Today is A level results day, and as is the case every year, anxiety is running high. Right now, you may be feeling like your A level results will determine the rest of your life, but it doesn't have to be that way. Ultimately, it is a small hurdle in the grand scheme of life, and there are always alternative options - even if you didn't get the grades you wanted.

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There are a wide number of reasons people seek to become an electrician – it’s pretty well known that electricians earn lucrative salaries (check out our blog on trade salaries here). Beyond earning a lucrative salary, electricians also have a lot more flexibility than most traditional careers can offer.

Once you have trained as an electrician, the career direction options are endless. Whether you’re looking for employment with a business or are hoping to find success in self-employment, training as an electrician gives you the freedom to choose your path.

If you’re interested in training to become an electrician and are looking for additional information on the qualifications required to become a sparky, keep reading!

 

Do I need GCSEs to become an electrician?

There are different avenues you can take when it comes to training to be an electrician, such as apprenticeships, college, or training centres. Some facilities will require an applicant to have obtained a number of GCSEs, including maths and English.

Here at Access Training, whether you’ve just finished school or are a mature student looking to train, you can train to become an electrician without GCSEs or equivalent qualifications.

 

What qualifications DO I need?

To become an electrician, there are some qualifications you’ll need to achieve to prove that you’ve trained and have acquired the necessary skills. Depending on the type of work you’re planning to do, there are different levels of training required.

The basic qualification you’ll need to obtain to prove you have the skills required to practice is a level 3 vocational qualification or diploma.

This qualification is the bare essential you need to be able to practice, and depending on what level of work you’d like to engage in past your training period, there are a number of further qualifications you can achieve.

Here at Access Training, we’ve broken it down into three courses– Essential Electrical Course, Professional Electrical Course, and Premier Electrical Course. Each course increases in complexity – the further you train the more qualifications you will achieve, which will enable you to take on a wider range of jobs in the future.

If you’d like to get a more in-depth comparison of the different courses side by side, take a peek at our electrical courses overview page. Here you can find more information about the different courses, the stages of training with Access Training, and course recommendations suited to your unique career goals.

Electrical Courses Overview

 

Our website has a lot of great information on the different courses we provide and their content. If you’re still not sure which course is right for you, reach out and contact us today. We’ll be more than happy to talk over the different options with you, and help you find the perfect fit for your career goals.

 

Read More: Electrician Qualifications: A Guide for Beginners

 

 

I am a strong believer that no one should be stereotyped into specific roles and this includes the perception of men on the construction site’ – Jwerea Malik, operations manager at Balfour Beatty, and co-chair of the group’s Gender Equality Affinity Network.

 

After we spoke to our plumbing student, Leah Carney, and hearing her inspiring story, we’ve been determined to continue the dialogue surrounding women in the construction industry. 

Leah is an ambitious and driven individual: a designer who had taken to delivery driving for extra money, and then decided to train as a plumber at the outset of the pandemic. She is already qualified as a plumber, gaining new electrical qualifications, and setting up her own business. 

But Leah is just one of thousands of similarly hard-working people around the country who have made the construction industry their home and future. Over the pandemic, the construction industry has seemed to appeal to hard-working and skilled women, as a refuge from redundancy and an opportunity for a fulfilling career. According to Lianne Lawson, a construction manager who has been in the industry for 14 years:

 

The pandemic has taught all of us how quickly we can evolve and adapt to new ways of working, and I think the mindset for everyone has changed. [...] Having to work from home in many cases has opened the industry up to the possibility of more flexible working conditions.

 

It goes without saying that the construction industry should accommodate everybody who has a desire to work within it; and perhaps one inadvertent result of the pandemic is that this has happened. 

For decades, the construction industry has been perceived as a male-dominated industry. But hearing the stories of women in construction, we learn that the last decade or two has resulted in greater accessibility to footholds and successful careers for thousands of women across the UK. Since then, it has been exciting to witness the brilliant and essential contributions that women have made to the trade industry, only further demonstrating that there absolutely is a much-needed place for them within the sector.

 

When i joined the industry 10 years ago as a graduate engineer, I was, more often than not, the only woman in the room. I felt the pressure to be seen as a peer to my male colleagues. – Malik

 

Jwerea Malik also notes how, from being the only woman on a project, the industry has now developed to seeing 23% of new starters in construction being women. It’s refreshing to consider how far the construction industry has come in recent times, and these stories of success are a testimony to the freedoms and attitudes of today. 

But as important as it is to acknowledge and celebrate how far we’ve come in the construction industry, there is obviously further we can go in ensuring that everybody feels welcome, and to encourage everybody to contribute in a fast-growing and multi-faceted industry. Considering the skills shortages of today’s construction sector, and the huge demand for work, it only makes sense for the prosperity of the industry itself that we look for strong, skilled tradespeople from all aspects of society. 

 

I was considered a bit of a novelty, noticed more for my differences than the engineering skills and expertise we had in common. I felt I had to prove myself, not just in terms of delivering my work to the best of my ability, but to be seen as an equal to my teammates. The rarity of a woman on a construction site 10 years ago meant inclusion wasn’t second nature. – Malik

 

What’s more, it goes without saying that a successful business is an inclusive business. Those leaders of the trade who represent all aspects of society are those with a greater customer base, a broader image, and who ultimately thrive in a competitive market. It suits everybody to make sure that construction is not a career for the men only – frankly, why limit ourselves?

 

I think it was my own perception that I couldn’t do it, so I was trying to break that mentality, which the people around me helped to do’ – Lianne Lawson.

 

 

Success in the construction industry is all about ability, and should never be about any aspect of your gender and background. If you have an interest in joining the construction community, don’t hesitate; from an outsider perspective, it might look like a male-dominated environment, but as you can see, things are changing. It just takes some bravery, self-belief, and knowledge that you are judged on your ability and willingness to work, over any other factors.

Women in construction are no longer a novelty; they are essential to the industry’s future. Why not be a part of this future, and join women like Leah, Lianne, and Jwerea? It takes one call to Access Training to get your career on track.


Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

 

 

 

"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.

jobs for 25-year-olds

Are you being left behind by government initiatives aimed at those aged 16 to 24?

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK government have set out to provide paid job opportunities for unemployed people aged 16 to 24. This is, of course a much-needed show of support for young people who may be struggling to find work right now. 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 these government initiatives?

 

It's never too late to learn a trade!

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.

 

Electrician

Electricians are the highest earners of all trades and play a crucial role in modern everyday life. Key areas of the job include

  • Planning, writing and understanding diagrams and floor plans
  • Repairing damaged wiring and equipment
  • Using a range of power and hand tools
  • Planning and installing electrical wiring and fixtures based on job specs and local codes

 

Plumber

Plumbing is a challenging but rewarding career. The role pays well, too. As an apprentice plumber, you should expect to earn anywhere from £15,000 which will quickly increase to a salary of up to £40,000 with experience.

No two days in the life of a plumber are the same but some common plumbing jobs include:

  • Stopping leaks and drips
  • Unclogging drains
  • Improving water pressure
  • Installing new pipework
  • Fitting bathrooms

 

Construction worker

Construction is an extremely rewarding trade. There's also plenty of scope for progression! You could become a supervisor, project manager, or even a construction manager. 

The average construction worker can earn £47,00 a year in the UK which is higher than the average UK salary!

As a construction worker, an average day could include tasks such as:

  • Physical labour - lifting heavy materials, operating machinery, etc.
  • Site preparation - clearing debris, setting up temporary structures, etc.
  • Safety and quality control - following safety protocols and regulations

 

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.

Contact Us

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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