am i too old to learn a trade

One question we get asked a lot here at Access Training is - am I too old to learn a trade? The short answer is no! Our courses are available to people of all ages and abilities and can work around your pre-existing responsibilities. Whether you're finishing school and looking to become an electrician through a full-time course, or 40 and hoping to become a plumber through one of our part-time courses, we can accommodate you.

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Are you considering becoming a carpenter? Carpentry is a complex job that requires a lot of skill, but it can make for a very rewarding career. To find out what a carpenter might get up to on an average day, just keep reading…

day in the life of a carpenter

Working as a carpenter is not like holding down a 9-5 office job. As with most trades, carpentry requires you to travel from one location to another, putting your hand to a variety of different tasks and challenges. Here at Access Training, our carpentry courses provide you with the theoretical and practical knowledge you’ll need to be a competent carpenter from day one!

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essential plumbing tools

Every trade has its own set of specialist tools and equipment that's used to complete some very specific jobs. You can guarantee that an electrician's toolbox is going to look different to a plumbers toolbox, but what is all that specialist equipment and what does it do?

Well whether you're just curious or you're keen to start your plumbing training ahead of schedule, we'll talk you through the essential plumbing tools here.

 

Wrenches

wrenches

Plumbers would really struggle to do their job without the humble wrench, and you'll find wrenches of all shapes and sizes in a plumber's toolkit.

The wrenches you see above are often called pipe wrenches because they're able to wrap around and grip tightly onto pipes of varying lengths and sizes. Plumbers usually reserve these heavy-duty wrenches for pipes made of metal as they would potentially cause damage to more fragile pipework.

Other common wrench types include basin wrenches (with a long handle for reaching behind sinks), faucet valve-seat wrenches (for old stubborn seals) and allen wrenches (for securing or loosening a range of plumbing fastenings).

 

Pliers

pliers

Pliers are a common feature of a lot of toolkits, but they can be particularly useful for plumbers because they're so versatile and can be adjusted to any size! Perfect if you need a good grip on a particular pipe while you unscrew a seized fastening or attach a new fitting. 

Rib-joint pliers are also great for getting a grip on small nuts, bolts and pipes because of their small yet strong jaws. Plumbers have to be careful when using pliers not to maw the pipe or fitting they're working on!

 

Plunger

plunger

The humble plunger - probably one of the first things that springs to mind when you think of a plumbers toolbox, right? There are very few other professions that are required to use a plunger, so this is really a piece of equipment that's iconic of the plumbing trade! If you've ever used one yourself, you know what they're for!

Applied over a sink or drain hole, plungers can suck up and help you remove any debris that's causing a blockage. They come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, and there's bound to be at least one in every plumber's toolbox.

 

Hose Cutter

When plumbers are fitting bathrooms or kitchens they're required to use metres and metres of piping. Often, piping comes on large reels like the ones you see above, so of course, plumbers need a pipe cutter to hand!

Having a sharp pair of hose cutters to hand is paramount if plumbers want to ensure a leak-free clean edge. Pipe cutters can also be used to cut perfect shapes into copper hosing when necessary. 

 

 Soldering Tools

soldering

Often plumbers will need to join copper pipes to fix your sink or fit your new bathroom. With that in mind, it's possible that you'll see a portable soldering kit in and amongst the plumbing toolbox.

This could include a range of things such as a soldering torch, a fire-resistant cloth, solder, flux, and a striker. Having this equipment handy and being able to use it safely can be incredibly beneficial, particularly if you run your own plumbing business and are required to travel frequently for work.

So, this gives you an insight into the kinds of tools that plumbers use! To become a real expert on all things plumbing, why not consider signing up for one of our plumbing training courses?

Become a Plumber >

According to a survey recently carried out by the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA), there is a recruitment crisis that's really starting to escalate as we move into 2020. 

In the last quarter of 2019, a record-breaking number of British firms reported that they were having issues finding skilled worker, with a net amount of 52% reporting supply issues. This is the highest this statistic has been in nearly five years!

Contractors are calling for government intervention in the hope for better training programs and more qualified workers to fill the skills gap. The Chief Executive of the Civil Engineering Contractors Association, Alisdair Reisner expressed his concerns that;

"The pipeline of planned investment in the infrastructure sector is of a sufficient scale to be transformative to the whole UK economy, but unless the workforce is sufficiently skilled in all part of the UK, our members will be unable to deliver the work to its full potential".

Reisner believes that only co-operation between the industry and the government will lead to the creation of a comprehensive skills plan, a plan that's desperately needed if it's going to be possible to upskill the existing workforce and entice new workers to the trade. An 'infrastructure revolution' is what's required to protect the fate of the British economy in the coming years. 

How can you help to fill the skills shortage gap?

Civil engineering is only one of the many areas lacking in skilled workers in the UK today, there are so many different professions crying out for newly qualified workers - could that be you?

Here at Access Training Academies, we offer a range of courses that will set you up for a lucrative career in the construction industry! Select a trade below to see the courses we offer:

To read more about this story, click here. If you'd like to contact us about learning a new trade, give us a call on 0800 345 7492.

One of our fantastic students, Rob, is in the process of completing a variety of our training courses so he can start his own business. We've had the pleasure of catching up with Rob throughout his training and it's been great to see how much he's progressed. Today, we want to give you an overview of Rob's story to show you how we can help you steer your career in a new and exciting direction.

Rob's Background & Initial Training

For 35-40 years, Rob was working in IT and construction. This career took him all over the country and even abroad, but meant that he was often far away from his family, something that in later life, Rob wanted to rectify. When reflecting on his career, Rob decided that it was time to pursue a new avenue that would allow him to work for himself and spend more time at home. The courses we offer here at Access Training are fast-paced allowing Rob to gain the qualifications he needed for his new venture in no time at all.

Initially, Rob signed up for an Electrical Course, but later decided to take on a Plumbing and a Gas Course too! Having worked in the construction industry for most of his life, Rob knew that there was a significant skills gap in the sector. This presented itself as a great opportunity for Rob to pursue his own business, something that we were all too happy to help with. You can see our first interview with Rob in full below. 

 

Training for a Greener Future

We caught up with Rob a few months after our initial interview to see how he was getting on. Since we last spoke to him, Rob had completed a few more modules and had sat his assessment. If the assessment goes well, Rob will already be qualified to do the following:

  • Domestic installations
  • Commercial installations
  • Initial verifications on electrical systems
  • Periodic testing
  • PAT testing 

With an already impressive set of skills under his belt and in the pipeline, Rob isn't planning on stopping there. He has signed up for our Level 4 Electrical Design Course and for one of our new specialist courses that will teach him how to install charging points for electric cars. His enthusiasm for learning and for creating a greener world is admirable, and his aspirations for the future are in-line with this. 

Building a Greener Future

The skills Rob is gaining through our Electrical, Plumbing and Gas courses are setting him up perfectly for a career in renewable technologies which is the field he'd ultimately like to work in. We don't currently offer courses that cover photovoltaic (solar panel) installation or rainwater harvesting, but Rob has enrolled on our Electric Vehicle Charger Installation Course to get the ball rolling.

Once Rob has gained a few more eco-friendly skills, he plans to work with clients who want to build low carbon & self-sufficient homes, something we can expect to see a lot more of in the coming years. In the meantime, Rob can use the qualifications he's gained at Access Training to carry out gas, plumbing and electric work. We can't wait to see what he does next and we wish him the best of luck on his eco-friendly endeavours! You can see our second interview with Rob in full here. 

If, like Rob, you want to take your career in a new direction and work towards a greener future, explore our range of courses now! If you'd like to speak to one of our advisors, give us a call on 0800 345 7492. We look forward to hearing from you.

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