electrical services

In an age where we order food, meet our partners and find local services all via the convenience mobile apps, it's hardly surprising that people are already exploring the ways in which these innovations can be used to benefit the home services industry. 

US Electrical entrepreneur Sean Murphy is doing just that, having developed and app that aims to connect home-owners with service providers, such as plumbers and electricians. Much like the highly popular taxi hailing service Uber, the app would allow people in need of services to find local professionals, who would then contact them to discuss the job. 

Super Handy (formerly Super) is still in the very early stages, with only around 400 users and 500 professionals using it so far, however, it is still very interesting to consider how this or similar apps could affect the way the industry operates in the future. Not only could this mean a greater demand for services, thanks to the ease and simplicity of contacting a trades person and setting up the job, but it could also lead to an 'instant feedback', review-based approach to hiring a professional. 

Although Murphy himself admits that when he set up his family electrical business, much of the trade he gained was through word-of-mouth, apps like his could revolutionize our approach to seeking out and employing the services of industry workers. While he admits that the process is far from being streamlined yet, the rapid contact and review method of similar apps is something that could, if well-executed, hugely benefit both well-established businesses and new trades people.

While technology is often criticised for robbing jobs as opposed to creating them, evidence often shows that technology does more to create new opportunities that it does to reduce them. It is clear that the door to success is open to almost anyone who is willing to take advantage of the opportunities given to them, whether this means using your professional knowledge to start your own business, or simply having enough confidence in your abilities to promote yourself online. 

Whether you have ambitions to start your own business, or simply want to ensure that you have the best training possible to secure positive feedback in an increasingly demanding society, then why not consider one of our fantastic training courses? Like Murphy, you could train to become an electrician, with a view to starting your own business, or simply take up one of the many much-needed skilled trades that are hugely in-demand, particularly in the current climate.

For more information about our courses and changing your career, feel free to get in touch today, or follow us on Twitter for more industry news and updates about Access Training.
Did you catch the Apprentice final on Sunday? If so, you'll already know that the winning candidate was Joseph Valente from Peterborough; he saw off fierce competition from runner-up Vana Koutsomitis to become the programme's eleventh winner, and the fifth to receive a £250,000 investment from Lord Sugar.
 
So what was Joseph's big idea? A plumbing business! Impra-Gas offer a range of plumbing and gas services to customers across the UK, and the company will no doubt benefit massively from the £250k cash injection (not to mention all the publicity!)
 
While both finalists would have made worthy winners, we must admit that it was somewhat heartening to see a gas/plumbing company triumph over Vana's more futuristic business proposal (an app called DatePlay that combines online dating with mobile gaming to find your perfect match). More impressive still is the story of Joseph Valente's success - here's how he told it in an interview with BBC News yesterday:
 
"I was expelled from school when I was around 15 and it looked pretty grim at the time. But I always knew I was going to be very, very successful...I created an opportunity in plumbing and I went to work with a local plumber for a year. He put me through college when I was 16...I owe a lot to the plumbing industry."
 

We at Access Training have helped countless people to earn their gas/plumbing qualifications and join the industry. Many of our students are people who have been working in offices for years and need a change of scenery, but we also help young people who find themselves in the same situation as Mr Valente: young people who have left school and aren't sure what to do next. University isn't the only option - in fact, it often isn't an option at all - and our courses allow those seeking an alternative route to learn a new trade from scratch and turn it into a lucrative career.

 
Joseph Valente's plumbing business was reportedly turning over £370,000 per year even before he appeared on The Apprentice. Figures like that aren't uncommon in the plumbing industry; this country is still pretty short on qualified tradespeople, and this skills gap often allows our students to make far more as plumbers and gas engineers than they ever would have made working at desks. If the Apprentice final has inspired you to learn a trade and start your own business, then please get in touch with Access Training today!

Click here to view our plumbing courses

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With 2016 fast approaching, now is the perfect time to consider a career change or think about learning some new skills. If you're looking for an area of industry that offers a steady stream of work and income, then why not train to become a plumber?

At Access Training, we offer a range of plumbing courses, to suit both beginners as well as experienced plumbers:

  • Our Essential Plumbing Course is great for people who want to learn the basics of the trade, setting a foundation on which to build a portfolio of plumbing skills in order to go on to further training. 
  • For a combination of practical and technical plumbing knowledge, our Professional Plumbing Course will equip you with all the skills you need to become a professional plumber. By the end of the course, you will have achieved the qualifications necessary to start your career in plumbing. While this course is designed with beginners in mind, it would also suit experienced candidates looking to update their skills.
  • Candidates who are looking to become professional plumbers/heating engineers should consider our Premier Plumbing Course, which will allow you to also gain multiple gas and electrical qualifications, enabling you to join the Gas Safe Register and take on a wider variety of jobs.
If you're interested in enrolling on one of our courses or finding out more information, please feel free to get in touch with us today.

For regular updates about Access Training, you can follow us on Twitter.
electrical courses

Job loss is, sadly, a very common occurrence in the United Kingdom these days. Austerity and budget cuts have put hundreds of thousands of people out of work in recent years; a This is Money article published in 2012 suggests that, between May 2010 and November 2012, almost 660,00 jobs were lost in the public sector alone, and this regrettable trend seems to be alive and well in 2015. The British steel industry, for example, has been in the headlines recently, with one report from the Guardian indicating that 1 in 6 steel workers is now "facing the axe".

However, several other news reports have proved that it is possible to bounce back from job loss and find lucrative new work elsewhere. Earlier this week, the Sunderland Echo published a story about four men who recently found themselves unemployed when the SSI steelworks in Redcar closed down; the closure came as a "devastating blow" to Chris, Richard, Nicholas and Matthew, but happily, they have since succeeded in completing a 17th Edition Wiring Regulations course and are now en route to their new careers as professional electricians.

And this is just one such story. Countless people across the UK have responded to job loss by learning a new trade, gaining industry-recognised qualifications, and starting afresh in a rewarding new role; a cliché it may be, but the assertion that 'losing your job is an opportunity' is often very true!

If you have recently lost your job - or if you are simply looking for a change - Access Training Academies can help you to start a new career as an electrician. Browse our Electrician Courses now, or contact us to learn more about the training programmes we offer.

This year, the United Kingdom has been facing its biggest skills shortage for a generation. There are huge talent gaps across a number of professions, including bricklaying and plumbing.

The scarcity of plumbers is now having large repercussions as we enter the winter months; not only are a number of construction firms having to cancel or delay new projects, a number of private firms are finding themselves unable to cope with the increased demand for plumbing maintenance and repair this winter. The country’s shortage of plumbers (combined with the increase in sick leave that’s to be expected at this time of year) is leaving older/vulnerable people without heating and hot water for extended periods of time.

In Sunderland this week, a diabetic pensioner went for 40 hours without heating or hot water because an emergency repair team was unable to cope with demand. It is reported that they had 10 emergency plumbers that were supposed to be working over the weekend; however, seven of the ten plumbers were off because of illness. This is not an isolated case, nor is it a regional shortage. This scenario is common throughout the whole of the United Kingdom.

The current skills shortage means that people who are willing to gain the skills to become a qualified plumber are getting heavily rewarded for their work. Fully qualified plumbers can earn between £1,200 and £1,800 a week, and because of the skills shortage, there is no shortage of work available. In short: there has never been a better time to enrol on a plumbing training course and gain the qualifications needed to become a professional plumber.

We at Access Training offer a large variety of trade training courses, from plumbing courses for people who have no or limited plumbing experience through to courses designed for professional plumbers looking to refresh their knowledge or to gain extra skills.

So, no matter where you live, what your circumstances are, or what your experience level is, we are confident that we have the perfect course for you.

Click here to view our plumbing training courses.

Tiling training

At Access Training, our aim is to provide individuals with the practical skills that will allow them to build upon their current abilities, or even form an entirely new career path!  As with all of our new career course packages, our tiling training courses offer a range of different starting points, allowing you to ensure that the training course you attend is suitable for your requirements, ambitions, and current skill level.

Listed below are the three different tiling training options that we offer at our facilities, ranging from household skills to trade professional level:

DIY Tiling Course

This course is targeted towards people who would like to carry out tiling jobs in their own home, but lack the knowledge or experience to do so. In time, you will be able to carry out any necessary jobs without the need to call in professionals, making this a long-term investment for home improvement enthusiasts. You will learn all the basics of tiling installation, as well as gaining experience in cutting tiles and forming patterns, allowing you to experiment with the more creative aspects of the job. Thanks to the flexible nature of our tiling training, you can also target specific units to ensure that the course is meeting your personal requirements, making it as rewarding an experience as possible. For those who find themselves wanting to learn more by the end of the course, there is also an option to sit an exam, which will stand you in good stead for more advanced training in the future.

Essential Tiling Course

This tiling training course is great for beginners, and like our DIY course, it can be tailored to suit the ambitions of the learner. Although it is suitable for people with no experience whatsoever, it's probably a better choice for people who are interested in progressing to a more advanced level in the future.  Once you have completed the training, we can recommend an appropriate progress route for you to follow; your further training could build upon the skills gained on this course, or it could involve learning and mastering another skill, contributing to a future career as an experienced trade professional.

Professional Tiling Course

If you have serious ambitions to turn tiling into your new career, this course will provide you with the skills and knowledge required to become a certified tiler. It's ideal for people who want to start from scratch and work their way up, but would also work well for individuals who have previous experience and wish to update their skills. Upon completion of the course, you will gain a City and Guilds Level 2 Diploma, allowing you to seek paid work and enabling you to train for an NVQ Level 2 qualification in the future.

Click here to view all of our excellent tiling training courses, or get in touch with us for more information.
Joining the Gas Safe Register is a rite of passage for all trainee gas engineers, but more importantly, it's a legal requirement for anyone who wishes to carry out gas installations in the UK. Unregistered individuals who work on gas appliances are breaking the law and may be prosecuted.

Court Gavel

One cautionary example is that of Michael Birch from St Austell in Cornwall. Earlier this week, Mr Birch was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,000 after pleading guilty to breaching the Gas Safety Regulations and the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

What did he do wrong?

Back in 2013, Michael Birch (who is not a Gas Safe-registered engineer) installed a gas boiler in a property in St Austell. The boiler - specifically the flue - was not installed correctly, which the homeowner noticed and reported to the Gas Safe Register. It eventually transpired that, after Mr Birch had finished installing the boiler, he had asked a registered gas engineer named Peter Hopper to 'sign off' on his work, which Mr Hopper did in spite of the unsafe state of the installation.

(Incidentally, Peter Hopper was also sentenced this week - he was fined £1,500 and ordered to pay £5,000 for illegally commissioning the work.)

All of this serves as a stern reminder of how important it is to join the Gas Safe Register before commencing any gas installations of your own. Unregistered personnel risk prosecution and hefty fines, but worse still, they risk compromising people's safety. Had the homeowner in this cautionary tale failed to notice the problems with their boiler, the story's ending could have been far grimmer than a mere fine.

How do I join the Gas Safe Register?

In order to join the Gas Safe Register and legally carry out gas installation work, you will first need to complete an ACS assessment. This is included as a component of Access Training's Premier Gas Course, which is open to candidates of all levels, including absolute beginners. More experienced individuals can undergo the assessment on its own.

Click here to browse Access Training's full range of gas training courses, or contact us to discuss the options we offer.

Does your work day leave you feeling bored and unfulfilled? Are you considering taking the plunge and embarking on a new career? If so, Access Training can help!

Electrical training

We provide a number of City & Guilds-accredited electrical training courses, covering every aspect of electrical work. For people who have little to no prior knowledge of the electrical trade, we provide three course options:
Each of these courses will get you trained to a progressively more advanced level; for example, the 'Essentials' course is ideal for those who wish to learn the basics, while the 'Professional' and 'Premier' courses will furnish you with a number of additional industry-recognised qualifications to help you go further.

Electrical Training for Experienced Candidates

If you already have some experience of electrical work and wish to gain further qualifications, we offer a variety of courses for you, too. Options include:
  • Portable Appliance Testing (City & Guilds 2377) - A requirement for anyone who is inspecting and testing electrical systems.

  • Inspection and Testing (City & Guilds 2394) - This course covers design, installation and testing, meeting legal requirements, and issuing safety certificates.

  • Electrical Design Course (City & Guilds 2396) - This is the highest qualification in the electrical trade, covering designing electrical installations, calculating required materials, and inspecting, testing and verifying all installations.

  • Part P & 17th Edition for Experienced Installers – This qualification will allow you to re-wire entire houses, install electrical systems in dwellings, wire up home extensions, and carry out installations in commercial spaces. 
So if you are serious about a change of career and wish to start training as a professional electrician, give us a call on 0800 345 7492 to book your place on one of our electrical training courses. Our training programmes are flexible, intensive, and affordable - no matter what your current commitments are, we can help you to get the qualifications you need!

It's always been said that plumbers are constantly in demand, but did you know that said demand is so high that many existing plumbers are working well over 48 hours a week? It isn't just the customers that need more fully-trained professional plumbers, it looks like the plumbers themselves could use a bit of help too!

A new survey carried out by plumbing assurance scheme WaterSafe found that over half of UK plumbers are working over the maximum working hours with the Working Time Directive. Along with the 54% working over 48 hours, 26% are working between 40-48 hours - with only 13% working between 35-40 hours. What does this mean? Well, 94% of the plumbers spoken to thought that their long hours are having a negative impact on their family and social life.

So what's causing these unhealthy work shifts? 61% said that they've had to extend their working hours over the last ten years, and when asked 77% thought that the recession had impacted their business. Aditionally, 41% commented that customers think that cost is the most important factor when hiring a plumber, rather than who is suitably qualified for the job.

CIPHE CEO and WaterSafe board member Kevin Wellman said it was "concerning" to see such a large proportion of plumbers having to work such long hours in order to meet consumer demand.

He added: "It's important that the industry steps up to addresses this issue because overworked, tired plumbers could potentially result in unsafe installations and have a negative impact on their home life. Moreover, if we want to encourage young people into the industry we need to ensure hours are realistic and the industry is a well-regulated, safe place to work."

With more work available than what the current load of plumbers to handle, becoming a qualified plumber doesn't sound like a bad idea. And if you choose to take those skills and become self-employed, you'll be able to choose the hours you work. Overwork may be a problem for plumbers, but with self-employment you'll always have that option of stopping when you know you need to stop. Physical, varied, rewarding work with good pay and an opportunity for self-employment. Sounds perfect, but where do you start?

You start at the beginning of course, and that's with an intensive plumbing course with us here at Access Training. Working alongside our professional team of tutors, you'll work your way from a beginner all the way up to a trained professional, not only learning the practical skills needed but also the required theory and qualifications. Despite taking a fraction of the time it takes to complete a plumbing course in college, there's absolutely no skimping on quality as you work alongside tutors who've spent years in the plumbing industry. Not only will they be teaching you the relevant plumbing theory, but also offer their wisdom when it comes to working in the industry.

To find out more about our plumbing courses as well as all the other trades training we supply at Access, give our advice team a call on 0800 3457492 or fill in the online form found here on this website. The team are ready to answer all of your questions and explain things in more detail.

Get in touch to learn more about our training courses!

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