One of our fantastic students, Rob, is in the process of completing a variety of our training courses so he can start his own business. We've had the pleasure of catching up with Rob throughout his training and it's been great to see how much he's progressed. Today, we want to give you an overview of Rob's story to show you how we can help you steer your career in a new and exciting direction.

Rob's Background & Initial Training

For 35-40 years, Rob was working in IT and construction. This career took him all over the country and even abroad, but meant that he was often far away from his family, something that in later life, Rob wanted to rectify. When reflecting on his career, Rob decided that it was time to pursue a new avenue that would allow him to work for himself and spend more time at home. The courses we offer here at Access Training are fast-paced allowing Rob to gain the qualifications he needed for his new venture in no time at all.

Initially, Rob signed up for an Electrical Course, but later decided to take on a Plumbing and a Gas Course too! Having worked in the construction industry for most of his life, Rob knew that there was a significant skills gap in the sector. This presented itself as a great opportunity for Rob to pursue his own business, something that we were all too happy to help with. You can see our first interview with Rob in full below. 

 

Training for a Greener Future

We caught up with Rob a few months after our initial interview to see how he was getting on. Since we last spoke to him, Rob had completed a few more modules and had sat his assessment. If the assessment goes well, Rob will already be qualified to do the following:

  • Domestic installations
  • Commercial installations
  • Initial verifications on electrical systems
  • Periodic testing
  • PAT testing 

With an already impressive set of skills under his belt and in the pipeline, Rob isn't planning on stopping there. He has signed up for our Level 4 Electrical Design Course and for one of our new specialist courses that will teach him how to install charging points for electric cars. His enthusiasm for learning and for creating a greener world is admirable, and his aspirations for the future are in-line with this. 

Building a Greener Future

The skills Rob is gaining through our Electrical, Plumbing and Gas courses are setting him up perfectly for a career in renewable technologies which is the field he'd ultimately like to work in. We don't currently offer courses that cover photovoltaic (solar panel) installation or rainwater harvesting, but Rob has enrolled on our Electric Vehicle Charger Installation Course to get the ball rolling.

Once Rob has gained a few more eco-friendly skills, he plans to work with clients who want to build low carbon & self-sufficient homes, something we can expect to see a lot more of in the coming years. In the meantime, Rob can use the qualifications he's gained at Access Training to carry out gas, plumbing and electric work. We can't wait to see what he does next and we wish him the best of luck on his eco-friendly endeavours! You can see our second interview with Rob in full here. 

If, like Rob, you want to take your career in a new direction and work towards a greener future, explore our range of courses now! If you'd like to speak to one of our advisors, give us a call on 0800 345 7492. We look forward to hearing from you.

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In recent years, there has been a huge push towards more eco-friendly power sources, vehicles, shopping habits... (the list goes on). As political pressure grows, many of us are starting to re-evaluate our lives to make sure we're not having a detrimental impact on the planet. People have swapped from disposable coffee cups to reusable, from plastic toothbrushes to bamboo and from fuel-powered cars to electric. 

According to Statisa.com, "In the third quarter of 2018, the number of grant eligible plug-in cars registered in the UK surpassed 15 thousand"  that's almost 15 times more than there were at the beginning of the same year, and electric car sales are only going to rise as we move into the new decade.

So, as the general public focus their attentions on their own eco-friendly efforts, we urge you to consider training for an eco-friendly career in 2020. Skills such as; being able to fit solar panels, install a car charger, and set up a self-sufficient water collection system are only going to increase in demand. With that in mind, there's no better time to start filling a relatively large skills gap and pursue an eco-friendly career!

How can Access Training Help Me?

As it stands, we offer two brand new eco-friendly training courses here at Access Training, both of which will provide you with the skills, qualifications and experience you need to begin your career in the eco-friendly sector. Let's take a look at each course to give you an idea of what's on offer. 

Eco-Electrical Course

As the name suggests, this is an eco-friendly electrical course that's designed to equip beginners with the electrical and eco-electrical knowledge they need to start their eco-friendly career. The main things you will learn on this course include:

  • The fundamentals of electrical work in the home
  • How to safely test electrical installations
  • How to install charging points for electrical vehicles

Learn more >

 

Electric Vehicle Charging Installation Course

If you've already got electrical qualifications and experience behind you, this 2-day course will help you take your career down an environmentally friendly path. With your electrical knowledge as a basis, we're sure you'll pick up the following skills in no time:

  • How to safely install car charging points
  • EV charging point commissioning
  • How to check our installations are safe

Learn more >

If you're ready to take the first steps towards a greener career, don't hesitate to get in touch with us. We'll help you get started and arrange a start date for your eco-friendly training that suits you. 

Make your home more energy efficient
 
Making all aspects of your life more sustainable is very popular at the moment. Saying no to plastic carrier bags and buying a bamboo toothbrush are all popular options, but have you considered how you can make your home more energy efficient? We have lots of expertise in the gas, plumbing and electrical industries, so we thought we would put together some tips to help you make your home a greener place! 
 

Put Central Heating on a Timer

A simple yet effective tip that you don’t need plumbing or gas engineering training for, is to simply set a property’s heating using a timing mechanism.
Whether you set it to come on an hour in the morning and an hour in the night at a residential property, or between 9 am and 5 pm for a commercial one like an office, this will ensure the heating is only on when it needs to be on.
This is an easy way to ensure energy is not wasted when a property is empty, which will not only help the planet but save the bill payer some pennies too. 
 

Fit Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs

Energy-efficient light bulbs come in two types: Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). According to the Energy Saving Trust, replacing a regular light bulb with a CFL will save around £5 a year or up to £70 over the lifetime of the bulb. LEDs usually come in spotlights and therefore traditional fittings may need changing to use these. This can be both cost and energy efficient in the long run though as switching from halogen lights to LED could save around £35 a year. 
 
Energy Efficient Light Bulb

Update the Boiler

On average, heating accounts for 60% of annual energy bills, so becoming more efficient could save a homeowner hundreds of pounds a quarter. 
Most modern boilers are condensing, meaning it has a larger heat exchanger and recovers more heat. Gas boilers are most likely to be affordable if the property has mains gas and a combi boiler will be more compact, meaning it will take up less space in the property. 
 
If the cash funds for a new boiler aren’t available, it may be worth insulating the boiler as a temporary fix. You can read more about this in our blog post: Should You Wrap Up Your Water Heater This Winter?
 

Make Sure the Property is Insulated

Talking of insulation, how well insulated in the property? There’s no point in fitting an energy-efficient heating system if there is considerable heat loss, and this could be highly likely if you have an older property. 
Around 25% of heat loss is through the roof, 35% through walls and 10% through windows, so having a property properly insulated could cut this drastically. This may also alter a property’s EPC rating which can increase the value of the property. 
 

Learn More With Our Training Courses 

Want to be able to offer some of the above services, but not qualified to do so? Then why not sign up to conduct further training? Browse our different courses by clicking the button below, or give us a call on 0800 345 7492 to enquire today!
 

At this point it seems like the Green Deal just can't catch a break. After a humiliating first year it seemed like things were picking up for the Government's flagship energy scheme, but it will now be investigated by Parliament's spending watchdog after it was revealed that a staggering £36 million was spent on the scheme in the last 12 months.

A report from the Independent highlighted some of the spending the scheme made on promotion in February, including:

  • Over £300,000 on "consumer demand, marketing and communications". This included a £100,000 rebranding exercise.
  • £227,000 to a single consultancy company on Green Deal monitoring and evaluation.
  • £20,000's worth of fees to part-time staff helping to run the scheme. This is in addition to the plan's full-time civil servants.

The criticism of the scheme came following the publication of the latest uptake figures for March, released by the DECC last week. While the figures show that there is a rise in households seeking assessments and installing energy-saving measures, the increase perhaps isn't quite enough to have justified this level of spending. The report said that currently 2000 households had plans in progress by the end of March, a slight step up from February's 1754.

Meanwhile 188,234 green assessements were lodged, which is a big increase over the previous month's 25,138. The increase of 163,096 marks the highest number logged and a rise of 40%.

As for Green Deal Plans, 2,000 household were shown to have plans 'in progress'. Five hundred and thirty two were 'new' (quote accepted), 473 were marked as 'pending' (Plan signed) and 995 were 'live' (all measures installed). Of the measures installed, boilers accounted for 30%, followed by photovoltaics (25%), solid wall insulation (17%) and loft insulation (9%).

A spokesperson for the DECC commented saying that the Green Deal was always a "long-term" project that would deliver results "over a long time frame", but that didn't stop detractors from speaking out. House of Commons Public Accounts Committee chairman Margaret Hodge had this to say:

"It is pathetic when you consider that the Coalition promised to be the greenest government ever yet is spending millions of pounds on a scheme that is not even performing at the margins. Sadly, the Green Deal is looking like it is extremely poor value for money."

Is the Green Deal beyond salvagable at this stage?

After a pretty abysmal first year, it's no surprise that the Green Deal - the UK Government's flagship energy saving programme, is going to be going through some much needed changes. After all, you know its bad when even Energy Secretary Ed Davey - one of the men behind the scheme, calls it "clunky", "complex" and "disappointing".

Speaking at the Ecobuild convention that's taken place in London's Excel centre over the last few days, Mr Davey launched a consultation on the changes that will be made to Green Deal sister scheme ECO (Energy Companies Obligation), while at the same time reaffirming that the DECC were about to make some vital changes to the overall programme.

He said that the Government had been looking to "streamline" the Green Deal from very early on, and that the fact changes need to be made after only one year shouldn't be that surprising given "the scale of the ambition". He also added that further incentives for people to sign up would be unveiled in the coming weeks.

The latest figures from January did report that the scheme was beginning to make a comeback, with 1,277 plans in place by the end of the month - 746 of which were completed. However Mr Davey stressed that selling finance plans was not the main aim of the scheme:

"The fact that most people currently having a Green Deal assessment are not then going on to choose Green Deal finance plans shouldn’t actually worry us.

"How people pay for energy efficiency improvements is not after all the main issue. The aim of the Green Deal isn’t to sell credit plans, but to make our homes warmer, cheaper and greener."

It's great to see that the DECC are pushing these Green Deal changes, but is there really that much new info since the last time Ed Davey announced what they would be doing. Hopefully this will be a move that brings the Green Deal into the spotlight, rather than empty promises made during a sudden rise that may not amount to anything. Only time will tell...

Via Building.co.uk

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