A UK engineer has created innovative new software to help plumbers with dyslexia, after he noticed a need for the product when aiding plumbers with heat-loss calculations. The software, called Heat Engineer, is designed to enable plumbers to work out calculations of heat-loss quickly and efficiently, without the need for external help.

Although this is hugely beneficial for plumbing as whole, the fact that it can be adapted especially for people who suffer from dyslexia means that it will not only improve and simplify the day-to-day lives of current tradespeople, but will also pave a more inviting pathway for the plumbers of the future. To help combat the difficulties experienced by plumbers with dyslexia, the app allows them to change the colour, size and font of the text, as well as other elements, allowing them to adapt it to fit their particular needs. This is a massive step forward not only for plumbing-specific technology, but for apps in general, as it directly combats a common difficulty that isn't often awarded much attention in mainstream culture.

Another encouraging aspect of this development, is that it has the potential to draw more people to the profession, due to the fact that they will not feel intimidated or held-back by their struggles with dyslexia. In fact, individuals with the problem can often find themselves thriving in a hands-on career such as plumbing, which means that the industry's talent pool will also be all the better for it.

At Access Training, we aim to take on a variety of candidates regardless of their background or experience level, an approach we believe is essential in ensuring that we create a compassionate and diverse pool of trade professionals. Our experienced tutors have years of professional experience, and are able to offer a flexible programme of work to suit the candidate's individual needs. Due to our student to tutor ratio, you will also be given the opportunity to have one-on-one supervision and guidance, which is ideal for candidates how may find some of the written aspects of the courses more complicated. 

If you would like to become a plumber, and feel that Access Training's courses could be for you, then please feel free to get in touch with us today!  As we mentioned previously, we are dedicated to providing a flexible service, and would be happy to discuss any concerns or requirements you may have.

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Professional Electrican and Installer recently reported the news of a terrible flat fire in Southampton, which was connected to the presence of a plastic consumer unit. Luckily, no one from the flat was injured on this occasion, but the damage caused by the fire was truly devastating and extensive. 
The IET and BSI recently launched a new requirement for non-combustible consumer units, due to work with the London Fire Brigade which highlighted a rising number of house fires, which were caused by traditional consumer units. While this fire is evidence that these new requirements have yet to be fully employed in UK properties, it is further evidence for the need of steel consumer units and tighter electrical safety regulations.

While there are concerns that new building projects which began before the regulation was introduced will continue to use plastic consumer units, the IET are hopeful that increased awareness regarding the subject will eventually allow them to prevent domestic fires in the future.

Yet again, we are reminded of the importance of safe electrical installation, and what this means for UK electricians. As professional installers, electrical engineers have a responsibility to keep up to date on all the latest changes to safety regulations, and a duty to provide a safe installation for their customers.For this reason, we ensure that all of our electrician courses provide a through understanding of how to work safely and correctly, providing our candidates with all the knowledge required to become a first-class electrician. Taught by experienced teaching staff with a wealth of experience and knowledge, we ensure that each individual who completes our courses achieves the standard of training required to obtain their City and Guilds awards, and eventually start or resume their careers.

If you are looking to begin your career as an electrical engineer, you can enrol on one of our electrician courses today, to ensure that you go on to provide a safe and secure service to your future customers. If you are an experienced installer that needs to update their knowledge or expand their skills, you can get in touch with us today and find out about the trade professional electrician courses we offer.

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diy training

While many of the courses we offer at Access Training are intended to help candidates kick-start or advance their chosen career, we also realize that many individuals want to learn essential trade skills from a non-professional start point, with a view to improve their own homes. 

Thanks to the rise in thrifty living sites and DIY blogs, many people now prefer to get hands on with home-improvement projects, in order to save money on labour costs and exercise total control over their desired outcome.  Here at Access Training, we recognize the need for a variety of training options as opposed to a 'one size fits all' policy, which is why we offer a variety of DIY training courses.

Whether you're seeking to perfect your wallpapering and painting skills, or if you want to get clued up on carpentry, we have a number of courses available on our site that will allow you to advance your ability in no time. By the end of the course, you will have gained practical skills and knowledge of your chosen area, which you will then be able to translate to all your future DIY projects. Of course, if you do feel that you've found your new life calling on one of our DIY courses, we would be more than happy to help you progress onto more advanced options.

We offer DIY training in all of the following areas:
As you can see from the selection above, there are a number of DIY training options available, which should cover a multitude of design and improvement projects throughout your home. If you would like to learn a combination of skills, we also provide the option to progress onto another DIY course to compliment your training.

If you have browsed our DIY courses and find that one of them catches your attention, please feel free to contact the Access Training team for more information. 

plumbing parts

Constant advancements in heating technology mean that it's crucial for plumbers and gas engineers to ensure that their skills are always up to date with the latest changes and developments. Plumbing professionals must ensure that they are qualified to work on a variety of systems, in order to guarantee a safe and efficient service for themselves and their customers.

These days, most new properties have unvented hot water storage systems, which are far more complicated and have more parts than older, open-vented systems. Even if you have a wealth of experience with other types of hot water systems, a lack of knowledge in this particular area could soon cause you to come unstuck if you attempt to work on an unvented system without the proper training.

How to get qualified

Here at Access Training, we deliver an accredited Unvented Hot Water Storage Systems course for plumbers and heating engineers.

This training package will equip you with all the relevant skills and knowledge needed to install and maintain modern hot water systems. It will also familiarise you with the G3 Building Regulations, which you will need to follow when working on hot water storage systems. At the end of the course, you'll gain a qualification that allows you to work on unvented systems (as well as solar thermal hot water installations).

Unlike some of our other plumbing courses, this course is specifically designed to suit experienced plumbers and heating engineers who wish to expand and update their skill set. When you successfully complete the course, you will be supplied with an ID card that identifies you as being qualified to deal with this type of work, providing peace of mind for your customers.

Unvented Hot Water Storage Systems Course - Book Your Place Now >

To see our full range of plumbing training packages, please visit our Plumbing Courses page. Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions about any of our courses.

This week the British Lung Foundation is launching a new campaign "Take 5 and Stay Alive" to promote awareness of the dangers of asbestos, particularly among tradespeople who may be dealing with it every day.

According to official statistics, on average six electricians, four plumbers and eight joiners in UK die from asbestos exposure every week - making it the single greatest cause of work-related deaths. Though the use of the material was banned in 2000, any building made before then may contain it as it was commonly used as insulation. While undisturbed asbestos is relatively harmless, when disturbed the fibres can become airborne. When inhaled, asbestos fibres can cause a range of illnesses - including the terminal chest cancer mesothelioma. The tiny invisible particles stick to clothes, meaning that as well as risking their own lives, workers can be unknowingly putting their family members, colleagues and friends at risk.

The "Take 5 and Stay Alive" campaign aims to ensure tradespeople have the knowledge to identify asbestos and what type it is, with them then being able to assess correctly whether they have the right training and equipment to deal with it safely.

British Lung Foundation chief executive Dr Penny Woods said:

"Twice as many people die from asbestos-related illnesses than on the roads each year in Britain. It's the biggest work-related killer, and the numbers of deaths associated with it are rising each year.  Sole traders and people working for small companies are often under particular pressure to take jobs and deliver quickly, and this can sometimes put them at particular risk of asbestos exposure.

"But it's not just tradespeople putting their own lives at risk. If asbestos is disturbed the particles can affect others too, and we know several women who have died after years of washing their husbands' contaminated overalls.

"Our Take 5 and Stay Alive campaign aims to give tradespeople the tools to act responsibly. We want to ensure they can identify asbestos wherever and in whatever form it might be present, and know how to deal with it safely. Our message is simple - taking just five minutes to assess the situation could save your life, and keep your family, friends, clients and business safe from exposure to potentially fatal asbestos dust."

More information on Take 5 and Stay Alive can be found on their website, which contains plenty of information about the different types of asbestos, where it can be found and the illnesses it can cause.

In addition to this campaign, former electrician Alan North has uploaded a video to YouTube describing his experiences after he was diagnosed with mesothelioma earlier this year. While this is unaffiliated with the BLF's work, it shares the same message about the dangers of mishandling asbestos. You can view the video HERE.

When British Gas, Scottish Power and other leading energy providers in the UK announced huge new increases to their gas and electricity prices in the last week, it was another piece of bad news for a huge amount of cash-strapped Brits who are struggling with their bills. 

However, the price hikes may be good news for electricians, or those planning on enrolling on an electricians course. But why? 

People turn to an energy alternative 

The recent British Gas rises – occurring not long after the company announced a profit of £345m in the first half of 2012 – are sure to prove key in persuading a large number of people to invest in producing solar power at home. Over the past five years, it can’t have escaped your notice that growing numbers of people across Britain are placing distinctive blue solar panels on the roof of their home; choosing to generate electricity through solar power. 

It is estimated that by installing solar panels, homeowners can save hundreds of pounds every year on their energy bills – while some homes with enough panels can become entirely energy-efficient, and free from the price rises of energy giants.  

And although Government feed-in tariffs (FiTs), which pay homeowners a small fee for every kWh they produce, have been reduced in the last 12 months, homes can still be paid hundreds of pounds a year just for creating renewable solar energy. 

Great news for electricians

Of course the huge surge in popularity of solar power has lead to many jobs being created across the country for fitters, salesmen and electricians, whose in-depth knowledge and experience is vital in assembling a kit that both collects and stores valuable solar energy for people’s homes. 

It’s very true that electricians provide an ‘essential’ service to homes and businesses, and as such are less susceptible to poor economic conditions than most professions, but the continued popularity of solar panels will only mean good news for both electricians and those who are looking for a dependable, interesting new career. 

Are you interested in making the most of the solar boom? For further information on training an electricians course, contact us at Access today – where we’ve a wide range of courses to suit your specific needs. Call us today on 0800 345 7492

As is the want of Murphy’s Law, DIY and plumbing disasters always seem to happen at the worst possible times. Whether late in the evening, in the early hours of the morning or during a bank holiday, a plumbing problem will always manifest itself with particularly poor timing.  And at specialist times like this, when immediate action is frequently necessary, many professional plumbers, who have trained on a plumbing course, will charge extortionate rates. 

Sometimes however, the problem is a simple one that you can fix yourself without involving an expensive third party. Here are some particularly straightforward plumbing problem and their simple solutions:

Unclogging a drain

When you’ve just eaten Christmas dinner or a special birthday dinner and then you find the sink to be critically blocked, the thought of doing the dishes in the bathtub fills you with dread. Usually caused by lots of bits of food or grease, a drain can be unblocked using a humble plunger or by using an instrument to poke the blockage through. 

Noisy pipes

There are some homes where particularly noisy plumbing resembles a small modernist concerto. If your pipes are banging or squeaking then it probably means they have come loose from the straps or cushions that affix them to the wall, so simply place a new piece of material around the pipes. 

Hammering pipes

When pipes start to hammer, however, there’s a different solution. Hammering pipes means that the air chambers in the pipes are empty – this can be fixed by turning the water off at the mains, then opening all the faucets to drain the entire system. Afterwards, turn off the faucets and let the water back on. The chambers should refill with air and the hammering will stop.   

Running toilet

This is one of the most common problems that people will call a plumber out for, but it can be very simply solved, usually by replacing a faulty flapper or ball assembly. However, in some cases, you may need to clean mineral deposits from the tank itself with an effective combination of vinegar, baking soda and boiling water. 

If you find that you have a natural passion for plumbing and would like to train professionally, or are simply interested in learning the ropes, Access have a wide variety of plumbing courses available. Learn more by calling 0800 3457492 today. 

Historically, property has yielded better returns than any other investment vehicle; an added benefit is that a piece of land never goes to zero value like equities and the likes.  Then, there is the regular income in the form of rent and the perks of living in a well made home to consider. However, are these benefits enough to justify the cost of enrolling in a property development course?

When should you consider property developer training?

If you have discretionary income or enough savings to invest in property, it would be best to jump into the sector well prepared. After all, a shoddily constructed house in a remote area will not fetch you the expected returns. This is where all the homework you put into buying a piece of land will come in handy.

Because property purchases involve a significant amount of money, it would certainly be prudent to consider taking a property development course before you embark on this rewarding pursuit on a business or professional level.

What can you expect from property developer training programmes?

Although a property development course offered by a reputable establishment will set you back by at least a few thousand pounds, the knowledge and experience that it provides will be invaluable when you wade out into the world of property dealings.

These training programs are designed to offer in depth information on every aspect of property development from choosing the right location to construction minutiae like interiors, tiling, plumbing, electrical systems, structural concepts and more. All in all, by the time you complete the training programme, you will be well versed with every facet of property development  

Choosing the best property development course for you

You will need to start looking for programs with a clear idea of how you intend to use this education. For instance, you can find both commercial as well residential property developer courses in the market. 

Also consider the precise area of property development that interests you; for instance, apart from the 360 degree courses that cover all aspects of property development, you can also find specific training programs that only deal with property law, or architecture and designing  or even with market analysis and more.

Once you know your requirements, look for information on establishments that offer property development courses. The internet is by far the most exhaustive source of data on colleges and other learning centres that offer vocational education.

In London alone, there are almost 40 colleges that offer training on property development; apart from this, you can also find numerous private establishments that offer formal courses on the subject.

Finally, always choose a program that will earn you a formal certification, preferably one that is accredited under the NCFE 2 Q license.

Did you know that this week is national back week? From today until the 12th of October, National Back Week aims to highlight how important it is for trade professionals, electricians and plumbers to really look after their back and ensure they’re fighting fit and ready to give their all to their job.

Back pain is the second most common cause of long-term illness in the UK and without a healthy back it’s very hard to do anything – and even more so if you’re constantly on the move and performing highly practical tasks for your job. Whether you’re lifting, driving, stretching, climbing or painting, without a healthy back it is much harder to do your job properly.

That’s why National Back Week was launched by BackCare, the charity for healthier backs, to raise awareness of keeping your back in tip-top shape. But what steps can trades people take to ensure a healthy back?

Keep moving

Like all muscles, the tendons and sinews that make up your back get stronger the more often they’re used. So, a great way of keeping back pain at bay is by staying active. Luckily, as a tradesperson, you’re likely to be frequently on your feet, bending, lifting and using your back muscles, so they are likely to be pretty strong. If you have injured your back, remember that strengthening those muscles is the key to regaining your health, so try low-impact exercise like swimming.

Sit well

Although you’re likely to be frequently off your feet, many back problems arise as a result of poor posture while seated. So when you’re doing paperwork or relaxing at home, ensure that your back is straight and well-supported. Plus, be sure to frequently adjust your sitting position, as sticking to the same posture for a long period of time could lead to a repetitive strain injury.

Lift safely

Many back injuries occur as a result of lifting something that’s too heavy for you to cope, and it’s important to remember that no bravado and man-points can mask the agony of a bad back. So, when you’re next confronted by a package that’s too heavy to lift, ask a friend to help you with it, or transport it in pieces. By recognising your limits, your back will stay safe.

Here at Access, we provide a wide variety of plumbing, decorating and electrician courses that can suit your specific background, age and career needs. To learn more about our fun, flexible courses, explore the rest of the site or speak to one of our team on 0800 3457492. 

If your home is looking a bit unloved, then a little TLC will go a long way. With so many people hit hard by the economic downturn, many homeowners are plumping for DIY renovations to their homes rather than buying new. Here is our guide to some of the most cost effective methods of sprucing up your home without breaking the bank.

A fresh lick of paint

It’s incredible how a simple task can make such a difference to the look and feel of your home. If your walls and doors are looking grimy, dowdy and dated, then give them a fresh lick of paint. It’s a simple job and even the most hapless DIY novice can’t go wrong, so there’s no need for professional assistance, which helps to keep the costs down. If you’re thinking of selling your house in the near future then neutral colours are the best way to go. If you’re staying put for the foreseeable future then go wild; what about a splash of colour or even some stencilling?

Declutter your clutter

If your preferred style is minimalist and airy then keep it that way. I know that two foot long china dog would look lovely in your front room, but be strong and walk away. If it’s already too late and your home is so chock-a-bloc with knick-knacks that you can hardly move, then take a big breath and get to work. And remember, one man’s tat is another man’s treasure, so put some of your better pieces on eBay and see how they go, after all, you’ve got nothing to lose.

Have a look at some decorating courses

There are some great decorating courses in the UK for people of all ages and abilities – we should know, ours is one of the best! We will teach you the latest trends and techniques, giving you the skill you need to completely transform your home. And if you want to take it one step further and enrol on a decorating course as the first step in your new career, we can help you do that too.

For more information about decorating courses which will teach you everything you need to know, whatever level you wish to reach, give us a call here at Access Training on 0800 345 7492.

If you’re wondering what happened to the summer, your guess is as good as ours. After what seems like months of torrential rain, freakishly large hailstorms, floods, gales and general meteorological misery you could be forgiven for feeling a little bit down in the dumps. For plumbers, however, all this heavy rain is causing an overflow in work. With intense downpours across the country, Britain’s pipes have been under a serious amount of pressure.

For those on plumbing courses, this is a great example of just how in demand skilled plumbers are. This is not just reliant on heavy rain. In fact a recent study into current course numbers and job prospects revealed that those on plumbing courses and other skilled trades courses have around 2 job opportunities per every student.

But back to the rain. Blocked and burst water pipes are a big problem in serious deluges and require the attention of a skilled plumber to fix. In seriously nasty weather undermining is also an issue. Undermining takes place when soil surrounding and supporting a pipe is washed away, causing the pipe to crack or even collapse.

If you are the victim of a burst pipe but you don’t have the advantage of plumbing courses under your belt, there are some steps you can take to reduce the damage whilst you wait for the plumber to arrive…

1.    Find your stopcock
Usually located beneath your kitchen sink, turn off the stopcock to stop the water supply to your home. This will help prevent any further water damage,

2.    Drain your system
Turn on all of your cold taps and flush your toilets – this will clear your plumbing system of excess water.

3.    Turn off any water heating systems
Central heating, immersion heating and other heating systems all need to be turned off. Once everything has been turned off, turn your hot taps on to drain your plumbing.

4.    Turn off your electrics

We all know that water and electricity don’t mix so, if the water from your burst pipe/s is  anywhere near electrical items or fittings, turn off the mains. If the mains switch has been in contact with water, do not do anything! Call a plumber and an electrician immediately.

5.    Grab a bucket and bail!

The sooner you can locate the burst pipe, the more damage you can prevent to your property. It won’t always be possible but, if you can, collect as much water as possible in buckets to minimise damage.

6.    Call the plumber
When a pipe bursts, you’ll need a trained plumber on hand. Steps 1-5 will all help minimise the damage but you’ll need the expertise of someone who has completed plumbing courses to fix the pipe.

If you’re keen to pick up the DIY skills required to fix such issues yourself, or if you’d like to train on plumbing courses to establish yourself in a new career – Access can help. We offer accessible, flexible and highly regarded plumbing courses which will help you learn the skills you want in a way which is ideal for you. To learn more about our flexible plumbing courses for all abilities, contact Access today on 0800 345 7492.

You won’t find ‘kitten rescue’ on the syllabus of many plumbing courses, but this week a heroic group of plumbers in Memphis found themselves with a furry little problem in a very long pipe.

Usually kitten retrieval is the gambit of kindly firemen, but this time the problem was not stuck perilously up a tree, it was deep in an underground pipe. Using all of the tools at their disposal and everything they’d learnt on their plumbing courses, the Memphis plumbers sent a camera down the pipe to find out what the little critter was up to.

The monitor revealed a tiny tabby appearing bewildered but otherwise unharmed several metres into the pipe. Not wishing to cause the creature any distress or risk injuring it, the team lowered food down to the kitten and set a live trap beneath a nearby manhole to capture the creature when it eventually emerges. Working with the theory of ‘what goes up must come down’ the plumbers found they had little else to do to help.

The plumbing team were called in after neighbours were bothered by mewling coming from a local vacant property, after tracing the sound of the disorientated tabby to the pipe’s entrance, a neighbour called in the plumbers.
 
You might not learn about pet rescue on Access plumbing courses, but you will learn everything you need to know to begin a bright career in the plumbing industry. However you like to learn, whatever level of experience you have and wherever you are in the UK, Access have the ideal plumbing courses for you. To learn more about the plumbing courses we offer, from NVQ level 2 to renewable energy courses, please get in touch with our informative team on 0800 345 7492 today.