Be a carpenter

Carpentry is one of the oldest occupations there is, dating all the way back to Ancient Egypt and beyond. The Bible, of course, features myriad references to carpentry, from Noah and his ark to Joseph, husband of Mary.

That being said, a lot has changed since Biblical times - it's unlikely that Noah or Joseph had any formal carpentry qualifications. But what credentials does a modern-day carpenter need in order to succeed?

 

What do I need to become a carpenter?

Carpentry isn't like gas or electrical work - there's no specific certification (or set of certifications) that you're legally required to possess. Strictly speaking, the only thing you need to do in order to enter the trade and carry out on-site work is demonstrate your competence as a carpenter.

There are a number of valid ways to do this, but one of the most popular options is to complete a portfolio of work and earn the NVQ Level 2 Carpentry qualification.

 

How do I get my NVQ?

Well, hold on now. Before you can start working towards the NVQ Level 2 certification, you'll need to actually learn carpentry.

Again, you have a number of different options here. Some people choose to do an apprenticeship, working alongside an established carpenter and gradually learning the trade from them. Mind you, it can take a number of years to go from apprentice to fully-fledged carpenter, so if you're looking to start your new career sooner rather than later, you may prefer to enrol on an accredited carpentry training course.

View Our Carpentry Courses >

Once you've learned all the skills a carpenter needs to know - and you feel confident that you're proficient enough to start work - then you can begin the NVQ process. This involves:

  • Attending a formal induction session
  • Completing a portfolio of evidence (including photographs of the work you've completed and written testimonies from witnesses)
  • Submitting your finished portfolio for assessment

If you're already a competent carpenter and you think you're ready to earn your NVQ Level 2 Carpentry qualification, click here to find out Access Training can help. Otherwise, use the links below to find out more about our carpentry training packages for learners of all experience levels.

Carpentry Training Packages >  Speak to a Course Advisor >

Are you looking to gain the skills and knowledge needed to be able to improve your outdoor living space with a self-built deck? Access Training can help! With our range of Carpentry Courses, you can gain the essential competencies required to become a professional carpenter and build your very own deck area. Whether it's for your own property or for others, we provide intensive and thorough training courses that enable you to become fully qualified in the carpentry industry and pursue a range of career goals. Click the button below to browse all of the Carpentry Courses that we currently offer here at Access Training.

Browse Carpentry Courses >

 

Why Learn to Build Your Own Deck?

So, why would you want to build your own deck? Let's take a look at some of the benefits you can experience by gaining the appropriate building skills! 

  • Cost - Probably the biggest factor to enrolling onto one of our courses to gain professional building and carpentry skills is the amount of money you can potentially save by completing the work required to build the deck yourself, rather than outsourcing the labour to another builder! The cost involved with gaining professional carpentry qualifications can quickly turn itself into an investment when you realise that you are able to do the most important and skilled elements of the job yourself. 
  • Trust - When it comes to working on your property, you want somebody that you can trust to a proper and professional job. The risk of hiring an external builder is that there is no guarantee that this will happen unless you know them of course. By gaining the skills and knowledge, you eliminate the risk of the project never being completed to the standard that you require.
  • DIY Skills - By completing one of our carpentry courses, not only will you be competent in building your own deck, but you will gain the skills to complete a number of different jobs around your home such as installing doors and repairing floors! This again can be a huge cost-saving bonus and saves you the stress and hassle of finding a quality and trustworthy carpenter to complete the job.
  • A New Career - One of the most rewarding benefits of gaining professional carpentry and building skills with Access Training is the potential that you gain in starting a totally new career! Simply by starting to learn the basic requirements needed to be able to build a deck, you can quickly gain a passion that can change your life. Become your own boss or start a team of other professional builders/carpenters with the help of Access Training today!

 

What Decking Should You Choose? 

Gaining the necessary skills and qualifications to be able to build your own deck is one thing, finding the right decking that is going to last is another. We now take a look at the options that you have and what is best for saving even more time, money and effort. 

When it comes to decking, there a whole host of choices that you can choose from, each one offering a different kind of benefit. Firstly, you have plastic. Plastic decking has been a hugely popular choice with homeowners in many countries due to its low-maintenance and cheap costs. However, it does come with its drawbacks. Most notably their complete synthetic makeup, which over time can cause them to bow or crack underfoot, meaning you have to then replace the damaged boards! Leading to more costs and time spent installing new boards.

Secondly, you have natural wood decking. This again has been a popular choice for many people when installing a deck in their home due to its natural wood look, but it also has its disadvantages. Over time, wood decking can begin to crack and splinter, as well as building up algae, causing the deck to become extremely slippery in wet conditions. These pose obvious safety hazards to you or anyone that walks on the deck, resulting in it having to be cared for and maintained on a regular basis. This again takes up much more of your time and money as you have to buy the necessary equipment and products.

Finally, there's the option of composite decking. Composite decking combines the natural wood appearance of wood decking with the low-maintenance properties of plastic decking. Eliminating the need for regular upkeep to retain its beautiful look or to keep it safe. Composite deck boards are created using a combination of natural hardwood and synthetic materials, creating a board that is the 'best of both worlds'. 

Just like our carpentry training courses, composite decking can be a real investment when it comes to building your deck. The initial costs involved with installing this premium decking option will soon pay itself back with its numerous benefits, such as never having to be stained, painted or sealed. Never cracking or producing splinters. Never fading or warping in hot and cold conditions and being slip-resistant when exposed to wet weather. All of these things combined with its organic, natural appearance makes composite decking the decking choice for any builders looking to build their own deck. 

Where to Purchase Composite Decking?

Composite decking can be bought from many known outdoor living and garden brands and companies such as Wickes and B&Q. However, we recommend that to achieve the best possible results for your deck and to use your newly learnt abilities fully, you buy composite deck boards from a specialist. One of the leading composite decking suppliers in the UK is DeckPlus - with showrooms in Cardiff, St Albans and Slough, DeckPlus have helped to transform outdoor living spaces all over the country. They offer a variety of deck boards, both capped and uncapped, in a range of colours and styles perfect for any design that you may have in mind.

DeckPlus Composite Decking >

 

It's important to remember, however, that in order to be able to properly install DeckPlus's composite decking boards, you will require all of the necessary building and carpentry skills. If you would like to be able to build your own deck, save money and time and gain the potential of starting a new career, enrol onto our Professional Carpentry Course today! 

Professional Carpentry Course >

 

For further information on our range of courses or if you have any general enquiries, then please do not hesitate to contact us today by calling 0800 345 7492 or emailing info@accesstraininguk.co.uk

 

Although construction productivity is on the rise, its full potential is being held back by a worrying skills shortage across all sectors. With a significant portion of the workforce set to retire over the next few years, more needs to be done to encourage young people to take up construction training courses and join a workforce desperately in need of expansion. And a recent survey from the Edge Foundation has unearthed some rather worrying results...

It found that over a third of students are being actively discouraged from vocational education by schools, being told that they will be more successful if they choose the academic pathway. 22% were even told that they were "too clever" for vocational education. On the parent side of things, only half (51%) encouraged their child's choice to pursue a vocational career as opposed to the 74% that would much prefer to support them through an academic route.

Thankfully the survey did find out some positive results for the construction industry. Those that chose vocational careers were revealed to be just as happy with their choice as those that opted for the academic route, with earnings comparable between the two. 

In response to the survey, Edge Foundation CEO Jan Hodges was disappointed that so few parents and teachers saw vocational education as worthwhile, despite it yielding equal levels of happiness, job satisfaction and financial gain. Pointing out that a skilled workforce is essential to the British economy, she said:

"The stigma attached to vocational learning is old-fashioned and unjust."

At Access Training we agree that the negative stigma attached to joining the construction industry and other vocational careers needs to stop. The benefits of an academic pathway are not as glamorous as they are made out to be, nor are the chances of success. Think about it - if everyone is heading in that direction are there really going to be jobs to support everyone? The answer is obviously no, and this is why more and more graduates are coming out of university and heading straight into office jobs or unemployment. Meanwhile the construction industry is welcoming more new recruits than ever, but there simply aren't enough skilled labourers to fill the gap.

Construction training is not what many people make it out to be - it may rely more on physical skill than academia, but that doesn't mean there isn't an intergral element of theory to it. And this goes for all construction trades - whether it be bricklaying, carpentry, plastering, tiling or even painting and decorating. The same goes for other vocational trades such as electrics, plumbing or gas installation. A trade career can be challenging but ultimately rewarding, providing excellent job satisfaction as well as plenty of reward. Most importantly, what you learn on your trades training course is a skill for life.

Our training courses provide students with all the skills and knowledge they need for a long and prosperous career in the sector of their choosing, along with all of the relevant qualifications needed to be considered qualified by industry bodies. You will be taught in our state-of-the-art centre by industry professionals, each with a number of years' experience in their specific trade. Upon completion, you'll find a world of opportunity and career growth at your fingertips.

So does the academic route really sound that much better? Give Access a call on 0800 345 7492 to find out more about how a vocational career can change your life!

Even though we're only one month into it, 2014 is setting up to be a fantastic year for the construction industry and tradespeople alike with a seemingly constant stream of news to suggest Britain is truly climbing out of the recession and the industry has a long line of prosperity ahead of it. This doesn't look like it'll just mean more jobs in the industry for trainees currently going through various construction training courses, but improved benefits for you as well.

Reed, one of the largest recruitment companies in the UK, revealed that new vacancies on its website rose by 29% in January compared to 2013 - with construction and property leading the way with a 74% increase. This is due to the construction boom the industry is currently in the midst of, along with a significant rise in both private and public housing planned. Reed's statistics showed that around one in five of the national workforce actively searched for a new job in January.

However despite the gradual increase in job vacancies there have been over the last few months, the average salary hasn't seen much change at all. This is set to change though as a skills shortage, particularly in the construction industry, has become prevalent. Many fear that there is simply not enough trained labourers to replace those that will be retiring in the next five or so years - and so fully qualified plasterers, carpenters, tilers and bricklayers in high demand. Knowing that there's a construction boom currently taking place, workers have also gained newfound confidence in their careers. And of course, the ever-growing cost of living is also a factor in why employers are being pressured to (deservedly) increase pay.

So what does this mean for new construction trainees? Well, for starters there's never been a better time to start a career in the construction trade, whichever sector you think may be suitable for you! Qualified construction workers have always been in demand and commanded impressive salaries, but the industry really is at the top of its game right now - not only will you find yourself in an exciting and varied line of work, but your skills will be valued more than ever.

But what's the quickest and most effective way to break into the industry? College courses can be beneficial, but not only are many understaffed with limited facilities but they can also take years to complete. While the industry is expected to enjoy this "golden age" for a fair few years, there's no guarantee that the high demand for workers will last this long. What you need is an intensive trades training course - the very kind we provide here at Access Training Academies. Our training courses last a matter of weeks rather than months, and pack the same (if not better!) quality you'd find elsewhere. In smaller class sizes you'll learn from tutors with a number of years' experience in their field, completing both theory and practical work before earning valued qualifications here at our accredited Cardiff training centre. These qualifications come from awarding bodies such as City & Guilds, and represent exactly what a plasterer, carpenter, tiler or bricklayer need to break into the industry successfully.

To find out more about the construction training courses we offer, call Access on 0800 345 7492 and speak to one of our course advice team. They'll be happy to answer any questions you have and arrange a full tour of our facilities so you can see exactly what we do before signing up.

2014 is a brand new year - take hold of it and take the steps toward that new career you've always dreamed of.

It seems like almost every day we're posting about the ongoing construction boom and just how much its going to benefit new construction trainees, but the industry really is on the rise and the good news just keeps on coming!

Now the latest CITB Construction Skills Network forecast is estimating that the industry is set to see 182,000 new jobs created over the next five years. This rapidly recovering market is led by increased housing demand, with skill shortages predicted across several occupations. In addition to this, planned new nuclear builds will also result in an increased demand for scaffolders over a period of at least four years.

Over the next five years, this is how construction performance in the UK is expected to look:

  • The South West, Wales and East Anglia will benefit to perform the strongest, at +3.5%, +3.4% and 3% respectively - all above the national average of 2.2%.
  • Other areas will feel the effects much more slowly, but the North West (+1.3%), East Midlands (1.1%) and West Midlands (+0.8%) are all still set to improve.
  • Employment growth is a lot more mixed. Some areas are set to see a notable growth (East Anglia is expected to increase by an average of 2% a year), while others may see a reduction (the West Midlands at 0.2%)
  • Private housing will be the main drive for the growth, with the sub-sector rising by around 7% in 2014, with a further 5% the following year. From then on, its expected to grow by 4.6% a year until 2018.
  • Infrastructure is set to have the second largest annual growth, at 3.6%, followed by industrial (3%) and public housing (2.2%)

CITB chairman James Wates commented that the report showed that the economy is "turning the corner" and that the construction industry is benefitting from that. However he also stated: "Growth needs to be sustainable; underpinned by long-term infrastructure projects and continued investment. Employment in 2018 is predicted to be 196,000 below pre-recession levels, which is why measures must be taken now to ensure growth is sustained over the long-term."

Do you need any further proof that now is the time to take up a trades training course and enter the construction industry? Over the next few years there is going to be increasing demand for bricklayers, carpenters, plasterers, tilers and painters/decorators. All of these professions are needed in order to meet the rising housing quota, and entering the industry as a qualified professional has never been easier. Access Training Academies offer quality, accredited courses in all of these trades at our state-of-the-art training centre just outside Cardiff city centre. Here you'll learn from our experienced tutors in classes no larger than eight students, permitting to work closely alongside your tutor. After learning the skills required to be a professional tradesperson, you'll be able to undertake the tests required to earn your qualifications right here at the centre. From there the construction world is your oyster - you can go and find employment in a larger company, or alternatively take the steps to set up your own business.

The best part is, these intensive courses will get you fully trained in a matter of weeks, as opposed to the few years it will take with a college course. That may sound like you're getting much less out of it, but our City & Guilds accreditation is a sure symbol that we don't skimp on any of the quality. To find out more about our range of course please fill in the online form found on this website or give us a call on 0800 345 7492. From there one of our course advisors will be happy to answer any outstanding questions you may have.

The construction boom is here, don't miss out!

The construction industry continues to gather momentum as surveyors forecast a significant rise in Welsh house building in 2014.

According to research direct from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), up to 79% more surveyors believe workloads are going to increase this year - the highest recorded number since numbers were first recorded 15 years ago. On top of this, 25% more surveyors said work on major building projects had grown in the last three months of last year - the most positive infrastructure figure seen in the last six years.

However it isn't all good news, as the survey also highlights concern over labour and material shortages - two factors that could very easily hold back the recovery.

In Wales alone 24% of surveyors admitted to struggling to recruit the skilled labourers they needed between October and December last year. During these months 40% also claimed that a lack of materials was also a significant problem - only this figure is representative of the whole of the UK rather than just Wales. 

RICS Wales chairman Neil Brierley remains optimistic about the situation though, as he sees this increase in building work across the country as "an excellent opportunity for future job opportunities, provided growth can be sustained". In agreement with the director of the Institute of Directors (IoD) in Wales Robert Lloyd Griffiths, who said nine out of ten members in the institute anticipate the growth being stronger than it was last year.

2014 is already proving to be a more perfect time than ever to join the construction trade. Job prospects are higher than ever, and as the industry continues to flourish so will your new career as a bricklayer, carpenter, plasterer or tiler. The construction trade offers many benefits that you might not find elsewhere and/or in your current place of work - better job satisfaction, quality of life, significant earning potential and most importantly JOB SECURITY (something that's even more evident in current circumstances). 

Enrol on one of Access Training Academy's construction training courses and you'll be taught by our experienced teaching staff in a state-of-the-art centre. Our courses are all accredited by leading awarding bodies in the industry and you'll earn a professional level of skill in a fraction of the time a college course would take, along with all of the necessary qualifications.

To find out more about the construction training we have here at Access please view the course information pages on the left hand side of the website or contact one of our course advisers on 0800 345 7492.

Although we've repeated posted news on the construction industry being on the rise, the forecast of many of its workers leaving in the next 5-10 years is something that we have shown much concern about. Recent research has shown that encouraging more to take up construction training courses and become a labourer has become more crucial than ever, revealing that around 4 in 10 workers are thinking of changing their job in the next year.

This research comes from the group Investors in People, who discovered that the 43% considering a job change were attributing it to factors such as work dissatisfaction and renewed confidence in the wider job market. Construction workers specifically are looking to be valued in their jobs, with 81% citing greater job satisfaction as their main incentive for leaving - considerably ahead of pay which was at 50%.

Valerie Todd, chair of IIP and Director of Talent and Resources at Crossrail, said: that while he end of the recession was good news for construction sectors, an upturn in the economy means that "dissatisfied workers now have more confidence to look elsewhere, so business owners who aren’t doing all they can to value their staff can no longer be complacent."  She went to to say that: “Now is the time for businesses to take action to retain their talented people.”

But again, with potentially 400,000 people estimated to retire in the next few years attempting to "retain their talented people" is only going to get so far. However improving job satisfaction is an integral part of encouraging more people to train in a construction trade such as bricklaying or carpentry, as it will add another appealing element to the career alongside the great pay and more rewarding line of work. 

If you are considering changing careers and would like to find out what construction training can offer you, please give Access Training Academies a call on 0800 345 7492. We'd not only be happy to tell you more, but you can also arrange a tour of our state-of-the-art training centre. Here we offer a wide variety of different construction trades, including carpentry, bricklaying, plastering, tiling and painting and decorating (in addition to plumbing, electric and gas engineering). You'll be able to meet our experienced teaching staff and ask them any questions you might have about either the course of life as a fully qualified tradesman.

You can view the full news story on the Construction Enquirer.

Specialist recruiter Randstad CPE has published new research that shows construction professionals are among the most fulfilled workers in the UK.

In a poll of 2000 workers from a wide variety of industries, it was found that the IT sector and similar ones such as human resources, legal and marketing had the highest level of professional fulfillment at 73%, but construction was following closely at 66%. In addition to this 13% of UK workers said said were unfulfilled in the workplace, as opposed to just 12% in construction alone.

This is rather impressive for an industry that has been struggling in recent years, and is finally seeing a turnout with a boom predicted over the next four years.

Owen Goodhead, managing director of Randstad CPE, said: "Improving levels of fulfilment further represents a massive opportunity for the sector. With higher professional fulfilment comes lower absenteeism and lower staff turnover."

The research also found that professional fulfillment is highest among those at either the start or end of their careers. 67% of 18 to 24 year olds feel fulfilled, along with 66% of those aged 55 and above.This then diminishes during the middle of people’s careers – the lowest proportion of those who feel fulfilled at work was among those aged 35 to 44 (57%).

"There are huge rewards in terms of fulfilment from keeping on older construction professionals, quite apart from the advantages of continuity and expertise," continued Goodhead. "But we also need to make sure we get plenty of young blood into the profession. At the moment, that's not happening. There's been a 20% growth in the construction workforce since the early 1990s, but that expansion has been uneven across different age groups.

"A major concern is the lack of young entrants into an ageing workforce, with numbers of workers aged 60 and over in the industry having doubled in recent years, while the number of those aged 24 and under has fallen by 27%. While the increasing age profile is most pronounced in the manual workforce, professional trades such as architecture, mechanical and civil engineering could also lose 20% of their manpower to retirement in the next 10 years, so the need for new, younger blood is pressing. If the sector continues to rely disproportionately on the middle-aged, there will be consequences. Our research shows a mid-career crisis is a very real phenomenon."

The research also reveals that women are more likely to be professionally fulfilled than men (17% versus 16%).

Goodhead added: "I don’t think it’s unfair to say construction is not renowned for its gender diversity – approximately 88% of construction project managers and related professionals are men. Our research suggests the gender imbalance may be holding the sector back and dragging professional fulfilment down – despite the fact the sector’s still more satisfied than average.

"To attract more women, the industry needs to offer flexible employment and provide working conditions that suit women. Out goes a culture of long hours, presenteeism and machismo – in comes more part-time employment and a greater attention to work-life balance."

The research was carried out as part of a wider study showing the fulfilment levels of Britain’s workers compared to the rest of Europe and the English-speaking world. Approximately 45,000 employees from the UK were interviewed as well as Britain’s English-speaking and European peers over the course of three years for its Fulfilment@Work report. The findings showed that British workers have had the lowest scores in nine out of the past 13 quarters when compared to European peers, including France and Germany, and nine out of the last 11 quarters when compared to English-speaking countries including the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Randstad has launched a campaign named How I Became, inspired by the real stories of real people who are fulfilled at work. A web hub contains films from people who work in a range of business sectors, providing key pieces of advice designed to help future candidates on their path to professional fulfilment.

Via HVP Magazine

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Feeling unfuilfilled in the workplace? Looking for a more physical and/or rewarding line of work? Have you considered changing careers for a fresh start in the construction industry? Here at Access Training Academies we provide high-quality intensive construction training in various trades (including bricklaying, carpentry, plastering, tiling and painting & decorating) to get you the skills and qualifications you need for a long and fulfilling career. To find out more contact our sales team on 0800 345 7492.

To round of the week we turn to capentry for our quick definition guide. Hopefully this post will give you a beginner understanding of some of the more basic terms carpenters use, and you'll be able to use them to build up your own DIY knowledge or even as the first step in becoming a professional carpnenter!

Architrave: The ornamental mouldings fitted around a door or window frame. These also cover the joint between the plaster and wood framing.

Auger: A long drill-bit-like tool turned with the hands, usually by means of a handle.

Bead: A rounded shape cut into a square edge to soften the edge and provide some protection against splitting. When several beads are placed together, they are called Reeds. If the bead lies below the surface, it is referred to as a Sunk Bead.

Bench Hook: A workbench accessory used to provide a stop against a piece of wood being worked can be placed to hold it steady whilst cutting, planing, or chiseling that piece of wood.

Brace: A part of a timber or metal structure spanning a diagonal space that adds strength and stability, and resists compression or tension.

Dado: Decorative panelling applied to the lower part of an internal wall.

Dado Rail: Decorative moulding applied to an internal wall at a height of around 1m. 

Dowel: A short length of wood, round in section, used for a variety of purposes such as joining timbers, plugging fixing holes etc.

Eaves: The bottom edge of a roof that meets the walls of the structure. This is also where the water is collected into the gutter.

Fibreboard: A lightweight and weak manufactured board often used when making cheaper furniture.

Grain: The appearance, size and direction of the fibres of the timber.

Hardboard: Manufactured board made with compressed particles of wood formed together. One side of the board smooth with the other side rough. Hardboard in sheet form is often used and subfloor covering to give a smooth and flat surface.

Joists: Lengths of timbers that support ceilings and floors, usually fixed in parallel.

Mitre: A 45 degree angle joint that neatly joins two pieces of timber together.

Stud wall: A timber framed internal wall faced with plasterboard that is non-load bearing.

While this should be enough to get you started on the theory side of things, the next step is to find the correct carpentry training that can offer you exactly what you need. You might want to gain qualifications and seek employment as a professional carpenter, or alternatively you could simply be looking tp build up your DIY skill set properly. Access Training offer a range of carpentry courses to suit both parties, and are available to everyone no matter their background or skill level. To find out more about what we can give you, take a look at our courses page or give our team a call on 0800 345 7492.

While there will always be a demand for qualified tradesmen such as electricians, plumbers and gas engineers, setting yourself apart from the other tradesmen in your local area is an important factor is getting your name out there among potential clients. And the best way to do this is to consider qualifying in more than one skill. Commonly gas engineer training goes hand in hand with plumbing qualifications, but there are far more potential combinations that could benefit your future career.

For example, if a plumber were to undertake electrical training it would open up a variety of new work for them that they wouldn’t be able to complete otherwise without a second tradesman. They would be able to properly install power showers, and by achieving a Part P qualification would also be permitted to sign off the work themselves once they had joined a relevant Competent Person Scheme.

In turn, if an electrician had plastering qualifications, they could provide a fresh finish to a wall surface after tearing it apart to complete an installation. The same applies for combining plastering, tiling and/or carpentry courses. You’ll be increasing both your eternal potential and boost your chance of success when starting up your own business.

Take note though, it’s vital that you train properly for your second skill just as you did the first. A plumber should not be attempting any electrical work without the proper electrical qualifications and the same goes for any other potential trades. Not only would you be putting yourself at risk, but your customer as well. By training properly, you’ll be able to do the job properly and known as a tradesman capable and competent enough to get the job done on their own.

If you would like to find out more about the multi-skills training routes available to you, give Access Training a call on 0800 345 7492 and our team will be happy to tell you more.

Following on from part 1 we will now look at what training courses are available to you, as well as factors such as their cost and duration.

At Access Training we deliver many construction courses, including;

 

Each course can vary from a one week taster course to a total of eight weeks, depending on the outcome you wish to achieve. The one week taster course will give you a good insight to your chosen trade, basic use of tools and basic techniques. Then there are two and three week courses which obviously involve a more in depth look at the particular trade. Each of these courses can give you a recognised qualification from City & Guilds.

The eight week course will give you a CAA Level 2 (Construction Awards Alliance) and potentially a NVQ diploma, both of which are again highly regarded and recognised C&G qualifications. The cost of each course varies, so I suggest you contact Access Training Wales and speak to one of the course advisors.

OK you’ve finished the course you’ve gained your qualification, what next? The truth is finding work is not as difficult as you may think. Most trainees after leaving Access Training start by doing small jobs for friends, family and neighbours.  This will build your confidence and give you some indication of how long a job will take. Best of all you will be under no pressure from family to complete by a certain deadline.

Then there are construction “agencies” that employ people to work on various jobs. They’ll find you the work, but be prepared to work maybe one week here, two weeks there and so on. This is a great way of gaining experience quickly and you will be on a fixed hourly rate, usually around £12 per hour.

So now that you’ve gained both experience and confidence, it’s time to go on your own. This is where you can earn a lot more money – it’s not uncommon for a good tradesperson to earn between £600-800 per week. Keep your options open, if you completed a bricklaying course don’t think that you can only lay bricks. Bricklayers can usually lay patios, decorative work indoors, build archways and more. If you completed a plastering course, plasterers can usually fix coving up, lay screed floors etc. One very lucrative area from a plastering point of view is “Venitian” or “Polished” plastering. There is a niche in the market for this type of work, if you have good trowel skills you can learn this method relatively quickly, and the price for doing this work is roughly £60 per square meter. So the choice is yours – there is work about for good tradespeople, so if you feel you need a career change then go for it!

If you need more information contact Access Training Wales on 08003457492.

- Richard James

 

There are a few options open to you if you want a change of career, the good news being it's not as difficult as some people think. If you're looking for a more active job which involves a level of craftsmanship, have you considered one of our intensive carpentry courses? Of course, the first thing you need to decide though is which you would prefer to be - a carpenter or a joiner?

A joiner is the one that makes the time products that a carpenter then fixes on-site. For example, a joiner may be employed to make the doors, windows, stairs etc., "joining" the wood in a workshop. Meanwhile carpenters normally install these products made by the joiner. On-site carpenters will fit door frames, joists, roof trusses and more. Therefore as you can see carpentry and joinery are quite different trades. A joiner might make a beautiful circular window, but the carpenter may do a better job installing it. Similarly, a carpenter may hang a door to a high standard - something a joiner might not be able to do.

Once you've decided which trade you wish to pursue, there are a few options open. The college route will take the longest, possibly up to two years to achieve a CAA Level 2! Being an ex-college lecturer, I've also found that "mature" students mixed in with a class of 16-17 year olds can be a little challenging for an older person. The other route available is an intensive eight week course, which we run here at Access Training. This will give you the same qualification (CAA Level 2) but in an adult environment. It has the added advantage of changing your career in a very short time span and can then be further developed to obtain your NVQ Level 2, which requires some addition evidence being demonstrated at your workplace. Once you have your CAA if you only wish to work for yourself this will be an adequate qualification, however if you wish to go and work "on-site" or in a joiner's workshop then you would need to achieve the NVQ as well. This will give you the full CSCS card required to work in these places.

Once you have your qualification a good place to start (and build your confidence) is by doing jobs for friends, family or neighbours. One of the biggest factors in making a career change is having the confidence to go and try it - the help, training and expertise is out there. Having been training with people for over 16 years I can assure you that it is possible and achievable with some effort on your part

If you would like more information on Access Training's range of carpentry and joinery courses, including the professional qualifications you can achieve from them, give us a call on 0800 345 7492.

- Richard James