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"Anybody who's lost their job... my advice is don't be afraid. With hard work and the right training... you can do anything that you want."

Jimmy Adkins, Access Training Academies Tutor speaking to Robert Peston from ITV

Today’ Rishi Sunak announced his ‘Wage Top-Up’ scheme, a plan which effectively allows employers to work a third of their hours for almost the same wage; that is, 77% of their salary for one third of their normal working day. Another skilful avoidance of complete redundancy, another catastrophe missed; but ultimately a temporary measure to delay the inevitable. 

And let’s not forget, that this indicates a reduction in payment from the previous 80% salary offered by the furlough scheme. What happens to people already struggling to make ends meet, now met with a 3% reduction? What will happen at the end of another 6 months when industries are on their knees? 

There is a great cause for concern, as Paul Johnson, head of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, predicted that 2 million people could lose their jobs by the end of this year. He called Sunak’s new plans ‘significantly less generous than the furlough scheme’; he also makes a crucial point, that only those currently working more than a third of their usual hours will benefit from this updated system – those not working at all will lose their jobs.

But we at Access Training want to reach out and reassure you that all is not lost. We want to point out the ways in which this period is an opportunity to grasp, that now is the moment you’ve been waiting for. Here are 5 tips on how to navigate the new furlough as a worker:



  1. Use gained time to retrain and prepare 

A lack of time and resources are no longer a reason not to invest in a training course. With Sunak’s new scheme announcement, you have the same wage, but two thirds more free time than before. What better way to use that free time than to upskill, retrain, and prepare for the next phase? It’s a no brainer – invest your time wisely.

 

  1. Plan ahead for the worst

If your sector, business, industry of work is likely to be one of those about to crumble, then planning ahead is crucial to avoiding a redundancy further on down the line. Why leave it to chance? Why not join the thousands of chefs, pilots, solicitors, cab drivers, and many other professionals, who are enrolling on a course with us?

 

  1. Keep your options open

Regardless of what line of work you have been, or are currently in, a construction course will cater for you. And with every other sector now under threat from financial ruin and collapse, wouldn’t it be better to have the option to jump ship if it had to come to that? 

 

  1. You have nothing to lose, everything to gain

As you read this, construction courses are reaching peak demand with new students leaving their careers to begin afresh in construction. With the continued uncertainty ahead, this makes perfect sense: a sturdy and dependable industry, guaranteed work and high demand. Upskilling is a win-win situation: you become more employable, you expand on your professional skills, and you gain qualifications which will always benefit you. In these times, it’s best to leave nothing to chance. 

 

  1. Believe in yourself – remain hopeful

As soon as self-belief is lost, then getting yourself back on your feet and moving forward can become impossible. We are here to assure you that Access Training is your way out and up to security and confidence. As Sunak inspiringly noted in his announcement speech:

 

"What was true at the beginning of the crisis remains true now. It’s on all of us, and we must learn to live … without fear.

Live without fear, and take the leap you’ve been meaning to take – because now really is the time." 



Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

Are you being left behind by the UK government's new plans for those aged 16 to 24?

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak recently announced that the government would be creating more than 300,000 paid job opportunities for unemployed people aged 16 to 24. This is great news and a much-needed show of support for young people who may be struggling to find work right now due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But where does this leave everyone else? What options are available for unemployed 25-year-olds and others who are too old to benefit from the UK government's new initiative?

Photo by J J Ellison (Wikimedia Commons)

 

"The most dramatic hit to the UK labour market in 100 years"

The number of people out of work and claiming work-related benefits in the UK recently jumped to more than 2 million as the coronavirus crisis forced thousands of businesses to close. Highlighting the impact of the pandemic on the workforce, the figures for May found that the number of jobcentre claimants increased to 2.8 million from 1.24 million in March, representing a 126% increase since the beginning of the lockdown.

The UK government have revealed strong plans to help unemployed 16 to 24-year-olds, but have not announced any support for the country's largest working demographic.

Because of this, people aged 25 and older are now looking for the best way to achieve both job stability and job satisfaction. It is widely accepted that careers in the construction, electrical, and plumbing and heating trades are some of the most stable positions available in the current UK climate; these career paths also provide job satisfaction with the option to be your own boss.

Construction training providers across the UK are now seeing increased demand for training and an increase in demand for tradespeople. Trade courses are seen as a viable solution for those struggling or wanting to change career.

Call Access Training on 0800 345 7492 or contact us online to learn more about our wide range of trade training programmes for people of all ages.

Electrician Courses   Plumbing Courses   Construction Courses

The UK's economic recovery has 'Build, Build, Build' as its new mantra - so the future looks bright for skilled tradespeople in the construction industry.

Construction cranes

"We will build, build, build. Build back better, build back greener, build back faster, and do that at the pace that this moment requires," said Boris Johnson as he focused on trade skills to get the country back up and running.

This is a positive message for anyone considering a long-term career in the trades. The Prime Minister has promised a massive building programme to put jobs and infrastructure at the centre of his economic growth strategy.

New skilled trade job opportunities were promised, and the Prime Minister also highlighted the need to prioritise education. He said he wanted to end the current injustice, which he called "such a waste of human talent", and announced that his new plan would create "thousands of high-paid, high-skilled jobs", acknowledging that many jobs lost since January would not come back.

That's where Access Training Academies can help you. We can give you the trade skills you'll need to be part of this new initiative.

The government's £5 billion investment program is based around infrastructure projects that are designed to stimulate the UK economy and get people working in skilled trade jobs. This new initiative will only serve to encourage ​those considering a career change to become part of one of the only sectors that's likely to move forward quickly as the country comes out of lockdown.

The new construction-focused spending package includes:

  • £1.5 billion this year in hospital spending
  • Over £1 billion for a school rebuilding programme
  • £560 million for repairs and upgrades to schools and further education colleges
  • Millions of pounds to upgrade courts and prisons
  • £900 million for local projects
  • £96 million for town centres and funding to accelerate infrastructure projects in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

All of these projects will require electricians, plumbers, gas engineers and carpenters. So now is a fantastic time to learn a trade and join the construction industry - especially if the coronavirus pandemic has negatively impacted your current line of work.

Boris Johnson's announcement was based on funding that offers many people great new opportunities. "That is how it is meant to sound and to be, because that is what the times demand," he added.

The future for skilled tradespeople has never been brighter. Call Access Training on 0800 345 7492 to discuss your new career options.

Contact Access Training   Browse Trade Courses

Photo from Pexels

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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How many jobs do you feel capable of doing around your home? Can you bleed a radiator? Do you know how to hang a door?

Well, if you're a young adult and your answer to these questions is yes then you are part of the minority! A third of young people (37%) said they could confidently change a shower head, and even fewer (31%) said they knew how to bleed a radiator. When the same questions were asked of over 55 year olds, 65% said they could change a shower head, and a staggering 79% knew how to bleed a radiator!

So the question is, does experience come with age, or are we living with a generation of young people who aren't confident in picking up their tools and giving DIY a go?

Part of the problem is that young people, more often than not, live in rented properties rather than their own homes. This means they rely heavily on their landlords to pay for and solve any problems that may occur in the home. More often than not, young people are left for days, if not weeks, with an unfixed problem in their home while waiting for their landlords to organise a solution. 

We want to inspire young people to give DIY tasks a go, but one thing to be wary of is that there are some jobs you can do with the help of a YouTube video... but there are some jobs that should not be attempted without proper training (that's where we come in).

Improving Your DIY Skills

Besides offering some excellent Electrical, Gas and Plumbing Courses, we also offer a range of construction courses such as:

These courses will teach you skills that will prove very useful if you want to try your hand at DIY tasks around your home. Better still, you could use your trade to help complete jobs for friends, family or even start your own business and make a profit on your new DIY skills!

If you want to enquire about one of our courses, don't hesitate to get in touch - you can call us on 0800 345 7492 or click the button below to fill in an enquiry form today!

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Whether you’re starting your journey in the working world, looking to gain some additional skills or retraining as part of a career change, becoming a fully qualified professional in your chosen field can be an exciting endeavour.

For many, this can also present the opportunity to truly branch out on your own as a solo act. Running your own business can be a natural progression, particularly when it comes to those who have successfully completed electrical courses and plumbing courses.

That being said, having your own business is no small feat and can pose its own set of challenges. Nevertheless, working for yourself obviously has its fair share of perks too – but is the fruit worth the labour?

Let’s find out as we weigh up the pros and cons of having your own business.

 

pros and cons of having your own business,running your own business

 

Disadvantages of Running Your Own Business

While the benefits of running your own business can be huge, for every pro there is an opposing con to level the playing field. After all, if it were that easy, everyone would do it – so to think it’s all plain sailing would be naïve.

Before we get into the upside of running your own business, let’s take a look at the downside.

 

Start-Up Costs

Creating your own business from scratch naturally requires a lot of investment, particularly in the early stages when you’re getting your company off the ground. From equipment to registration fees, the overall sum can amount to a hefty chunk of change.

As such, starting a business can become a bit of a “chicken and egg” scenario. You need funds to make it happen and you can’t get funds without work, which often makes business loans (and the interest attached) a necessary evil.

In addition to financial demands, it also applies to time demands. Which leads us nicely to…

 

Longer Hours

On the other side of the coin, running your own business can also translate into long working hours, weekend projects and unsociable shifts. If a job needs to be completed and runs over, it’s on your head.

While it does present the opportunity to work when you want to, if you want to make your business a success, there will be periods when you have to put the work in.

 

Uncertainty

When you work for yourself, there is a definite element of uncertainty when it comes to income and workload, particularly in the early days while you are still yet to become an established name.

This can make it hard to plan financially as well as socially. Meanwhile, the market can change depending on the financial climate of the country, while undercutting and volume of local competition from rival firms can also influence your income.

 

Distractions

Running your own business can be great when it comes to freedom; however, it also can be a bit of a curse when it comes to outside demands. Distraction can come in many forms, particularly if you work from home.

What’s more, when you have no-one to answer to, friends and family can take that as an open invitation to lead you astray. As such, keeping your mind on the task at hand can be a lesson in discipline and self-control.

 

 

Advantages of Running Your Own Business

Now that the negatives have been covered, let’s take a walk on the positive side.

While there are reservations to be had when it comes to working for yourself, there are a long list of benefits that could potentially outweigh the negatives substantially – particularly if you have the drive and determination to succeed.

 

Be Your Own Boss

When you run your own business, you effectively answer to no-one…except the customer, course. Nobody can tell you what to do, no-one will grill you for missing your alarm and, perhaps best of all, nobody can fire or replace you.

Being your own boss also means you are in charge of your own destiny. All the important decision-making is left up to you and your fate really does lie in the palm of your own hands.

 

Creativity

Part of the appeal of running your own business is the unrivalled sense of creative autonomy that comes with it. The freedom to take your business in your own direction provides a sense of creativity that is rarely duplicated in an employed environment.

From the business name to company logo, your input is a vital part of the process and your ideas shape the outcome. Right down to the pricing of your services, you can set the bar at a level that you desire.

 

Sink or Swim

Running a business will expand your skills beyond the task itself and see you learn more about a variety of aspects: from marketing tactics to accounting. You will naturally learn what works and what doesn’t – which in itself can be a growing experience of maturation.

The personal satisfaction of growing your business yourself can create a proud achievement.

 

Flexibility

Perhaps the biggest bonus of running your own business is the genuine flexibility that comes with it. If you don’t want to work Mondays, don’t take that Monday morning booking; if you want to take the week off to take the kids away for half term, nobody can tell you otherwise.

When you steer the ship, you get out what you put in and – provided the demand is there – you can work as much or as little as you can afford to. Your workload rests almost entirely on your own work ethic.

 

Financial Windfall

Why should someone else reap the rewards of your hard work? When you work for yourself, the income generated goes directly into your proverbial pocket.

While you may have to pay out for X or Y along the way, the cash you’ve earned is yours to do with as you please, without someone else taking the lion’s share of the pie beforehand.

What’s more, you may also benefit from business expenses and tax exemptions, such as travel costs, office setup, etc.

 

So, there you have it, a balanced, Ying-Yang overview of self-employment. For more information on starting your own business or details on our wide variety of skills courses available to help start you on your journey, call now on 0800 345 7492 or get in touch using the button below.

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Whether it's laziness, a lack of training or cashflow issues, there are a number of reasons that may be used when discussing a career change with your teenager. It can be scary after all. But, if you’re a parent to a teenager who is looking for their first ever job, then we bet you’ve heard them every excuse in the book. 

It can be frustrating for you as you want your child to do their best, have aspirations and do well for themselves. Then on the flipside, they probably call you a nag and tell you to “just chill out”. We’ve all been there… or at least know someone who has. 

That’s why our team here at Access Training aim to make starting a career in trade as easy as it can possibly be. More...



Making the decision to drop out of university requires a lot of courage and maturity, but mostly it requires preparation and planning. 

It’s perfectly natural to decide that your course wasn’t what you expected it would be, or to find it too expensive, or to simply not enjoy the university lifestyle. There is nothing undignified about changing your mind once you’re there. In fact, more than 26,000 students dropped out of university in 2013/14.

Whatever the reason, it isn’t the end of the world. University is not the only path to a successful life and career. However, before making the decision it is highly useful to know what you’d like to do instead.

With so much pressure from schools and parents put on students to attend university, it might become hard to consider the many other career routes there are, which can provide you with just as prosperous a future.

If you are one of the thousands who discovered that university doesn’t necessarily give you ‘the best three years of your life’ and are searching for a new direction to go in, then read on - there is something better suited for you out there somewhere. More...




We're well over the halfway point of 2014 and even now the construction industry's huge growth spurt still shows no signs of slowing down. There have been so many pieces of news coming out lately that doing a blog post for every one of them would have taken ages! So here we've put together some of the latest headlines to have hit trade and construction news websites to show why it is a better time than ever for Britons to consider a career in the construction industry;

That's quite a few stories, all of which are pointing to the same two conclusions - construction growrth is at an all-time high, and skilled workers are going to be desperately in need to make sure this growth continues. Whether you're a school leaver or someone looking for a fresh start in a brand new job, Access Training Academies can help make that career in the construction industry happen. We specialise in all forms of construction training, including carpentry, plastering, tiling, bricklaying and painting/decorating - all of which have been specially designed to train you to the level of professional in a short and effective time frame. Along the way you'll earn the proper qualifications needed to start your new career, learning from tutors who've spent years' working in the industry. Despite the short timeframe, there's no quality skimped on our courses and you'll also have the additional benefit of learning trade secrets from those who know the ins and outs of the business.

For more information on our range of construction courses, give Access a call on 0800 345 7492 today and we'll find the perfect construction course for you.

Now that we've entered August it's fair to say that the summer holidays have properly started, and school children aren't going to have to even think about school for another month. But what about those 18 year olds who are just coming out of sixth form/college? It's not so easy for them as they won't be going back in September - it's time for them to think about the next step in their lives.

For many university will be the most obvious route, engaging in another 3+ years of education with a qualification and a heap of debt at the end of it. And what job is that qualification likely to get you? With most graduates struggling to get jobs relevant to their degrees, they are now beginning to fill lower-level positions that would usually be taken by those who haven't gone to uni and want to work their way up into a career via experience. So where does that leave them? As you can guess, its a pretty big problem and calls into question just how useful some degrees are in landing you your 'dream' job.

But there are other reasons one might not want to go to university. After over a decade of timetables and school work, some people might want to put that behind them and move onto something different. Instead of more sitting at a desk and writing, there are practical options out there that will keep your working life active and varied. And of course, there is that matter of student loan/tuition fee debt that I briefly mentioned earlier...

With the demand for skilled tradespeople at an all-time high thanks to a construction boom and renewed interest in housebuilding, those looking for a direction outside of university may be perfectly suited to becoming a plumber, gas engineer, electrician, carpenter, plasterer, tiler, bricklayer or decorator. Or even a number of the above! But once again, there are a few ways to go about it.

One option is to take up a college course in your chosen trade. Not a bad option, but there are a few things to think about. These courses can take around two years to complete, which means once again resigning yourself to a strict regime of timetables. There's also the fact that colleges have to budget  their wide variety of courses, which means there's every possibility you could find yourself with facilities not quite as ideal as you might have hoped for.

The alternative? Completing an intensive training course with a private trainer, where you'll be able to earn your skills and qualifications in a matter of weeks. This probably sounds impossible to many of you, but with the right tutelage from experienced tradesmen in a state-of-the-art facility the combines the very best practical and theory training it's more than possible. And with a private trainer their ONLY focus is on the facilities and the training they provide, so you know that your chosen trade is a key subject for them.

Sound like the path you want to take? Then get in touch with Access Training Academies and book your training course today. We specialise in a wide variety of trades training courses, each manned by tutors with many years' experience in the business. All of our courses are accredited by leading awarding bodies such as City & Guilds, Logic and more, and designed to take you from a beginner level all the way to that of a trained professional. Not only that, but we keep our classes to a minimal size to allow the most one-to-one student/tutor time possible, so that you know you're getting the care and attention you paid for. Following completion of your course, you'll be ready to start your brand new career and even have the abilities to go self-employed should you so wish. Its your choice what path you choose but one thing is definitely for sure - you'll have earned yourself skills for life that are constantly in demand, and as such enjoy constant work with impressive wages.

This August, have a think about where you want your life to head next. And if you like the sound of this, give Access a call on 0800 345 7492.

Government-endorsed quality mark Trustmark are now helping tradespeople comply with new changes to home improvement and repair contracts, following the introduction of the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013.

These new regulations have introduced major changes to consumer projection law, applying to contracts made in stores, online and in-home. Failure to comply to these regs may lead to prosecution or fine, so it's important that all qualified tradespeople know exactly what they need to do.

Among the major changes are:

  • Consumers are to be given far more information prior to signing a contract. This includes everything from information about the trader and goods to cancellation rights and any applicable charges.
  • Traders need the active consent of the consumer for all payments. Methods such as pre-ticked boxes for additional payments are no longer acceptable.
  • Consumers are not liable for costs they've not been told about in advance
  • The cooling-off period for goods and services sold by distance or off-premises selling will be now be14 days from date of delivery of the products across the EU. Formerly this was seven days from date of contract.
  • Where the consumer has the right to cancel a contract, they must be provided with a model cancellation form by the trader
  • The cancellation period is extended to, broadly, 12 months if the trader fails to provide certain pre-contract information. The trader could also be liable to a fine of up to £5,000.
  • There are some exemptions in regards to cancellation rights, one of which is for products "made to the consumer's specification" – this will include such products as made-to-measure windows made to a consumer's specific requirements; another is for urgent repairs and maintenance when a consumer invites a trader to their home.

TrustMark chairman Liz Male said these changes are "a big step forward" in helping both consumers and traders enjoy a clear and positive relationship. She added: "What matters now is that all TrustMark-registered firms get the detailed guidance they need in order to ensure they are fully compliant. I’m delighted our approved scheme operators in this sector, including NICEIC and NAPIT are already busy providing this support to their registered firms."

More information and further developments can be found at TrustMark's website.

Many have been speculating it for a while now, but yesterday Sky News were warned by experts that the shortage of skilled workers is having a serious impact on the construction industry's recovery.

In order to keep up with the huge demand for new houses, thousands of workers will need to be recruited and trained over the next few years. Last year a total of 108.190 houses were fully built in England, falling very short of the 220,000 target the Home Builder's Federation says are needed to keep up with demand. In turn, the shortage is then driving up house prices, being cited as one of the many factors contributed to the rising costs.

The CITB estimate that around 390,000 workers left the construction industry during the recession, and since 2008 fewer apprentices have joined the sector. This has resulted in an aging workforce, with a further 410,000 estimated to retire in the next five years.

Speaking to building firms across the UK, Sky News were told that bricklayers and roofers were among the trades the industry is most struggling to get an influx of. One interviewee - Mark Aldcroft, who manages a site near Stockport, also said: "Sometimes we can't get enough of the joinery industry because they're being pulled from pillar to post, various other contractors and house builders."

Mike Bialyj from the CITB said there will "undoubtedly" be an impact on the housing sector, telling Sky: "One in 20 companies were forecasting that their business could be damaged or even irreparably damaged due to the skills shortage, so we really do need to make sure we fill the gap."

With an estimated 80% of properties now unaffordable for the average working family partially because of this, its more important than ever that this skill gap is filled. Construction workers are needed more than ever, and two year-long college courses may not be able to fill them in time. What you need is an intensive training course like the kind we offer here at Access Training. Even though your training will take place in a matter of weeks, these courses don't skip out on any of the quality you'll find elsewhere. You'll learn from experienced tradespeople as you work up from the basics and earn official City & Guilds qualifications along the way. Upon completion you'll have the skills and knowledge of a professional tradesperson and be ready to start a brand new career.

Want to find out more? Get in contact with one of our course advisers by calling 0800 345 7492 or filling in the online form here on our website. They'll be happy to speak to you in more detail, answer any queries and even provide you with a tour of our training facilities. 

The housing may be in trouble, but you could be the one to help save it. If you're tired of your current work and/or are looking for something more active and hands-on - then a construction career could be the opportunity you've been waiting for.