further education

At the Annual Conservative Party Conference, held in September 2019, the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson addressed ‘the forgotten fifty per cent’: the portion of the UK’s population which is ‘often overlooked’ when it comes to educational avenues and investment. He stressed the importance of ‘vocational education’ by arguing that it is ‘just as valuable as University education’, and indeed ‘just as important to our economy’; in short, he said that a large portion of the population had been ‘forgotten’ and ‘ignored’ by our education system.

 

Fast forward to his statement in July 2020, and these words have acquired an urgency which resonates with us now more than ever. ‘The tragedy is that for decades we have forgotten about half of our education system’, he writes, while making ‘a commitment to stand for the forgotten 50%’. It is a commitment on which the future of our economy and construction industries depends.

 

Some context: way back in 1999, Prime Minister Tony Blair made it his government’s priority to ensure that 50% of the population attended university, a target which was reached in 2017-18, where 50.2% of students went on to study at university. As ambitious and well-meaning as Blair’s target seemed back in 1999, it certainly bodes the question: what about the other 50%?

 

How we're helping the forgotten 50%

Of course, Access Training has been asking the same questions for years: what about the 50% who don’t consider going to university to be a viable or favourable option? What about those who are perfectly cut out for a career in the trades industry, who need the services we provide to prepare them for the future? What about those highly practical and skilled individuals who are now so crucial to propping up our economy?

 

These are the people that Access Training caters for, and Mr Williamson’s long-overdue call for more investment in training programmes proves that our finger has been on the pulse since the very beginning.

 

But most importantly, we must ask whether university degrees actually deliver the benefits we are told they do? Not so, according to Mr Williamson, who notes the fact that ‘five years after completion, the average Higher Technical Apprentice earns more than the average graduate’. This statistic is earth-shattering to the notion that a university education provides a more dependable route to a lucrative career – and so why have we been peddling it for decades?

 

The truth is, the overwhelming focus of the Department of Education in recent decades has been on reaching pointless statistical landmarks without questioning their value, and as a result, half of the country’s student population has been left out of the equation. No equivalent investment has been made in the futures of the forgotten 50% – despite the fact that apprenticeships and vocational tradespeople often earn more than their graduate counterparts, there is still a massive skills shortage in the construction industry: as of October 2019, 40% of construction trades experienced their highest skills shortages since 2013. Our job is to fill that gap – by treating the trades as a secondary or lower form of education, it’s looking like a steep hill to climb.

 

So after two decades, the forgotten 50% are back in the limelight. But despite Mr Williamson’s commendable emphasis on the ‘need for upskilling, reskilling and retraining’, he fails to draw his attention to the current work of Independent Training Providers who have been supplying these crucial services for years already. It is what the country needs, and it is our ticket to salvaging our economy and future job markets. In short, it’s what we need to ‘get Britain working again'.

 

Since the onset of the pandemic, Access Training has transformed its technical and vocational training into an online portal, available to everyone, anywhere, for however long they need it. It is precisely this ability to provide what Mr Williamson calls ‘flexible, practical training’ which makes our educational model so effective and popular with our students, and perfectly matches Mr Williamson’s vision for the future – right now in the present.

 

The future of reskilling and retraining is already here – enquire today about a course with Access Training.

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"Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future." - President John F. Kennedy, 1963

Time for change

How do you start a new life in the middle of a global crisis? 2020 has been a life-changing year for almost all of us, but the economic turmoil and uncertainty have made things particularly difficult for those who were in the process of switching careers when the coronavirus pandemic took hold.

But perhaps this experience has given those individuals a head start. Whether or not your circumstances shielded you from the initial shock of COVID-19, we're all going to have to embrace change over the next couple of years.

On the 10th of August, the Financial Times reported that even established businesses - especially those in the retail, hospitality and travel sectors - were facing unprecedented challenges:

"According to the Enterprise Research Centre, a group of several leading universities, 21,000 more UK businesses collapsed in March than in the same month of 2019. The number of new companies also dropped dramatically, by 23 per cent."

Conversely, many entrepreneurs and their businesses are now thriving, most notably in construction and the trades. People in these sectors have been forced to learn new skills in order to overcome the setbacks that COVID-19 has thrown at them, and those new skills have opened up new opportunities.

In a survey of tradespeople and homeowners that was carried out by national builder's merchant Jewson across June and July, 73 per cent of tradespeople said that they were "optimistic" about the amount of work that will be coming their way over the next six months. The survey also highlighted the fact that 77 per cent of homeowners are planning to carry out work in their homes within the next six to twelve months.

Andrew Cushing, Jewson's Customer Director, said:

"We're delighted that the outlook is positive for the trade. Long may that continue, and we look forward to helping our customers grow their businesses."

So is this a good time to change careers after all? In the Financial Times article, a venture capitalist (an investor who provides funding to companies with high growth potential) said during an interview with journalist Janina Conboye that uncertainty can actually bring its own opportunities:

"If a change or a new beginning feels [...] right for you, I would say that being open to - or rather maybe willing to accept - all the unexpected opportunities is what will give you the strength to deal with the down moments of your choice or change, and ride the highs."

This might resonate with you if you're thinking about a career change but feel that it's not feasible right now because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Maybe you've been reading all the headlines about the current uncertainty, and even though you're craving change, your fear is telling you to err on the side of caution until things get back to normal.

Changing your career certainly isn't a decision to be made lightly - that's true even during periods of stability. There are many factors you must consider, including your personal commitments and your own individual circumstances. But remember: while most decisions can be reversed, regret can last a lifetime.

With so much upheaval going on at the moment, it may be helpful to think about what your answer would be if, at some point in the future, you were asked this question:

What changes did you make during COVID-19?

Will you have a good answer? Will you be able to say that you followed your aspirations and achieved your goals?

When considering a career change, months or even years ago you might have said 'soon'. Last month, you might have said 'later'. And yesterday, you could have said 'tomorrow'. Is now your time to change? Only you can decide - it really is up to you whether you make that change or not.

As the proverb says, opportunity never knocks twice at any man's door. Whether you agree with this sentiment or not, remember: changing careers is your choice. Don't waste another day, week or month - we are here to help you get there. Talk to us today!

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Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

"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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"As I look back on my life, I realise that every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being redirected to something better" - Vala Afshar, July 2020

Smiling face

Has COVID-19 given us a new perspective on the value of work?

The global pandemic has had a huge impact on our working lives. It has forced many of us to consider just how much we value our work and how much we enjoy our current jobs - if we enjoy them at all!

The boundaries between work life and home life have been blurred by the lockdown, and it can be difficult to strike the correct balance. Most types of work, while important, are not as important as feeling the fulfilment of one's family, hobbies and the home itself. This leads to one question:

Do you really enjoy your work?

Many supposedly 'low-skilled' jobs have recently gained an air of heightened importance - perhaps even prestige. At the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown, the UK government recognised cleaners, delivery drivers, retail staff and so on as 'Key Workers' and acknowledged that the country would grind to a halt without their continued efforts.

This 'Key Worker' label means a great deal to many and has generated some well-earned respect for professionals whom we too often forget. But being 'key' does not always mean making a good salary, even though many of these people have recently been working longer hours in extraordinarily stressful circumstances.

And amid all the current chaos, it's easy to forget reports from recent years suggesting that workplace morale is very low in general - for instance, a 2017 Gallup poll reported that 87% of workers in the UK felt disengaged in their job.

Still, with more people working from home lately, we now seem to be collectively appreciating the value of work and recognising that it does play a crucial role in our wellbeing. We can be happy in our work as long as the job is enjoyable, rewarding and reasonably secure.

What job will make you happiest?

The economic slump that will surely follow this pandemic is likely to see many workers looking for new roles that offer the right amount of job security and longevity. A lot of people are already seeking a new purpose in life; finding the 'right' career is paramount for one's personal identity, but happiness is the key factor for most of us.

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important is to have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary." - Steve Jobs, 2005

So what's the secret to professional happiness? A survey commissioned back in 2018 by Boundless found that Britain's plumbers are the happiest professionals in the country, with 55% of plumbers saying they were 'very happy' in life.

The survey was designed to uncover who is happy, both at home and at work, and what makes them feel good about themselves and their lives. Plumbers ranked highly in the survey for quality of sleep and physical activity. Not a single plumber said they were 'unhappy' in their job. Compare this to those who work in customer service, and to lawyers, police officers and chefs, all of whom were reported as being unhappy in their work.

Electricians, at 50%, were also one of the happiest groups, with tradespeople in general being way ahead in their happiness index. Builders were also high up on the list.

The Boundless job happiness index

Very happy in life:

  1. Plumbers (55%)
  2. Builders (38%)
  3. Marketing (36%)
  4. Taxi & Lorry Drivers (32%)
  5. Bankers (32%)
  6. Doctors (31%)

[Source]

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"You cannot go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending." - Vala Afshar, June 2020

Man looking out his window

Right now, we find ourselves singularly and collectively living through a period of change whose outcome none of us can confidently predict. The COVID-19 pandemic and consequent lockdown are events that have become huge catalysts for change, the likes of which we have not seen for generations.

Will things ever return to 'normal'? That's what we're all asking - habits have changed or been broken for us, and that has given many of us the space and time to think about the future and do a bit of soul searching. From a career point of view, there are certainly some deep questions to consider: Where am I going? What is my end goal? Have I just been going through the motions, conforming to a pattern because that's what everyone else was doing - just getting on or getting by?

Here's one positive thing about the lockdown: it's shown us that other ways are possible and that not everything is predetermined. We are allowed to think differently now, and where you go from this point in your life - and your career - depends on you and your decisions as an individual.

How we learn new skills is crucial, and the speed of change in learning has been breathtaking. Universities are under threat because people are now wondering if there's something better and less expensive they could be doing to progress their careers. What are my other options, you might ask, and are traditional institutions really worth the price tag?

As an aside and by way of an example, school teaching - while undoubtedly an indispensable profession - is having to dramatically rethink its approach. Other viable ways of educating have emerged in recent months; online learning has become the new norm in some areas, with the benefits now outweighing the negatives for many. It's another example of the 'interruption of the established ways of doing things' that can have unintended consequences and lead to better solutions that focus on the outcomes or the 'goal' first and foremost.

Access Training Academies' online learning portal is a result of challenging 'the norm' and a reflection of this period of change.

There are even more drastic changes that have grown beyond all expectations. The way we consume goods and services has altered dramatically and will affect our economic model forever; with it, the jobs and careers that many are currently pursuing will change or may be negatively affected. We are clearly seeing the entertainment and hospitality sectors being badly affected, and retailers are suffering from a lack of footfall in shopping centres and high streets due to a surge in online shopping. Is this a new 'normal'? People are certainly now thinking of where to go with their careers and what their aspirations are.

Above all, everyone will want job security and to be at ease with their future prospects, as the current uncertainty has affected every part of our lives and the wider economy. LinkedIn, the social network that focuses on professional networking and career development, last week published a Workforce Confidence report showing how confident UK professionals are feeling about their job security, financial wellbeing and career prospects.

LinkedIn Workforce Confidence Report

Source: LinkedIn

"The latest data shows professionals working in the Construction and Software & IT Services industries are feeling most confident, with a score of 24, followed by Healthcare (21), Finance (18) and Manufacturing (18). Several industries were found to have a score of below 10, with Nonprofits feeling the least confident, with a score of 0, followed by Recreation & Travel (4) and Retail (6)."

The construction industry is one of two sectors with the highest level of confidence reported; job security could be high for the next few decades. The recent announcement by the UK Government regarding huge infrastructure investment means the future is bright in this sector.

The sheer volume of available construction work has increased and will continue to increase a great deal over the short, medium and long term, with lots of work required in terms of erecting buildings and modern infrastructure. Furthermore, older buildings will continue needing to be restored or refurbished, so there should be no shortage of work for tradespeople. New, sustainable practices have brought about the need for a greater volume of hi-tech construction projects, which will of course continue to require a steady supply of workers over the coming years.

The COVID-19 lockdown has not been a positive experience overall, but if there's a silver lining, it's that the lockdown has given many of us the chance to wonder where we are going and why. Maintaining a constant level of happiness throughout our lives is paramount; despite events that are out of our control, we all continually work to maintain that certain level of happiness. Making changes - such as shifting our values, our attention and our goals - allows us to be alert to our situation, and having a stable, rewarding and fulfilling career is central to that. A career in construction could be the solution for you.

Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

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Work is running dry in some sectors, but the UK's trade skills shortage could be your opportunity to bounce back.

A striking headline in the 19th July edition of The Sunday Times reads: "Work's running dry as 484 people apply for two precious pub vacancies".

Pint of beer in pub

This is followed by another startling stat: "£9-an-hour post triggers a stampede of highly qualified applicants".

But the numbers aren't the only noteworthy part of this story. Just as remarkable were the types of applicants one bar owner was hearing from before he pulled his job advert after only five days.

The Sunday Times article reported that former air stewards, restaurant managers and experienced shop workers - all recently made redundant - were among the hundreds of applicants, whereas normally pub and restaurant owners would expect to receive a dozen or so replies from youngsters with limited experience.

Up and down the country, the story is the same: employers are reporting a stampede of applications for entry-level roles that they would normally struggle to fill. One manager said:

"The quality of people looking for work right now is as good as it ever has been. Unfortunately it's because of the situation people have found themselves in."

Worringly, this could just be the tip of the iceberg - the government's furlough scheme may be giving many workers a false sense of normality right now, but according to some reports, a larger wave of unemployment could hit the UK very soon.

But ask yourself: do you need to take a backward step if this happens to you? Or could this be your opportunity to train for a different career - something you'll find truly rewarding?

 

Learn new career skills with Access Training Academies

Losing your job can be a scarring experience, but before you join the throng of people currently applying for entry-level work in bars and pubs, ask yourself: wouldn't it be more fulfilling to retrain and join an industry that's currently crying out for new workers?

In all likelihood, you've amassed considerable transferable life skills over the years, so why not make the change and become a professional tradesperson? Most think it's a bridge too far - that it's somehow beyond them, an unknown area of employment - but others see the opportunity in front of them and never look back.

The decision to change career is already being forced on many people. Will you seize the moment, discover your entrepreneurial spirit, use your life experience to your advantage, and start something new and rewarding?

"I did a course with these guys [Access Training Academies]...since I passed last year, I decided to go on my own. The phone hasn't stopped ringing since, and I'm at the point now where I have employed two extra guys."

- James Mummery, Professional Electrical Course

Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

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Late last week, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson announced that the government would drop a Tony Blair-era target of 50% of young people going to university.

In a speech that stressed the need for more vocational training, Williamson said that Britain's education system was guilty of ignoring the "forgotten 50% who choose another path", referring to those who didn't go to university.

Fork in the road leading in two directions

Photo from Pixabay

He also described the need for a major overhaul of this country's approach to training, including courses in the trades and construction where skills shortages continue to occur. The UK is currently in desperate need of plumbers, electricians, gas engineers and carpenters, and many people would prefer to learn these useful skills than go to university for a degree they may not even use.

 

"Education can open the door to better prospects and transform lives," said Williamson.

With reference to those who felt passed over, the Education Secretary said: "I don't accept this absurd mantra, that if you are not part of the 50% of young people who go to university that you've somehow come up short. You have become one of the forgotten 50% who choose another path."

If you are one of those who was forgotten during the past 20 years, we at Access Training are here to help you get the professional qualifications and training you deserve, for the career you've always wanted. Talk to us about our courses that, even during this difficult period, have produced thousands of qualified tradespeople - despite the prevailing narrative that university education is the only route to a successful ​career. This way of thinking is plainly wrong, as evidenced by all the success stories our training courses have produced.

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Mr Williamson continued: "It exasperates me that there is still an in-built snobbishness about 'higher' being somehow better than 'further', when really they are just different paths to fulfilling and skilled employment."

This university target was described as being a target for the sake of a target, not one with any special purpose. Training should always focus on working towards high-quality qualifications and meeting the requirements set by employers. This is what Access Training Academies have successfully been providing for adult students for the past 13 years.

Adult career changers need a high-quality set of choices, with a clear line of sight to the career they want, at any stage of life should they want to pursue it.

"University should never have been regarded as the silver bullet for everyone and everything," said Williamson. We at Access Training wholeheartedly agree. There are so many opportunities for adult learners to get into the trades; they just need the right bespoke course to help them achieve this.

In short, there is a need for a revolution, and change is long overdue. Education's purpose is to unlock an individual's potential so that they can get the job they want. "If it fails to do that, then education itself has let them down," said Williamson. "Today, I have laid down a marker for change. A commitment to stand for the forgotten 50%."

If you didn't go to university, or if your choices for a new career seem limited, contact Access Training and we will help you to find a pathway to a successful career within the trade of your choosing.

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Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

Calculating earnings

Every year, a survey is conducted to find out which trade is the best paid in the industry... a statistic we eagerly look forward to sharing with you.

The results are in for 2019 and yet again the sparkies have taken the financial lead. For not one, not two, but FIVE years running, electricians have been earning the most money of all trades. In 2019, the average salary rose to £33,176 per annum - that's a 2.7% increase compared to 2018!

Why not consider one of our Electrical Courses for a bright start to the new decade?

What about the other trades?

Don't worry - it's not just electricians who saw an average pay rise in 2019.Plumbers, plasters, bricklayers and roofers all saw a wage increase between 1 and 10 per cent!

  • Plasterers saw an average wage increase of 9%
  • Plumbers saw an average wage increase of 1%
  • Bricklayers saw an average wage increase of 4.6%

Where do these statistics come from?

You're probably wondering... how accurate are these numbers? Are they representative of the whole workforce?

Well, these numbers are recorded by the Office of National Statistics. They take the median wage in each individual industry to establish a fair average. This means the small percentage of exceptionally high earners don't skew the data.

To put this in context: exactly 50% of electricians in the UK earn below £33,176 and 50% earn more!

Is it realistic to think you'll earn a high wage straight away?

As you may expect, these average salaries aren't necessarily representative of entry-level wages, so it's unlikely you'll earn over £30k at the very beginning of your electrical career, for example.

That being said, these comfortable salaries are fairly accurate for self-employed tradespeople. Why? Because once you have the qualifications, experience and confidence under your belt, you can decide on a daily/hourly rate that suits your monetary expectations.

What's the key to earning more?

Increasing your earning potential is simpler than you may think. With determination, some hard work and a bit of self-investment, you can go from earning a trainee wage of around £12 - £14 per hour to earning a qualified tradesperson or site technician's wage of up to £20 per hour! Here's how...

1. Apply for agency work

Agency work is a great option if you are starting out in a new trade. It will give you the chance to gain some very basic knowledge and experience before considering further training.

2. Work overtime

If you are already working in your desired trade, why not ask your boss if you can work some overtime? This is a great way to increase your earnings short-term and boost your earning potential.

3. Gain new qualifications

We can't stress enough how important refreshing your qualifications is if you want to improve your earning potential in a particular trade. We offer a range of different courses for beginners and established tradespeople alike, allowing you to offer a better, more comprehensive service to your clients and command a higher salary! Whether you're keeping your knowledge up-to-date or learning a completely new trade, you'll find it easier to earn more money when you develop your skillset.

4. Start your own business

Becoming a self-employed tradesperson really does put the reigns (and money) in your hands. When you become your own boss, you can choose exactly how much you want to contract your services out for. An average hourly rate for an electrician is £45-£70 per hour, giving you plenty of room to adjust your profit margins to suit your business goals.

Browse Our Training Courses Now >

 

Starting Your Own Business - Case Study:

So you want to earn more money - who doesn't? Find out how we can help you achieve your monetary goals by taking a look at this incredible success story!

These two students, Peter and Omar, were working in completely different professions before they decided to learn a trade at Access Training Academies. Since completing their courses, they've set up their own independent plumbing and gas businesses. You can see our full interview with them here:

For more information on learning a trade at Access Training Academies, get in touch now! Call us on 0800 345 7492 or get in touch online.

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During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are helping people to retrain for new careers in the trades. Our courses combine live online learning with hands-on skills training - browse our trade courses here!

 

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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