‘Plumbing has sat at the heart of tackling the pandemic’ – Kevin Wellman, CEO of Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering

It’s World Plumbing Day on the 11th March. A day that, since 2010, has represented a celebration of the successes of an ever-thriving industry, where we consider how important plumbing is in today’s society, and why the plumbing industry is essential to us in our daily lives.

But World Plumbing Day in 2021 is, as we might expect, a different story to our previous celebrations over the last decade. This last year has seen plumbers face challenges like no other; they have been on the frontline of a worldwide pandemic, ensuring that our homes are safe and warm. And on this day, we should consider the importance of plumbers as we all battle through an ongoing global crisis.

But why exactly is plumbing so important to us? Why, for instance, have plumbers been awarded a ‘critical worker status’ over the course of the pandemic, awarding them particular benefits and protections as workers, and meaning that they are still able to work and continue to perform the vital services they always have done.

As Kevin Wellman, CEO of Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE), notes, plumbers take care of the most fundamental elements of our day-to-day lives, inside and outside our homes: ‘from the clean water, tapes and sinks we use to wash our hands, to the sanitation systems we use to help stop the spread of viruses and bacteria.

‘In this latest lockdown, PPE clad engineers have been the local heroes, fixing cold weather emergencies such as broken-down boilers and burst pipes, in very tough situations’. 

Plumbers, like many other frontline workers, have faced unprecedented challenges, and yet still have had to perform their jobs, use their skills to their utmost abilities, and persevere through the worst of it. Plumbers deserve to be called local heroes, because their sacrifices and successes have been unsung. Well, World Plumbing Day is the day to sing their praises.

Not only are we indebted to plumbers for keeping us warm and comfortable, but in keeping us safe and without injury. Our homes can become dangerous if not properly maintained, and Wellman informs us that ‘the number of hot water scalds and heating system related contact burns has grown at an alarming rate over the past year, due in a large part to the fact we are all spending a lot more time at home.’

We have more to thank plumbers for than we realise – and considering the obstacles that they have had to face over the last year, like many of us, it is all the more admirable that they have continued to work tirelessly to do their jobs. Facing financial and employment stress, issues with supply chains, needing to source PPE, and the risk of being made vulnerable to a deadly disease, plumbers have faced the challenges ahead with a brave face. 

Their roles are invaluable not only for homeowners, but thousands of businesses and all kinds of establishments throughout the country. And for that reason, the question of why plumbing is important has an obvious answer.

‘Our industry will have a huge role to play in supporting homeowners and businesses through a recovery, and those hero capes will be staying firmly in place for the foreseeable future’.

 

If you want to join the celebrations, there’s no better way to do so than in becoming a plumber yourself. Join the cause, and enquire about a training course today. 


Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

"When I started, I had nothing. I put down my last £200 as a deposit, and I made that decision. You can never go wrong investing in yourself."

- Former plumbing student Leah Carney

Leah training for her new career as a plumber

Starting a new career - retraining and setting up your own business for the first time - is undoubtedly difficult. Not knowing the future can be stressful: will it work out? Am I making the right choice? Is now the right time to be doing this? Many unanswered questions, no firm solutions.

And as much as we might try to convince you that, yes, now is the right time, you might be more inclined to listen to those who have gone through the training process as students. To those who have come out the other side with a sparkling career ahead of them.

Leah Carney is a designer and former delivery driver who enrolled on one of our plumbing courses during the COVID-19 pandemic and never looked back. Our tutor Jamie caught up with Leah to find out how her new career was going.

 

Q: Hi Leah! Thanks for taking the time to speak today, I know you must be busy. How did your decision to retrain first come about?

Well, I was doing some delivery driving just to earn a bit of money, and to get myself through the COVID situation. But before that, I was doing design work - that's what my degree is in. And then I just decided to retrain; in the past, people have told me that I'd be really good at plumbing or gas, just because I'm good with my hands, I'm logical, a good problem solver, that sort of thing.

 

Q: And why Access Training in particular?

I just started googling and doing my research, and came across Access Training that way. I did ring a few places actually, but when I spoke to the team at Access Training, we just kind of got on. I then got invited to come and have a look at the centre and see the training in action, before actually putting any money down.

 

Q: What were your first impressions when you came?

Everything looked really good, everyone was working, and I was really impressed with the plumbing workshop that you've got there. And yeah, that's what made my decision. I signed up that day, there and then, and I think I started about a month and a half later.

 

Q: And the enrolment process was smooth?

Yeah it was, absolutely. Can't fault it.

 

Q: So obviously now you've moved on, and you're getting on with the online learning as well, so you're now able to redo the theory as many times as you want. How are you getting on with that? What sort of flexibility does that give you?

Do you know what? I think the online training is like a godsend. You're in a more relaxed environment, you're at home nine times out of ten, so you've got the time to sit down and fully concentrate. You can take breaks when you need to, you can go over and recap. I like to watch things; seeing things in action helps me to remember them, so if I'm reading something and I don't quite understand or I'm not quite getting it, I like to find a video of someone explaining it, and then I'll understand. So there's that benefit of it as well, because you can stop and start whenever you want.

 

Q: So it hasn't negatively impacted you, doing most of your training online?

No, not at all. You can do mock exams and different papers, and continue to do them until you get it right. Whereas when you're in a class, you only learn it once and then you leave. So again, I really like home-based learning; you still have to put the time in, but it definitely sticks in your mind more. I've enjoyed it.

 

Q: Do you think that helps you, when you come in for your practical training, the fact that your theory base is so much better?

Yes, because I reckon if you were to start with practical - or to sit your practical before your theory - you might get lost, trying to learn everything at once. So I think it's done the right way around. Then, when someone starts to explain more in depth, or uses a word you remember, you're able to ask questions there and then. So it definitely has a benefit.

 

Q: How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted your training so far? I know you've already done additional training courses to add more strings to your bow. How have you found starting out in the industry, despite everything that's going on?

Fortunately for me, I have got a degree and other skills that I can always use - skills that actually do come in handy with my plumbing, because it is still based around homes and construction. But because I have been upskilling in areas I know will benefit me in the future, it looks good on the CV as well. And I may now be ahead of other people who've been doing it for ten years, because I've actually put my head down and said 'right, I need XYZ kind of trades behind me'. I'm doing my plumbing, and my Level 2 electrics, so that's really come in handy. Now I can apply for jobs that are based more around the Part P side, so I can get a bit more money from that, and I get a bit more hands-on in a different sense.

 

Q: With your new plumbing career, how are you finding it out there at the moment? There's obviously a lot of work around at the moment. Is that the case for you?

Definitely. There's a lot of work. Applying for a job isn't always straightforward, but the plumbing training definitely looks good on my CV. I have found that being a woman also gives me an edge, because I know there aren't many females in plumbing companies. I've found that with all my certificates and qualifications so far, employers are definitely interested. And it's given me the confidence to go out and do my own jobs privately as well.

 

Q: As I understand it, you're currently starting up a business on your own and having the best of both worlds, right? Do you feel like you've made the right decision by retraining and starting a new career?

Yeah, one hundred per cent. Retraining was definitely the best thing I ever did, and it was money well spent. At the time it probably doesn't feel like that, but if you put your head down and have a goal - a vision for where you want to be, and why you're doing it - then there'll be no stopping you. Because of the qualifications and the kind of practice you get with Access Training, you can absolutely go out there and be confident that you know what you're doing. I think especially as the government is pumping money into the trade industry, it looks like there's a long future in upskilling from where I am at the moment.

 

Q: So what's the next step in your career? You said you're moving into electrical work - where do you see that leading?

At the moment, I'm working on my brand, my logo and my website, and designing all of that. Because I have the skills to do it, I'm relying on myself to do all that. So that's the next step, plus maybe doing some emergency and weekend work.

 

Q: That's got to be quite exciting for you - to be developing all that stuff for yourself?

Yeah, it is. I mean, I've never opened a business, and for anyone to start out doing that, it's quite daunting. But I like to do my research and know what I'm doing, and kind of get my feet in there. So it's exciting, and I'm hoping that will kick off in the next couple of months, because I don't think there's a better time to do it than while we're in lockdown. There are more people staying at home, and they're doing more things to their houses, or they've got more time to have someone in to do work. And a lot of people I speak to have struggled to keep a good plumber or find someone they trust. I'd like to think that I have that kind of rapport with people; even if I don't know you, I'm always thinking of the customer and wanting to give the best possible service. I always explain what I'm doing, and that always pays off and works really well.

 

Q: And obviously, there are lots of resources on the Access Training portal to help you do all of that. You have contacts at the centre that you can still use, and your tutors can still help you once you've left.

Yeah, absolutely. I cannot fault anyone from the college at all - any time I've had a question or an email, they've always responded, even if it's a day or two later. They've always been so helpful. All the tutors, including yourself of course Jamie; I speak to Emma and the girls in the office; everyone's been helpful, and everything is transparent. There's nothing you don't know.

 

Q: I suppose the fact that we're still in touch proves your point!

Of course! And the great thing about that is that, if I explain my situation and tell you I need X, Y and Z, you can find a way to help that suits me. That's really been the forefront of it for me, to be honest: the fact that you really get to know the guys at the college. I imagine you go to other training centres, and once you've left, they think they don't need to know you. But with you guys, it's been a long time since I finished, and we're still in contact, as you say. I've come back now to do my electrical training and things like that - that's thanks to you guys.

 

Q: Finally, what kind of advice would you give to someone else looking to change careers right now - someone who's stuck in a rut? They might be on furlough or something, so how would they go about retraining?

I know there are people out there facing a really bad situation, and when I was looking to retrain, I was too. But I took the risk. I knew what I needed to do, and when I went with you guys, I used the last money I had to do it - and it was so worth it. All of you were so accommodating; if there were ever any issues, you guys helped. So my advice for anyone out there who's thinking about it is this: you just need to take that leap and do it. It's investing in yourself. You can never go wrong investing in yourself. Before you know it, if you put your head down, you could be ready to start before you realise.

 

Q: Thank you so much for your time, Leah, and best of luck for the future!

Thank you for everything!

* * *

And there you have it. You don't need to take our word for it - just look at Leah as an example of how retraining can change your life.

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Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

Excitement and anticipation rippled through the UK last night, as the government confidently announced its plans to bring England out of lockdown. 

June 21st is the date given for the final end of social distancing measures, with non-essential retail among many sectors able to open from 12 April. Schools will open from 8 March, and households will be able to meet outside from 29 March. 

By 17 May, social contact outdoors will be possible, and two households can mix indoors. It sparks hope for a return to normality, and life as we know it with Covid might, just might, be a thing of the past.

And this of course means one very positive thing for us in the construction world: freedom for projects to continue unhindered, and, perhaps most importantly, the ability to continue training the next generation of tradespeople. 

After adapting to an online-based learning system at the outset of lockdown, we at Access Training have spent almost a year ensuring that those wanting fulfilling careers in the trade industry could still learn, and continue developing their skills and theoretical knowledge in their field. Our tutors have prepared online tutorials, our resources have been made available to all our students, and we have carried on teaching as best we can.

But these recent developments mean we can soon return to our workshops and our training centres. We can go back to doing what we do best: preparing aspiring tradespeople for the world of work, in person, face to face, learning by practice, and working with our hands as well as our heads. 

The UK’s current skills shortage is widely reported on in the media. The possible impact of Brexit on the size of the UK’s workforce is a serious consideration for many, and the game is now afoot to make sure that we make up the numbers. 

Britain needs to ‘build back better’, and it is our job to make sure that we have the builders to make this happen. For those wanting to get involved, and start a rewarding and long-term career in the construction industry, you know what to do – give Access Training a call.

 

Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen. 

‘Infrastructural output is expected to lift the whole [construction] industry over 2021 and 2022’ – Professor Noble Francis, CPA economics director.

 

 

 

 

2021 is already promising to be a surging year of growth and productivity for the construction industry, as forecasted by the Construction Products Association (CPA). 

Economic experts at the company are predicting what they call a ‘W-shaped’ economic recession and recovery, and a rise of 14% output as the year progresses. This number is incredibly significant, as construction industry output initially fell by 14% as lockdowns were first imposed on the UK back in March 2020. A 14% rise will return output levels to pre-pandemic levels, putting the construction industry back on its feet.

And that’s not all. CPA’s economic advisors also predict a further 5% increase into 2022. As vaccines are rolled out across the country, opportunities for continued productivity are only going to increase. 

A strong recovery in the latter half of 2020, with construction sites reopening sooner than expected and demand at an all-time high, means that the construction industry is set to be among the trailblazing industries which will greatly support the UK through troubling economic times ahead. 

But what does this mean for workers in the trade industry? It means that, after all the difficulties faced in the past, the years ahead will be an incredibly busy and highly productive era for construction. It means that trade workers will be very highly sought after, well paid and not short of work. 

Most importantly, it means that now is an excellent time to be in the trade industry.

 

‘Projects have been able to effectively enact safe operating procedures [...]. Main works on HS2, Europe’s largest construction project, along with offshore wind and nuclear projects, are expected to be the main drivers of activity’ – Professor Francis.

 

Not only are the larger-scale projects thriving, but domestic work is also on the increase, as figures show a public confidence in tradespeople entering their homes and working safely. The demand for home improvement projects has soared after time spent in lockdown, and self-employed tradespeople are particularly reaping the rewards as the public need their services more than ever. 

Broken boilers, electrical faults, heating issues, are not problems which go away under lockdowns – they are highly important for safety and domestic comfort, and prove just how essential tradespeople are in the lives of millions.

And so for those who are not currently trained but are thinking about changing careers, there is simply no time to waste. You don’t want to look back at this period, perhaps still stuck in an unrewarding and uncertain job, and regret not becoming qualified as a tradesperson. You don’t want to wait for hindsight to tell you what you should have done. You need to assess what’s best for you moving forward, and take a leap that could potentially change your life.  

Economic projections, percentage figures and lofty statements, might seem distant and unimportant to the everyday worker stuck in lockdown after lockdown. But what they do tell us, is that tradespeople will play a crucial part in the years ahead. 

Work will be abundant, pay will be good, and healthy and rewarding careers will be possible. All you need are the qualifications, the determination, and the foresight to invest in yourself, and invest in your career. 

Give Access Training a call and enquire about a course – they can take it from there.

 

Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

 

 

 

 

 

We’re now already making headway into 2021, and our new year’s resolutions have likely already fallen by the wayside. But this is one resolution that is worth sticking to: getting your career and future on track. 

At the turn of 2021, Access Training was featured in a ‘Top Ten’ list by The Sun newspaper, naming it as one of ten companies in the UK that can significantly change your life around for the better. 

 

It touches on the difficulty of 2020 for thousands, stating that ‘many industries have been hit hard’, the downfall of this ‘resulting in mass redundancies’ – and they are not wrong. 1.7 million people have been made redundant since the outset of the pandemic, and this is unfortunately predicted to rise to 2.6 million by the middle of this year

If you’re in an uncertain career, trapped in an endless furlough limbo, then this must be taking its toll on your mental health and your ability to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s no life to live, being constantly in the dark about what’s to come, or where the next payment will come from, and what life will be like beyond furlough and the pandemic. Will there still be a career left for you at the end?

Thankfully, the construction industry is still on its feet, to say the least. It has been named among the two highest industries in the UK which has more job vacancies than it did pre-pandemic. Tradespeople have been kept in such high demand, with work and productivity sky high, and worker’s rates have gone through the roof and look likely to rise as 2021 progresses. That’s more work and more money in your pockets for it. It truly is now or never to become trained in construction. 

The Sun identified Access Training’s importance in getting the show back on the road, as it describes the ‘bespoke, industry-leading, fast-track training’ which we provide. For thousands of people, we have already transformed careers and futures by giving them new opportunities, new skills, and new qualifications. Employers have snapped them up, or they’ve gone out for themselves and started businesses. It’s an exciting and fulfilling career, and it’s one that you need to be a part of. 


So, listen to The Sun, and give Access Training a call to make your year one worth remembering. Make 2021 the year that you bounced back after a tumultuous 2020; make it the year that you made your future happen. If you’re good with your hands, good with your head, and willing to work hard at learning a new skill – then what are you really waiting for?

Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

 

 

I am a strong believer that no one should be stereotyped into specific roles and this includes the perception of men on the construction site’ – Jwerea Malik, operations manager at Balfour Beatty, and co-chair of the group’s Gender Equality Affinity Network.

 

After we spoke to our plumbing student, Leah Carney, and hearing her inspiring story, we’ve been determined to continue the dialogue surrounding women in the construction industry. 

Leah is an ambitious and driven individual: a designer who had taken to delivery driving for extra money, and then decided to train as a plumber at the outset of the pandemic. She is already qualified as a plumber, gaining new electrical qualifications, and setting up her own business. 

But Leah is just one of thousands of similarly hard-working people around the country who have made the construction industry their home and future. Over the pandemic, the construction industry has seemed to appeal to hard-working and skilled women, as a refuge from redundancy and an opportunity for a fulfilling career. According to Lianne Lawson, a construction manager who has been in the industry for 14 years:

 

The pandemic has taught all of us how quickly we can evolve and adapt to new ways of working, and I think the mindset for everyone has changed. [...] Having to work from home in many cases has opened the industry up to the possibility of more flexible working conditions.

 

It goes without saying that the construction industry should accommodate everybody who has a desire to work within it; and perhaps one inadvertent result of the pandemic is that this has happened. 

For decades, the construction industry has been perceived as a male-dominated industry. But hearing the stories of women in construction, we learn that the last decade or two has resulted in greater accessibility to footholds and successful careers for thousands of women across the UK. Since then, it has been exciting to witness the brilliant and essential contributions that women have made to the trade industry, only further demonstrating that there absolutely is a much-needed place for them within the sector.

 

When i joined the industry 10 years ago as a graduate engineer, I was, more often than not, the only woman in the room. I felt the pressure to be seen as a peer to my male colleagues. – Malik

 

Jwerea Malik also notes how, from being the only woman on a project, the industry has now developed to seeing 23% of new starters in construction being women. It’s refreshing to consider how far the construction industry has come in recent times, and these stories of success are a testimony to the freedoms and attitudes of today. 

But as important as it is to acknowledge and celebrate how far we’ve come in the construction industry, there is obviously further we can go in ensuring that everybody feels welcome, and to encourage everybody to contribute in a fast-growing and multi-faceted industry. Considering the skills shortages of today’s construction sector, and the huge demand for work, it only makes sense for the prosperity of the industry itself that we look for strong, skilled tradespeople from all aspects of society. 

 

I was considered a bit of a novelty, noticed more for my differences than the engineering skills and expertise we had in common. I felt I had to prove myself, not just in terms of delivering my work to the best of my ability, but to be seen as an equal to my teammates. The rarity of a woman on a construction site 10 years ago meant inclusion wasn’t second nature. – Malik

 

What’s more, it goes without saying that a successful business is an inclusive business. Those leaders of the trade who represent all aspects of society are those with a greater customer base, a broader image, and who ultimately thrive in a competitive market. It suits everybody to make sure that construction is not a career for the men only – frankly, why limit ourselves?

 

I think it was my own perception that I couldn’t do it, so I was trying to break that mentality, which the people around me helped to do’ – Lianne Lawson.

 

 

Success in the construction industry is all about ability, and should never be about any aspect of your gender and background. If you have an interest in joining the construction community, don’t hesitate; from an outsider perspective, it might look like a male-dominated environment, but as you can see, things are changing. It just takes some bravery, self-belief, and knowledge that you are judged on your ability and willingness to work, over any other factors.

Women in construction are no longer a novelty; they are essential to the industry’s future. Why not be a part of this future, and join women like Leah, Lianne, and Jwerea? It takes one call to Access Training to get your career on track.


Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

 

 

 

‘There’s an already-growing squeeze on unskilled workers; what we’ve seen is labour rates already creeping up, particular labourers, because we’re finding it harder to find eastern European workers’ – Darin Burrows, director of recruitment agency City Sites.

 

 

Industry experts are predicting 2021 to be a fruitful and financially rewarding year for construction workers, as demand for skilled tradespeople increases rapidly

If there was ever a good time to cash in on the lifeboat that is the construction industry, then this is the year to do so. Experts and industry leaders have predicted that a 10% rise in cost for labourers and skilled tradespeople is on the way for in 2021. 

That’s right. Tradespeople are effectively being awarded a 10% pay rise. And it’s highly deserved, of course; over the last year, construction workers have been among the often unsung heroes of our communities, keeping the economy and the country afloat, giving it a much-needed boost and providing essential services.

But how has this good fortune come about, and what will it mean for those working within the industry? 

 

The primary reason for this positive development for tradespeople, is that since the onset of Covid, demand for tradespeople has increased massively. But this higher demand has collided with a significant decrease in the number of workers from Europe. The Office for National Statistics has shown that, in the aftermath of Brexit, 25% of the UK’s EU-born construction workforce left the industry between September 2019 and September 2020. 

This has left a gaping hole in a workforce already struggling to cope with an enormous workload and project demand; EU nationals previously made up as much as 80% of the labour workforce for recruitment agencies such as Darin Burrows’s City Sites, and such a large decrease means that the UK is desperate for more construction workers

Major towns and cities in the UK have been hit particularly hard by this shortage; contractors in London and Birmingham, such as the London-based contractor Golden Houses, have had to bring in workers from out of town in a desperate scramble to meet labour demands, from areas further afield such as Leicester and Nottingham.

But this is, of course, very good news for construction workers and those looking to get into the trade industry. And why? Because the skills and services you can offer are now in far more limited supply, and so are valued much higher. That is, you’ll be getting paid more than you would have before – a whopping 10% more. 

This means that the UK’s construction workforce will have far more control, freedom, and success in their work; they have more power to set their rates, another reason why the construction industry is incredibly appealing for employment and working opportunities. 

 

The construction industry’s remarkable performance in the post-Covid world has been widely commented upon, as it has continued to employ thousands of people across the country, and in many respects carry on as normal. In fact, the construction industry was one of two UK industries to report a higher number of job vacancies compared to the same in 2019. 

And now, not only has the construction industry recovered from the initial blow of Covid’s initial months with more job vacancies, but it has provided its workers with this much needed financial boost. It has given thousands of people the rare security of well-paid, guaranteed work. And the importance of this cannot go unstressed: in times like these, the construction industry is completely invaluable to those who need the stability of a long-term career

We can make you that promise: that qualifying as a tradesperson will keep you busy and earning for years to come. Access Training can make sure that you benefit from this increase in rates; Access Training can give you a long-lasting and fulfilling career, with lifelong skills; Access Training can get you where you want to be in your career. All it takes is a call.

 

Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen. 

 

The construction industry stands ready to start creating the thousands of new homes the country needs, and building the hundreds of modern schools and colleges in which our children can be equipped with the skills they’ll need to succeed in a post-pandemic economy’ – Steeve Beechy, Wates public sector director

 

We are entering an exciting, productive, and affluent time for the construction industry. It’s continually surprising, given the circumstances, that the construction sector is experiencing what many are already calling a ‘boom’ which is seeing levels of productivity reach and surpass pre-pandemic levels. 

In November, the value of all construction work put together reached an incredible £14.01 billion, only a hair’s breadth from last year’s peak of £14.05 billion in January 2020, according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS). Growth in the industry, led by the infrastructure sector, jumped by a massive 10% in October.

 

Growth has extended to a seven-month streak and total construction output has powered back past its pre-pandemic level for the first time.’ – Gareth Belsham, Director of Property Consultancy Naismiths.

 

Also in November, we saw the infrastructure sector earn a whopping £2 billion worth of work, the highest amount on record for the infrastructure market. Despite the UK economy shrinking by 2.6% overall in November, the construction industry entered its sixth consecutive month of growth since April, and this continued into December. If anything will get the country out of an economic slump, it’s the construction industry, and construction workers – and that could mean you too. 

What’s most promising about these developments, is that the upward trend of growth is so consistent, so solid. December was a similarly positive month of growth for construction work, which is evidence of increasing long-term demand for construction workers. Predictions are being made that the construction industry could very well be a massive help in helping the country out of a dark economic hole. 

In accordance with the government’s announcement of massive long-term financial investment into the construction industry, it’s looking likely that, whatever happens, the next five years will be a prosperous one for those working within trade. Prepare for the construction industry to ‘level-up’, as the government plans to spend the following: 

 

  • £27.5 billion on English roads until 2025

  • £7.1 billion on a National Home Building Fund

  • £23 billion extra funding for HS2 until 2025

  • £4 billion for a ‘levelling-up’ fund, allowing areas to bid for up to £20 billion to directly fund local projects.

 

This adds up to an eye-watering £61.6 billion pounds of investment, at the very least. If that’s not a sign of how great a priority this industry is for our future development as a country, then I don’t know what is.

The construction industry has been able to perform incredibly well in relation to other sectors in the UK, thanks to an abundance of work, and sanctions from the government which allowed construction work to continue under lockdown. 

It has provided work for thousands, crucially important services for tens of thousands, and a solid future of employment and stability for even more. It is yours to join, to contribute to, to be a part of – all you have to do is become qualified and start looking in the right places. We can give you all of this – just give us a call.

 

Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

 

 

2020 was a year of unprecedented ups and downs. Life presented us with more challenges than ever, and people across the world had to adapt to many new obstacles. But one thing didn’t change: we still needed to call the plumber. 

A new survey conducted by Rated People and Vanarama asked 1000 people questions relating to their reliance on tradespeople over the past year, to find out the kind of impact that lockdowns and restrictions had on our tendency to call out a tradesperson. As it turns out, not a big impact at all.

On the contrary, the survey revealed that 64% of those questioned called on a tradesperson at some point in 2020. Of all the tradespeople that were called out to homes last year, plumbers were in highest demand, with 23% of all calls being made for plumbing-related issues. In second place were the electricians, with 11% of all calls made for them. 

 

"Lockdowns have not diminished peoples reliance on the service of tradespeople"

 

One glimpse of how much people spent on tradespeople in 2020 is enough to confirm the notion that tradespeople are still able to rake it in, despite the threat of lockdowns and restrictions. 20% of respondents to the survey said that they’d spent over £1000 on tradespeople in 2020. And to top that, 10% said that they’d spent over £5000! 

The highest proportion of costs reflected how most tradespeople thrived off a number of lower-paid odd jobs and quick fixes, as over 50% of people spent between £10-100 on domestic trade work. But keeping busy is the key factor to success as a tradespeople, and any opportunity to produce high-quality work, and to make a customer happy, is an opportunity to secure even more work. And this fact is particularly worth remembering: the survey also said that a whopping 70% of customers choose their tradespeople not according to how much they charge, but rely instead upon positive word of mouth.

Another important revelation that this survey has brought up, is that lockdowns did not diminish people’s reliance upon the services of tradespeople. In fact, it could be argued that they even increased people’s likelihood of calling out for a tradesperson, as 54% stated that more time spent in the house under lockdown meant that they noticed more issues that needed fixing. That’s right: lockdowns actually increased the chances of people getting the plumber in. 

 

"Working in the construction industry is a safe bet for guaranteed work, no matter what future pandemics throw at us. People will always need their boilers fixed, their homes powered, and their lives moving forward. Tradespeople play a massive role in making sure that this happens."

 

Not only that, but more time spent at home meant that people had the time to attempt fixing things themselves. Of course, untrained hands are going to make mistakes, and there’s a reason why becoming a qualified tradesperson takes training and commitment. 20% of respondents admitted that they were forced to call out a tradesperson to fix a DIY issue that they’d caused themselves. It just goes to show – we need tradespeople more than we think. 

The most uplifting statistic produced by this survey for those working in the construction industry, was that 68% of respondents felt comfortable having tradespeople enter their homes, even during lockdowns. It’s testimony to the fact that tradespeople undergo incredibly important work, and without them, people would be living in discomfort, or even in danger. Without power, energy, heating, particularly at a time in which our homes become our constant places of refuge, where would any of us be? 

This pandemic has shown us how truly indebted we are to our tradespeople, and how they continue to be in high demand. Working in the construction industry is a safe bet for guaranteed work, no matter what future pandemics throw at us. People will always need their boilers fixed, their homes powered, and their lives moving forward. Tradespeople play a massive role in making sure that this happens. 

Access Training can give you that certainty: a future of fulfilling work, security, and professional purpose.

 

Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

 

 

With the arrival of a new year comes the beginning of a new era; a chance to reflect on what has been, and speculate on what is to come. 

We can now see with some clarity how the construction industry fared under two lockdowns, heavy restrictions, and an unprecedented global crisis. Most importantly, we can see where it might be heading next. And judging by the promising words of industry leaders and new statistics, it did pretty well considering the circumstances.

The take-home message is that 2021 will be a year of ‘gradual and sustained recovery’ for the construction industry, according to industry experts. And this growth is not limited to 2021, but at least to the next two years beyond that. In other words, the next three years will be a time of high productivity, high employment, and general positivity for the construction industry. But how did construction get so lucky?

The critical factor undoubtedly lies in the ability of construction workers, industry leaders, and organisations, to open up their sites quicker than expected when restrictions were loosened in the summer of 2020. By the time the second lockdown came about in November, it became clear that the construction industry did not need to shut down entirely. Sites could still operate safely, following social distancing measures, and so Boris Johnson officially gave permission for sites to remain open under a lockdown.

But things could have been so different. In the second quarter of 2020, following the pandemic, construction productivity fell by 36%. We avoided a full construction closure only because the industry is so important to the country’s economy; in 2016 it accounted for 9% of the entire economy, adding £138 billion to its value. We just can’t do without it.

And that’s why industry leaders are fighting to ensure that, even in such dire circumstances as we still face at the beginning of 2021, the construction industry remains open and functioning. So much depends upon it, that the new Business Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, wrote an open letter to make the case for the construction industry remaining open again: 

 

‘It is vital that construction continues through these unsettling times, and I want to reassure you that the government values the crucial contribution your sector is making. [...] I want to make it clear that where it is essential to travel or to stay in accommodation, whether to get to work or for the purposes of carrying out your work, those in the [construction] industry are able to do so’.

 

This ringing endorsement of the construction industry just goes to show that, if the prospect of becoming an electrician, gas engineer, carpenter, plumber, or any role within construction appeals to you – then you will have the government’s support and the freedom to work at a time when thousands of people are out of a job

The proof is truly in the numbers. A survey conducted by the CHAS found that 56% of construction businesses they questioned have all their staff now back in work, and of the 44% that don’t, 43% said staff are on furlough. 

The security of construction jobs comes as no surprise when you look at the industry’s performance in the second half of 2020. Output grew by 41.7% in September, the biggest quarterly growth since records began in 1997. Work on new housing grew by 88.7%, driven by a 102.9% growth in public housing. Private housing and infrastructure grew above their pre-pandemic levels in February 2020. 

It’s mouth-watering stuff for those in the industry, and should be highly appealing for those outside it who are looking for job security. Now is your chance to get your foot in the door of construction and give yourself a career. If your job is looking increasingly like a lost cause, stopping and starting when rules allow, with redundancy a likely exit, then look no further. 

You can become anything you set your sights to, with a call and some commitment. We can take it from there.

Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

 

 

Here we are, in the first week of 2021, facing another national lockdown.

If there’s one thing that continuous lockdowns have done to us, it’s that it’s made us more aware than ever of the importance of our jobs and professions; how much we rely upon our work for the security of our future. Even the very language we use to describe our different occupations within society has changed: phrases like ‘front-line workers’, or ‘essential workers’, have made us reconsider what is ‘essential’, important, and most valued in our country. 

On top of this, different industries and sectors have faced different struggles; some have fared better than others, having been considered ‘essential’, or having the good fortune to be able to operate relatively unaffected by the pandemic. Some people have been better assured than others that their roles will still be around once the lockdown is over. It comes as no surprise, then, that an increasing number of people want to change their careers. Statistics released since August have shown that, with the country in and out of lockdown, many people are reconsidering their futures in their current roles, and are thinking about jumping ship.

It goes without saying that the one thing everybody wants during this time is what we might call ‘lockdown immunity’. That is, the ability to keep working, earning, and living as close to a normal life as possible, in absolute safety. To be professionals, to contribute a service to society. There are not many, if any, of these sorts of jobs around at the moment. But one place you will definitely find them is in the construction industry.

With Boris Johnson’s assurance in November that construction work is still possible under lockdown restrictions, this is a prime time to be working as a tradesman. Not only are people still able to become qualified, but they are able to go out and seek work, and complete that work. Construction companies are not only still opening their doors, but are actually improving on their 2019 performances. Take Barratt, for example, who ended 2020 with cash reserves of £1.11bn, up from £308.2mn in June the same year. They still managed to make a 9.2% increase on their house building rate in 2019. 

Would this have been possible if the construction industry was on its knees? If it was nonfunctional under a lockdown? Of course not. And the only response to that, from somebody desperate to get back to work, is surely a no-brainer. We have often stressed the importance of using lockdown time to your advantage; access online, virtual training courses to build your skillset and gain employment for when the time comes, and work opportunities restart. And one thing that recurring lockdowns have done is confirm that our advice was bang on.

Lockdowns, as is now very clear, are not going away any time soon. It is evident that the potential optimism brought upon us by the new year is now unfounded, as complications relating to new Covid strands arise, delayed vaccinations are likely, and case numbers soar. It’s safe to say that restrictions will remain with us for a while to come.

Despite Rishi Sunak’s continued promises of grants and further extensions of furlough, what you really need is security, stability, and assurance for what comes next. You need to be able to hit the ground running when normality returns, and not have to depend on government money. You want to ensure that there is a career waiting for you, an income to support you and your family, and some sense of freedom and security to rest upon. All of this meaning that you may need to start preparing yourself for a potential change of career.

Because if and when another lockdown potentially happens beyond this one, or if restrictions tighten up further on down the line, you don’t want to be left stranded and powerless. You want to be working, productive, still developing as a professional. You want to continue doing what you’re good at, do fulfilling work, and offer a valuable service. 

Access Training can and will give you this. It’s all in your hands – nobody will make the decision for you. All it takes is commitment, dedication, and a call.


Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

In this day and age, becoming a carpenter can be simpler and shorter than the more traditional routes, which usually involve long-winded apprenticeships, large classes, and gradual results. But this doesn’t have to be the case…

Private Training Academies are the efficient and effective way forward; the short story is that it gets you qualified, working, and earning, quicker than you could any other way. And here are a few reasons why:

  • They offer shorter, more condensed courses. 
    • This style of intensive training not only makes you learn quicker, but also gives you the same learning opportunities in a more efficient time frame. 
    • By the time an apprentice is one-fifth of their way into their course, you can be onsite and gaining valuable experience and salary.
  • They are more flexible. 
    • Private centres are not like schools or colleges; if you need to, you can fit your training around your professional and personal life. 
    • You can complete significant portions of your course online, and travel to the training centre only when it suits you. 
    • You gain the qualifications at the pace which suits you best, from whichever location is most convenient.
  • They offer high-quality training from industry professionals.
    • The training you receive from private academies is guaranteed to be run by tutors who have worldly experience in the industry. 
    • They have often spent decades in the field, and are used to working with all manner of tradespeople, on all kinds of jobs.
    • To put it simply: you’ll be learning from the best.

The country will always need carpenters, and that’s why Access Training is committed to supplying the next generation of carpenters with the qualifications they need to get on the field, get working, and get earning. If you work well with your hands, can manage well in a team, and enjoy problem-solving – then a carpentry career is for you. 

Access Training offers every qualification necessary for getting started on a promising and successful career. Every type of course we offer covers the bases of carpentry: whether you want a few important, fundamental skills to get you started, or if you want to go all the way up to fitting kitchens and roofs – we have what you need. 

Take a look at our course types below to get an idea of what’s on offer:

  • Essential

    • Offering the essential skills and qualifications necessary to becoming a domestic carpenter; this course is the base layer requirement for getting you out and working in domestic environments.

  • Professional

    • For those serious about going far in a carpentry career, this course builds on the qualifications on offer; for wider career options, greater skill-set, and more work opportunities, choose this course.

  • Premier

    • This course will give you everything you could possibly need from a carpentry career; not only will you be a fully qualified and desirable employee, but you will also have the means to work for yourself, and be your own boss. 

How training works:

With the right mindset, all you need to do is pick the right course for you. Sign up, and our tutors will take care of the rest.

 

Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

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