An alternative path

Wondering what alternatives to university there are? You're not alone! The past year has been full of chaos and upheaval for young people in the UK. Exams have been disrupted and results have been downgraded, so it's no surprise that thousands of GCSE and A-Level students across the country are now scrambling around for other ways to make the transition from school to further education. That's where we come in. So, if you're wondering what to do instead of university, just keep reading!

 

COVID-19 has caused huge problems for schools and universities

As you know, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused massive ruptures all around the world, turning our daily lives upside down. Universities and schools cannot operate in the traditional way, and face-to-face contact between teachers and students is, for the foreseeable future, a thing of the past. It's no surprise that young people are seeking out alternatives to university.

To make matters worse, the large-scale downgrading of results means that many students have missed out on university and college places. Some of these young people have responded by reluctantly accepting places on courses that aren't quite right for them - it's not ideal, but it has become the painful reality for a whole generation of ambitious, hard-working youngsters. But is there a better alternative to a degree?

 

What could you do instead of university?

Access Training offers the kind of education that will prove invaluable in this time of crisis when skills and experience are valued above all else. Even during the oncoming recession, British people will still need the skills and expertise of labourers and tradespeople.

The Federation for Industry Sector Skills and Standards have appealed to the government to ensure that training facilities for young tradespeople are protected during the pandemic. The Chief Executive of the Federation, Mark Lambert, stresses the crucial importance of a high-skilled young labour workforce to deal with the oncoming recession and says:

"Unless we act fast...we will be failing thousands of people whose talents will be needed to reskill the workforce and repair the UK economy once this crisis is over."

Not only is the trades industry strong and in high enough demand to survive the latest upheaval, but according to Lambert, it's exactly what we need to save the country from economic downfall. So what better way to secure the future of young people than by gifting them with permanently valuable skills?

 

How we've responded to the COVID-19 pandemic

Access Training's teaching model has adapted to this year of upheaval with great success. Not only have we ensured the continuation of high teaching standards and outcomes - you can check our reviews and pass rates for proof - but we've actually improved upon our pre-coronavirus records. By moving the majority of our training online, we have made sure that each individual student receives all of our attention and expertise at a time that is convenient for them. And they have been reaping the rewards!

So ask yourself this serious question: why bother spending thousands on an insubstantial and perhaps inefficiently-taught university degree when you could use this time of great uncertainty to develop vocation skills that are - and always will be - essential to the country's economy? Why wait another debt-ridden three years when you can begin working and earning as a qualified professional within months?

Get in touch with Access Training to find out more about our trade training courses - we'll take it from there.

Contact Access Training   Browse Our Trade Courses

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"Where my reason, imagination or interest were not engaged, I would not or I could not learn." - Winston Churchill

Live Online Learning

Access Training Online is our bespoke online training platform. Launched in April 2020 - during the coronavirus lockdown - it was created specifically for students who needed a practical, flexible, engaging and effective way to learn. Our online courses focus specifically on the vital theory skills that you must learn in order to pass your exams and progress to hands-on trade training.

Demand for e-learning skyrocketed during lockdown, and since then, the exam pass rate of those attending Access Training's Live Online Learning sessions has sharply increased to 90% - significantly higher than before the lockdown.

 

So what exactly is 'Live Online Learning'?

We have created live online sessions that concentrate on specific theory knowledge for your chosen trade, meaning that the time you spend in our training and assessment centre is focused on all the important practical elements of the training. This has already proven to be a winning formula.

These online learning sessions are never pre-recorded. Just like in the classroom, there's a tutor delivering the teaching to a group of learners. During these sessions, you can interact, ask questions and give feedback - all without leaving your home. Alternatively, you can learn from your workplace, a café, or even the beach - anywhere with an Internet connection! You can even access our e-learning content via a mobile device.

Once enrolled, you'll be able to join in with live lectures, be part of the class from the comfort of wherever you choose, and repeat the lessons as many times as you want.

Browse our trade training courses

 

Will I have the same interactive learning experience I'd get in a classroom?

During Live Online Learning, the tutor guides you through the course material, encouraging you to take part and learn with other students in exactly the same way as you would in a classroom. Additionally, everyone receives individual attention when they need it through the subsequent Q&A sessions.

Each webinar focuses on one specific topic and aims to give you the knowledge you'll need to succeed when you take your exams. This helps to ensure that you will be fully prepared to pass and progress smoothly onto practical training. After all, you wouldn't learn to drive a car without passing your theory first - how would you know what you were doing?

Live Online Learning combines the traditional classroom lesson structure with the flexibility of studying from home. Join timetabled live lectures online, and talk to tutors during the webinars for live feedback. All our lectures are recorded, so if you miss one, you can catch up; you can also re-watch previous classes for extra revision.

 

What are the advantages of Live Online Learning when learning a trade?

Live Online Learning suits people who want the benefits of being in class (like live tutor support and a structured approach) but wish to reduce unnecessary time spent travelling to and from the training centre when all you'd be doing is sitting in a classroom. This approach leaves more room for your other commitments, such as work and family.

There are so many advantages to learning through our online portal, including:

  • Scheduled classes that give students the benefit of a traditional classroom setting
  • Interactive classes that allow you to ask questions and make comments, just like in a classroom
  • Online learning materials that give you everything you need to study before your practical training starts
  • A discussion forum where you can keep in touch with tutors and fellow students during the course
  • Extra online content for revision outside of the webinars
  • Dedicated tutor support - get in touch with our expert tutors through LiveChat and request a callback if necessary

Tony Maus, Director of Training at Access Training Academies, said:

"Online learning has rapidly proved its value during the COVID-19 pandemic by being both efficient and engaging. It also offers unrivalled flexibility, giving our learners the ability to select when they learn and to do it at a pace that suits them. This has resulted in an incredibly high pass rate for exams.

"We have received so much positive feedback from our students, who love the freedom of logging into the platform and attending the live online learning from any location. The platform will also benefit them in the long term, as they can keep using the facility for up to 3 years after enrolling on their course. This will enable us to interact and continually develop all of our students, past and present."

Contact Access Training to find out more

Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

 

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"Where you are now is based on the decisions you made 5 to 10 years ago. Where you will be in 5 to 10 years is based on the decisions you make now." - Vala Afshar, June 2020

Time for a career change

Ultimately, there is no right or wrong time to change careers - it's a question of circumstance and ambition versus confidence and opportunity. During difficult times, there are plenty of factors that can influence whether or not you feel ready for a career change; in the end, however, it comes down to you as an individual, your own determination, and your own faith and belief in yourself.

Many people have discovered a lot about themselves during lockdown. This applies to those placed on furlough and to key workers who have continued to work through this extraordinary period, but it's especially true for self-employed individuals whose work completely dried up when the lockdown began. For everyone, though, it's a question of whether now is the right time to change and why. Should you take that leap of faith? Or have you been pushed into making life-changing decisions when, actually, you feel hesitant to make a bold move?

Maturity allows us to reflect on decisions made earlier in our lives. During your younger years, you may not have had the confidence or the opportunity to go for the career you really wanted. But now, most students at Access Training Academies (who are mainly in their 30s) believe it's now or never. It's a case of 'Why not?' and 'If I don't do it now, am I going to have the chance again?'

Lockdown has given many the chance to think about this more than ever before. It has also provided the space and the time - away from a 'normal' routine - to have positive thoughts, against the overwhelmingly negative situation everyone was facing up to. Without a doubt, the decision to change can be quite scary; this is only natural, as it's an unknown quantity with an unknown outcome. But it could be an amazing opportunity for change, backed with the certainty that skills shortages remain and opportunities abound.​

Here at Access Training Academies, we learned very quickly during lockdown that many were confidently changing careers and still focusing all their energy positively into their online learning during live webinars that taught them the theory aspects of various trades. Many seemed to be using the lockdown as an opportunity to focus on their future lives and careers.

Confidence is a crucial factor when considering a career change, and a transition into the trades offers a clear potential for future prosperity. COVID-19 did limit on-site work at first (with many sites closing completely and homeowners unable to allow tradespeople into their homes), but the construction industry has become the catalyst to lift the country out of the COVID-19 economic crisis, and with that, many skilled people will be needed to get the work done and the country back on its feet.

So, if you're around 30 years old and you're considering learning a trade, is now the time? Here are 3 fundamental points for you to consider right now:

  1. Think about what trade you want to do and what kind of lifestyle you want. The kind of work you choose to do for a living will dictate what kind of lifestyle you'll have. Each trade offers something different that suits different personal characteristics and aspirations. We can advise you on this and many other aspects.

  2. Think about what service you can provide for paying customers. Consider what you would be able to provide with your newly-learned skills and qualifications gained. What skills do people need? And just importantly, what are you interested in? Talk to us so we can help you.

  3. Think about where you want to be in 5-10 years time. 5 to 10 years ago, you probably wouldn't have had the inclination to make the decision to change, or you may not have had what it takes to make a success of a new career in the trades. But you have amassed a great amount of valuable life experience since then - this can only come with maturity and the challenges that come with everyday life. Talk to us about your options.

Of course, the COVID-19 situation is a major influence on everything right now, but it won't be forever; 'the new norm' will eventually become second nature, and the trades sector will be one of the first - if not the first - to recover and grow markedly.

In fact, 'normality' appears to be returning already. Signs of economic improvement have been reported by Pimlico Plumbers. with company sales up £150,000 compared to the first two weeks of July last year. Pimlico has even set a company record by booking more than £280,000 worth of pre-scheduled jobs in a single week. Charlie Mullins, the founder of Pimlico Plumbers, said:

"There has been little good economic news since lockdown began, but I think there is now light at the end of the tunnel. Some experts have speculated that this time the recovery could be as lightning-fast as the collapse, and in our business, we are seeing sales data to back up that theory."

The time to change may never be 100% clear, but one thing's for sure: time waits for no one. Your career decisions right now will dictate where you will be in 5-10 years from now, and the opportunities are out there; it all depends on whether you have the confidence to make a change.

Talk to us today - our Career Support Team is here to help.

Browse Trade Courses   Contact Access Training

Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

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Can an Electrician Install a Vehicle Charger?

 

With more and more people shifting towards a sustainable-focused lifestyle, there is no surprise that the demand and popularity in environmentally-friendly living solutions have increased. More people are buying into and investing in green alternatives in their day-to-day lives, particularly the vehicles that they drive and ride.

Despite both pure electric and hybrid electric vehicles, commonly referred to as EV’s, only accounting for a small share of the new car market in the UK, figures have steadily grown in the past few years. However, one of the primary concerns amongst the public is the lack of charging infrastructure available. This presents an opportunity for individuals who are skilled and qualified in installing electric charging points to accommodate homes and businesses that may require the needed infrastructure. But who can install a vehicle charger? Any qualified, experienced electrician can. Having this skill within your arsenal can be a lucrative opportunity for experienced electricians. As more people turn to electric vehicles, more people will need charging points installed, thus creating increased work!

Here at Access Training Academies, we now offer a fantastic 2-day electrical vehicle charging point installation course, designed for experienced electrical installers who are looking to add this niche skill to their range of electrical abilities. Completion of this course will allow electricians to achieve the Level 3 Award in the Requirements for the Installation of Electric Vehicle Charging Points and enable them to register on the Rolec approved installer scheme, which can lead to a number of rob referrals and grants of up to £500 per installation through the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).

Our Electric Vehicle Charging Point Course >

Course Requirements

Before applying for our electrical vehicle charging point installation course, electricians are required to meet the following criteria:

  • Aged 18+
  • Experience of installing PVC/PVC cable and SWA cable
  • Ability to provide initial verification on electrical installations (including paperwork)
  • Up-to-date knowledge of 18th Edition Wiring Regulations

As well as possessing the above, the main thing that is required from electricians looking to become qualified in installing vehicle charges is competence. EV charging point installations can be very dangerous as there can be very high charging currents and the risk of exporting the PME earth if not installed correctly. Electricians need to understand earthing and bonding relating to EV charge points and the general requirements of the installation such as selecting the correct RCD’s, having the dedicated circuits and isolation. Installing an electric vehicle charger isn’t the same as installing a standard 13A socket. There are specific regulations, such as BS7671:2018 Section 722 and the Code of Practice for Electric Vehicle Charging Equipment Installation – 3rd Edition, that outline all of the necessary information associated with EV charger installation.

Benefits

If you feel that you have the required level of competence, then completing our course can be a very attractive option for any experienced electrician. Once approved by OLEV, you will need to provide monthly reports to the scheme. After every install, you will need to provide specific documentation in order to claim back the government grant. If you work in an efficient manner and manage overheads properly, the returns on installing EV chargers can be huge.

If you’re getting an EV charge point installed at your home or business, then you will need to ensure that your installer has sat a necessary course and has achieved the required qualifications. If they haven’t, then these electricians are at risk of breaching the Electricity At Work Regulations 1989 (EAWR 1989) which is a statutory requirement. They could potentially be installed charge points that do not meet BS7671 or EAWR 1989, which puts you at risk.

If you are thinking about adding EV charge point installation to your skillset and would like to learn more about how Access Training can help, then click below to learn more about our course.

Our Electric Vehicle Charging Point Installation Course >

 

To learn more about our course, the requirements and what happens on completion, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team today.

 

Questions to Ask Before Starting a Training Course

Making the decision to start and study a training course is a big one, make no mistake about it. Often, there is either a huge financial commitment, time investment or both. Therefore, knowing what questions to ask before starting a training course is hugely important. You need to find out the essential details to ensure you’re going to be getting the most out of your time and money. Here, we listing some of the most important questions that you should ask your course provider that can help make your decision that little bit easier.

1.      How will you learn?

The way in which training courses are taught can vary between providers. Knowing exactly how you will be taught can be a huge factor in deciding to enrol onto a course as we all learn in different ways. Finding a course that teaches in a way that suits your needs can be the difference between finishing the programme with a qualification or not. Here are some of the ways that you could be taught on your training course:

  • Classroom sessions
  • Practicals
  • Fieldwork
  • Work experience
  • Independent study

 

2.      How often will you submit work?

Just like being in school, there may be some work that you will have to complete at home along the way. Before enrolling on your course, you will need to ask how much of this work there will be and what kind of form it will take. If you’re a person who struggles to work independently, then a course that requires you to complete a lot of work at home may not be for you. The work rate requirements of this type of work could be too much for some people to handle, especially if studying part-time or on weekends when you have other commitments that take up the majority of your time.

 

3.      What feedback will you get?

Getting your work assessed and receiving feedback on the areas where you performed well and where you could improve is one of the best ways to learn. Knowing how much feedback a course will offer you can make or break a decision to study a course for some people. Having the knowledge and comfort that you will be receiving support throughout your studies can ease worries and stress, making the decision to enrol a much easier one.

 

4.      How will you be assessed?

There are a number of ways in which your work can be assessed and is often one of the main factors that influence a person’s decision to study. Just like learning, different people like to be tested in different ways, with feelings of comfort and confidence varying from one person to another. The different assessment options often included in training courses include:

  • Written examinations
  • Coursework
  • Presentations
  • Reports

Finding and choosing a course that suits the ways in which you like to be assessed is very important.

 

5.      What size groups will you be taught in?

Will you be studying in small classroom groups with a lot of personal and one-to-one interaction with the tutor? Or will you be one student in a lecture room with little to no interaction with the tutor? These are more important questions that you need to be asking yourself before starting a training course. The fewer people in the groups, the more the tutor will be focused on you. Another important thing to consider is whether you like being in large groups or prefer smaller ones. Some training courses take on hundreds of students whereas some others only a handful. Finding out how best you learn and interact with other people is an important part of studying and will need to be considered.

 

6.      What facilities are available?

Finding out how well your learning will be supported by the facilities that are available is crucial. Often, the better the facilities that are available, the easier and better the learning will be. Before enrolling onto a course, find out what facilities are on offer, how often you can use them and what is required to use them. Some of the most common learning facilities include:

  • Libraries
  • Lecture and classrooms
  • Practical labs
  • Computer & IT suites
  • Subject-specific equipment and tools

 

7.      Who will teach you?

Finding out exactly who will be teaching you is another crucial question that needs to be asked before starting a training course. Receiving tuition from a qualified, experienced teacher is far more encouraging than being taught by a first-time teacher who is just starting out. You need to ensure that you’re going to be happy with the level and ability of the people who are going to be marking your work, providing you with feedback and help you to develop your skills.

 

8.      What do graduates go on to do after the course?

Ask the training provider about the employment rates and opportunities for students once their course has been completed. Having the confidence that upon completion of your course that you’ll gain a higher chance of securing a job or have the ability to go on to study further is great and allows you to relax and focus on your studies rather than worry about what comes after.

These are just some of the main questions that you will need to ask before starting a training course. Find the answers to these first and then decide whether the course you’re thinking about studying is, in fact, the right course for you. Here at Access Training Academies, we offer a range of quality, intense courses that are conducted at state-of-the-art facilities across several training centres in England and Wales, taught by experienced professionals. Whether you’re looking to start a completely new career, add a specific qualification to your CV or to refresh yourself on old skills, our range of trade course is just the thing you need.

Electrical Courses >         Gas Courses >    Plumbing Courses >         Construction Courses >

 

 If you would like to know more about our trade courses, our facilities, tutors or the opportunities available to you after studying with Access Training Academies, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team today.

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