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After an intensive three-day practical, promising young plumber, Connor Cruden, has been named the SkillPLUMB champion for 2019 at the WorldSkills UK LIVE event in Birmingham.

Runners up included 21-year-old Kyle McGeoghie of Perth College UHI and 22-year-old Anthony Iacovazzo of City College Norwich, who achieved second and third place respectively.

 

trophies, skillplumb champion

 

Boiling Point

While the plumbing trade probably isn’t the first industry that springs to mind when you think of awards, honours and prizes, it’s that fact that makes the SkillPLUMB gong all the more prestigious in the world of professional plumbing.

Primarily aimed at apprentices and young tradespeople, finalists were tasked with completing a number of tricky practical assessments in order to test their skills and separate the best from the rest.

As part of the final trial, contestants were asked to install a sealed domestic central heating system with expansion vessel, pump and ancillary equipment. This included a radiator, unvented hot water cylinder and a boiler, along with the relevant copper pipework.

To further add to the intense pressure of this demanding task, all of this was to be completed under strict time constraints and ultimately scrutinised by expert judges against a challenging criterion.

Beating out competition from other regional finalists, Cruden will now be given the opportunity to compete in the Grundfos Installer Championship in Milan in March of next year.

 

Role Models

In addition to booking his place in the 2020 Grundfos Installer Championship in Italy, Cruden’s win also puts him into contention to be part of Team UK at the global WorldSkills 2021 competition in Shanghai, China.

Following the triumph, Cruden had these words to say:

“The competition has been brilliant and I am really proud to be leaving with the gold medal. It was really challenging working under pressure but I just did my best.”

Chairman of the British Plumbing Employers Council also spoke of the victory:

“The standard of work this year has been exceptional. The finalists are all excellent ambassadors for the industry and brilliant role models for other young people who are considering a plumbing career.”

 

Become a World-Class Plumber with Access Training UK

While such an achievement may seem out of reach for anyone thinking of entering the world of plumbing, it’s important to remember that every journey begins with that single first step.

At Access Training UK, we can help you achieve that first step and help you come on leaps and bounds with our wide variety of plumbing courses.

Whether you’re a complete novice or an experienced pro looking to add to your repertoire of skills, Access Training UK has the plumbing course for you.

Read on for a quick rundown of the various plumbing courses we have on offer at ATUK:

 

Essential Plumbing Course

Learn the basics needed to become a domestic plumber (no experience required).

 

Professional Plumbing Course

A comprehensive course to become a fully-qualified plumber (no experience required).

 

Premier Plumbing Course

Combined course allowing you to earn plumbing and gas qualifications simultaneously (no experience required).

 

Bathroom Fitting Course

This course will equip you with all the skills and knowledge needed to install bathrooms (no experience required).

 

Unvented Hot Water Storage Systems

If you’re already a plumber or heating engineer, this course teaches you how to install and maintain unvented hot water storage systems

 

WRAS - Water Regulations Advisory Scheme

Completion of this course provides you with ‘approved contractor’ status by your local water authority- a pre-requisite for many employers.

 

NVQ Level 2 Certification – For Experienced Site Plumbers

This fast-track NVQ programme is designed for experienced plumbers looking to gain NVQ Level 2 Diploma quickly with minimal fuss.

 

For more information on any of the plumbing training courses available at Access Training UK, why not drop us a line today? Call now on 0800 345 7492 or click the button below to get in touch online.

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How to be a plumber

 

Is it possible to become a plumber while working?

Yes, it is - with part-time and intensive plumbing courses from Access Training. Our accredited training programmes allow you to learn around your current commitments, whether that means work, family, or other obligations.

Quitting your job and diving headlong into a totally new career is terrifying, and not necessarily a very smart move. If, for instance, you want to leave your desk job behind and become a professional plumber, you'll have to do quite a bit of training before you can actually start earning money. So if you hand in your notice before you've even enrolled on a training course, there'll be a significant gap in your income between the end of your old career and the start of your new one.

But what if, instead of quitting your job in order to train as a plumber, you could complete your training while still working your current job? Suddenly, figuring out how to be a plumber doesn't seem like such a daunting task that requires you make lots of sacrifices! 

The 'traditional' route to becoming a qualified plumber is to undertake a college course/apprenticeship and learn over a number of years. Our courses take dramatically less time to complete, meaning that you can enrol in a course, learn your new trade, and get qualified before you take the plunge and tell your office that you're leaving for pastures new.

Benefits of learning while working

Here are a few reasons why it's usually better to train while continuing with your current job:

  • No loss of income between quitting and starting your new career
  • No need to let down your current commitments/obligations
  • Get qualified faster (compared to standard college courses)

If you're interested in enrolling on to an Access Training plumbing course and training while you work, please contact us now for more information.

Browse all plumbing courses >

The path to becoming a plumber, or any type of tradesperson for that matter, is traditionally seen as being long and limited: several years of training as an apprentice alongside a professional whose main interest is the job at hand (and not the eager apprentice looking over their shoulder). This image, some might feel, isn't particularly inspiring, and might even deter people from pursuing a trade career. However, this model is not the only way, nor is it the best way, of becoming a professional tradesperson.

Here at Access Training, we offer intensive plumbing courses in a professional and private training centre where the main focus is on teaching, rather than working, and your chances of learning how to do quality work quickly are far higher. Not only that, but our intensive courses are much shorter and more efficient, giving you a range of experience in a matter of weeks, rather than years.

We understand that some might approach a fast-track course offered by a private training college such as Access Training with suspicion - after all, how can a trade, something traditionally considered to require years of experience, be taught to a high enough standard in only a matter of weeks?

At first glance, it certainly seems implausible, but when you take a closer look into what the old-style apprenticeship process actually consists of, you might be inclined to think otherwise...

5 Reasons Why You Should Choose a Fast-Track Course

1) It takes less time.

This might go without saying, but a fast-track course takes far less time than an apprenticeship and the advantage of this is phenomenal.

Not only does it save you several years of valuable time, but it also means that you can begin working and earning much sooner. In the time it takes to complete a full apprenticeship, you could earn back the investment you made for a private training course ten times over!

2) It produces better results.

The feedback we receive from the companies who employ our students is largely supportive of the fast-track system. They claim that students trained on fast-track courses retain more information than those who have been training in apprenticeships for years.

Students are excited and enthused by their quick development on the fast-track course and are able to capitalise on this, increasing their employability, whereas those who have spent years as apprentices might have become less enthusiastic about their occupation.

In other words, you're more likely to still want to do the job after a fast-track course than an apprenticeship.

3) It involves intensive learning.

Back in the days of apprenticeships, the main style of learning was through observation, and very little else. For example, an aspiring plumber would have to spend a few hours a week following a qualified plumber from job to job, usually doing menial tasks like making tea and carrying tools.

Old style apprenticeships took years because the majority of time was spent shadowing the qualified worker and learning very slowly, not by experience or practice.

A fast-track course constantly involves learning about theory and is very hands-on, so that the skills you learn are put into immediate practice.

In a week, every single day on any trades course would be entirely dedicated to learning everything you need to know about that particular trade, instead of it being slowly drip-fed to you over a number of years.

4) The teacher's focus is on you.

In a typical apprenticeship scenario, the professional worker will most likely be focusing very little on the young aspiring apprentice eagerly looking over their shoulder. Rather, they will be concentrating on the job at hand, wanting to get it done to a high standard and in the shortest time possible.

Training to be a plumber

As a professional who might have years of experience in the trade, any questions the apprentice would have might seem tedious and are likely to be either ignored or not answered in full. As a result, very little is actually learnt.

However, in a private college, the tutors' jobs require them to do exactly the opposite: to ensure that the students are fully equipped with the knowledge and skills they need in order to become skilled professionals. They are patient with newcomers, willing to fully explain theories and ready to take time to demonstrate procedures.

It's no surprise that apprenticeships take so long to complete - the difference is enormous.

5) You'll still get 'on-site' experience.

One possible argument to be made against fast-track courses is that they don't provide 'on-site experience' in the same way that apprenticeships do.

However, this can only be a good thing. On-site experience of the kind provided by apprenticeships still involves little or no practical or theory training, and is, in essence, quite useless - one might as well pay a visit to a construction site and watch the builders working.

However, as a privately-funded company, Access Training has the necessary resources to provide excellent facilities that are designed to simulate real working environments. Bathrooms, radiators, boilers and walls are among a variety of home appliances and structures you will be practising on during your course, in which the skills you learn can be put to immediate good use and be quickly developed as a result.

This style of teaching creates an effective fusion between having practical experience and essential knowledge.

Although apprenticeships are still considered as being the natural step on the route to a traditional working life, they are becoming increasingly a thing of the past: an inefficient, rusting machine in a new age of development.

A fast-track course is the best way to ensure workers are enthusiastic and skilled professionals by the end of their training. Enquire today about a course at Access Training - our professional course advisers will be guide you in the right direction.


A UK engineer has created innovative new software to help plumbers with dyslexia, after he noticed a need for the product when aiding plumbers with heat-loss calculations. The software, called Heat Engineer, is designed to enable plumbers to work out calculations of heat-loss quickly and efficiently, without the need for external help.

Although this is hugely beneficial for plumbing as whole, the fact that it can be adapted especially for people who suffer from dyslexia means that it will not only improve and simplify the day-to-day lives of current tradespeople, but will also pave a more inviting pathway for the plumbers of the future. To help combat the difficulties experienced by plumbers with dyslexia, the app allows them to change the colour, size and font of the text, as well as other elements, allowing them to adapt it to fit their particular needs. This is a massive step forward not only for plumbing-specific technology, but for apps in general, as it directly combats a common difficulty that isn't often awarded much attention in mainstream culture.

Another encouraging aspect of this development, is that it has the potential to draw more people to the profession, due to the fact that they will not feel intimidated or held-back by their struggles with dyslexia. In fact, individuals with the problem can often find themselves thriving in a hands-on career such as plumbing, which means that the industry's talent pool will also be all the better for it.

At Access Training, we aim to take on a variety of candidates regardless of their background or experience level, an approach we believe is essential in ensuring that we create a compassionate and diverse pool of trade professionals. Our experienced tutors have years of professional experience, and are able to offer a flexible programme of work to suit the candidate's individual needs. Due to our student to tutor ratio, you will also be given the opportunity to have one-on-one supervision and guidance, which is ideal for candidates how may find some of the written aspects of the courses more complicated. 

If you would like to become a plumber, and feel that Access Training's courses could be for you, then please feel free to get in touch with us today!  As we mentioned previously, we are dedicated to providing a flexible service, and would be happy to discuss any concerns or requirements you may have.

For the latest updates in the world of trade professions and about our courses, follow us on Twitter!

Plumber becoming qualified

A question we get asked a lot here at Access Training is “what qualifications do I need to be a Plumber?” We hope to address and answer this question for many of you in today’s blog post.

To become a qualified plumber you will need to gain an industry-recognised qualification, this could be a City & Guilds award or an NVQ at level 2 or higher. The level is dependent on the experience you have. If you have no previous experience, we provide an NVQ Level 2 Certification – For New Plumbers Course, perfect for making a start on your plumbing qualifications. While it is still possible to get paid work without completing your NVQ Level 2 certification, you may be limited with the jobs that you are able to perform, and you will not be able to make nearly as much money as more qualified plumbers.

The qualifications that you will need will depend on which environment you would like to work in, either domestic or commercial. If you would like to embark on a career as a domestic plumber, you may be interested in our Essential Plumbing course. Our Essential Plumbing course covers all the key areas of plumbing, including how to run pipework, fitting radiators and bathrooms, installing external guttering, waste pipe and installing hot/cold water storage tanks. We also cover other areas, such as;

  • Health and safety
  • Electrical principles
  • Scientific principles
  • Domestic hot water systems
  • Sanitation
  • Central heating
  • Drainage and more!  

Our Essential Plumbing course covers the all of the basics of plumbing and will provide you will all the key skills necessary to work for recognised water companies, set up your own plumbing company or work as a plumber in other countries.

If, after completion of this course you would like to expand your skillset as a plumber, enrolling onto the City & Guilds 6189-57 Level 2 NVQ Diploma in plumbing and heating will provide you with an advanced level of knowledge. This practical assessment will set you apart as a fully qualified plumber and will test your ability to install bathrooms and repair, maintain heating and water systems.

To become a successful professional plumber you will need to become an “approved contractor” by your local water authority. This certification will allow you to take on contracts from your local housing associations, local authorities, health care trust and building contractors. Most employers will also require you to have this qualification. Our specially developed WRAS – Water Regulations Advisory Scheme course will equip you with all the knowledge you will need to gain an “approved” status. 

If you are really wanting to stand out from the crowd we also offer some advanced courses, such as the Unvented Hot Water Storage Systems course which will equip you with the skills you need to install and maintain unvented hot water systems, while familiarising you with the G3 Building Regulations and how to follow then when working with a Hot Water Storage System.

You may even wish to enrol onto our City and Guilds Bathroom Fitting Course which will equip you with all the knowledge you need to design and install bathrooms. Throughout this course, you will learn how to produce plastic and copper pipework, how to fit bathroom interiors and how to select the resources to complete each job.

On top of these qualifications, many of our students go on to study for their ACS Gas certificate which allows you to progress and become a gas safe registered allowing you to work on domestic gas appliances. 

Here at Access Training, your success is important to us, which is why we have also developed 3 courses that will guide you to become a fully qualified plumber in the shortest time possible. If you are interested in any or all of the courses mentioned in this blog post, click below to view all of the plumbing courses we offer. Alternatively, you can contact us to speak to one of our course advisors for more information.

Browse our Plumbing Courses >

Only last week we announced that apprentice winner Joseph Valente was looking to expand his business, by recruiting gas engineers for his company Impra Gas. Following suit, HomeServe have also announced a swathe of new positions in their company, as they recently revealed  their plans to take on over a 160 gas, plumbing and drainage engineers.

Last year the company managed to create a network of 600 plumbing, heating and drainage engineers, and are now looking to expand the business even further to provide coverage throughout the UK. It is certainly heartening to see such a large number of jobs being created in the  sector, a figure which should only continue to grow over the coming years as new eco technologies come to the fore, bringing with them new installation requirements.

This is a great opportunity for the lucky candidates who are successful in their applications, as HomeServe were recently named 'Best Employer in Business Services and Supplies' in an independent employee survey. Their workers were asked to rate their job satisfaction based on a number of different factors, including whether or not they would recommend their current employer to a prospective candidate. It's clear from the results that the company recognize the importance of creating a positive working environment to provide the best service to their customers, demonstrating the level of job satisfaction individuals are able to achieve from a career in gas and plumbing.

With opportunities coming up left right and centre, it really is the perfect time to enrol on one of our plumbing courses, to strike while the iron's hot. As with any area, employers are particularly keen to take on multi-skilled engineers, which is why a programme like our Premier Plumbing Course could put you at a distinct advantage. Allowing you enter the trade as a qualified plumber and heating engineer, this course is ideal for individuals who wish to distinguish themselves from their fellow candidates once they have completed the course, and are able to seek full time employment. It will allow you to gain a keen grasp of plumbing work, but will also allow you to achieve multiple electrical and gas qualifications to join the Gas Safe Register, an essential requirement for any reputable company.

Of course if you are already a qualified gas engineer or electrician, we also offer a number of other plumbing courses, allowing to to add another skill to your portfolio and advance your career. For qualified plumbers looking to expand their skills within the sector, we also off a number of trade professional plumbing courses, which are ideal for individuals who are looking to offer the complete package in their services.

If you're interested in enrolling on one of our plumbing courses, or simply want to find out more, then get in touch with us today!
You can keep up with more industry news by following us on Twitter.

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.