According to figures recently released by Direct Line, plumbing and electrical issues are the two primary headaches commonly faced by buy to let landlords across the UK.

While the diagnosis is far from surprising, the extent of the problem is certainly shocking, racking up sizeable bills nationwide.

 

house flood

 

Landlord SOS

According to Direct Line’s statistics, over half of UK landlords have had to enlist the aid of an emergency contractor in the last 12 months.

In fact, on average, landlords in the UK are said to have called out a contractor once every three months, amounting to 4.7 million landlord SOS calls a year.

The most common emergencies relating to these calls were all plumbing related, closely followed by electrical/gas supply issues and water problems.

Plumbing issues, in particular, accounted for 365k rental homes being evacuated, with electrical/gas supply racking up 293k evacuations and water issues relating to 267k.

 

A Hefty Bill

While buy to let properties have proved to be a savvy investment for many property owners, the subsequent maintenance issues have seen the need for emergency contractors impede those profit margins considerably.

Overall, Direct Line noted that Britain’s landlords have had to shell out a collective £4.5 billion on emergency contractors over the course of the last year. Statistically speaking, that equates to an average sum of £764 per call out and £2141/year per landlord.

 

Every Cloud...

Naturally, the figures paint a rather devastating picture for landlords and anyone looking to enter the buy to let property market. However, for those in the plumbing and electrical trades, the news is anything but that.

The demand for top-quality plumbers and highly skilled electricians remains strong in the UK, as the national skills shortage in this area continues. The result is healthy profits, a steady stream of work and a reliable income for those in the trade and attractive career prospects for those thinking of making the jump.

  

Plumbing Courses and Electrician Courses

At Access Training UK, we have a wide variety of courses on offer for potential plumbers and would-be electricians. These range from entry-level courses for complete novices with no prior experience all the way up to NVQ Level 2 Certification and PAT Testing courses.

Whether you’re looking to enter the electrical trade, build on your existing plumbing skills or anything in between, an Access Training course can help you get where you want to be quickly, efficiently and affordably.

Check out the buttons below to find out more right now and begin your skills journey today.

Plumbing Courses                    Electrician Courses

 

For additional details on the various plumbing and electrician courses available at Access Training UK, why not drop us a line today? Call now on 0800 345 7492 to speak with one of our expert advisors or get in touch online by clicking the button below.

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British builders’ merchant, Travis Perkins, has put plans to sell their plumbing and heating business on hold, citing the uncertainty of Brexit as a deciding factor.

The move comes amid a strategic run of cost-cutting by the firm and a conscious move simplify their overall portfolio.

However, the impending precariousness of the economic climate in the UK has evidently caused the FTSE 250 company to alter their game plan in favour of a more prudent approach.

 

plumbing news, business sale

 

Still on Course

Despite halting their plans to sell the plumbing and heating arm of the business, Travis Perkins is said to remain on course to achieve their cost reductions for 2019.

A statement from Travis Perkins confirmed that the upshot of these reductions would allow the company to “reduce complexity, lower the above-branch cost base and speed up decision making, and improve service levels for customers”.

 

Award-Winning Businesses

Travis Perkins had originally announced the sale plans in December 2018 with a likely deal announced by their board in July. However, it appears those plans have since fallen through and the plumbing and heating business appears set to remain under the Travis Perkins umbrella indefinitely.

The division includes the likes of FPC wholesale, PTS Plumbing Trade Supplies and plumbing merchant City Plumbing Supplies, the latter of which was awarded the title of “Heating & Plumbing Merchant of the Year” at the Builders' Merchants Awards for Excellence 2018.

 

Learn a Trade with Access Training UK

With the current political outlook for the UK described by Travis Perkins as posing “unprecedented level of uncertainty”, the move to future-proof careers has never been more timely.

Luckily, for those in the plumbing and heating trade, theirs is a vital service necessary for daily life and, as a result is one profession that is unlikely to be affected too severely.

What’s more, a shortage of skilled workers in this area has actually made it a very lucrative career path in recent years and one that is unlikely to be too seriously affected by a political shift.

At Access Training UK, we offer a variety of plumbing and heating courses for anyone looking to make the jump into this trade.

Whether you’re a total newbie with no prior knowledge or a seasoned veteran looking to sharpen your skills, we have the course for you.

To find out more about our range of gas and plumbing courses, click one of the links below for more information.

 

Gas Courses                                 Plumbing Courses

 

If you would like to know more about switching careers or upskilling with Access Training UK, why not drop us a line today? Call now on 0800 345 7492 or get in touch online by clicking the button below.

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An unregistered gas engineer has found himself in serious trouble after fitting a gas boiler without the relevant safety authorisation to do so. 

gas news, gas training courses

 

Boiling Point

Self-employed electrician, Robert Parker, from Burnley had carried out gas work throughout the spring and summer of 2017; however, it was his work on a boiler in October that brought his alarming practice to the attention of authorities.

Following a gas boiler installation at a home in Rossendale, the occupiers noticed installation defects which became a cause for concern. Gas Safe inspectors investigated the issue and not only found the work to be below current standards but also deemed the boiler to be “immediately dangerous”.

 

Gas Safe Register

The Gas Safe Register is the official list of gas engineers who are qualified to legally work on gas appliances. Anyone employed to work on gas appliances in domestic premises is required by law to be on the Gas Safe Register.

Unfortunately for Mr Parker, his name was not on the list of officially authorised engineers cleared to work with gas. As a result of such a dangerous oversight, the Burnley man paid a hefty price for his gross negligence.

 

Breaching Regulations

The case ultimately made its way to Manchester magistrates court, where the court heard the details of the incident. Mr Parker went on to plead guilty to breaching Regulation 3(1) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.

As a result of the hearing, the electrician was given a 26-week suspended prison sentence, 150 hours community service and levied with a charge of just under £2300.

 

Gas Training Courses at Access Training UK

The case of Mr Parker not only highlights the importance of being fully competent on the job but also reinforces the importance of safety when dealing with gas. Ignorance in this field could lead to devastating consequences that could very well prove fatal.

At Access Training UK, we offer a number of gas courses that are specifically designed to provide you with the educationary tools and necessary know-how needed to complete gas work effectively, efficiently and, most importantly, safely.

Check out our relevant courses below to find out what we can offer you in terms of gas training options:

Essential Gas Course

Ideal for beginners, the Essential Gas Course is a great introduction to the fundamentals of safe, efficient gas work.

Professional Gas Course

With no prior experience required, this course is perfect for those looking to make a career as a gas engineer.

Premier Gas Course 

Combining the basics of electrical work with comprehensive gas training, this bespoke programme covers everything you need to know about gas/electrical work.

ACS Initial Assessment

Completing the ACS assessment will provide you with a CCN1 qualification and allow you to join the Gas Safe Register.

ACS Reassessment

ACS certificates require periodical renewal to retain Gas Safe status. Get your reassessment here at Access Training UK.

LPG – Liquid Petroleum Gas Training

Our intensive course is designed to help experienced natural gas workers make the transition to working with LPG (Liquid Petroleum Gas).

 

For more information on the gas training courses available at Access Training UK, why not drop us a line today? Call now on 0800 345 7492 or get in touch online by clicking the button below.

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A new 2019 business standard is set to improve the health and well-being of construction workers across the United Kingdom.

The new ISO 45001 accreditation has been introduced to provide a framework for success in any organization from any sector, including construction.

 

iso 45001, construction worker safety

 

Health in the Workplace

The new international standard in Occupational Health and Safety Management aims to improve the mental and physical health in the workplace and presents a big step forward for construction companies in the UK.

Work-related stress and illness affects all industries, including construction, while the physical nature of site work also presents a myriad of additional dangers for those that work within the construction trade.

 

ISO 45001

The new ISO 45001 standard lays a clear-cut blueprint for construction companies to follow and allows organisations to easily formulate a successful health and safety management system.

With a strong onus on risk-based thinking and proactive leadership, the new business standard promotes risk assessment, hazard identification and emergency preparation, allowing companies to fully comprehend potential dangers and how to handle them.

Through this health-conscious business model, construction companies can help ensure a safer environment for their workers, boosting worker morale and making the construction industry all the more appealing to those looking to enter manual labour and/or learn a physical trade.

 

Constructing Courses at Access Training UK

With safer work conditions and a greater emphasis on worker health and morale, the change poses good news for construction workers and anyone considering the construction trade as a career.

At Access Training UK, we offer a wide variety of construction courses for those looking to enter the trade. These range from DIY carpentry and plastering courses for complete novices, all the way up to NVQ Level 2 carpentry and plastering courses for experienced pros (and everything in between).

Whether you’re a newcomer looking to shift gears with a new career path or a seasoned veteran looking to add to your repertoire of skills, we can help you achieve your dreams at Access Training UK.

 

For more information on Access Training construction courses at Access Training UK, why not drop us a line today? Call now on 0800 345 7492 or get in touch online by clicking the link below.

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A Lancashire plumber recently made headlines after generously fixing a 91-year-old, terminally-ill women’s boiler completely free of charge.

The story of humanitarian plumber, James Anderson, soon swept the nation after the photo of his bill for £0.00 – posted by the elderly woman’s daughter – went viral.

Under normal circumstances, the job would have cost just short of £500. Nevertheless, the fee was simply wiped clean by the 52-year-old plumber.

The rare act of unprompted kindness warmed the hearts of the nation (as well as the woman’s home); however, the aftermath has been equally uplifting.

 

free plumbing for elderly people

 

In Hot Water

Despite making news across the country for the 91-year-old’s boiler job, Anderson has actually been helping the sick and the elderly for years.

Inspired by hearing how an elderly man was scammed by a cowboy plumber, Anderson launched Depher (Disabled and Elderly Plumbing and Heating Emergency Repair) in 2015, aiming to provide free or low-cost plumbing to those in need.

However, the switch from private firm to not-for-profit outfit landed the kind-hearted plumber in hot water as he racked up around £8k worth of debt.

Luckily, as the old saying goes, one good turn deserves another and good karma certainly repaid the favour in the case of Mr Anderson.

 

Good News Spreads Fast

After the story went viral, Mr Anderson received praise from all over the world as word quickly spread of his admirable generosity.

The result has seen him receive almost £80k worth of donations, allowing him to pay off debts and sustain the charitable work for the future.

Speaking of future plans, Anderson said: “My hope is to get Depher national, in every city and town,”

The influx of donations now allows Mr Anderson to carry out his charitable plumbing outside the boundaries of Lancashire, making that nationwide dream one step closer to reality.

To donate to Depher, visit Mr Anderson’s GoFundMe account for further details.

 

Shocking Statistics

According to a study by National Energy Action and E3G, more than 3000 people in the UK die each year as a result of not being able to heat their own homes. In 2019, those statistics are hard to comprehend.

While Mr Anderson and Depher are undoubtedly making a difference, the charity currently only operates in Lancashire and the surrounding areas. Those outside of the wider Lancs area are (as of press) largely out of luck.

Worse still, a skills shortage in the plumbing trade has seen demand outweigh supply. Meanwhile, the shortage of skilled tradesmen has also resulted in a rise in plumbing fees, pushing heating maintenance even further out of reach for some.

With that in mind, there’s never been a better time or reason to get involved in the plumbing trade. Not only does it offer a solid career path in a trade that’s in demand, you could genuinely make a difference to someone’s quality of life and potentially save a life in the process – even if your services aren’t completely free of charge.

 

If you’ve been inspired by this story and would like more information on how to become a plumber, get in touch today on 0800 345 7492 or drop us an email using the button below.

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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! 

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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!

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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...