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!


It has been reported that unemployment in the UK has been steadily decreasing over the last few years, but looking closely at the numbers, in the UK there is currently around 1.71 million people who are unemployed, get the skilled trades industry needs at least 35,000 entrants to stand still.

With enough unemployed people to help close the trade skills gap - why are people not considering a career as an electrician, plumber, or gas engineer? We believe that there is a distinct lack of information provided by schools about the qualifications needed and the career opportunities available for young people within skilled trade industries.

Mark Beard, chief executive of regional contractor Beard, believes that “only a few young people see construction as a viable, well paid or exciting industry to work in because careers information at school is generally inadequate and out-dated”

The industry must also build better relationships with careers advisor's and teachers, said Beard, as well as ensuring that they have high-quality information and materials that provide accurate and informed advice.

He added: “By stepping into the classroom and sharing insights about apprenticeships, work placements and our own career paths, we can help young people make informed choices. We can also advise them on the skill-sets and qualifications they’ll need to succeed in the digital construction world of the future.”

In general we agree with the point raised by Mark Beard. If construction companies and trade industry experts took the time to deliver career talks or engaging educational days to children, we could motivate more people to aspire to become a plumber or an electrician.

Firstly, It is important that we work to dispel the myths about trade jobs. Many people still see trades jobs and low paid, unimportant, and physically demanding jobs which are more suited to men than women, which is simply not the case. By dispelling these myths from a young age, we may find that more women aspire to become a trades-woman.   We need to start communicating to young people that learning a skilled trade is an important, exciting job, and there will always be plenty of well-paid, work available.

Secondly, we believe there is a lack of assistance for school leavers who wish to embark on a trade career instead of going to university. In many schools, the focus for many students is to carry on their education through 6th form or college and onto university. As we know, university doesn't appeal to everyone, and the pressure to go to university that some school apply on their students, may leave many people feeling alienated and questioning what careers paths they can embark on instead of going onto further education. To help educate students about careers in trade, industry experts should be working closely with schools and colleges. Helping to open the discussion about trade jobs and providing up to date information on the qualifications needed to become a skilled trades person will help educate and inspire people from a young age.

UK companies need to become more engaged with the younger generation, and need to inform children about the importance to skilled trades, and the need for individuals with a specialist skill set and the type of career they can have. For many students, not having an extortionate amount of debt over their heads upon completion of their education could be very appealing!


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(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.


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 or click here 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!
New Year Sale
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!

Click here to browse available 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!
Boxing Day Sale
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!

Click here to view our training courses >

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

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