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

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

 

house flood

 

Landlord SOS

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

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

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

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

 

A Hefty Bill

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

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

 

Every Cloud...

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

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

  

Plumbing Courses and Electrician Courses

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

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

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

Plumbing Courses                    Electrician Courses

 

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

Get in Touch

A Lancashire plumber recently made headlines after generously fixing a 91-year-old, terminally-ill women’s boiler completely free of charge.

The story of humanitarian plumber, James Anderson, soon swept the nation after the photo of his bill for £0.00 – posted by the elderly woman’s daughter – went viral.

Under normal circumstances, the job would have cost just short of £500. Nevertheless, the fee was simply wiped clean by the 52-year-old plumber.

The rare act of unprompted kindness warmed the hearts of the nation (as well as the woman’s home); however, the aftermath has been equally uplifting.

 

free plumbing for elderly people

 

In Hot Water

Despite making news across the country for the 91-year-old’s boiler job, Anderson has actually been helping the sick and the elderly for years.

Inspired by hearing how an elderly man was scammed by a cowboy plumber, Anderson launched Depher (Disabled and Elderly Plumbing and Heating Emergency Repair) in 2015, aiming to provide free or low-cost plumbing to those in need.

However, the switch from private firm to not-for-profit outfit landed the kind-hearted plumber in hot water as he racked up around £8k worth of debt.

Luckily, as the old saying goes, one good turn deserves another and good karma certainly repaid the favour in the case of Mr Anderson.

 

Good News Spreads Fast

After the story went viral, Mr Anderson received praise from all over the world as word quickly spread of his admirable generosity.

The result has seen him receive almost £80k worth of donations, allowing him to pay off debts and sustain the charitable work for the future.

Speaking of future plans, Anderson said: “My hope is to get Depher national, in every city and town,”

The influx of donations now allows Mr Anderson to carry out his charitable plumbing outside the boundaries of Lancashire, making that nationwide dream one step closer to reality.

To donate to Depher, visit Mr Anderson’s GoFundMe account for further details.

 

Shocking Statistics

According to a study by National Energy Action and E3G, more than 3000 people in the UK die each year as a result of not being able to heat their own homes. In 2019, those statistics are hard to comprehend.

While Mr Anderson and Depher are undoubtedly making a difference, the charity currently only operates in Lancashire and the surrounding areas. Those outside of the wider Lancs area are (as of press) largely out of luck.

Worse still, a skills shortage in the plumbing trade has seen demand outweigh supply. Meanwhile, the shortage of skilled tradesmen has also resulted in a rise in plumbing fees, pushing heating maintenance even further out of reach for some.

With that in mind, there’s never been a better time or reason to get involved in the plumbing trade. Not only does it offer a solid career path in a trade that’s in demand, you could genuinely make a difference to someone’s quality of life and potentially save a life in the process – even if your services aren’t completely free of charge.

 

If you’ve been inspired by this story and would like more information on how to become a plumber, get in touch today on 0800 345 7492 or drop us an email using the button below.

Get in Touch

Fending off competition from over 400 other plumbers nationwide, Martin Warnes has been crowned 2019’s UK Plumber of the Year.

The Essex plumber was able to outlast four other finalists to take home the crown after wowing the judging panel with his impressive qualifications and organic growth of his business.

 

plumber of the year

 

All Hail the King

Entering the trade in 2007 as a local apprentice, Martin made the jump to become a self-employed plumber back in 2009.

Capping off his tenth year as a solo tradesman in style, the Essex man can now add the title of Plumber of the Year to his growing list of accomplishments.

Following the win, a shocked Martin remarked:

“I still can’t believe I’ve actually won. I love what I do and to be recognised for it by such a fantastic competition really is the icing on the cake.”

The win sees Martin take home the prestigious title, as well as the £15k prize pot and some pretty lofty bragging rights for the next 12 months.

 

A Royal Flush

Now in its fifth year, the Plumber of the Year competition has been recognising industry excellence across the nation since 2015.

The competition itself takes place over the course of sixth months, involving a public vote, shortlisting and, for the five finalists, a 30-minute interview, where their skills, attitude and business acumen are put to the test.

The victory puts Martin in exclusive company, joining previous winners Josh Colbert, Shaun Scott, Drew Styles and Steve Bartin.

 

Untapped Potential

Of course, the journey to the Plumber of the Year crown all began with a single step for Martin Warnes. You too could begin your journey by entering the trade today.

If you’re thinking of taking the plunge, why not explore the variety of plumbing courses at Access Training?

We have a whole host of courses available for all skill levels, designed to help you become the very best plumber you can be, whether you’re experienced or not.

Check the list of courses below and see what’s on offer at Access Training:

 

Essential Plumbing Course

Professional Plumbing Course

Premier Plumbing Course

Bathroom Fitting Course

Unvented Hot Water Storage Systems

WRAS - Water Regulations Advisory Scheme

NVQ Level 2 Certification – For Experienced Site Plumbers

 

For more information on the variety of courses available at Access Training, why not give us a call today? Call now on 0800 345 7492 or get in touch online using the button below.

Get in Touch

Returning for its fifth year, the UK Plumber of the Year competition will reach its climax next month, as a new king is crowned.

A joint venture of JT, Bristan and Wolseley UK, the competition has grown in popularity year-on-year since its launch in 2015.

This year was no different with applicants from across the UK throwing their hat into the ring with hopes of becoming Plumber of the Year.

 

plumber of the year, plumber of the year 2019

 

The Final Countdown

From an original shortlist of 10 candidates, the field has been whittled down to just five remaining finalists as a result of a public vote.

The final five include:

  • Christopher Clare – Newton-Le-Willows, Merseyside
  • Paul Clark – The Wirral, Merseyside
  • Caine Curtis – Yeovil, Somerset
  • Dan Tempest – Pontefract, West Yorkshire
  • Martin Warnes – Harwich, Essex

The five nominees will now go on to the grand finale, set to take place next month.

 

A Hot Pot

This year’s Plumber of the Year prize pot consists of a variety of industry perks, including £2000 worth of items from JT, £2000 worth of vouchers to be spent at Wolseley and £1000 worth of products from Bristan.

Bristan is also throwing in their new Rapid 4in-1 Boiling Water Tap and, yes, they’re even including the kitchen sink – quite literally.

The top prize also features a variety of other perks, from Apple products courtesy of Vendigo Finance to a beer-centric getaway from Cornwall’s Proper Job beer.

 

A New King

Last year’s final was won by Steve Bartin from Taunton, who walked away with the title and his part of a prize pot totalling £10,000.

Speaking at the time, Bartin said: “It’s an honour to call myself the UK Plumber of the Year. I’ve been in the industry for 23 years and I feel like all those extra hours and dedication have paid off.”

In one month’s time, that honour will fall to a new plumbing king when one of the final five is crowned the 2019 winner.

 

Pipe Dreams

The Plumber of the Year award is a great way to recognise trade excellence and for the plumbers themselves to gain some well-deserved recognition from industry and public alike.

Many of these finalists and past winners will have started out with little to no experience at all yet, through heart, drive and determination, have made it to the top of the trade.

If you are looking to start your journey into the world of plumbing or simply looking to sharpen your skills and add a few strings to your bow, why not take a plumbing course with Access Training UK?

Our wide range of courses caters to all experience levels, with each one designed to help you learn and grow into a better plumber and skilled professional.

Who knows, in a few years’ time, you too could find yourself in the finals of the Plumber of the Year! Every journey starts with a single step, so make yours now with Access Training UK.

 

For more information on plumbing courses from Access Training UK, call now on 0800 345 7492 or get in touch online using the link below.

Get in Touch


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!

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.