(Image via bradleypjohnson on Flickr)

The UK’s media channels are often rife with horror stories of cowboy tradespeople. People watching programmes like “cowboy builders from hell” on channel 5 or “watchdog” on BBC1 will certainly develop a negative image of the trades men and women in the UK. In fact a staggering 60% of people said that it is fair to label tradespeople as “cowboys” or “rogue traders” and 20% of people said that they’re afraid of being ripped off when they need work done.

Follow these simple steps to avoid being labelled as a rogue trader:

Build relationships with your clients: Take care of little jobs free of charge. This will help increase customer loyalty. When someone is happy with your work, they are more likely to recommend you to their friends. A survey conducted by imperial finance revealed that 37% of people feel that having a relationship with their trades person is important, and 14% of people were referred to their trades person by a friend or family member.

Clean up after yourself: This might seem obvious but it is often overlooked by tradespeople. If you are working on a leaking sink and you spill water on the floor – make sure you mop it up. If you have had to take things out of cupboards to access pipework, make sure you put it all back before you leave.

Make yourself as easy to contact as possible: leave people with a copy of your flyer, business card, or a fridge magnet with your telephone number clearly printed on them, remember to take the visually impaired into consideration. Make sure that you always have your mobile switched on, if you can’t take the call, make sure you call them back at your earliest convenience.

Keep in contact with your clients: after you have completed the work, call the client back, ask them if they are happy with the work – or if they have ran into any complications. 55% customers leave because they have had no contact from you and are indifferent. After Job Service is often more important than the job itself, this is where you can really start to build relationships with your clients and go above and beyond your call of duty.  Loyal customers spend on average 33% more than people who are non-loyal and can refer up to 107% more customers than non-loyal customers.

Make it easy for people to get references:  set up social media sites, and encourage people to review your business online – this is effective because people buy from people if someone has a something bad to say about your business then people are less likely to hire you to do the work. Make sure you leave them with nothing bad to say! Set up a website to showcase your qualifications, and show people that you really are an expert in your field. This will give people confidence in your ability as a trades person.

Make sure you are fully trained for the job: again it might seem like an obvious point, but if you are not correctly trained for the work don’t take it on. Leaving the work half way through or doing a bad job can damage your reputation.

You can’t start a career as a skilled trades person until you have received expert training. No matter what career you are considering Access Training can help. We offer courses for beginners looking to learn a new trade through to more experienced tradespeople who are looking to expand their service offering.

To find out more about the courses we offer at our state-of-the-art training centres you can contact us by calling (Freephone) 0800 345 7492 or by filling out the enquiry form here.

Call 0800 345 7492 now and save up to 50% on your Access Training course! 
 
Much of Britain went back to work yesterday, and a lot of people were unhappy about it. Of course, it's always sad to say goodbye to the indulgences of the festive period, but if the thought of returning to work had you feeling miserable before you'd even finished your New Year Prosecco then it may be time to swap your current job for something new. After all, sitting at a desk isn't the only way to earn a living!
 
If you'd like to retrain and start a new career in the trade industry, we at Access Training can help. We offer a huge variety of training courses for people of all skill levels - here are a few examples:
There's never been a better time to enrol on an Access Training course. We are currently having a New Year Sale, with up to 50% off ALL courses; whether you want to become an electrician, join the Gas Safe Register, or pick up some plumbing qualifications, this is your opportunity to save a packet as you work towards your goal.
 
But time is running out! Our New Year Sale will only last until the end of this week, and more course dates are filling up every day. To guarantee the best price on your preferred training course, please call 0800 345 7492 now to learn more. We look forward to hearing from you!
 
UPDATE: Due to the unprecedented popularity of this offer, we are extending our New Year Sale by one more day! The sale will now end on Saturday the 9th of January - contact us now now to book your course!
Happy New Year from Access Training! If your New Year's resolution is to quit your job and start a new career, you're in luck - we're having a big New Year sale, with up to 50% off all Access Training courses!
 
We always receive a lot of bookings at this time of year, so please get in touch ASAP to guarantee a spot on your chosen course. Options include:
Call 0800 345 7492 to book your course and take advantage of this offer!
With a new year on the horizon, many people throughout the UK will soon be thinking about how they could change their lives for the better in 2016. January is always a very busy time for us here at Access Training - it seems that 'learn a new trade' is the top priority on many a list of New Year's resolutions!
 
However, if you don't want to wait until January to take the first step towards a rewarding new career, we'd like to give you an incentive to beat the rush. We are having a Boxing Day sale, with up to 50% reductions on all of our training programmes - whether you're interested in plumbing, gas, electrical work, or another of the trades we cover, now is the time to book your training course and get the best possible price!
 
All offers will end on Monday the 28th of December, so don't delay - book your place today! This is your opportunity to beat the New Year rush, guarantee your spot for 2016, and save a packet in the process.
 
Call 0800 345 7492 now to take advantage of our Boxing Day offers!

Bricklaying and plastering are two of the most common trades that come up in discussion about the skills shortage the construction industry is suffering from, but the latest State of Trade survey suggests this shortage is more dire than many may have thought - especially when it comes to small businesses.

The survey, set up by the Federation of Master Builders, found that more than a third of construction SMEs are struggling to recruit the required number of bricklayers to keep up with their workload. In additional to this, 27% of firms are also having difficulty finding the plasterers they need.

FMB Chief Executive Brian Berry said: "The results act as a stark warning that the government must not take the recovery in the construction sector for granted. Although this snapshot of small construction firms marks the fifth consecutive quarter of positive results, if we don’t have enough of the right people to complete the work, private and public projects could be stalled across the board."

With the skilled labourers demand rising in tandem with the demand for new building work, stalling projects really is becoming a major concern. The construction industry is relying on new people to earn their qualifications and join the workforce - people like you. Are you tired of your desk-based job, seek out a more physical and hands-on career or simpy want a more practical alternative to going to university? A construction career could be exactly what you're looking and for and after reading this, you know you'll be welcomed with open arms. Combine that with a varied worklife and impressive wage and you've got a pretty fantastic career ahead of you.

The quickest and most effective way to becoming a qualified plasterer or bricklayer is through an intensive training course from Access Training. In matter of weeks we can have you fully trained to a professional standard, complete with official City & Guilds qualifications. You'll be taught in a state-of-the-art centre by experienced tradespeople, who will be sharing their trade experiences as well as delivering the skills you need. And we don't just offer bricklaying and plastering either - we also have plumbing, electric, gas, carpentry, tiling and decorating courses ready and available!

Just give our team a call on 0800 345 7492 a course adviser will be in touch to discuss the options most suitable to you. Starting a brand new career has never been easier!

News via Construction Enquirer

As of the 1st July, the Construction Skills Certificate Scheme (CSCS) are no longer issuing the Green Construction Site Operative (CSO) card, replacing it with a brand new Green Labourer Card.

The CSCS’ role is to provide a scheme for the construction industry that confirms site workers’ training and qualifications. However many site workers carrying out skilled occupations have been applying for the green CSO card simply as the easiest route to gain access to construction sites. This in turn has made it difficult for contractors to use CSCS cards as a reliable method of checking that site workers have the appropriate skills to work on construction sites safely and effectively.

The new card requires applicants to achieve the Level 1 Health and Safety in a Construction Environment qualification, designed to improve safe working practices on UK construction sites. This isn't just applicable to newcomers to the construction industry either - those who need to renew their card will also require this qualification.

City & Guilds will be supplying this as the 6072 qualification, which we are approved to run here in Cardiff at Access Training. For those closer to the Kent area that need to complete this to start their brand new career, we will soon also be providing the same service at our sister centre the Plumbing Academy. For more information on what this qualification entails and to book your place, get in touch with our course advisers on 0800 345 7492.

Set up by the Women's Engineering Society (WES) to celebrate its 95th anniversary, today is National Women in Engineering Day and its aim is to focus attention on the great opportunities available to women in the engineering sector and construction industry as a whole.

The aim is to encourage all groups - from the Government and employers to careers advisers and students, to work together toward creating an environment to encourage and increase the number of women engineers. People are doing their own things across the UK - from college talks to publishing polls of their female workforce in an attempt to highlight potential barriers. Results from construction service WSP proved quite promising, with more than 20% of their engineering workforce female and 43% of these graduate rank or below. The majority of those surveyed also didn't believe that gender hindered their career progression, that there weren't any barriers to them upon entering and that they even had engineering mentioned to them as a career at school. Hopefully these are signs that the number of women entering the industry are indeed increasing.

The gender imbalance in the construction industry is something we feel very strongly about here at Access, and something we want to do our part it down. Recently we were featured on Sky News' piece about the troubles of "White Van Women", where Sky's reporters came down and spoke to our trainees and tutors about their thoughts on women in the industry. We're in agreement that construction isn't at all a man's world, and male dominance has only really come from years of stereotyping and women being guided away from those sort of careers. Notice how a lot of people simply say "tradesman"? Little things like that are enough to simply sway young people away.

This is why for the entire month of July, Access Training will be offering up to 50% off of ALL of our courses to female trainees. In addition to that we'll be spending the month featuring testimonials from some of our female trainees who have either just finished their courses here or have now gone to to bigger and better things with their trade qualifications so you can read all about the life tradespeople lead. So if you're looking to start a career in plumbing, electric, gas, carpentry, plastering, tiling, painting/decorating or even all of the above and just need to find the right training to get those all-important qualifications - keep an eye on Access throughout July. Every little bit of saving helps and upon completion of our training courses you may find yourself well on the way to setting up your own business. 

In the meantime, for more information on our courses give our advice team a call on 0800 345 7492.

Statistics via The Construction Index

Click here for more info on National Women in Engineering Day

Last week we blogged about how Sky News came down to our centre to looking for women entering trade professions such as plumbing, electrics, painting/decorating, carpentry and more. In the morning they spent filming, Sky not only had a good look around our centre but also spoke to a few of our female trainees - and of course our carpentry tutor!

The filming was for a piece they've titled White Van Woman 'Held Back By Sexism', which suggests that the recent claim that women make up around 6% of all tradespeople might not be as accurate as people are claiming. In fact, they spoke to Women and Manual Trades and found that figure to be more like 1%. Despite trade careers not being pushed hard enough to school leavers, women account for one in ten of those signing up for training here at Access and hopefully that figure will continue to grow as the gender barriers are slowly broken down.

Following an interview with Stopcock's Hattie Hasan, the report takes a look at the training environment we have here at Access and speaks to trainee plumber Mary Henderson. Following that carpentry tutor Gary gives his input on why women should be encouraged more to take up trade careers.

The full video can be viewed below:

Link to full Sky News feature

It seems our Tuesday blog post, entitled "Female Tradespeople on the Rise", was perfectly timed as yesterday Access Training received a visit from none other than Sky News. Working on a piece looking at the growth of females in trade careers such as plumbing, gas, carpentry, painting/decorating and more, Sky had a look around our centre before filming some of our woman trainees hard at work and then briefly interviewing them on their thoughts on women in the trade. Also interviewed as our very own carpentry tutor Gary, giving some of his thoughts on the differences he's seen between men and women working in the trade.

With women tradespeople now reportedly making up nearly 6% of the industry's overall workforce, the media are finally paying more attention to female tradespeople and why they are just as good (if not better) for the job as men are. The Sky News report won't just focus on women training here at Access, but also speak with women who have been working in the business for sometime.

Take a look below to see some of the photos we took from yesterday's filming:

The short piece is set to go out on Sky News sometime this weekend (we'll update you via Twitter and Facebook once it is confirmed) and will likely be shown repeatedly throughout the day. Be sure to watch out for us and if you're thinking of training towards a trade career - give us a call on 0800 345 7492! You'll then be able to get in contact with our course advice team, learn more about the courses we offer and even come visit our training facilities. As well as becoming a professional tradesperson quickly and effectively, who knows - maybe you'll end up on TV too!

Get in touch to learn more about our training courses!

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