Returning for its fifth year, the UK Plumber of the Year competition will reach its climax next month, as a new king is crowned.

A joint venture of JT, Bristan and Wolseley UK, the competition has grown in popularity year-on-year since its launch in 2015.

This year was no different with applicants from across the UK throwing their hat into the ring with hopes of becoming Plumber of the Year.

 

plumber of the year, plumber of the year 2019

 

The Final Countdown

From an original shortlist of 10 candidates, the field has been whittled down to just five remaining finalists as a result of a public vote.

The final five include:

  • Christopher Clare – Newton-Le-Willows, Merseyside
  • Paul Clark – The Wirral, Merseyside
  • Caine Curtis – Yeovil, Somerset
  • Dan Tempest – Pontefract, West Yorkshire
  • Martin Warnes – Harwich, Essex

The five nominees will now go on to the grand finale, set to take place next month.

 

A Hot Pot

This year’s Plumber of the Year prize pot consists of a variety of industry perks, including £2000 worth of items from JT, £2000 worth of vouchers to be spent at Wolseley and £1000 worth of products from Bristan.

Bristan is also throwing in their new Rapid 4in-1 Boiling Water Tap and, yes, they’re even including the kitchen sink – quite literally.

The top prize also features a variety of other perks, from Apple products courtesy of Vendigo Finance to a beer-centric getaway from Cornwall’s Proper Job beer.

 

A New King

Last year’s final was won by Steve Bartin from Taunton, who walked away with the title and his part of a prize pot totalling £10,000.

Speaking at the time, Bartin said: “It’s an honour to call myself the UK Plumber of the Year. I’ve been in the industry for 23 years and I feel like all those extra hours and dedication have paid off.”

In one month’s time, that honour will fall to a new plumbing king when one of the final five is crowned the 2019 winner.

 

Pipe Dreams

The Plumber of the Year award is a great way to recognise trade excellence and for the plumbers themselves to gain some well-deserved recognition from industry and public alike.

Many of these finalists and past winners will have started out with little to no experience at all yet, through heart, drive and determination, have made it to the top of the trade.

If you are looking to start your journey into the world of plumbing or simply looking to sharpen your skills and add a few strings to your bow, why not take a plumbing course with Access Training UK?

Our wide range of courses caters to all experience levels, with each one designed to help you learn and grow into a better plumber and skilled professional.

Who knows, in a few years’ time, you too could find yourself in the finals of the Plumber of the Year! Every journey starts with a single step, so make yours now with Access Training UK.

 

For more information on plumbing courses from Access Training UK, call now on 0800 345 7492 or get in touch online using the link below.

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The summer of 2019 has seen business heat up for self-employed electricians and plumbers across the UK, according to new figures published by Hudson Contract Services Ltd.

Statistics provided by the construction industry payroll experts show that self-employed plumbers and electricians have both seen a rise in pay over the summer months.

This increase builds on an existing trend that has seen plumbers and electricians solidify their status in the top three best paying jobs of all the construction trades covered by Hudson Contract.

 

plumbing courses, electrician courses, self-employed plumbers, self-employed electricians

 

Shock Stats for Electricians

Over the course of June and July 2019, self-employed electricians have seen a 6.4 and 1.1% month-on-month rise in weekly pay.

Managing Director of Hudson Contract, Ian Anfield, had this to say:

“This is an attractive reward for young people who want to learn the trade, be their own boss and enjoy the returns of being a valued supplier. Looking ahead, pent-up demand for new housing and the necessary wiring work will ensure that demand remains strong for skilled electricians.”

 

Plumbing Wages on the Boil

The month-on-month boost was mirrored in the plumbing profession with a 4.7% increase in June, followed by a further 0.6% increase in July.

The Hudson Contract MD added:

“Plumbers are earning the equivalent of an annual salary of more than £59,000, putting them into the top 6% of households by income. Our analysis shows these skilled freelancers are earning a premium for their valuable services and are a world away from ‘gig economy’ workers.”

 

Plumbing Courses and Electrician Courses

With such attractive financial potential, both the plumbing trade and electrical trade offer attractive propositions for those looking to start their careers or change the direction of their working lives.

At Access Training UK, we offer a variety of courses in both fields, designed to help learners of all skill-levels and experience to further their journey in their chosen profession. If you are interested in becoming an electrician or learning the plumbing trade, we can help get you on the right track.

To find out more about the exciting worlds of the plumbing and electrical trades, click on the buttons below and start your journey today. 

Plumbing Courses

Electrician Courses

 

For more information on plumbing and electrician courses with Access Training UK, why not drop us a line and speak with one of our expert advisors? Call now on 0800 345 7492 or get in touch online by clicking the link below.

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An electrician from Wolverhampton has fought back against criminals by utilising his own electrical knowledge to create a unique anti-break-in system.

Wolverhampton resident, Ray Taylor, has fallen victim to tool theft numerous times over the years, losing out on thousands of pounds worth of equipment in the process.

These frustrations led Mr Taylor to protect his van by putting his electrician skills to good use, providing any would-be thieves with a nasty shock.

 

electrical courses, electrician courses, become an electrician

 

Sparking Controversy

By modifying a battery-operated fly-swatter, Taylor was able to channel a mild electric current directly into the door handle.

The anti-theft device also incorporates sirens and high-frequency sound bombs for the ultimate thief deterrent.

While the unusual method of security seems like something straight out of Home Alone, it’s proved to be extremely effective in real-life use.

Taylor has since copyrighted his design and is selling his ingenious invention to fellow tradesmen looking to combat tool thieves.

 

Knowledge is Power

The story highlights once again that the skills gained for a career in a trade can be invaluable and their use can stretch far beyond that of the trade itself.

Electricians not only have the ability to earn a living independently but they also have the skills to solve a myriad of problems in their own day-to-day life, from issues in the home to – in Mr Taylor’s case – personal security.

 

Become an Electrician with Access Training UK

At Access Training UK, we have a variety of electrical courses for complete novices and trade professionals alike. Whether you’re looking to learn a new skill from scratch of build upon your existing knowledge of the trade, we have a course for you!

 

New Career Courses

If you are interested in learning the electrical trade, why not check out the following courses. These are available to all skill levels, even those with no prior experience.

Essential Electrical Course

Professional Electrical Course

Premier Electrical Course

 

Trade Professional Courses

For more advanced professionals looking to build on their existing knowledge, we offer a number of courses designed to help you become a more well-rounded, versatile pro.

Part P Domestic Electrical Installer

18th Edition

Part P & 18th Edition

PAT Testing

Initial Verification

Periodic Inspection & Testing

Fundamental Inspection Testing

Combined Inspection & Testing

Electrical Design Course

 

For more information on any of our courses, why not get in touch today? Call now on 0800 345 7492 or drop us line using the link below.

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While many people are panic-buying coffee, baked beans and various other post-Brexit goods, a (semi) silver lining is starting to emerge.

As it stands, the average salary for a construction worker is sitting at roughly £45,900, for a site manager, £50,500, and for a senior site manager £62,900! Amazingly, some construction workers are commanding wages not dissimilar to our MPs. Back in 2017, the average salary for a construction worker was considerably less, at only £42,300. 

That's incredible news for the lucky individuals working in these construction roles, but the reason their wages are so high leaves much to be desired for the British economy.

Why Have Construction Wages Gone Up?

The uncertainty around Brexit is (unsurprisingly) causing workers from overseas to lose confidence in Britain and the job prospects it can offer. As expected, they're beginning to seek work elsewhere in the world.  On top of that, many foreign nationals who have been living and working here for years are getting cold feet and seriously considering packing up and leaving (if they haven't done so already).

Whether this will have a positive impact on the construction workforce long-term is yet to be seen, but the initial impact has been somewhat fruitful for those that remain. 

The Construction Worker Commodity

Nearly 1/3 of construction workers in London are originally from Europe. As Brexit takes its toll, our pool of EU construction workers is starting to evaporate, leaving the remaining workers to fulfil demand. As with any commodity, be it gold or grain, it becomes more valuable as it goes down in number - construction workers are no exception!

So, as the number of construction workers in the UK goes down, the demand for skilled workers goes up and suddenly, being good at your job makes you considerably more valuable than you may have been a few years ago! 

The downside of all this? Brexit is putting extra strain on manufacturers who are unable to progress with business as usual until Brexit has blown over. 

Time to Train

If you've been thinking about learning a trade or working in the construction industry, it seems as though there's never been a better time to start! Not only can you benefit from steadily increasing salary prospects, but you can also help keep Britain's construction industry afloat in this time of turmoil! 

Here at Access Training Academies, we offer avenues into a huge range of construction industries, including but not limited to:

And more! If none of these courses takes your fancy, there's plenty more for you to choose from. If you're interested in starting a new career in a professional trade, then give us a call on 0800 345 7492 now!

 

Britain’s job market has had a turbulent time over the last decade, enduring the lows of a recession to bounce back to record highs in 2019.

However, according to UK recruitment giant, REED, Britain could be in store for another hefty setback in the near future – one that could negatively affect employment nationwide.

 

trade jobs, learn a trade, recession proof jobs

 

Alarming Job Statistics

REED chairman and company namesake, James Reed, recently expressed his fears of another impending recession on the horizon, following what he calls “the largest fall in jobs since 2010”.

According to Mr Reed, company statistics have seen alarming trends in hospitality and education, where both sectors have seen declines of 24% and 10% respectively.

The Mail on Sunday went on to confirm that the site saw job vacancies drop by 2.3% in the second quarter. While this may not seem much, that figures actually equates to 16,467 job listings.

This is by no means an indictment on REED – they are still Britain’s most popular recruitment site online. As such, this should very much come as worrying news for those heading into the job market or currently in unemployment.

 

Brexit Wounds

While these trends are a likely by-product of the uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the UK’s immediate future, there are ways to safeguard your job security and employability.

Despite the fall in job listings and notable hits in a number of industries, James Reed also noted that there was an increase in demand for skilled workers. Meanwhile, the REED site also saw a growth in temporary jobs.

For contractors and those in the trade, such news may come as an encouraging sign, particularly for those that are self-employed.

 

Skills to Pay the Bills

While the prospect of a potential recession on the horizon is not good news for anyone, there is a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel for those looking to learn a trade.

Tradespeople trained in a specific skill – such as electricians, gas fitters and plumbers – will be far more protected in the event of a downturn in the jobs market. The reason for this is that these services are vital for maintaining public utilities.

In fact, the aforementioned jobs in particular are often found in lists of so-called “recession-proof” jobs. While that term is naturally to be taken with a pinch of salt, these jobs are undoubtedly more secure than those within unstable industries, like hospitality.

 

Access Training Courses

If you are interested in learning a trade or switching career paths, now is the perfect time to consider making the jump. Why not take a course with Access Training UK and safeguard your employment future today?

Click the links below to find out more about our utility-related courses and protect your financial future today:

Electrical Courses

Gas Courses

Plumbing Courses

 

For more information on courses with Access Training UK, why not get in touch today? Call now on 0800 345 7492 or drop us an email using the link below.

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A man from Staffordshire has been sentenced to prison time after he performed gas work in someone's home with no experience or qualifications to do so. The man, named Colin Christoper Batchelor, conducted this gas work in September 2016. He:

  • Removed an old boiler
  • Installed a new boiler 
  • Installed a gas meter
  • Connected pipework

All while being completely unregistered to do so!

When Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated this incident, they found that Mr Batchelor had performed gas work while claiming to his client that he was part of the Gas Safe register, when in fact, he was not. He was not competent to carry out the gas work that he did, and the result of his shoddy workmanship was a home left unsafe. Mr Batchelor failed to carry out any tests or examinations to verify that the installation was safe and gas-tight once his work was finished.

Mr Batchelor pleaded guilty to five separate breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and was sentenced to 8 months imprisonment for each offence. That means, that Mr Bachelor's thoughtless actions have cost him over three years of his life!

After the hearing, HSE inspector, Dr Riley Roberts, said:

"The Gas Safe Register Exist to protect the public from people such as Colin Christopher Batchelor, who are prepared to work illegally, falsify records and carry out potentially dangerous gas work. Performing gas work without being competent to do so can be highly dangerous and lead to loss of life."

Don't risk being prosecuted like Mr Batchelor. Do a gas course with Access Training Academies and we will give you the skills and practical knowledge you need to become Gas Safe registered.

Browse Our Gas Courses Now >

 

 

A common question asked is what is the difference between a joiner and carpenter? When you need something built from wood and you are thinking about who is the right person for the job, do you hire a joiner, or do you hire a carpenter? What makes them different? Or do they perform the same job but are just called different names? Well, it's time to throw all these questions away and take a look at some facts! 

The difference between a joiner and carpenter 

In a nutshell, a joiner is a professional that produces the timber products that a carpenter fixes on-site. A joiner, for example, may be hired to make the frame, windows and doors for a new building. Here, a joiner would traditionally 'join' wood in a workshop, whereas carpenters would erect the building elements on-site. A carpenter would install the products made by joiners and produce features like the joisted floors, roof trusses and the stud-work for partitioning the building. The common assumption that the difference between a joiner and carpenter is whether or they use nails is completely untrue! 

In this sense, joinery and carpentry can be understood as separate specialisms within the same industry or craft. In reality, there is a crossover between the two disciplines, with many of the fundamentals of the same wood-working techniques and skills being taught. However, when it comes to choosing between the two, it is always worth enquiring about an individual's expertise, especially when it comes to specialised tasks. A carpenter may skillfully hang and balance a door, but a joiner may produce far better replicas. Similarly, a joiner may create a stunning staircase but a carpenter may be better equipped at fitting it. 

 

When to choose between a joiner or carpenter 

When it comes to choosing between a joiner or carpenter for a job, we recommend picking crafts-people according to their experience in relation to the project that you're trying to complete. An extension to a historic building, for example, would require specific experience and knowledge in building conservation. If both a carpenter and joiner is required, it's advantageous to employ a business or individual that offers both services, as it will become much easier to manage your project when you do not have to deal with several crafts-people, totally avoiding divided responsibility if and when issues arise! 

 

So, there you have it! Your joiner vs carpenter questions answered. We hope things are a little bit clearer to you now when it comes to the two professions. If you have a project that requires some of the essential work-working techniques mentioned above and you'd prefer to employing additional personnel, why not learn the basics yourself? Here at Access Training Academies, we offer a fantastic range of Carpentry Courses that will teach you the vital skills and knowledge that you need! Simply click below to learn more. 

Browse Our Carpentry Courses > 

 

For more information on the Carpentry Courses on offer, our facilities, tutors, finance or training centres, be sure to contact our customer service team today! We'd be more than happy to help.

Britain's departure from the EU is set to have an impact on every industry, including the construction sector. In a recent article by the National Housing Federation, they outline how two-thirds of housing professionals said they were facing a skills shortage, with exiting the EU being one of the main causes.  

To take a look at some numbers, a recent Federation of Master Builders Report indicates that '48% of SME construction firms reported a shortage of available plumbers' while '36% were struggling to find electricians' - and these numbers are expected to rise in the coming years!

The Immigration White Paper, published in December 2018, also proposes a new system where only 'skilled workers earning more than £30,000 per year' will be allowed to settle here, while less skilled workers will not be able to stay for longer than a year.

 So, what does all this mean?

Well, the uncertainty of Brexit is starting to drive EU construction workers away - particularly in London where there is the highest percentage of EU construction workers. British housing associations, construction companies and training centres, like ourselves, will really need to attract more people into the construction industry if we are to fill this pending employment gap. The number of British construction workers has to increase if we are to meet the housing needs of our population.

Is this the perfect time to train?

While this dramatic reduction in European construction workers seems alarming on the surface, it does present an opportunity for more British people to pursue careers in the construction industry. As more and more workers leave the UK during this tumultuous period, demand for construction workers in the UK increases. So newly trained workers shouldn't have any difficulty finding lucrative work in their chosen trade.

Are you interested in helping to bridge the post-Brexit skills shortage? We offer courses that will allow you to pursue a brand new career or expand your existing skill set, including:

We really do believe that now is an excellent time to consider taking up a career in a trade. Our courses will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need to start your new career and really make a difference as a new construction industry emerges from post-Brexit Britain. Enquire about our courses today! 

Contact Us Now >

 

Some of you thinking about applying for a course with us at Access Training might consider education to be something of a distant memory and find the thought of examinations an unpleasant ordeal.

The very word exam might bring back traumatic memories of awful school exams, which you’d rather forget about. 

However, Access Training exams bear no resemblance to those terrible tests of the past - they are all multiple choice and involve no writing whatsoever.

If you are dreading the prospect of having to sit exams after not having done so for a number of years though, here is a brief guide explaining the simple techniques that you can use to get yourself back into the swing of things:

Distributed Practice

Studies undertaken by University College London have found that splitting your revision into regular, digestible chunks is far more effective than cramming long hours of learning into one go. That is, by studying for between half an hour to an hour at a time, you retain more information than you would should you read for 3 hours continuously.

Rather than pushing your brain to its maximum capacity, you might find more success by putting some music on, making a cup of tea or taking a walk and then coming back to it later.

Self-Testing

Self-testing has been proven to be an effective way of obtaining information; that is, regularly testing yourself instead of simply reading over your notes repeatedly.

It is of great use to write out questions that you’ve devised based on the notes you’ve made and try answering them using the information in your notes. This way, you are learning and understanding, rather than simply reading and memorising, which is far more beneficial in the long run and makes it far easier to hold on to what you’ve learnt.

Taking Breaks

Your brain needs time to allow the information you are learning to sink in. Without having short, consistent breaks, your memory can become clogged and less information will be allowed in. A short break is well recommended in order to avoid tiring your brain.

Buffet Studying

Contrary to popular belief, it is far more efficient to study a variety of different subjects in one go, rather than to focus on one theme for a long period of time.

Research done by UCL advises learners to think of studying like ‘taking from a buffet, rather than eating a set dinner’. This means that it is far more effective to learn in smaller, more digestible chunks, as opposed to biting off more than you can chew..excuse the pun!

Story Telling

Associating phrases and principles with elaborate stories is an excellent way of sealing the memory. One successful method, as proven by researchers at UCL, is creating a ‘memory palace’, in which you try to link words with objects in a room.

In fact, this technique is so effective, it helped a 16th century Jesuit priest named Matteo Ricci to pass China’s highest civil servant exams, which required him to remember reams and reams of classical poetry. If it worked for him, it might work for you too.

Whichever way you decide to learn, we can say with confidence that nobody who is considering applying for our course ought to worry about the course examinations. Our tutors are very experienced and are well-accustomed to the exam curriculum we offer, so they know exactly what to teach and how to teach it.

If you're thinking about a change of career or looking to start a career with exciting prospects, enquire today about a course at Access Training by clicking below or call us on 0800 345 7492.

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Should I Change Careers

Choosing to change careers is ultimately YOUR decision. But if you're unsure, you should spend some time evaluating your current situation in order to establish whether or not a career move is the right step to take.

Are you happy in your current job?

Perhaps you're considering a career change because you're feeling unhappy in your current job. If that's the case, ensure you aren't making a drastic decision based on one bad day at work, or a temporary problem that will likely be resolved before long. Take some time to write down exactly what it is about your current situation that is making you unhappy.

Having the negatives of your current job written down in front of you will help you to get a handle on how you really feel. As a bonus, you'll also have a list of attributes to steer clear of when searching for your new career!

Are you moving sideways? Or looking for a whole new career?

Before you go any further, ask yourself whether you're craving a mere change of scenery, or a new line of work entirely. If you have lots of experience in your current industry, you might be tempted to take the easy route and simply 'move sideways' - that is, get a similar job with a different employer, perhaps in a different city or a less familiar working environment.

This is fine if you're simply sick of your current manager or looking for a larger salary, but if you're genuinely dissatisfied with your current career, you shouldn't be afraid to try something completely new. Either way, make sure you know what sort of change you're after before you go after it.

Brainstorm some ideas

If a complete career change does seem like the right choice for you, the next step is to decide which new career you'd like to pursue. You've already prepared a list of things you dislike about your current profession - now you need to think about what positives you're looking for in your work.

A good way of doing this is to explore your current interests. If you pursue a profession that's relevant to your own passions, then the difficulties that always come with starting a new job will feel a little less daunting.

If you have no idea what you'd like to do next, why not speak to your family and friends - or even a professional career adviser - to establish where your strengths lie, what your core values are, and which line of work they would suit best.

Do you need any new qualifications / education?

Once you know roughly what type of career you'd like to pursue, you may find that you need some new skills and/or qualifications before you can proceed.

It's likely - if you're completely changing careers - that your current CV won't carry all that much weight in your new industry. So look for classes, college courses, and work experience opportunities that will serve as an introduction to your new profession and give you the tools you'll need to forge a new career path.

Here at Access Training, we offer career change course packages with no prior experience required. Select a training option to find out more:

Electrician Courses   Plumbing Courses   Gas Courses

Read our reviews to find out what past learners have said about their Access Training courses!

The decision to become self-employed is a difficult one. You may have been working as part of a company or organisation for a period of time or may be a young and enthusiastic individual with a great business idea, eager to venture out into the world of work on your own two feet. Either way, the sphere of self-employment is both exciting and risky. But nothing is without its dangers. Individuals choose not to go into the unknown of self-employment because of the perils associated, but because of the advantages and individual benefits that it can bring. Before taking the step into becoming self-employed, it may be a good idea to remind yourself of these advantages to give yourself the confidence to make the plunge.

  1. Taking Control - Arguably the biggest motivating factor in becoming self-employed is the power and enjoyment that comes with being in control of all aspects of your business. Many people who have worked for a company as an employee may get tired of being told what to do, especially if they do not have a close working relationship with their superiors. When you’re your own boss, you decide what happens within your company, you choose the target audience, you pick the look, style and culture associated with the brand that you want to create. You also get to choose the location and hours that you work. Two huge factors when it comes to making the transition into self-employment.

 

  1. Job Security – The risks associated with self-employment are far greater in the beginning, as they’re more likely to have an influence. As time goes on, however, and your business starts to grow bigger, so does your job security. Unlike traditional employment where your boss has the ability to let you go at any time when you work for yourself, you’ll never have to worry about getting sacked. The knowledge that you are in full control over your future can be a big motivator in running your own business.

 

  1. Utilising Your Skills – One of the biggest and most rewarding benefits of being self-employed is the ability to showcase your best and most effective skills. As you are creating your business from scratch, you get to decide what the focus of your work is. You get to tailor your company around your passion and area of expertise. This is hugely inspiring for anyone thinking about leaving traditional work as many individuals find themselves limited to the parameters of their position, unable to utilise their best and most effective skills, which can make many people feel like they aren’t being used to their full potential.

 

  1. Greater Earning Potential – In regular employment, you are stuck within your agreed salary. In most cases, this can get increased on an annual basis or involve yearly bonuses, but generally, there is a cap on your earning potential when working in a certain career. When working for yourself, you have a much higher chance of earning a greater amount of money. This may take time to achieve, but when your business reaches the point of profitability, your earning potential grows significantly. You may even reach a point where you have the ability the expand and upscale your business to help it grow further and increase your earning potential even more.

 

  1. A Sense of Pride – The ultimate advantage of self-employment is the sense of pride that can be achieved. Seeing your business grow from a start-up to a potential national level organisation or franchise is a hugely satisfying feeling. Most of the time, however, you do not need to reach those sorts of levels to feel a sense of accomplishment. It’s the small milestones that mean the most. As your business starts to grow, you gain a greater feeling of being established and with continued success and more correct decisions, you have the ability to create a business that can involve members of your family or can be passed down to your children. A business that leaves a legacy is something that is worth more than anything.

 

These are just a number of the many advantages of self-employment, all of which are achievable with the help of Access Training Academies. We have an extensive range of courses available, across a variety of industries that you are able to complete in order to get fully qualified and kick-start your journey into self-employment. Click below to view our full range of courses and gain both the experience and credentials you need to become your own boss.

If you have any questions regarding our courses or require further information about a specific course, please do not hesitate to contact us today!

 
It’s easier than you may think to ruin your career in 140 characters or less, as social media is prevalent in everyday life. 
So, if you’re conducting training with us here at Access Training and will soon be seeking a new career listen up! Here are a few things you should consider when it comes to your social media activity whilst job hunting. More...