Alternative to University

Throughout your school life, it may seem as though teachers, family, and peers are all encouraging you to take a certain path that you may not necessarily think is the best fit for you. If you are looking for an alternative to university, training courses from Access Training may be exactly what you are looking for.

Access Training allows you to become trained in a number of different professions, including electrical, plumbing, carpentry, IT professional skills and so much more. Our extensive range of courses means that there is something for everyone. To look through all our courses and find one that suits you, just click here. Our courses are perfect for beginners just starting out who are looking for an alternative to university, and we are here to help you every step of the way. 

Like university, we want to prepare you for your future career and our accredited courses produce qualifications that will allow you to start on the path towards that chosen career. 

Training Course to Fit Your Life

Access Training Courses

Rather than spending 3 to 4 years in university, our courses are an alternative which is designed to help you achieve the appropriate qualifications in a much shorter timeframe. Getting trained up in this short amount of time means that you will be able to start earning through your new trade as soon as possible. 

Courses That Fit Around Your Lifestyle

We know the price of going to university often puts off potential students, and the idea of living in debt is a daunting thing to face - particularly at 18 years old. This is why we allow you to relieve yourself of the financial pressure of a training course with a finance scheme. Our finance scheme means you can spread the cost of the course over a period of time that can be up to 60 months. Through this scheme, can rest assured that paying for your training will be a simple, stress-free process.

Our flexible courses can also be tailored around your availability as we understand that sometimes family, job and other life commitments can get in the way - but we won’t let this put you off gaining further education. If you have the motivation to be trained in a trade, we will find a way to let you complete a course.

If you would like to discuss your alternatives to university and what course would best suit your interests, do not hesitate to get in touch. Our expert team is here to help you get the most out of our courses, so call us on 0800 345 7492 to speak to one of our advisors today.

City and Guilds Electrical Courses

So you want to change careers and become a professional electrician? Great! You'll love the electrical trade, and the UK's current skills shortage means that you should have no trouble finding plenty of work.

But you can't start working as an electrician without the proper training and qualifications. Electrical work is very dangerous if you don't know exactly what you're doing, so it's very important to learn all the relevant theory, develop your skills under the supervision of an experienced electrician, and get certified before you begin your new career.

Here at Access Training, we offer a range of accredited training courses that are specifically designed for inexperienced electricians who want to train up, get qualified, and go professional. Even if you've never so much as changed a plug before, our City and Guilds electrical courses will mould you into a skilled electrician in no time - we'll teach you everything you need to know and help you to earn the industry qualifications that domestic electricians are expected to hold.

Browse our electrician courses >

Established in 1878, City & Guilds - or the City and Guilds of London Institute, to use its full name - is one of several trusted awarding organisations with whom we work to deliver high-quality electrical training. If you're interested in earning City & Guilds electrical qualifications, Access Training can help.

 

What electrical qualifications can I earn with Access Training?

Depending on which training programme you choose, you can earn some or all of the following certifications on our City & Guilds electrical courses:

 

Domestic Electrical Installer

This is one of the basic industry qualifications that all electricians must hold. Part P qualifies you to install and repair lights, electrical sockets, cooker circuits, and other consumer units in domestic properties.

Included in the following electrical courses:
Essential // Professional // Premier

 

Level 3 Building Regulations

This is another must-have qualification that's included in all of our career change electrical courses. Earning this certification will show that you have a good working knowledge of the latest electrical regulations.

Included in the following electrical courses:
Essential // Professional // Premier

 

Level 3 Portable Appliance Testing (PAT)

Many self-employed electricians find that they can boost their income by performing PAT tests in addition to domestic installations and maintenance. This course component will teach you how to test electrical devices and prevent potentially dangerous accidents.

Included in the following electrical courses:
Essential // Professional // Premier

 

Level 2 Fundamental Inspection & Testing

Inspection and testing is an important skill for professional electricians to hold. This qualification - also known as City & Guilds 2392 - will allow you to inspect and test new installations (as well as new circuits on existing installations).

Included in the following electrical courses:
Essential // Professional // Premier

 

Level 3 Periodic Inspection & Testing

This qualification goes further than the City & Guilds 2392 certification, enabling you to issue safety reports and recommend any additional works that may be necessary. Sometimes known as City & Guilds 2391-51, the periodic inspection and testing qualification is ideal for budding electricians who wish to carry out commercial and industrial (as well as domestic) work.

Included in the following electrical courses:
Essential // Professional // Premier

 

Our electrician courses combine online learning with intensive hands-on training to give you a comprehensive understanding of your new trade in a relatively short timeframe. If you'd like to enrol on one of our City & Guilds-accredited electrical courses, please click on one of the course options listed above or contact Access Training today!

Electrical Courses >

Last updated 17 December 2021.

A recent survey conducted by Retail Company Screw fix, shows that two out of five tradespeople were giving more quotes for work than a year ago, and more than half of the trades people who took part in the survey said that their business was better than the previous year, in particular, plumbers, electricians and carpenters are extremely optimistic about their business outlook during 2016.

In 2015, the skilled trade industry experienced an increase in demand towards the end of the year, fortunately this trend has continued into 2016, with one in seven tradespeople stating that they have too much work on their books.Most of the tradespeople surveyed said that they expected business to remain at the same level, or improve over the next 12 months.

If you are a regular reader of our blog posts, you will notice that we write about the current skills shortage crisis that we are currently experiencing in the UK regularly. The skills shortage is a huge issue that we are currently facing. Currently in the construction industry alone there is a shortage of 35,000 people, this figure naturally increases when domestic tradespeople are added into the equation.

With the increase in demand, it is apparent that – even though good for plumbers, electricians, gas engineers and carpenters, because it means that there is no shortage of work, potential customers will soon start to run into difficulties being able to find a trades person when they need them the most.

If these projections are correct, then 2016 could mean that many tradespeople may start having to work long hours to keep up with the demand. This means that now is the perfect time for people who are thinking about learning or retraining as a skilled trades person or adding taking courses to develop their existing skill set.

Here at Access Training, we have developed alongside City & Guilds, and other awarding bodies, a wide range of fully comprehensive courses that are suitable for people who have no prior industry experience. Our courses will teach you the very basics, through to the more advanced techniques used by trade professionals. 

To find out more about our plumbing, carpentry or electrical courses, contact us today!

Today - the 8th of March, 2016 - is International Women's Day. This annual event began more than 100 years ago, and every March it serves as a great opportunity to celebrate the amazing achievements of women all over the world.

However, IWD is also an opportunity to highlight the many areas where gender equality still hasn't been achieved, and regrettably, our own field is a prime example. Female workers are still astoundingly rare in the construction and trade industries; according to this article from last year, women account for just 11% of the UK construction industry's total workforce, and only 1% of those women actually work on construction sites. Women are similarly under-represented in trades such as plumbing and electrical work, and while the ratios are beginning to shift,  it's clear that there's still a long way to go.

So how can we encourage more people to learn a trade and join these male-dominated industries? First of all, people need to change their attitudes towards tradeswomen, and that applies both to the general public and to representatives of the trades in question. A couple of years ago, the Telegraph ran an article suggesting that roughly one-third of the UK population would be "suspicious" of a female electrician, and countless tradeswomen have shared their stories of the sexist remarks that come their way . Here's one example from Hattie Hassan, founder of Stopcocks Women Plumbers (originally reported on Sky News in 2014):

"Someone sent me an email saying, 'Look, love...plain and simple, women can't be plumbers. You'll break a fingernail and have to go out shopping to console yourself. Or you'll go running screaming when you see a spider.'"

Clearly, these sort of attitudes aren't helping anybody - it's easy to see why a budding female plumber or gas engineer might be put off. For this reason, we also need to do work harder to encourage women to join these trades in the first place, and that responsibility, at least to some extent, falls to training providers like us. The promotional materials distributed by construction/trade training centres are often targeted specifically at male learners, but this approach benefits nobody - after all, it's in the training provider's interest to attract as many new students as possible, regardless of gender.

Here at Access Training, we try to make people of all genders/races/backgrounds feel welcome at our training centres. We realise that we could still be doing more - for example, most of the photos currently on our website are of men, not women. But the sad fact of the matter is that, right now, most of the people who enquire about our courses are male, and while we are keen to do whatever we can to get more women working in the trade and construction industries, it seems that this goal will be extremely difficult to achieve until people - namely the people who are "suspicious" of female electricians, the people who tell women they "can't be plumbers", and anyone else who continues to perpetuate the false notion that women aren't cut out for these jobs - adopt a more positive, welcoming attitude towards people who, at the end of the day, are just as capable of mastering these skills as any man.

Trade training courses from Access Training:

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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