the required knowhow should call upon expert trained kitchen fitters to carry out the work, as the fitting of units and worktops can become an expensive mistake if attempted without prior training. Access Training offer professional kitchen courses for individuals looking to increase their trade skills. Our range of DIY kitchen fitting courses will teach you everything you need to know to be able make all the improvements you require. Click on the links below to view our comprehensive kitchen fitting courses.

To improve your trade skills and learn all the necessary steps required to successfully improve or fit your own kitchen, contact Access Training today.

In a stark warning from the UK’s building industry, there are currently not enough plumbers, electricians, gas engineers or the required skilled manpower to build and maintain the UK’s infrastructure

We have already mentioned in earlier posts the words of Di Johnson, president of the Electrical Contractors’ Association, who has voiced her concerns about the number of skilled trades people who will be available in the future.

She warned that the failure to invest now may result in a skills crisis, which would take the country years to recover from. Johnson aired her concerns: “there will come a time when we won’t have the skilled resources to deliver major infrastructure projects.

“I work in the electrical industry where the average age is around 45. This is largely the same across much of the craft sector, which means we could face serious problems in five years time as these skilled individuals start retiring from the profession, or look for a less physical office-based job… we simply will not have sufficient numbers to replace them. This will impact hugely on major infrastructure projects. If the nation’s bid to host the 2018 World Cup had been successful I would have had grave concerns about our ability to meet the deadlines.  

“Electrical, heating and ventilating professionals are the frontline troops responsible for delivering the sustainability agenda. These professionals can advise and properly install energy saving technology to ensure maximum efficiency. Without an increase of numbers in these sectors, we will not be able to hit the UK’s ambitious carbon reduction targets.”

Without a doubt, the time is nigh for any individual looking for a change in career to seriously examine the possibility of trades training. Whether you are interested in the electrical or plumbing industry, there are currently widespread opportunities available to those who receive trades training now. Whether they form their own business, or work for an employer, you will be able to secure your long term future, as well as that of the country.
 
To read in more depth the comments made by Di Johnson, please go to votlimum.co.uk. For further information regarding the trades training on offer here at Access, take a look at our plumbing, gas and electrical courses, and you could take great strides in the industry and fulfil your ambitions.

According to recent research conducted by the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), companies looking to recruit staff with a high level of trade skills are still coming across the same stumbling block - they are at a distinctly short supply.

The report found that more than three quarters of construction related companies surveyed complained of a trade skills shortage.  They stated that the most difficult candidates to recruit were craft and trade skills workers, with a third of respondents admitting they were ‘difficult’ or ‘very difficult’ to find and hire as they are in such a short supply.

The CIOB’s deputy chief executive, Michael Brown, said: “There is still a skills shortage in the industry... no one knows what is around the corner. It will hit the industry twice as hard when we recover from the downturn as there will be a marked shortage of skills, even though we are currently operating at well below capacity.”

Interestingly, apprenticeships are currently struggling to fill the chasm in the trade skills gap. More than a third of those firms consulted during the survey employ apprentices; however, 44% currently do not do so, with 11% declaring their firm would be cutting back on the amount of people they were putting through trades training due to the testing economic conditions. However, the overall conclusion was that a third of respondents believed craft and skilled trades people were difficult to hire.

One comment made by a contributor elaborated thus: “We do not have problems attracting [apprenticeship] candidates, but unfortunately not everybody applying is of the required standard. Part of the problem is that the careers advice currently on offer seems to portray construction as a one level industry.” It seems that the best quality of candidate is not always attracted into the trades. Indeed, of the firms that do hire apprentices, 30% believed the number of individuals attracted into the industry had decreased.

This is very interesting news for adult learners and those looking into trades training as a career option. The message is loud and clear; there remains a huge skills gap with widespread opportunities available. Employers currently cannot attract the desired quality of individual, and apprenticeships are failing to fill the gap.

Here at Access Training, we teach a comprehensive range of industry recognised trade skills, which will help you secure a more lucrative and rewarding career. Contact Access Training today on 0800 345 7492.

Source: The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) and www.Voltimum.co.uk

If you are reading this post you are doubtless aware of the continuing debate surrounding the future of Part P and whether or not it is sufficient to meet the demands of the electrical industry, and more importantly, of the general public.

Electricians across the spectrum seem to be divided about its effectiveness, unable to agree as to whether the current electrical building regulations go far enough, or simply create a vacuum within the industry. Since the coalition government took power the regulations have been caught up in the political undercurrents which have been circulating a number of government departments.

The debate will certainly go on, but the merits of Part P of the building regulations received a ringing endorsement last month from comments made by Phil Buckle, Director General of Electrical Safety Council, who said, “I certainly agree Part P has not been seen as the electrician’s friend, but it has certainly brought about benefits for the consumer.

“As a contributing factor towards improved safety, the Council will continue to lobby Westminster for its retention. We have also made our support for Part P clear at the party conferences held in the autumn of 2010. We have already sent comments to the Minister, Andrew Stunell, as part of an initial review of the building regulations. Our entire raison d’être [at the Electrical Safety Council] is to ensure the safety of all users of electricity. It would not be acceptable to the ESC if we were to allow a vacuum whereby untrained individuals could undertake electrical work without checks – this would surely be the case if Part P were scrapped.”

There seems little doubt that with the might of the Electrical Safety Council behind it, and in conjunction with associated bodies such as the NICEIC, Part P will remain in place, continuing to protect the general public from the dangers of unchecked electrical work in domestic properties.

If you’re an electrician or tradesperson undertaking electrical work in a domestic environment, it is essential to ensure your conformation with Part P of the building regulations. We would also highly recommend joining a Competent Person Scheme such as the NICEIC.

If you would like to learn more about the Part P electrical courses offered by Access Training, or you’d like to know more about the NICEIC, call us today on 0800 345 7492.

Believe it or not, despite all the extensive media coverage at the time, many people are still unaware that the Corgi accreditation, which regulated the work carried out by gas fitters, has now been replaced by Gas Safe.

The Corgi Register changed to the Gas Safe Register back in September of 2008, after the HSE conducted a study which established the need for a new system to cope with the increase in the number of homes using gas in the UK (about 21 million). More importantly, it was designed to improve the statistics for death and injury resulting from gas installations. It was felt that a new Gas Safe Register would increase public awareness about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Stephen Manley, an Inspector for the HSE, referred to the need for more people to be aware of the change from Corgi Registration to Gas Safe Registration: “It is illegal for an unregistered person to carry out work on a gas appliance. When unqualified workers try to bypass the law in this way they are not only putting themselves at risk of prosecution and a large fine, they are also putting their customers' lives at risk.

"Working with gas appliances requires a great deal of skill and knowledge, it is also potentially very dangerous. Only qualified and registered engineers should attempt it.

Paul Johnston, the Chief Executive of the Gas Safe Register, commented: "To fit, fix or service gas appliances… that person [needs to be] Gas Safe Registered [not Corgi Registered]. You shouldn't take any risks; badly fitted and poorly serviced gas appliances can cause fires, explosions, gas leaks and carbon monoxide poisoning".

So, if you are looking to become qualified as a gas fitter, you need to become Gas Safe Registered. Access Training offer the simplest way to get Gas Safe Registered quickly and safely; our gas training courses come with a guaranteed work placement with a reputable Gas Safe Registered company, giving you the skills and confidence to fit gas appliances safely. However, just remember that it’s the Gas Safe Register and not the Corgi Register you really need to be a part of.

For comprehensive training enabling you to become Gas Safe Registered, contact Access Training today on 0800 345 7492. We have an enormous range of industry accredited trades training courses, which will teach you everything you need to know.

Vocational Courses

There are expected to be in the region of 230,000 disappointed young people missing out on a university place this year, damaging their hopes for a rewarding job, and in their view, affecting their future earning ability.

But is this truly the case? What about the wealth of vocational training options available which can lead to an extremely rewarding and lucrative career?

Vocational courses lead to higher-paying jobs

The median salary for graduates is £23,000*, which compares poorly to the average salary for an electrician in the UK, which currently sits at £31,701*.

Vocational courses cost less than university courses

At time of writing, university fees stand at £3290 per year, rising to £9000 in a year’s time. That’s £27,000 for a three year course (without the inclusion of living expenses).

For that price you could gain dozens of industry-recognised vocational qualifications, including plumbing and electrical awards, as well as becoming Gas Safe qualified and registered, with bags of money remaining to buy your first van and all your tools!

There aren't enough university places to go around

To add to the strain for university places, these potential students are also coming under pressure from competition for places from the EU, with applications for places rising by 8% already this year. It stands to reason that with the much vilified 2012 rise in fees, many more applications are being received per place as an attempt to beat the price hike, but to what end?

The surge in applicants shows a further increase on the quarter of a million that applied for a university position last year, with one in three unable to gain a place.

However, this needn’t be the end of the world; in fact it can be the start of a whole new successful chapter of an individual’s life. Vocational alternatives such as plumbing, electrical and gas courses are readily available. The Government recently announced their intention to set up 40 new university technical colleges (UTCs); however, this news was lost amongst the furore of the tuition fee protests. Such careers are extremely worthy alternatives to a university education, especially given the current skills gap in the country (which has existed for decades).    

Even EAL, the organisation which awards vocational qualifications across sectors including plumbing, electrical and gas, has called for an end to what it rightly describes as snobbery against vocational courses.

Sally Hunt, General Secretary of the University and College Union, has said:

"Our Government seems intent on ignoring the global trend of increasing access to university, which will see thousands of applicants denied the chance to fulfil their potential."

However, Hunt doesn’t acknowledge that an individual’s potential can still be fulfilled through vocational courses.

So if you want to save your money, study for less time, and develop the technical ability and skill to earn many times what a graduate would expect to earn, all without the vast huge amounts of debt, a vocational course may be the way to go. We offer a variety of vocational courses here at Access Training - browse our latest training packages here.

*Sources: www.salarytrack.co.uk and www.mysalary.co.uk

As usual, the year has raced by and 2011 is upon us before we even contemplated its existence. Well according to a survey on Gocompare.com, over 27 million people will make a New Year’s resolution to change their lives for the better. This figure equates to around half of Brits who are looking to make changes in their lives in some way. The survey identified the specific personal changes many individuals wished to make. 55% said they wanted to lose weight; 49% wanted to exercise more and 44% of people were keen to improve their financial outlook. 16% responded that they would be looking for a new job. That’s nearly 12 Million people looking to improve their finances, and over 4 Million people looking for a new career. It’s also an awful lot of people wanting to lose weight, but it’s probably best if we leave that for now. 

The turning of the year represents a time of change for many people whose money worries are likely to grow with the recent VAT hike and the astronomical cost of fuel, public sector cuts and the poorly performing economy. What is sure is a career change into a job that increases your job security and salary, whilst giving you more time to spend with your families or simply enjoying yourselves cannot be a bad thing. That’s where the specialist and comprehensive trades training provided by Access Training can help ensure you make your New Year’s resolution a reality.

If your resolution is to lose weight, then we’re sorry, it’s not really our field. However, we do have a field at the back of our state of the art training centre where you can run around until your heart’s content. It is worth noting that 54% of people didn’t believe their resolution would make it past the end of January!

So above all, health, fitness and money matters come top of the New Year’s resolution list. And there is a way to accomplish these in one fell swoop, call us at Access Training and see how we can offer you trades training for a career which will change your life for the better.

Oscar Wilde - "Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account"