A man from Staffordshire has been sentenced to prison time after he performed gas work in someone's home with no experience or qualifications to do so. The man, named Colin Christoper Batchelor, conducted this gas work in September 2016. He:

  • Removed an old boiler
  • Installed a new boiler 
  • Installed a gas meter
  • Connected pipework

All while being completely unregistered to do so!

When Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated this incident, they found that Mr Batchelor had performed gas work while claiming to his client that he was part of the Gas Safe register, when in fact, he was not. He was not competent to carry out the gas work that he did, and the result of his shoddy workmanship was a home left unsafe. Mr Batchelor failed to carry out any tests or examinations to verify that the installation was safe and gas-tight once his work was finished.

Mr Batchelor pleaded guilty to five separate breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and was sentenced to 8 months imprisonment for each offence. That means, that Mr Bachelor's thoughtless actions have cost him over three years of his life!

After the hearing, HSE inspector, Dr Riley Roberts, said:

"The Gas Safe Register Exist to protect the public from people such as Colin Christopher Batchelor, who are prepared to work illegally, falsify records and carry out potentially dangerous gas work. Performing gas work without being competent to do so can be highly dangerous and lead to loss of life."

Don't risk being prosecuted like Mr Batchelor. Do a gas course with Access Training Academies and we will give you the skills and practical knowledge you need to become Gas Safe registered.

Browse Our Gas Courses Now >

 

 

18th edition

If you weren't already aware, a revised version of the 18th Edition IET Wiring Regulations became mandatory on 1st January 2019. These changes including, new and revised regulations, additional chapters and reorganised sections, have been made to improve the safety of installers and to tighten the focus on energy efficiency

Note: Electricians should obtain their own copy of the BS7671:2018 regulations and follow the requirements outlined in the 18th edition of the IET Wiring Regulations - this blog is only a brief overview of the changes made.

  • An extra category (section 730 that caters for electrical shore connections and inland navigation vessels) has been added to cater for this specialised location.
  • Some new definitions have been added and certain existing definitions have been altered. For example, the word 'departure' has been added. This term can be used when an intentional decision is made not to comply with BS7671.
  • A new appendix (appendix 17) has been added that focuses on energy efficiency. This appendix makes recommendations so that designers can optimise the construction, assembly and installation of electrical components so they are energy efficient.
  • Arc fault detection devices have a more prominent place in chapter 42. They provide protection against electrical fires caused by faulty AC circuits.

Here at Access Training Academies, we know how important it is for all practising electricians to have an excellent understanding of the 18th Edition Wiring Regulations, that's why we have a course dedicated to teaching you the ins and outs of the 18th Edition!

Find out more about our 18th edition course by clicking the button below, get in contact if you think this course is the perfect next step in your electrical career!

18th Edition Course >

Britain's departure from the EU is set to have an impact on every industry, including the construction sector. In a recent article by the National Housing Federation, they outline how two-thirds of housing professionals said they were facing a skills shortage, with exiting the EU being one of the main causes.  

To take a look at some numbers, a recent Federation of Master Builders Report indicates that '48% of SME construction firms reported a shortage of available plumbers' while '36% were struggling to find electricians' - and these numbers are expected to rise in the coming years!

The Immigration White Paper, published in December 2018, also proposes a new system where only 'skilled workers earning more than £30,000 per year' will be allowed to settle here, while less skilled workers will not be able to stay for longer than a year.

 So, what does all this mean?

Well, the uncertainty of Brexit is starting to drive EU construction workers away - particularly in London where there is the highest percentage of EU construction workers. British housing associations, construction companies and training centres, like ourselves, will really need to attract more people into the construction industry if we are to fill this pending employment gap. The number of British construction workers has to increase if we are to meet the housing needs of our population.

Is this the perfect time to train?

While this dramatic reduction in European construction workers seems alarming on the surface, it does present an opportunity for more British people to pursue careers in the construction industry. As more and more workers leave the UK during this tumultuous period, demand for construction workers in the UK increases. So newly trained workers shouldn't have any difficulty finding lucrative work in their chosen trade.

Are you interested in helping to bridge the post-Brexit skills shortage? We offer courses that will allow you to pursue a brand new career or expand your existing skill set, including:

We really do believe that now is an excellent time to consider taking up a career in a trade. Our courses will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need to start your new career and really make a difference as a new construction industry emerges from post-Brexit Britain. Enquire about our courses today! 

Contact Us Now >

Here at Access Training, we constantly stress the importance of safe electrical practice in the workplace, but this unfortunate incident really brings it home!

On the 12th of April 2017, two demolition workers were tasked with removing electrical distribution equipment from a switchgear room at the Molecular Products site in Essex. The principal contractor had told the men that the electrical equipment they were dealing with had been fully isolated.

Foolishly, one man attempted to 'reassure his colleague' that the electricals had in fact been isolated by throwing a metal crowbar at the 400v ac equipment.

Unfortunately, when the crowbar came into contact with the live electricals it created a flashover (explosion) at temperatures of several thousand degrees which led immediately to quite a devastating fire. The man who through the crowbar, Mr Banks, suffered serious burns and was taken into hospital.

HSE investigated this incident and found that the task had not been properly planned at that suitable control measures hadn't been put in place. The principal contractor had failed to follow the procedures stating that all electrical equipment should be treated as live until properly checked and confirmed to be isolated. 

The Consequences:

  • Mr Banks sustained horrific burns & injuries
  • Russel Haigh and Stuart Haigh pled guilty to breaching Regulation 3 of the Electricity at Work Regulations  Act 1989 and we both fined £80,000
  • AJ Wadhams & Co Ltd pled guilty to breaching section of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 197 and was fined £80,000

HSE inspector Adam Hills said:

“This incident has had a significant impact on Mr Banks life and the injuries could so very easily have been fatal. Had the companies followed the control measures outlined in their respective risk assessments, then this incident would not have occurred. Never assume that an electrical supply is disconnected. Always check with the distribution network operator or a qualified electrician to obtain written proof of isolation before commencing work.”

Read more about this incident here >

 Electrical Training

If there's one thing to take away from this, it's that working with electricals can be incredibly dangerous (and costly) if something goes wrong. That's why we can't stress enough how important it is that you receive the proper electrical training before carrying out this kind of work!

Here at Access Training Academies, we offer electrical training for students of all ages and abilities. If you're interested in pursuing a career in electrical work, come and learn the necessary skills and practices at one of our training centres. 

View Our Electrical Courses >

If you have any questions about our electrical courses, or to arrange a visit to one of our test centres, please don't hesitate to get in touch. You can call us on 0800 345 7492 or email us at info@accesstraininguk.co.uk.

The third Monday in January, which falls on the 21st of January this year, has been labelled as the most depressing day of the year or Blue Monday.

This year, rather than revelling in sadness and taking a negative attitude towards your life, we challenge you to turn this negativity into motivation and try something new. If Mondays in general (but particularly this one) make you feel down, depressed and unmotivated, then it’s time to make some changes.

At Access Training Academies, our goal is to give you the tools and skills you need to step into a career that is truly satisfying and fulfilling. We offer courses in a range of disciplines, so whether you want to try your hand at carpentry, branch into the world of IT and computing, or train to become a fully-qualified electrician – we can help! We have over 30 different courses for you to choose from, and our friendly and experienced tutors will guide and support you throughout to ensure you get the best possible results.

Never have another blue Monday again! Browse the courses we offer by heading to our site, or give us a call on 0800 345 7492 to talk to one of our advisers about how you can start your journey towards a more rewarding career.

Browse Courses Here >

 

Access Training Website

If you haven’t noticed already, we have a brand new website! Our friends over at Designer Websites, who helped us out with our last website re-design back in 2015, have once again proved their capabilities and professionalism to bring our current website up-to-date with a new, attractive look and feel!

All of the great, important features that we included in our last re-design, such as the ‘course finder’ function has remained – so there should be no worries about having any difficulties finding the information or course you need. In fact, with our new design, locating the essential information you want regarding our range of courses is now even easier, with simplified menus and website copy. Something which was high on our priority list for the new design. As well as having updated pages for all of our existing courses in the electrical, gas, plumbing and construction industry, we now offer fantastic courses in the IT sector! These can now be viewed and applied for today!

We hope you enjoy navigating and using our new website just as much as we do! If you have any questions or want to enquire about one of our courses, click below today!

Get in Touch >


Here at Access Training we offer intensive, short-course training in a number of trades and have just over a 95% average pass rate, but one question we’re commonly asked is: 

"How can you gain the skills and qualifications in a matter of weeks when an apprenticeship can take up to four years?"

Scepticism is natural, but let us explain how our courses can actually create highly-trained individuals who are enthusiastic about a new career in trade. More...



If you have been feeling unfulfilled in your current career or job position, maybe you have been thinking about a change for a while, but have never got round to actually taking any action.here at Access Training we aim to make it as easy as possible to find and enrol onto your perfect trade training course.

To help make finding your course even easier, we have designed a new course finder feature on our homepage. All you have to do is simply select which trade you are interested in learning and you will be taken to the relevant course page. For instance, if you are interested in beginning a new career as a plumber, click “plumber” on the course finder and it will take you to our “train to become a plumber” page, on which you will find all the courses we have available, along with a detailed description for each course.

At Access Training, we specialise in delivering top quality trade training courses. If you have little to no experience in your chosen trade, then do not worry, or training courses are designed specially to turn the complete novice into an expert in the shortest time possible.

What courses do we offer at Access Training?

Plumber

If you are interested in becoming a professional plumber we can help. For the complete novice, we offer 3 courses all offering varying levels of qualifications. If you would like to be a Domestic Plumber, then our Essential Plumbing Course is perfect for you. You will learn all the fundamental skills and theory that you will need to become a plumber, and upon completion you will be awarded a city and guilds plumbing qualification.

For the more ambitious, we offer more comprehensive plumbing courses, our Professional Plumbing Course where you will learn the basics and work towards your NVQ Level 2 in plumbing and Heating, allowing you to take more advanced work after completion. Finally, our Premier Plumbing Course, which will not only train you as a plumber, but you will also train to be a qualified gas engineer.

Electrical Courses.

Like the plumbing courses above, we offer a range of Electrical courses for all you budding electricians out there. If you are a complete beginner, with little to no knowledge in electrics and would like to learn the basics of electrical work, and gain essential qualifications, then our Essential Electrical course is perfect for you. In this short course you will learn the 17th edition electrical regulations, and Part P Domestic Electrical Installer.

Again, if you would like to take on more advanced work after you become a fully trained electrician, our Professional Electrical Courseupon completion of this course you will be efficient in domestic installation jobs and you will become qualified to inspect and test commercial, domestic or industrial electrical installations. Throughout this course you will also gain 5 industry qualifications.

If you are looking to become an electrician, our Premier Electrical Courseis rivalled by none. Upon completion of the Premier Electrical Course, you will be an expert in both domestic and commercial electrical work, and gain 6 essential industry qualifications including, Part P, 17th edition, PAT testing, Inspection and Testing, Periodic inspection and testing, and Design, Erection and Verification qualifications.

Gas Engineer

Here at Access Training we are incredibly proud of the quality of the courses that we provide to our students, across a range of disciplines.  As well as Plumbing and Electrical courses, we also offer a range of Gas Engineering courses. These courses are ideal if you are a plumber looking to develop your skill set or if you are a complete beginner who would like to become a gas engineer.

If you are interested in learning the fundamentals of Gas Engineering, or you are looking for a refresh course, then our Essential Gas Course is the perfect course for you. Here you will learn the basics such as, practical skills, understanding installations, how to repair, service and maintain gas boilers, and much more!

If you want to become a fully qualified gas engineer, we offer our Professional Gas Course which will equip you with all the advanced knowledge you need to succeed in this field. We will also help you work towards your ACS Certificate. Our Premier Gas Course will not only train you to become a fully qualified Gas engineer, you will also be able to install and maintain electrical appliances.

We also offer a range of construction courses, here at access training, including;

If you are interested in enrolling onto any of our courses, or would like any information about the courses we offer, please get in touch!


In the UK we are in the midst of uncertain times. Are we going to stay in the EU? What impact will it have on the trade industry if we leave the EU? Plus other factors including the slowdown in growth of china’s economy and the falling costs in oil prices due to the increase of oil being produced by the US.

There are many theories suggesting that if the UK leaves the EU, then our construction industry will begin struggling because here in the UK, we rely heavily on people from Eastern Europe to come and work on our construction sites. In fact we mentioned in a past blog post that many sites will not be able to meet their deadlines, or even function without Eastern European people.

However, a recent survey conducted by Construction News, states that over 2016 53 per cent of companies who took part in the survey were planning on actually increasing their work force. The remaining 47 per cent said that they were planning on maintaining their current workforce levels. Surprisingly none of the companies that participated in the survey anticipated a reduction in their current workforce.

The current forecast for the construction industry is that there will be steady growth over the next few years. Our government has clearly stayed committed to building new homes, building new developments, and revamping tired looking city centres, coupled with high levels of domestic demand for tradespeople, the future is certainly looking positive for the tradespeople of the UK.

Because we are experiencing a national skills shortage, people will be recruiting more this year to help fill the gap, whether there UK leaves the EU or not.  So, in our minds, and the minds of all of our students here at access training, there has never been a better time to change your career and train to become a PlumberElectricianBricklayer or a Carpenter.

If you are interested in learning more about our trade courses, feel free to contact us today! 

 

When you finish your chosen courses and become a fully qualified trades-person, your white van and your tools will become your biggest asset! These items do not come cheap and can prove to be quite disruptive to your business if they breakdown, or worse – get stolen.

According to a recent study conducted by ironmongery Direct, 23% tradespeople surveyed have had the unfortunate experience of a van theft, 230 of the 1000 people have experienced theft in the last five years.

Even though it has been reported by the Office for National Statistics that vehicle crime is decreasing, it is not surprising that vans get broken into more than cars, because of the potential of stealing some expensive tools.

Ironmongery Direct also uncovered in their study the regions which received the most break-ins, with the West Midlands coming out on top with a shocking 1,854 van thefts and a total of £6,381,239 stolen in the past 3 years. The region which received the second highest amount of theft is West Yorkshire, with a value of £3,000,925 stolen and 993 vans broken into over the same period.

Meanwhile, tradespeople in Merseyside experienced 653 thefts, 210 in Nottingham and 218 in Northumbria. Surprisingly, the city of London had the lowest amount of van thefts with 2 thefts reported over the last three year period.

As a trades person, your tools and your van are your most valuable assets, so keeping them safe should be your top priority.  Keeping your tools safe could be the difference of you going out to your jobs and earning money, you have to turn jobs down while you spend money getting your tools replaced.

To keep your tools safe, you should;

  • take any tools out of your van at the end of your working day,
  • park your van in a garage, so that thieves cannot access it,
  • install anti-theft boxes in your van with anti-drill locks
  • make your van harder to break into – install slam locks, dead locks
  • Don’t leave your van unlocked – ever! Opportunistic thieves are always on the lookout!
  • Make sure you have tagged all your tools, and
  • Place a “No tools are lift in this van” deterrent sticker on the back of your van

Despite all this talk of break-ins, learning a trade can be a very rewarding career. No longer are you confined to the office walls between the hours of 9 and 5:30, doing a job that doesn't motivate you, and the only time you get to go outside is on your half an hour lunch!

Once you have become fully qualified in your chosen area, you can pick up the jobs which you want to do. Fancy a long lunch break, or even the afternoon off? Why not?! As a skilled trades-person, you have the ability to choose when hours you want to work.

Maybe your struggling to get by on £23,000 salary, as a qualified you could be earning up to £30K+ a year! Especially now, as there is currently huge demand for skilled workers, and not enough people to fill the gap! Essentially, if you are willing to put in the long hours, you will be rewarded with a very healthy salary.  Just remember to keep your tools safe!!

If all this talk about theft hasn't deterred you from wanting to learn a trade, click on the links below for more information about the courses that we offer.

A recent survey conducted by Retail Company Screw fix, shows that two out of five tradespeople were giving more quotes for work than a year ago, and more than half of the trades people who took part in the survey said that their business was better than the previous year, in particular, plumbers, electricians and carpenters are extremely optimistic about their business outlook during 2016.

In 2015, the skilled trade industry experienced an increase in demand towards the end of the year, fortunately this trend has continued into 2016, with one in seven tradespeople stating that they have too much work on their books.Most of the tradespeople surveyed said that they expected business to remain at the same level, or improve over the next 12 months.

If you are a regular reader of our blog posts, you will notice that we write about the current skills shortage crisis that we are currently experiencing in the UK regularly. The skills shortage is a huge issue that we are currently facing. Currently in the construction industry alone there is a shortage of 35,000 people, this figure naturally increases when domestic tradespeople are added into the equation.

With the increase in demand, it is apparent that – even though good for plumbers, electricians, gas engineers and carpenters, because it means that there is no shortage of work, potential customers will soon start to run into difficulties being able to find a trades person when they need them the most.

If these projections are correct, then 2016 could mean that many tradespeople may start having to work long hours to keep up with the demand. This means that now is the perfect time for people who are thinking about learning or retraining as a skilled trades person or adding taking courses to develop their existing skill set.

Here at Access Training, we have developed alongside City & Guilds, and other awarding bodies, a wide range of fully comprehensive courses that are suitable for people who have no prior industry experience. Our courses will teach you the very basics, through to the more advanced techniques used by trade professionals. 

To find out more about our plumbing, carpentry or electrical courses, contact us today!


According to the latest figures, the UK's construction workforce has shrunk by 12.9% since 2008. This is particularly strange due to the abundance of work currently available to contractors, which would suggest that the industry in busier than ever, with workers often having to turn down work because they already have an existing contract or promise of work with another employer. In spite of the surge in demand, however, the amount of workers in the industry fell dramatically last year, with 16,000 less people in the profession between 2014 and 2015.

Industry experts have put this dramatic fall in numbers down to a shirking talent pool, with people previously trained in the profession either retiring, in work, or having moved to other industries during a low period of work after the recession in 2009. Since the recovery in 2012 and 2013, those who remained in the profession managed to regain regular employment straight away, but they were not joined by a high number of new or returning workers. This means that firms can no longer rely on a once-abundant pool of talent to recruit from, which prevents them from expanding and in turn, presents a barrier for overall industry growth.

What the construction industry now needs is an surge of new talent from young people entering the industry, as well as those from a non-construction background who have decided to change their career. Before expansion and increased job security is possible, there must be enough skilled tradespeople to meet the demands of the industry, and to ensure a high calibre work force. At Access Training, we've helped countless individuals to gain the skills so desperately needed in the industry, allowing them to access a new and fruitful career path. From total beginners to ex service men and women, we have helped a diverse pool of candidates to reach their full potential and begin a successful career in construction.

Some of the courses we offer include:
and more!

Explore the rest of our site to see our full range of courses and lay the foundations for your future, as well that of the UK construction industry. For more information about our courses, get in touch with us today!