While we often discuss the need for skilled tradespeople in the context of the UK skills shortage, it is refreshing to be able to encourage people into the industry for more positive reasons; namely the demand and profit currently being witnessed by UK businesses. Today, BDaily reported that 2016 has been a great year for UK tradespeople so far, with revenue increasing due to the high demand being witnessed by companies, particularly in areas such as house-building.

Thanks to the regular requirement of their services, companies have found that they are not experiencing 'dry patches' without work, and are in-fact, having to extend their waiting lists to keep up with enquiries. Thanks to this demand, employers within these sectors are able to take on more staff, with 24% agreeing that they expect to do so this year. Thanks to these positive predictions, tradespeople are also feeling more contented with their industry prospects and work life, with a whopping 91% reporting this to be true. 

With the demand for work growing, and employers offering new, exciting opportunities on a regular basis, now is the perfect time to enter into a trade profession. Not only will you have access to a wide range of employers, you will also gain the opportunity to choose from a variety of working environments, from large operations to smaller enterprises in the residential sphere. Right now, there are a fantastic set of work prospects waiting to be taken advantage of, whether you see yourself as a future business owner, a self-employed freelancer or simply a regular trade employee. Whatever your ambitions may be, the best way to gain access to this flourishing field is to gain the best training possible, in order to lay steady foundations for your future career.

At Access Training, we provide a wide range of courses to cover every experience level, from total beginners to trade professionals. Whether you're looking to change your career completely, refresh your skills, or add another skill to your portfolio in order to seek a wider range of work, we have the resources to support you through your transition. (refresh know) We offer a selection of courses in all the key trades, from plumbing and electrical to bricklaying and carpentry, as well as many more! 

To explore our full range of courses, click here, or get in touch with us for more information and guidance! 
For more industry news updates, follow us on Twitter.
Is Being an Electrician Dangerous
 

When we are contacted by individuals researching electrical training courses, one of their main concerns regarding the profession is the obvious issue of safety. We are repeatedly (and rightly) reminded about the dangers associated with electricity on an everyday level, so it's easy to see why someone might be hesitant regarding the profession, with only the layman's understanding that they will be working with a highly dangerous power source.

Before you decide to become an electrician, it's important to familiarise yourself with the risks associated with the profession. While this may seem rather off-putting at first, it is actually far more beneficial to those looking to build a long-term career as an electrician. When you are aware of the dangers posed to you, as well as to colleagues and members of the public, you are more likely to keep in mind how important it is to follow proper health and safety procedures. As we have noted in a previous post, a career as an electrician can be both lucrative and rewarding, but to be a truly successful electrical engineer you must always keep in mind the possible dangers associated with the job.

Whether you decide to become a domestic installer or a site services electrician, there will be particular risks within your set area, as well as many that are universal. For example, domestic call-outs can be dangerous for electricians, as they are often called to rectify poor work attempted by inexperienced individuals. The best defence against these risks, along with those in many other trade professions, is knowledge. If you receive the right training and qualifications, before going on to uphold the strict guidelines required to work as an electrician, you will ensure that you are able to substantially reduce these risks, almost eliminating them altogether.

To make your choice a bit more straightforward, here are some simple tips for ensuring safety as an electrician:

  • Get the Proper Training - At Access Training, we offer several Electrical Courses which provide you with the opportunity to gain industry recognized qualifications, under the supervision of experienced installers. As industry experts, we uphold strict safety standards, to ensure that you are able to complete your training safely. 

  • Build on Your Knowledge - To progress in your career as an electrician, you will need to expand your knowledge not only by gaining practical experience, but by updating and advancing your existing qualifications. At Access Training, we not only provide courses for beginners, but also for experienced installers.

  • Keep up-to-date on Guidelines and Best Practices - As with any industry, the electrical trade has a strict set of procedures that if followed, should eliminate or reduce the risks of working with electrical currents. Useful guides can be found on the Electrical Safety First and HSE websites.
For more information about our Electrician Courses, please feel free to get in touch today!
If you're thinking of putting your time and effort into completing a training course, you'll want to do some through research before you begin, to make sure that your investment is worthwhile. Before committing to a new career, it's important that you consider whether or not the industry is right for you, by looking into the hours you could be expected to work, job availability, and of course, the financial aspects.
 
Last week, we wrote a piece about electricians being happy workers, but what about their earnings? Well, if you're considering becoming an electrician, you'll be pleased to find out that they are, on average, the highest paid of all tradespeople in the UK. In fact, in 2015 the average wage of an electrician rose to over £30k, making it the fastest growing pay-increase of any trade. Even newly qualified electricians can expect to earn £20k as a starting salary, making it an extremely attractive prospect for those looking to start out in the industry. 
 
If you're thinking of becoming an Electrician, here are a few encouraging facts about the progress routes and earning opportunities presented by the trade:

You Have The Opportunity To Be Your Own Boss

Once you've completed your training and gained enough experience in the industry, there are a wealth of opportunities to go it alone and become your own boss, particularly if you've built a strong relationship with your customers. Electricians who are self employed tend to earn much more than those employed by others, although it's important to consider the costs that go with this, such as tool hire and insurance.

The More You Learn, The More You Earn

One of the main advantages of becoming an electrician, is that you will be able to improve your salary by adding new skills to your portfolio. Once you've completed your training or have been in the profession for a few years, it's worth your while to train in new areas so that you can complete a wider range of work. Gaining advanced inspection and testing skills can prove to be a huge advantage in this trade, and can even allow you to move up another pay grade. Qualifications like The City and Guilds 2394 and 2395, which we offer here at Access Training, can make a huge difference to your range of opportunities and your value as a skilled tradesperson, allowing you to take your career to the next level. After this, you could also move on to a more advanced course such as the 2396 Electrical Design Course, which allows you to become qualified in the planning aspects of electrical installation, making you a suitable candidate for management roles in the future.

Flexible Pay Options 

Unlike certain professions, a career as an electrician offers a diverse range of pay options, from hourly/daily rates to opportunities for overtime. Hourly rates for an experienced electrician can range between £25 to £50, although it is often the case that a domestic installer will charge for work per day, with electricians usually earning between £200 and £300, with obvious increases in more prosperous areas. Due to the nature of the work, it's also common for projects to extend past their predicted lifespan, which means that opportunities for overtime should be available if you desire. Although the JIB discourages systematic overtime, it does not place restrictions in the case of breakdown and urgent repairs, providing you with opportunities to take on extra work as and when you want it.
 
To explore our full range of electrician courses and pave your way to a new, prosperous career, click here.
For more trade news and updates, follow us on Twitter.
Only last week we announced that apprentice winner Joseph Valente was looking to expand his business, by recruiting gas engineers for his company Impra Gas. Following suit, HomeServe have also announced a swathe of new positions in their company, as they recently revealed  their plans to take on over a 160 gas, plumbing and drainage engineers.

Last year the company managed to create a network of 600 plumbing, heating and drainage engineers, and are now looking to expand the business even further to provide coverage throughout the UK. It is certainly heartening to see such a large number of jobs being created in the  sector, a figure which should only continue to grow over the coming years as new eco technologies come to the fore, bringing with them new installation requirements.

This is a great opportunity for the lucky candidates who are successful in their applications, as HomeServe were recently named 'Best Employer in Business Services and Supplies' in an independent employee survey. Their workers were asked to rate their job satisfaction based on a number of different factors, including whether or not they would recommend their current employer to a prospective candidate. It's clear from the results that the company recognize the importance of creating a positive working environment to provide the best service to their customers, demonstrating the level of job satisfaction individuals are able to achieve from a career in gas and plumbing.

With opportunities coming up left right and centre, it really is the perfect time to enrol on one of our plumbing courses, to strike while the iron's hot. As with any area, employers are particularly keen to take on multi-skilled engineers, which is why a programme like our Premier Plumbing Course could put you at a distinct advantage. Allowing you enter the trade as a qualified plumber and heating engineer, this course is ideal for individuals who wish to distinguish themselves from their fellow candidates once they have completed the course, and are able to seek full time employment. It will allow you to gain a keen grasp of plumbing work, but will also allow you to achieve multiple electrical and gas qualifications to join the Gas Safe Register, an essential requirement for any reputable company.

Of course if you are already a qualified gas engineer or electrician, we also offer a number of other plumbing courses, allowing to to add another skill to your portfolio and advance your career. For qualified plumbers looking to expand their skills within the sector, we also off a number of trade professional plumbing courses, which are ideal for individuals who are looking to offer the complete package in their services.

If you're interested in enrolling on one of our plumbing courses, or simply want to find out more, then get in touch with us today!
You can keep up with more industry news by following us on Twitter.
Bricklaying can prove to be an invaluable skill to gain, whether you're looking to start a new career or simply to carry out your own work at home. Professional bricklayers are always in demand, as are multi-skilled tradespeople, which is why the courses we offer in this area are some of the most popular amongst our prospective candidates.

Whatever your skill level or end goal, we can match you to the course that's right for you, whether you're looking to undertake paid work or simply gain an understanding of how you can improve your home and garden without hiring a labourer.

If you're unsure about which of our courses is right for you, here are some guidelines to help you make your decision:

If you're looking to carry out work at home:

For complete beginners who want to learn bricklaying skills from scratch, our DIY Bricklaying Course provides the best possible introduction to the skill. Whilst equipping you with the correct skills and knowledge to undertake and oversee projects at home, it also provides a good foundation from which to branch out into other DIY and home improvement areas, such as plastering and tiling.

If you want to target specific areas and learn essential skills: 

Whether you're a beginner or an experienced bricklayer who needs to update their skills, our Essential Bricklaying course can help you to identify and target your areas of interest. From mastering different bonds to inserting windows and lintels, this course will provide you with the practical knowledge to deal with a number of common brickwork jobs. Although this course is open to experienced bricklayers who are in need of retraining, those with little to no experience find that this course is more accessible than our more advanced options.

If you're looking to become a professional:

If you're looking to start a brand new career and require a thorough understanding of bricklaying, then our Professional Bricklaying course is the option for you. With state of the art facilities and some of the best success rates in the country, our academies are the perfect place to gain both practical experience and a through knowledge of bricklaying, in order to undertake paid work or progress to further qualifications. 

To browse our full range of bricklaying courses click here, or get in touch with us today if you are in need of further guidance. 
Resettlement Courses

Have you considered an army resettlement course?  

 
If you've recently left or are thinking of leaving the Armed Forces, the prospect of choosing a new career path can be quite a daunting task. This is why Access Training strives to provide as much support and guidance for ex-military personnel as possible, helping them to retrain and revive their career prospects with our army resettlement courses.
 
Whether you have previous skills to build upon or are looking to start completely from scratch, we provide a huge variety of army resettlement courses which allow you to progress into a brand new career! In the past we have trained numerous ex-MoD personnel, allowing them to build on the valuable skills gained throughout their military career, while also providing them with the tools needed to master their new, chosen trade.
 
We have plenty of resettlement courses that will suit you, and they are particularly useful because of their flexibility. With Access Training you can learn at your own pace which allows you to maintain your responsibilities to family and other work. By completing the course (in whichever timeframe suits you best) you will be able to start a career with stability and opportunity. 
 
The Access Training company directors are also ex-military, as are several members of staff, which really does put this issue at the heart of our work. This provides us with the knowledge and understanding regarding your circumstances, making it easier for us to guide your transition. 
 
Whether you see yourself as a plumber, an electrician or a gas engineer, we provide first-class training in all of these areas, as well as many others! With such a variety of army resettlement courses to choose from, your eyes will be opened to the numerous options available to you, putting you on the right track to pursuing a profitable and stable career. 
 
For more information about our army resettlement courses, contact the Access Training team today. We are more than happy to help you find a course that best suits you and your circumstances so please don't hesitate to get in touch today. 
Construction crane

A recent Financial Times article revealed that contractors in London now refuse 1 in 2 jobs, suggesting that workers now have the freedom to pick and choose which contracts they accept. As we have seen reported countless times over the past year or so, the UK is currently experiencing the worst skills shortage for a generation, leading to an increased demand for skilled labourers such as plumbers and bricklayers.

While the construction industry is growing at an accelerated rate, the availability of skilled manual workers and trade professionals is failing to keep up with the demand. This may seem like rather bleak news for the sector, however, it is actually quite promising news for skilled tradesmen and those looking to enter into these "in demand" skill areas. According to the same Financial Times article as referred to above, the average cost of a construction contract in London has risen by 10% over the past year, which demonstrates that the construction industry is becoming more and more lucrative.

There is clear evidence to support the conclusion, that those in possession of the required skills are highly likely to find an abundance of jobs on offer in their area of expertise, leaning to freedom of choice and the probability of being offered financial incentives in order to select a particular employer. There has quite clearly, never been a better time to enter into the sector, an objective easily reached with the right training and qualifications. 

At our Access Training facilities we offer an abundance of construction courses to suit a variety of skill levels, whether you are new to the industry, or are looking to improve your existing skills in order to meet trade standards. There are a number of courses on offer that will equip you with the right skills in order to succeed in this field, instilling you with the correct practical and theoretical knowledge to progress in your desired career.

To find out more about the excellent service we can offer aspiring skilled professionals, visit our 'About Us' page.

Government-endorsed quality mark Trustmark are now helping tradespeople comply with new changes to home improvement and repair contracts, following the introduction of the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013.

These new regulations have introduced major changes to consumer projection law, applying to contracts made in stores, online and in-home. Failure to comply to these regs may lead to prosecution or fine, so it's important that all qualified tradespeople know exactly what they need to do.

Among the major changes are:

  • Consumers are to be given far more information prior to signing a contract. This includes everything from information about the trader and goods to cancellation rights and any applicable charges.
  • Traders need the active consent of the consumer for all payments. Methods such as pre-ticked boxes for additional payments are no longer acceptable.
  • Consumers are not liable for costs they've not been told about in advance
  • The cooling-off period for goods and services sold by distance or off-premises selling will be now be14 days from date of delivery of the products across the EU. Formerly this was seven days from date of contract.
  • Where the consumer has the right to cancel a contract, they must be provided with a model cancellation form by the trader
  • The cancellation period is extended to, broadly, 12 months if the trader fails to provide certain pre-contract information. The trader could also be liable to a fine of up to £5,000.
  • There are some exemptions in regards to cancellation rights, one of which is for products "made to the consumer's specification" – this will include such products as made-to-measure windows made to a consumer's specific requirements; another is for urgent repairs and maintenance when a consumer invites a trader to their home.

TrustMark chairman Liz Male said these changes are "a big step forward" in helping both consumers and traders enjoy a clear and positive relationship. She added: "What matters now is that all TrustMark-registered firms get the detailed guidance they need in order to ensure they are fully compliant. I’m delighted our approved scheme operators in this sector, including NICEIC and NAPIT are already busy providing this support to their registered firms."

More information and further developments can be found at TrustMark's website.

The Chartered Institute of Plumbing & Heating Engineering (CIPHE) have joined forces with BSE sector skills council SummitSkills to launch a research project exploring various aspects of the plumbing and heating sector.

The main area being explored by the project is the current apprenticeship system, specifically how EngTech registrations are working and how both can be maximised for the sector. Considering attitudes towards professional registration and competence schemes, assessing the potential for apprenticeships to meet future skills requirements and understanding the perceived value of EngTech registration are included within the research objectives.

Research will be carried out via a series of focus groups and questionnaires to be completed over the next few weeks, culminating with a report launching in the House of Lords next month.

"This is an excellent initiative which provides a great opportunity for industry to collaborate and safeguard future apprenticeships," said Kevin Wellman, Chief Executive Officer of the CIPHE. "Quality vocational training and relevant practical experience leading to Engineering Council registration is becoming increasingly important for all plumbing professionals, which is something that all our Industry Stakeholder Group partners recognise."

For more information on the research, contact Jacqui Chivers of Summit Skills on 07834 868947.

Earlier this week the Guardian posted an article titled "The Rise of white van woman". Reading through it you'll see that, while perhaps not the best written article around, it does reveal one very important point - more and more women are now taking up trades such as plumbing, electrics, carpentry, bricklaying and more.

According to a study of 10,000 tradespeople across the UK from IronmongeryDirect (reported in Professional Builder magazine), women now represent 5.7% of all working tradespeople - dispelling notions by coming in higher than the proportion of migrant workers in the UK (4.6%). In the grand scheme of things this might still seem like a small figure, but is still a big leap forward that lead to further gender equality in the trades.

The Guardian's article also notes that between 2011 and 2012, B&Q reported a 400% increase in the number of women enrolling in its skills workshops. During this time Britain was also going through its economic recession, and so many women who were losing their jobs were going on to set up their own businesses. The appeal of a more physical and rewarding trade career has caught on, with more and more women starting their own businesses and groups/magazines such as Women In Trade. WIC Wales and Stopcocks forming to give support. The supposed gender barriers are breaking down at long last, and this is nothing but a good thing.

And it seems customers have no qualms with female tradespeople either, making the noticeable gender segregation in the trades even more outdated and antiquated. At Access Training we welcome female tradespeople just as we do male, which is why our doors are open to people of all ages, background and gender. These things should make no difference in a person's drive to become a qualified tradesperson, and this is reflected in the training we offer. Each week we see more and more female trainers come through our doors, all of which go on to have successful businesses in their respective trades. For example - Sarah Chandler from Cardiff was working as an administrator before she decided to change her career into something more practical. After completing both a plumbing and multi-skills construction course with us, she has now set up her own business, SLC Home Improvements, and is never short of work.

Are you looking to start a brand new career as a qualified tradesperson? Covering plumbing, electrics, gas engineering, carpentry, bricklaying, plastering, tiling and painting/decorating, Access Training offers a wide range of expertise taught under one roof by an experienced teaching staff. To find out more about our courses and to book your place, please give our advice team a call on 0800 345 7492.

With all the reports about cowboy builders doing shoddy maintenance work and unregistered gas engineers making potentially fatal mistakes, is it any surprise that finding a trusted tradesperson is becoming a major problem across the UK? In fact, a recent survey from the HomeOwners Alliance and TrustMark has found over half of Britons are hesitant to do maintenance work on their homes because they have difficulty finding someone they feel they can trust.

This result then has a knock-on effect as to what said homeowners then do. While the 2014 Homeowner Survey found 12% won't do the work at all and 26% simply delay the project, a significant 40% then choose to do their own repairs/DIY. When it comes to certain trades, this could easily end up in injury or worse. Other statistics found were that 27% will only do essential works, while if forced 28% will use tradespeople they are uncertain about.

Only earlier this week Heating & Plumbing Monthly reported a plumber in Kidderminister is behind bars for 16 months after overcharging elderly and vulnerable customers up to 800% more for simple jobs. Among Mr Steven Greenaway's misdeeds were:

  • Charging one elderly woman in Cradley Heath £1527 to repair a leak on her toilet and replace the cistern - a job averaging around £200 to do
  • Charging a Dudley pensioner £500 to unblock a toilet, then proceeding a charge her a further £780 after claiming the kitchen tap needed work
  • Charging a mother and daughter £1000 to repair a dripping tap - money that they had been saving for a holiday
  • Charging a Worcester couple £1,200 to repair a leak on a radiator valve - leaving them feeling "like they had been mugged"
  • Charging another Worcester couple more than £800 for work to repair a stop tap that should have only cost around £120
  • And as a final insult, he even advertised DISCOUNT rates for pensioners in Yellow Pages adverts

This piece isn't just meant to point the finger at these frauds who give a bad name to tradespeople everywhere, its also to show trainees how much better they can be. You don't need to con the elderly to make a healthy wage nor do you have to pretend to have qualifications - all you need is proper training and not only will you actually have the qualifications to your name, you'll also be able to make the money honestly. And as positive word of mouth about your business grows, so will those interested.

It all starts with getting the right training, and no matter which trade you're planning to persue a career in Access Training can help. From plumbing and gas to electrical, carpentry, plastering and more, our state-of-the-art centre and experienced tutors will take you from the level of absolute beginner all the way up to becoming a fully trained professional. To find out more about the courses we offer here at Access and how you can change your life with a brand new career, give us a call on 0800 345 7492 or by filling in the enquiry form found on this website. One of our course advice team will soon be in touch.

The amount of news there's been over the past few months concerning the construction industry's boom has been wonderful, and it's great to see that there's still no signs of it slowing down! In fact, leading job recruitment service Reed recently revealed that the number of new jobs in their construction and property section has gone up by an incredible 81% in the last year.

This comes according to the monthly figures for Feb 2014 released by the website, also revealing that this number means three times more vacancies are being posted in this section - totalling in over 10,700 new jobs. Among the most popular are quantity surveyors (1,180 new jobs), site managers (712) and project managers (706).

James Reed, chairman of reed.co.uk, said: "Returning consumer confidence, low interest rates and government-backed initiatives have all helped to invigorate the sector. Related industries, which service and supply Construction are also benefiting. And rising property sales across much of the UK are prompting record job growth in the Estate Agency sector." That said, he also warned of growth being focused on too much of a narrow part of the econmony, cautioning that it could result in a "bursting property bubble".

Still, this fantastic news just proves yet again how much opportunity there is in the construction industry, and why there's no better time than now to take up a career as a bricklayer, carpenter, plasterer or tiler! And the fastest, most effective way to make that goal happen is with an intensive training course from Access Training. At our state-of-the-art training centre, you'll earn the knowledge and skills from experienced teaching staff with a wealth of industry knowledge.

To find out more just give our course advice team a call on 0800 345 7492.