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.

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We're commonly asked this question: what is the difference between a joiner and a 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 under two different names? Well, it's time to put all these questions to rest and take a look at some facts!

 

Joiner vs carpenter

 

The difference between a joiner and a carpenter

In a nutshell, a joiner is a professional who 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 installs the products made by joiners and produces features like joisted floors, roof trusses and stud-work for partitioning the building. Some people think that the difference between a joiner and a carpenter is that one uses nails and the other doesn't - this is a common assumption, but it's completely untrue!

In a sense, joinery and carpentry can be understood as separate specialities within the same industry or craft. In reality, there is some crossover between the two disciplines, with many of the fundamentals of the same woodworking 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 to fit it.

Interested in becoming a carpenter? We have carpentry courses for beginners & professionals! Check them out below.

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When to choose between a joiner or carpenter

When it comes to choosing between a joiner or carpenter for a job, we recommend picking craftspeople 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 a joiner are required, it's advantageous to employ a business or individual who offers both services, as it will become much easier to manage your project when you do not have to deal with several different tradespeople 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 these two professions.

If you have a project that requires some of the essential wood-working techniques mentioned above and you'd prefer to DIY it instead of 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 needed to succeed as a carpenter. Simply click below to learn more!

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For more information on the carpentry courses we offer - as well as our facilities, tutors, payment plans and training centres - be sure to contact our customer service team today! We are more than happy to help.

UPDATE (01/10/20): During the coronavirus crisis, we are helping people from all over the UK to learn new skills and switch careers. If you'd like to become a professional carpenter and help to fill Britain's skills gap, we can help - see Changing Careers During COVID-19 for details.

 

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! 

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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!

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