Here we are, in the first week of 2021, facing another national lockdown.

If there’s one thing that continuous lockdowns have done to us, it’s that it’s made us more aware than ever of the importance of our jobs and professions; how much we rely upon our work for the security of our future. Even the very language we use to describe our different occupations within society has changed: phrases like ‘front-line workers’, or ‘essential workers’, have made us reconsider what is ‘essential’, important, and most valued in our country. 

On top of this, different industries and sectors have faced different struggles; some have fared better than others, having been considered ‘essential’, or having the good fortune to be able to operate relatively unaffected by the pandemic. Some people have been better assured than others that their roles will still be around once the lockdown is over. It comes as no surprise, then, that an increasing number of people want to change their careers. Statistics released since August have shown that, with the country in and out of lockdown, many people are reconsidering their futures in their current roles, and are thinking about jumping ship.

It goes without saying that the one thing everybody wants during this time is what we might call ‘lockdown immunity’. That is, the ability to keep working, earning, and living as close to a normal life as possible, in absolute safety. To be professionals, to contribute a service to society. There are not many, if any, of these sorts of jobs around at the moment. But one place you will definitely find them is in the construction industry.

With Boris Johnson’s assurance in November that construction work is still possible under lockdown restrictions, this is a prime time to be working as a tradesman. Not only are people still able to become qualified, but they are able to go out and seek work, and complete that work. Construction companies are not only still opening their doors, but are actually improving on their 2019 performances. Take Barratt, for example, who ended 2020 with cash reserves of £1.11bn, up from £308.2mn in June the same year. They still managed to make a 9.2% increase on their house building rate in 2019. 

Would this have been possible if the construction industry was on its knees? If it was nonfunctional under a lockdown? Of course not. And the only response to that, from somebody desperate to get back to work, is surely a no-brainer. We have often stressed the importance of using lockdown time to your advantage; access online, virtual training courses to build your skillset and gain employment for when the time comes, and work opportunities restart. And one thing that recurring lockdowns have done is confirm that our advice was bang on.

Lockdowns, as is now very clear, are not going away any time soon. It is evident that the potential optimism brought upon us by the new year is now unfounded, as complications relating to new Covid strands arise, delayed vaccinations are likely, and case numbers soar. It’s safe to say that restrictions will remain with us for a while to come.

Despite Rishi Sunak’s continued promises of grants and further extensions of furlough, what you really need is security, stability, and assurance for what comes next. You need to be able to hit the ground running when normality returns, and not have to depend on government money. You want to ensure that there is a career waiting for you, an income to support you and your family, and some sense of freedom and security to rest upon. All of this meaning that you may need to start preparing yourself for a potential change of career.

Because if and when another lockdown potentially happens beyond this one, or if restrictions tighten up further on down the line, you don’t want to be left stranded and powerless. You want to be working, productive, still developing as a professional. You want to continue doing what you’re good at, do fulfilling work, and offer a valuable service. 

Access Training can and will give you this. It’s all in your hands – nobody will make the decision for you. All it takes is commitment, dedication, and a call.


Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

If you read the survey carried out by the Water Regulation Advisory Scheme (WRAS) you will see that basic skills are completely lacking! The survey found that 18-24 year old adults lack basic repair skills, from unblocking a toilet to fixing a leaking tap. Only 1 in 3 know how to bleed a radiator with over 55's the most capable age groups when it comes to home plumbing tasks.

What is clear is that young people are the most challenged by these tasks with less than 30% not knowing how to change a light fitting where, in contrast nearly two thirds of over 55s are able to carry this out. The survey also found that 37% of young people could change a showerhead but double this figure were capable in the the over 55s category.

Further to this the survey showed that adults born after 1985 are increasingly unable to take on simple tasks. However, a third of millennials would in fact know how to bleed a radiator, but this is still way short of the 79% of over-55s who would be able to carry out this most basic of jobs. 

So it is conclusive that when it comes to basic home repairs, they are not an issue for those in older generations, but the capability to carry out a repair is far less in the younger generations. In fact the repair that most people are happy to carry out is bleeding a radiator:

  • Bleeding a radiator - 57%
  • Replacing a shower head - 53.3%
  • Fixing a blocked toilet - 44.6%
  • Replacing a light fixture - 44.5%
  • Fixing a leaky tap - 30.2%
  • Fixing a leaky toilet - 21.2%

What is clear from the survey is that repair tasks within the home have become something or a mystery or even a no-go for most. This is great news for tradespeople and those considering taking up a trade as there are so many tasks that home occupiers will need to be carried out by professionals, no matter how simple they are in really. 

In fact it would not be advisable for anyone to tackle a task that they were not sure about as problems and possibly dangerous scenarios can result from the most simple of tasks. It's always best to use a trained professional, someone who has the training, skill and knowledge to deal with these situations. 

At Access Training, we are always striving to provide people of all ages, young and old, with the professional level of training, knowledge and skills needed to carry out basic and complex tasks, safely and efficiently. For those looking to become skilled and qualified as a plumber, electrician, gas engineer, carpenter or plasterer, we will teach you what you need to know, allowing you the opportunity to turn basic DIY jobs into earnings and a career.

To find out how to become professionally certified in a trade such as plumbing or to simply discuss the career options available to you, call us today.

Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.




*WRAS Survey of 2000 adults in April 2019.

85% of workers are ‘petrified’ for the survival of their jobs, according to a recent poll by the Daily Mirror. And they may have every reason to be, with the anticipation of more new lockdown measures coming after more pronouncements by the government.

 

With another period of tighter lockdown measures possibly about to be put in place, the uncertainty is only intensifying. Things were precarious enough for many as they considered their jobs and whether to retrain in a new career: the ending of the furlough scheme and its imminent transfer to the Job Support Scheme, involving a notably less generous system to be introduced, for specific businesses who are told to close. As a result, there are reports that a further 1.8 million job losses are already possible by Christmas. 

These expected measures are comparable to those established at the pandemic’s outset. It’s hard to imagine what this will mean for jobs and thousands of businesses such as, bars, cafes, entertainment establishments of all kinds, who have struggled to stay open during the last six months may now be forced to close once more. Who can say when they’ll open fully again. And, more importantly, who can be assured that any job will still be there when they do lift the sanctions. 

However, this is not completely true across the whole economy and not all sectors – the construction for instance industry is, whilst having its own problems from lockdown, starting to show real signs of recovery and brighter prospects for those employed within it. Companies are not only surviving and getting by, but beginning to thrive in many cases and with that increasing productivity and recruiting. Throughout August and September, reports of a surge in construction productivity were numerous in the media, as businesses started to report a regaining of confidence and an increased workload. The construction industry is leading the way it appears, in an otherwise bleak outlook for the British economy. Building work continues to always need doing, and despite any current and future restrictions – plumbers, electricians, plasterers, carpenters – will continue to work and build their businesses and careers. 

Many people are making the decision to retrain to work in the construction industry and get a professional trade. The ITV documentary, presented by Robert Peston, in which Access Training is featured, covers this subject in some depth. See for yourself by clicking on the link below. Our centres are retraining cab drivers and caterers, entertainers and chefs – even lawyers. Wherever your interest, drive and determination lies, you can retrain in the construction industry as a plumber, electricians, gas engineer, plasterers or carpenter – just give us a call, and we’ll help you to get where you want to be.

Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

In a couple of weeks, the furlough scheme is coming to an end and economists are predicting that what began as a safety net for millions of people, will still result in mass redundancies. But there are reports that construction businesses are expanding due to demand which is great news for those changing careers and getting a trade. 

Rewind back to the beginning of lockdown, a time when furlough seemed, to millions of people, like a blessed relief. It kept thousands of people afloat, supported businesses through a tough time, and made sure that the brutality of the pandemic wasn’t made worse by a crushing economic crash. 

But now, six months on, the end of the furlough scheme is rapidly approaching. Predictions are coming through surrounding the impact of the next six months. And it isn’t looking good. 

It's clear that the situation we’re in as a country is going to be very problematic for many. So we have compiled 5 important points about the current predicament, highlighted so that you have the information you need to make a decision about your future:

 

  • 1.8 million people are predicted to lose their jobs when furlough ends. Estimates now predict a massive surge in unemployment that could reach 12%.
  • 20% of people who received furlough are facing unemployment. According to the Office for Budget Responsibility, 8.9 million people benefited from the furlough scheme. 

 

  • The Office for National Statistics reports that between 7-20th of September, only 11% of workers were signed up to the furlough scheme. This is down from 36% in April.

 

  • The Bank of England reported that it is likely that businesses have been exiting the furlough scheme quicker than we think. They suggest that only 7% of workers are still receiving furlough in September. 
  • The Times reports that, due to ‘weaker demand and uncertainty about the outlook’ ahead, businesses are ‘slashing jobs and investment’. Many workers will not be able to protect themselves from the economic downturn. 

 

However, there is a shining light coming from the construction and trades sector

 

Powered Now has reported the fastest rise in construction output since 2015. This great news was based on information coming from the UK Construction PMI (Purchasing Managers Index).






The report also noted that UK construction companies had rapidly expanded their business activities during the summer as new business had increased in spite of the wider economic issues. Powered Now also made comment on Yahoo Finance regarding the welcomed upturn:

 

‘....the building sector is back! This is great news. It means that this important sector is doing its part in the recovery from Covid-19. The whole industry is still in catch up mode and projects delayed by the lockdown are taking priority. This has helped to spike demand and we expect it to continue…’



So the trades may well be the place to be for a new stable career! Maybe it's time to consider a new direction: Invest in yourself, invest in a new career, and invest in a trade.



Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

"A new programme to give hundreds of thousands of young people, in every region and nation of Britain, the best possible chance of getting on and getting a job." - Rishi Sunak

Photo by Chris McAndrew (Wikimedia Commons)

Last Wednesday's mini-budget saw the Chancellor put jobs at the heart of his £2 billion scheme to prevent a surge in unemployment.

Rishi Sunak will unveil a plan designed to keep up to 300,000 young people off the dole as the COVID-19 recession bites.

Under the Kickstart Scheme, the Treasury will pay the wages of thousands of youngsters if firms agree to hire them for six months.

Mr Sunak went on to say:

"We cannot lose this generation, so today, I am announcing the Kickstart Scheme - a new programme to give hundreds of thousands of young people, in every region and nation of Britain, the best possible chance of getting on and getting a job.

"These will be new jobs - with the funding conditional on the firm proving these jobs are additional. These will be decent jobs with a minimum of 25 hours per week, and new hires will be paid at least the National Minimum Wage."

 

"A very hopeful message for the trades industry"

Training providers are now getting ready for the thousands of new students who will be looking​ to get qualified in order to take advantage of the new jobs being offered.

One construction training specialist said:

"We are expecting a huge demand for training in the last 5 months of 2020. This is a very hopeful message for the trades industry.

"The educational norm has changed to incorporate online training and the flexibility that offers students, so there is now no reason why anyone can't take advantage of the government's Kickstart Scheme."

If you're looking to learn a trade and pursue a new career, Access Training Academies can help - call 0800 345 7492 now to speak to a course advisor.

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