(Image via bradleypjohnson on Flickr)

The UK’s media channels are often rife with horror stories of cowboy tradespeople. People watching programmes like “cowboy builders from hell” on channel 5 or “watchdog” on BBC1 will certainly develop a negative image of the trades men and women in the UK. In fact a staggering 60% of people said that it is fair to label tradespeople as “cowboys” or “rogue traders” and 20% of people said that they’re afraid of being ripped off when they need work done.

Follow these simple steps to avoid being labelled as a rogue trader:

Build relationships with your clients: Take care of little jobs free of charge. This will help increase customer loyalty. When someone is happy with your work, they are more likely to recommend you to their friends. A survey conducted by imperial finance revealed that 37% of people feel that having a relationship with their trades person is important, and 14% of people were referred to their trades person by a friend or family member.

Clean up after yourself: This might seem obvious but it is often overlooked by tradespeople. If you are working on a leaking sink and you spill water on the floor – make sure you mop it up. If you have had to take things out of cupboards to access pipework, make sure you put it all back before you leave.

Make yourself as easy to contact as possible: leave people with a copy of your flyer, business card, or a fridge magnet with your telephone number clearly printed on them, remember to take the visually impaired into consideration. Make sure that you always have your mobile switched on, if you can’t take the call, make sure you call them back at your earliest convenience.

Keep in contact with your clients: after you have completed the work, call the client back, ask them if they are happy with the work – or if they have ran into any complications. 55% customers leave because they have had no contact from you and are indifferent. After Job Service is often more important than the job itself, this is where you can really start to build relationships with your clients and go above and beyond your call of duty.  Loyal customers spend on average 33% more than people who are non-loyal and can refer up to 107% more customers than non-loyal customers.

Make it easy for people to get references:  set up social media sites, and encourage people to review your business online – this is effective because people buy from people if someone has a something bad to say about your business then people are less likely to hire you to do the work. Make sure you leave them with nothing bad to say! Set up a website to showcase your qualifications, and show people that you really are an expert in your field. This will give people confidence in your ability as a trades person.

Make sure you are fully trained for the job: again it might seem like an obvious point, but if you are not correctly trained for the work don’t take it on. Leaving the work half way through or doing a bad job can damage your reputation.

You can’t start a career as a skilled trades person until you have received expert training. No matter what career you are considering Access Training can help. We offer courses for beginners looking to learn a new trade through to more experienced tradespeople who are looking to expand their service offering.

To find out more about the courses we offer at our state-of-the-art training centres you can contact us by calling (Freephone) 0800 345 7492 or by filling out the enquiry form here.

 
We have delivered countless plumbing courses to hundreds of people over the years, and we have seen that some students have a hard time achieving their qualifications because of their lack of basic plumbing knowledge.  

Here at access training we developed the professional plumbing course, this course has been designed so people who have no previous experience or knowledge of plumbing can get trained up to a professional standard, and for people who have taken a break from the industry and are looking for a fully comprehensive refresher course. 

To become a fully trained professional plumber requires a lot of intensive training. But don’t worry – We have you covered! 
Our professional plumbing  course not only covers a wide range of topics, such as, electrical principles, central heating, drainage, sanitation, maintenance, bathroom installations, water regulations and more. You will also work towards getting the following City and Guilds Qualifications:

  • City & Guilds 6035 Level 2 Plumbing – This Qualifications the installation of bathroom suites, radiators, waste pipes, external guttering, and hot and cold water storage tanks. 
  • City & Guilds6189-57 Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Plumbing and Heating – Gaining this practical qualification will set you apart as a fully-qualified plumber. You will be assessed in a “live” scenario, with the assessment possibly covering bathroom installation, and various other repair, installation and maintenance tasks. 
  • Unvented Hot Water Storage Systems Certificate – with this certificate you will be qualified to install/maintain energy-efficient hot water storage systems. 
  • WRAS (Water Regulations Advisory Scheme) Certificate – with this certificate you will be granted the status of “approved contractor”. 
After completing our professional plumbing course you will have gained all the necessary skills to become a professional trades person. However many of our students choose to stay with us and undertake one of our bathroom fitting courses or a gas engineering course to broaden their service offering when they become professional trades people. 

At access training we accept students of any age, gender or nationality, and we offer flexible training programmes that can be taken on a full time or a part time basis. 
 
If you would like to find out more about our course, visit the Professional Plumbing course pageAlternatively you can contact contact a member of the access training team.
 
Image source: MoToMo on flickr

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:

Get your NVQ Level 2 Diploma in a matter of weeks!

NVQ Level 2 Courses from Access Training
Tradespeople who carry out work on-site in the UK are required to hold an NVQ Level 2 Diploma for their chosen trade. However, the NVQ qualification is notoriously difficult to achieve; in order to pass, candidates must complete a portfolio of their work, complete with photographs, storyboards, and witness testimonials.
 
Completing a standard NVQ Level 2 course can take many months, making it quite a troublesome hurdle to overcome. Many budding tradesmen and women, particularly those with families and/or full-time jobs, simply don't have time to put in the necessary work. However, there is a way around this problem: fast track NVQ courses from Access Training Academies!
 
Our industry experience allows us to guide learners through the entire NVQ Level 2 process in a matter of weeks, not months. After a brief interview (which allows us to assess your current skill level and plan your NVQ course accordingly), we will help you to gather the requisite evidence, complete your portfolio, and gain that all-important diploma within the shortest possible timeframe.
 
Contact us now to learn more about our fast track NVQ Level 2 courses, or select one of the following options to learn more:
If you're not quite ready for the NVQ assessment just yet, don't worry - we offer a wide range of trade courses for learners of all levels. We even provide live online training, so you can begin mastering your trade from the comfort of your own home!
 

Get in touch to learn more about our training courses!

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