While many people are panic-buying coffee, baked beans and various other post-Brexit goods, a (semi) silver lining is starting to emerge.

As it stands, the average salary for a construction worker is sitting at roughly £45,900, for a site manager, £50,500, and for a senior site manager £62,900! Amazingly, some construction workers are commanding wages not dissimilar to our MPs. Back in 2017, the average salary for a construction worker was considerably less, at only £42,300. 

That's incredible news for the lucky individuals working in these construction roles, but the reason their wages are so high leaves much to be desired for the British economy.

Why Have Construction Wages Gone Up?

The uncertainty around Brexit is (unsurprisingly) causing workers from overseas to lose confidence in Britain and the job prospects it can offer. As expected, they're beginning to seek work elsewhere in the world.  On top of that, many foreign nationals who have been living and working here for years are getting cold feet and seriously considering packing up and leaving (if they haven't done so already).

Whether this will have a positive impact on the construction workforce long-term is yet to be seen, but the initial impact has been somewhat fruitful for those that remain. 

The Construction Worker Commodity

Nearly 1/3 of construction workers in London are originally from Europe. As Brexit takes its toll, our pool of EU construction workers is starting to evaporate, leaving the remaining workers to fulfil demand. As with any commodity, be it gold or grain, it becomes more valuable as it goes down in number - construction workers are no exception!

So, as the number of construction workers in the UK goes down, the demand for skilled workers goes up and suddenly, being good at your job makes you considerably more valuable than you may have been a few years ago! 

The downside of all this? Brexit is putting extra strain on manufacturers who are unable to progress with business as usual until Brexit has blown over. 

Time to Train

If you've been thinking about learning a trade or working in the construction industry, it seems as though there's never been a better time to start! Not only can you benefit from steadily increasing salary prospects, but you can also help keep Britain's construction industry afloat in this time of turmoil! 

Here at Access Training Academies, we offer avenues into a huge range of construction industries, including but not limited to:

And more! If none of these courses takes your fancy, there's plenty more for you to choose from. If you're interested in starting a new career in a professional trade, then give us a call on 0800 345 7492 now!

 

How many jobs do you feel capable of doing around your home? Can you bleed a radiator? Do you know how to hang a door?

Well, if you're a young adult and your answer to these questions is yes then you are part of the minority! A third of young people (37%) said they could confidently change a shower head, and even fewer (31%) said they knew how to bleed a radiator. When the same questions were asked of over 55 year olds, 65% said they could change a shower head, and a staggering 79% knew how to bleed a radiator!

So the question is, does experience come with age, or are we living with a generation of young people who aren't confident in picking up their tools and giving DIY a go?

Part of the problem is that young people, more often than not, live in rented properties rather than their own homes. This means they rely heavily on their landlords to pay for and solve any problems that may occur in the home. More often than not, young people are left for days, if not weeks, with an unfixed problem in their home while waiting for their landlords to organise a solution. 

We want to inspire young people to give DIY tasks a go, but one thing to be wary of is that there are some jobs you can do with the help of a YouTube video... but there are some jobs that should not be attempted without proper training (that's where we come in).

Improving Your DIY Skills

Besides offering some excellent Electrical, Gas and Plumbing Courses, we also offer a range of construction courses such as:

These courses will teach you skills that will prove very useful if you want to try your hand at DIY tasks around your home. Better still, you could use your trade to help complete jobs for friends, family or even start your own business and make a profit on your new DIY skills!

If you want to enquire about one of our courses, don't hesitate to get in touch - you can call us on 0800 345 7492 or click the button below to fill in an enquiry form today!

Enquire Now >

A man from Staffordshire has been sentenced to prison time after he performed gas work in someone's home with no experience or qualifications to do so. The man, named Colin Christoper Batchelor, conducted this gas work in September 2016. He:

  • Removed an old boiler
  • Installed a new boiler 
  • Installed a gas meter
  • Connected pipework

All while being completely unregistered to do so!

When Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated this incident, they found that Mr Batchelor had performed gas work while claiming to his client that he was part of the Gas Safe register, when in fact, he was not. He was not competent to carry out the gas work that he did, and the result of his shoddy workmanship was a home left unsafe. Mr Batchelor failed to carry out any tests or examinations to verify that the installation was safe and gas-tight once his work was finished.

Mr Batchelor pleaded guilty to five separate breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and was sentenced to 8 months imprisonment for each offence. That means, that Mr Bachelor's thoughtless actions have cost him over three years of his life!

After the hearing, HSE inspector, Dr Riley Roberts, said:

"The Gas Safe Register Exist to protect the public from people such as Colin Christopher Batchelor, who are prepared to work illegally, falsify records and carry out potentially dangerous gas work. Performing gas work without being competent to do so can be highly dangerous and lead to loss of life."

Don't risk being prosecuted like Mr Batchelor. Do a gas course with Access Training Academies and we will give you the skills and practical knowledge you need to become Gas Safe registered.

Browse Our Gas Courses Now >

 

 

If you’re someone who’s finding a monotonous nine to five job isn’t fulfilling your ambitions, then becoming self-employed will seem like a very appealing option! Being your own boss gives you lots of freedom to:

  • Choose who you work with
  • Decide your own working hours
  • Determine your own rate of pay

And much more! Self-employment often appeals to people with young families who need more flexibility in their lifestyles to cope with the demands of young children. However, self-employment is something that people of any age or skill level can pursue with the right training and motivation to do so.

How can Access Training Academies help me become self-employed?

Access Training Academies specialise in providing the training you need to pursue a career in the profession of your choice. Whether you want to start your own electrical company or become a freelance carpenter we can give you the training you need to become your own boss in a short space of time.

We are one of the country’s leading training providers and we have a range of courses to suit all skill levels. Even if you are a complete beginner, we can teach you the technical and practical elements of your chosen profession so that you leave our training centre feeling confident enough to work!

Success Stories

You might be thinking, ‘I’d love to be self-employed but I’m not sure how feasible it really is.’ There’s no need to doubt your abilities, we’ve had plenty of successful students go on to become self-employed when they leave Access Training Academies with their new qualifications!

Here are a few student testimonials to inspire you:

  • I'm the happiest I've ever been in my working life. I love being my own boss and having control over my work schedule. And I'm earning three times what I was at the BBC! - Richard Gates.
  • This course has led to me becoming self-employed as an electrician and I’ve expanded my family's building and roofing business - Scott Daly.
  • I plan to become a self-employed as a plumber and the course has helped me learn all the skills I need to work on my own confidently – David Morgan.

So, what are you waiting for? Enquire today to start your journey towards becoming self-employed in a profession you love! We will guide you every step of the way.

Browse Our Courses Today >

18th edition

If you weren't already aware, a revised version of the 18th Edition IET Wiring Regulations became mandatory on 1st January 2019. These changes including, new and revised regulations, additional chapters and reorganised sections, have been made to improve the safety of installers and to tighten the focus on energy efficiency

Note: Electricians should obtain their own copy of the BS7671:2018 regulations and follow the requirements outlined in the 18th edition of the IET Wiring Regulations - this blog is only a brief overview of the changes made.

  • An extra category (section 730 that caters for electrical shore connections and inland navigation vessels) has been added to cater for this specialised location.
  • Some new definitions have been added and certain existing definitions have been altered. For example, the word 'departure' has been added. This term can be used when an intentional decision is made not to comply with BS7671.
  • A new appendix (appendix 17) has been added that focuses on energy efficiency. This appendix makes recommendations so that designers can optimise the construction, assembly and installation of electrical components so they are energy efficient.
  • Arc fault detection devices have a more prominent place in chapter 42. They provide protection against electrical fires caused by faulty AC circuits.

Here at Access Training Academies, we know how important it is for all practising electricians to have an excellent understanding of the 18th Edition Wiring Regulations, that's why we have a course dedicated to teaching you the ins and outs of the 18th Edition!

Find out more about our 18th edition course by clicking the button below, get in contact if you think this course is the perfect next step in your electrical career!

18th Edition Course >

Britain's departure from the EU is set to have an impact on every industry, including the construction sector. In a recent article by the National Housing Federation, they outline how two-thirds of housing professionals said they were facing a skills shortage, with exiting the EU being one of the main causes.  

To take a look at some numbers, a recent Federation of Master Builders Report indicates that '48% of SME construction firms reported a shortage of available plumbers' while '36% were struggling to find electricians' - and these numbers are expected to rise in the coming years!

The Immigration White Paper, published in December 2018, also proposes a new system where only 'skilled workers earning more than £30,000 per year' will be allowed to settle here, while less skilled workers will not be able to stay for longer than a year.

 So, what does all this mean?

Well, the uncertainty of Brexit is starting to drive EU construction workers away - particularly in London where there is the highest percentage of EU construction workers. British housing associations, construction companies and training centres, like ourselves, will really need to attract more people into the construction industry if we are to fill this pending employment gap. The number of British construction workers has to increase if we are to meet the housing needs of our population.

Is this the perfect time to train?

While this dramatic reduction in European construction workers seems alarming on the surface, it does present an opportunity for more British people to pursue careers in the construction industry. As more and more workers leave the UK during this tumultuous period, demand for construction workers in the UK increases. So newly trained workers shouldn't have any difficulty finding lucrative work in their chosen trade.

Are you interested in helping to bridge the post-Brexit skills shortage? We offer courses that will allow you to pursue a brand new career or expand your existing skill set, including:

We really do believe that now is an excellent time to consider taking up a career in a trade. Our courses will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need to start your new career and really make a difference as a new construction industry emerges from post-Brexit Britain. Enquire about our courses today! 

Contact Us Now >

Here at Access Training, we constantly stress the importance of safe electrical practice in the workplace, but this unfortunate incident really brings it home!

On the 12th of April 2017, two demolition workers were tasked with removing electrical distribution equipment from a switchgear room at the Molecular Products site in Essex. The principal contractor had told the men that the electrical equipment they were dealing with had been fully isolated.

Foolishly, one man attempted to 'reassure his colleague' that the electricals had in fact been isolated by throwing a metal crowbar at the 400v ac equipment.

Unfortunately, when the crowbar came into contact with the live electricals it created a flashover (explosion) at temperatures of several thousand degrees which led immediately to quite a devastating fire. The man who through the crowbar, Mr Banks, suffered serious burns and was taken into hospital.

HSE investigated this incident and found that the task had not been properly planned at that suitable control measures hadn't been put in place. The principal contractor had failed to follow the procedures stating that all electrical equipment should be treated as live until properly checked and confirmed to be isolated. 

The Consequences:

  • Mr Banks sustained horrific burns & injuries
  • Russel Haigh and Stuart Haigh pled guilty to breaching Regulation 3 of the Electricity at Work Regulations  Act 1989 and we both fined £80,000
  • AJ Wadhams & Co Ltd pled guilty to breaching section of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 197 and was fined £80,000

HSE inspector Adam Hills said:

“This incident has had a significant impact on Mr Banks life and the injuries could so very easily have been fatal. Had the companies followed the control measures outlined in their respective risk assessments, then this incident would not have occurred. Never assume that an electrical supply is disconnected. Always check with the distribution network operator or a qualified electrician to obtain written proof of isolation before commencing work.”

Read more about this incident here >

 Electrical Training

If there's one thing to take away from this, it's that working with electricals can be incredibly dangerous (and costly) if something goes wrong. That's why we can't stress enough how important it is that you receive the proper electrical training before carrying out this kind of work!

Here at Access Training Academies, we offer electrical training for students of all ages and abilities. If you're interested in pursuing a career in electrical work, come and learn the necessary skills and practices at one of our training centres. 

View Our Electrical Courses >

If you have any questions about our electrical courses, or to arrange a visit to one of our test centres, please don't hesitate to get in touch. You can call us on 0800 345 7492 or email us at info@accesstraininguk.co.uk.

If you didn't already know the consequences of working as a gas engineer without being on the Gas Safe register, here is another stark reminder. 

Liverpool Magistrates recently fined a man, Kevin Shephard, for working on gas fittings and issuing Landlord Gas Safety Certificates, despite no longer being Gas Safe registered. Health and Safety Executive (HSE) carried out an investigation which showed that Mr Shephard was registered with the Gas Safe register over several periods between November 2013 and June 2016, but his registration lapsed in June 2016, along with his gas competence qualifications. 

Mr Shephard continued to carry out gas work and maintenance without renewing his registration or qualifications, so was, therefore, carrying out gas work illegally. Mr Shephard pled guilty to breaching several gas safety regulations, was fined £2000 and had to pay legal costs of £2000 also. 

HSE inspector Jane Carrol said: 

"Kevin Shephard carried out gas work which he knew he wasn't properly registered to do. All gas work must be done by registered Gas Safe engineers to ensure the highest standards are met and to prevent injury and loss of life."

How Do I Get Gas Safe Registered?

Joining the Gas Safe Register will ensure you avoid illegal gas work penalties. To get on the gas safe register, you need to pass an ACS assessment - an assessment that can only be completed if you learn the necessary skills, theory, and procedures. 

If you'd like to become a fully-qualified gas plumber, Access Training Academies can help! We offer a selection of different gas courses that will teach you all the necessary skills to pass your ACS assessments, click below to view and enquire today! 

Browse Our Gas Courses >

 

To work continuously as a gas engineer you will need to complete reassessments to stay on the Gas Safe Register. We can help you with your reassessments too!

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 >

Make your home more energy efficient
 
Making all aspects of your life more sustainable is very popular at the moment. Saying no to plastic carrier bags and buying a bamboo toothbrush are all popular options, but have you considered how you can make your home more energy efficient? We have lots of expertise in the gas, plumbing and electrical industries, so we thought we would put together some tips to help you make your home a greener place! 
 

Put Central Heating on a Timer

A simple yet effective tip that you don’t need plumbing or gas engineering training for, is to simply set a property’s heating using a timing mechanism.
Whether you set it to come on an hour in the morning and an hour in the night at a residential property, or between 9 am and 5 pm for a commercial one like an office, this will ensure the heating is only on when it needs to be on.
This is an easy way to ensure energy is not wasted when a property is empty, which will not only help the planet but save the bill payer some pennies too. 
 

Fit Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs

Energy-efficient light bulbs come in two types: Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). According to the Energy Saving Trust, replacing a regular light bulb with a CFL will save around £5 a year or up to £70 over the lifetime of the bulb. LEDs usually come in spotlights and therefore traditional fittings may need changing to use these. This can be both cost and energy efficient in the long run though as switching from halogen lights to LED could save around £35 a year. 
 
Energy Efficient Light Bulb

Update the Boiler

On average, heating accounts for 60% of annual energy bills, so becoming more efficient could save a homeowner hundreds of pounds a quarter. 
Most modern boilers are condensing, meaning it has a larger heat exchanger and recovers more heat. Gas boilers are most likely to be affordable if the property has mains gas and a combi boiler will be more compact, meaning it will take up less space in the property. 
 
If the cash funds for a new boiler aren’t available, it may be worth insulating the boiler as a temporary fix. You can read more about this in our blog post: Should You Wrap Up Your Water Heater This Winter?
 

Make Sure the Property is Insulated

Talking of insulation, how well insulated in the property? There’s no point in fitting an energy-efficient heating system if there is considerable heat loss, and this could be highly likely if you have an older property. 
Around 25% of heat loss is through the roof, 35% through walls and 10% through windows, so having a property properly insulated could cut this drastically. This may also alter a property’s EPC rating which can increase the value of the property. 
 

Learn More With Our Training Courses 

Want to be able to offer some of the above services, but not qualified to do so? Then why not sign up to conduct further training? Browse our different courses by clicking the button below, or give us a call on 0800 345 7492 to enquire today!
 

new career ideas

Are you feeling a bit tired of your current job? Have you been doing the same thing for so long that it's become boring and monotonous? Are you looking for a new challenge that will give you a chance to really shine?

If any of the above apply to you, it may be time to start looking for new career ideas. When you first decide that you'd like to change jobs, it can be a bit daunting - after all, there are lots of different career ideas to choose from - and so we're here today to provide you with some inspiration.

If you're thinking about starting a new career in the trade industry, here are five exciting new career ideas for you to consider this year:

Marine Electrician

The perfect role for adventurous electricians! Marine electricians are responsible for installing and maintaining electrical equipment aboard ships and other sea vessels. They may also be tasked with handling emergency repairs on ships in port or out at sea.

Bathroom Fitter

The bathroom is one of the most important parts of any home, so the people who install them are always in demand. Your responsibilities as a bathroom fitter will include making sure that all of the fittings are correct and that the new bathroom looks perfect. You can train to be a bathroom fitter with our Bathroom Fitting Course

Electrical Machine Repairer 

Electrical machine repairers play an important part in the repair and maintenance of electrical equipment. This job is incredibly important and can mean the difference between a machine running smoothly and catching fire due to an electrical fault. To help you train for this type of job, why not take a look at our range of Electrical Courses?

Roofing Plumber

If you like the idea of working outside then roofing plumber could be the ideal role for you. Roofing plumbers fabricate and install metal roofing, gutters, and downpipes. A roofer can work for the council or as their own boss.

Oil Rig Electrician 

Though this may seem like a lonely, solitary job, oil rig electricians are paid exceptionally well for their work. This is an exciting job for truly daring souls - any industrial electrician can work on a rig, so if you're not put off by the long hours, this may be a career path for you.

Here at Access Training Academies, we provide a range of trade training packages that can set you on your way towards a new career path. Even if none of these career ideas inspires you, we have lots of different courses that will allow you to pursue a new career idea anywhere in the UK!

View all Courses Here >

The third Monday in January, which falls on the 21st of January this year, has been labelled as the most depressing day of the year or Blue Monday.

This year, rather than revelling in sadness and taking a negative attitude towards your life, we challenge you to turn this negativity into motivation and try something new. If Mondays in general (but particularly this one) make you feel down, depressed and unmotivated, then it’s time to make some changes.

At Access Training Academies, our goal is to give you the tools and skills you need to step into a career that is truly satisfying and fulfilling. We offer courses in a range of disciplines, so whether you want to try your hand at carpentry, branch into the world of IT and computing, or train to become a fully-qualified electrician – we can help! We have over 30 different courses for you to choose from, and our friendly and experienced tutors will guide and support you throughout to ensure you get the best possible results.

Never have another blue Monday again! Browse the courses we offer by heading to our site, or give us a call on 0800 345 7492 to talk to one of our advisers about how you can start your journey towards a more rewarding career.

Browse Courses Here >