At the end of 2016, the BBC reported that UK unemployment was at an 11-year low. But, that doesn't necessarily mean you can just walk into a job. In some sectors, the competitiveness of the job market is higher than ever, but a recognised qualification can improve your prospects greatly. More...

So, you’ve decided you want to retrain and become a tradesman, but what is your long term goal? If it’s to start and run your very own business so you can be your own boss, then how are you planning on gaining clients?

Advertising your new skills and your available services is essential if you’re going to make a living, but sometimes it can be hard to know where to start. That’s where our years of experience can help. More...



The government recently announced plans to put a levy on employers to ensure that a certain percentage of new employees are apprentices. This new call to arms for apprentices has shown a determination from the government to improve the prospects of young apprentices across the country, and is a positive step forward.

However, how will this affect employers? How do they feel about having to accept more apprentices to their businesses? Having pondered about this question, we decided to compare three main employees and answer an important question: Who would best suit your organisation’s circumstances: apprentices, temporary employees or fixed employees?  

If you are a business owner yourself and are struggling with this very question, or if you are considering how best to look for employment, then this article should hopefully provide you with some valuable information… read on! More...



Since 1932, Battersea Power Station has been a familiar sight in the very centre of London. Having been decommissioned in 1983, it has become one of the most recognisable landmarks in the city, and remained largely untouched by the bustling city it lives in - that is, aside from its successful career in showbiz, featuring an appearance on the cover of Pink Floyd’s 1977 album Animals, and its cameo in The Beatles’ 1965 film Help!

However, all this has begun to change. In 2014, plans to develop the half-forgotten area of central London were approved. Once a perfect location for a power station, now it is hoped it will be an ideal residential community that is fully-equipped with bustling shops, comfortable neighbourhoods, and leafy park walks, all in the vicinity of the beautiful riverside. More...

If you caught our blog post yesterday you'd have seen that Britain's capital has quite a few construction projects in mind, and so skilled bricklayers are needed more than ever to keep up with the schedule. So much in fact, that wages are approaching an all-time high.

With wage inflation rates currently running as high as 10% thanks to skill shortages, bricklayers are are currently earning around £170 per day. However specialists are expecting this to rise to a staggering £200 a day!

Carpenters are another trade currently enjoying similar pay rates, with plasterers also cited as being in high demand.

These are big plans for London renovation, and qualified construction workers in the area won't only be finding themselves with plenty of work available - they'll also be able to enjoy these incredible pay rates. If you require the right qualifications to work onsite or want to retrain to work in the construction trade, Access Training Academies are here to help. With our intensive bricklaying, carpentry, plastering, tiling, plumbing, electric, gas and decorating training courses, you'll be able to quickly and effectively learn the skills you need from veteran tradesmen with years' of experience in the business.

Take advantage of the amazing construction opportunities available and give us a call on 0800 345 7492 today.

Via Construction Enquirer

Even if they aren't part of a trade, one of the first things people probably think about when they look at a building site is how safe it looks. Health and safety is always the top concern when it comes to building site work, and new statistics from the Health & Safe Executive show just how different things are in comparison with 40 years ago.

Their new document, titled 'Statistics on fatal injuries in the workplace in Great Britain 2014' suggests that the number of fatalities in Britain has dropped by 85% over the past 40 years, from more than 650 a year in 1974 to a record low of 133 today. The provisional data also states that there were a total of 42 fatal injuries to construction workers in the UK between 1st April 2013 and 31st March 2014, which is 9% lower than the average figure of 46.

Minister for State Health and Safety Mark Harper praised the findings, calling Britain "officially one of the safest places in Europe - and the world - to work". He also added: "While we all rightly curse false health and safety excuses, it's worth thinking how fortunate we are that we can go out to do a hard days' work, knowing our safety is being taken seriously."

HSE Chair Judith Hackitt also commented on the news, praising the Health and Safety at Work Act. "The Health and Safety at Work Act may be 40 years old but it – and our regulatory system – are world class."

Site safety may be better than ever, but construction workers looking to work onsite still now require a Green Labourers' Card to prove they are qualified to work and are familiar with the health and safety requirements. To earn this, applicants are first required to pass the Level 1 Health and Safety in a Construction Environment award. Here at Access Training we offer the City & Guilds version of this exam, which you can complete alongside your construction training or as an individual qualification. To find out more on the exam and the changes made the the Green Labourers' Card. give us a call on 0800 345 7492.

News via HVP Mag

Summer temperaturesIf the last few weeks have taught us anything, it's just how hot the British summer can get. This might be fantastic for when you're relaxing and sunbathing, but when you're working, things can get rather uncomfortable. On a construction site, it may be awfully tempting to strip down to keep cool, but this is a big risk to building site safety. Workplace equipment supplier Slingsby is urging workers to stay safe by continuing to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) such as hard hats and high visibility clothing.

These things should be provided by your employer under the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations, to cover health and safety risks where they can't be controlled in other ways. Slingsby encourage employers to ensure that their workers aren't wearing uncomfortable or ill-fitting clothes, and to take the various brands and styles into account when purchasing the right PPE.

Building site safety always comes first, even more so with the HSE currently on a blitz of construction sites in the UK. While the final figures are yet to be confirmed, during a 2-week period of inspections the Health & Safety Executive is estimated to have stopped work on 13 occasions due to poor conditions. Obviously these were due to more serious conditions such as exposure to hazardous substances and materials, but not having the right precautions could still lead to fines.

If you're a construction employer, it is your duty to keep your workers safe; if you're a worker its your responsibility to abide by the building site safety rules for the sake of your own life.

If you're considering a career in the construction industry but require the skills and qualifications to make it happen, give Access Training Academies a call on 0800 345 7492. We provide intensive training courses complete with City & Guilds accreditation in bricklaying, plastering, tiling, carpentry, plumbing, gas, electric and more. Even though our courses are far shorter than those you'll find at a college or similar facility, the quality of learning we provide is no different as our courses are staffed by tutors with many years' experience in the industry as professionals. Whatever your needs or goals may be, our team is ready to find the perfect course for you!

s1jobs, Scotland's largest recruitment platform, is reporting a "digital revolution" within the construction industry as they saw an almost 50% rise in job vacancies advertised online in April 2014 compared with the same month last year.

With the construction industry still very much in the middle of its recent boom, it seems job seekers are also getting wise to this with s1jobs also recording more than 46,000 job applications in the first four months of this year.

They believe this suggests that the stereotypical image of a builder is a thing of the past (and they wouldn't be wrong there!), with them now more likely to be scrolling through job listings on a pc, tablet or smartphone. More than 35,000 searches for construction vacancies are made on the s1jobs site each month, while 13,500 candidates have looked to maximise their recruitment prospects by posting their CV online on s1jobs.

Scottish construction recruiter Contract Scotland was also in agreement of this new trend, with spokesperson Jennifer Brown saying: "IT literacy is assumed these days rather than requested. Take it from us, we haven’t seen a paper CV in years – I would definitely say it’s becoming a thing of the past."

Don't be fooled into thinking this is just a trend happening in Scotland either. The ever-increasing use of the internet to advertise and apply for jobs is something that's happening all across the UK - and arguably the world as well! With the floodgates open for people all over to apply for jobs, it's more important than ever that you make sure you have the right skills to put yourself ahead of the crowd. And the most effective way to do that is with an Access Training Academies trades training course. From bricklaying and carpentry to plastering, tiling and painting/decorating, we have all your construction needs covered complete with full City & Guilds accreditation. Unlike college courses which can take years to complete to the same standard, our courses get you up to speed in a matter of weeks with intensive hands-on training from industry professionals.

From there, the world is your oyster and no amount of online application forms will stop you in achieving your goal. To find out more give our team a call on 0800 345 7492, where our course advisers would be happy to answer your questions.

News via Installer magazine

Government-endorsed quality mark Trustmark are now helping tradespeople comply with new changes to home improvement and repair contracts, following the introduction of the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013.

These new regulations have introduced major changes to consumer projection law, applying to contracts made in stores, online and in-home. Failure to comply to these regs may lead to prosecution or fine, so it's important that all qualified tradespeople know exactly what they need to do.

Among the major changes are:

  • Consumers are to be given far more information prior to signing a contract. This includes everything from information about the trader and goods to cancellation rights and any applicable charges.
  • Traders need the active consent of the consumer for all payments. Methods such as pre-ticked boxes for additional payments are no longer acceptable.
  • Consumers are not liable for costs they've not been told about in advance
  • The cooling-off period for goods and services sold by distance or off-premises selling will be now be14 days from date of delivery of the products across the EU. Formerly this was seven days from date of contract.
  • Where the consumer has the right to cancel a contract, they must be provided with a model cancellation form by the trader
  • The cancellation period is extended to, broadly, 12 months if the trader fails to provide certain pre-contract information. The trader could also be liable to a fine of up to £5,000.
  • There are some exemptions in regards to cancellation rights, one of which is for products "made to the consumer's specification" – this will include such products as made-to-measure windows made to a consumer's specific requirements; another is for urgent repairs and maintenance when a consumer invites a trader to their home.

TrustMark chairman Liz Male said these changes are "a big step forward" in helping both consumers and traders enjoy a clear and positive relationship. She added: "What matters now is that all TrustMark-registered firms get the detailed guidance they need in order to ensure they are fully compliant. I’m delighted our approved scheme operators in this sector, including NICEIC and NAPIT are already busy providing this support to their registered firms."

More information and further developments can be found at TrustMark's website.

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