Posted by Chloe Bennett on Thursday, 4th October
Shocking Irony; David Blaine to be ‘electrified’ days after Electrical Safety week
Following on the from the 7 day long campaign to raise awareness for electrical Safety, Daredevil and illusionist David Blaine is going to take on his most shocking – excuse the pun- display yet as he is going to spend three days and nights being zapped by 1 million volts.
This new challenge will see the crazy 39 year old don a medieval style chainmail suit complete with wire helmet during the 72 hour task which he has aptly called ‘Electrified.’
The show – if you can call it that – will be projected live at the Truman Brewery in London from 7pm on Saturday and visitors are said to be able to interact with Blaine for an hour from 9pm.
Obviously it goes without saying this is certainly not something to be tried at home or anywhere else for that matter. As to why this gent likes to put himself through ultimate paces is anyone’s guess.
To get a full insight into the dangers of electricity; go on our newly accredited City & Guilds MOD1 & MOD2 courses. They provide a real insight into general electrics; both the installation side and the principles behind installation.
Maybe we should have offered one to Blaine himself? I wonder whether he realises the effects 1 million volts will have on his body?
Bit late now eh? Nevermind.... :)
Labels: events, electrical
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Tuesday, 25th September
New partnership formed to add value to TradeSkills4U existing offering.
This week begins with an announcement confirming the beginning of an exciting partnership formed between TradeSkills4U and building services software company, Amtech. This brand new relationship, created to add value to each company’s current services, will provide both companies existing customers with a range of discounts on first class electrician training and a range of specialist software.
Yes software and exciting software at that. Amtech produces a real range of purpose built programmes aimed contracting companies who want to take the stress out of the everyday running of their businesses. From today, all Tradeskills4u customers will be able to receive discounts on a range of software which is guaranteed to start saving you time and money.
The best tool out there for TradeSkills4U customers has to be the ‘WorkSmart’ programme. Specifically aimed at smaller contracting companies, this programme is an easy to use tool which helps you produce correct estimates, price jobs and write up invoices. Powered by LUCKINS, WorkSmart houses thousands of products at their current listed trade price and will be automatically calculated using your preferred supplier’s discounts. Within WorkSmart you can add labour rates, mark ups and price up materials accurately, taking the stress out of the admin side of the job which most contractors tend to dislike.
Sounds good doesn't it? Tradeskills4u customers will be able to access this software at a discounted rate once they have successfully booked and paid for their courses.
To find out more about the partnership, visit our Amtech partner’s page.
Why not take a look at our recent Press Release about our Amtech partnership by following this link.
Labels: company news, electrical, partnerships
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Friday, 21st September
Labels: events, company news
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Tuesday, 18th September
The month of September resonates the beginnings of a new academic year. The ‘back to school’ nostalgia, imbedded deep within like January’s ‘new year new start’ romanticism always leaves us with the desire to reinvest in our most prized possession; ourselves.
So as the joys of our last bank holiday are forgotten and we climb into the autumnal season, it is hardly surprising that education is front page news. With controversy over the latest GCSE results and government announcing reviews to course material and exams over the coming years, it seems change is at the forefront of the academic agenda.
Even though these expected changes have been brought about in a negative manner, they will no doubt help improve the relevancy of these qualifications and help ensure they are appropriately fulfilling for the future generations.
Standing knee deep in the digital era it is important that our educational routes are updated alongside the marvellous technology our world continues to develop. Proactive revision to course materials and examinations can only highlight the strategic commitment and dedication to the course subject itself and we too are introducing some changes for the new academic year.
City & Guilds, one of our main governing bodies, have recently launched a range of new courses of which we have begun to successfully deliver. The City & Guilds 2394, 2395 and 2396 are all new courses that are taking the place of the well-known 2391-10 and 2391-20 courses. These new quals are more rounded replacements and have additions such as ‘three phase.’ Having been updated and sculpted for those looking to verify, test, inspect and certify; candidates taking these courses can be assured that they are taking the most up to date and relevant qualifications in their industry.
On a similar note the new City & Guilds 2365 (full commercial electricians course) is currently in full flow within our centre. This electrician’s course replaces the very successful City & Guilds 2330 courses which are due to expire in December 2012.
We have also introduced specialist NAPIT courses such as the NAPIT Blueflame ISO 17024 Course and the 27 day NAPIT 17024 Electrical Installer Package which are exciting and unique courses in their own right and brand new for 2012.
In line with these new courses (and our passion for digital) we have also updated our brochures online. Customers can now view our brochures both interactively online in Flash format or download them to keep and print as PDF’s.
To view our brochures online, visit our brochures page or contact one of our customer advisors who will be happy to send you one via email.
So whether it’s an update course or the means to a completely new career, September is the ideal time to take the leap to train. Visit our electricians courses page to view our entire range of qualifications or call us on 01293 529777 to speak to our experienced advisors. Either way be assured we’ll be on hand to guide you through the options we have available.
Labels: company news, electrical, electrical courses, new courses, city & guilds
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Tuesday, 11th September
After our golden summer of sporting events, the days that were the Olympics and Paralympics have finally come to close. London’s hosting, sealed with the Team GB London parade, will forever be viewed as the event that ‘brought this country together,’ said London Mayor, Boris Johnson.
Today, filled with Olympic/Paralympic blues, we are reminded of the thrill that was this summer as we recap the additional medals that were won over the past 5 days bringing our total medal count to a fantastic 120!
Final medallists for the Paralympics.
Silver – Shelly Woods – Women’s Marathon – T54
Gold – David Weir – Men’s Marathon – T54
Gold – Josie Pearson – Women’s Discus Throw – F51/52/53 Final
Cycling – Road
Bronze - Rachel Morris – Women’s Individual H 1-3 Road Race
Silver – Great Britain – Women’s 4 x100m Medley Relay – 34 Points
Bronze – Harriet Lee – Women’s 100m Breaststroke – SB9
Silver – Ellie Simmons – Women’s 100m Freestyle – S6
Bronze – Great Britain – Men’s Team Class 6-8
Bronze – Great Britain – Women’s Doubles
For our other roundups visit our Paralympic Roundup 3, Paralympic Roundup 2, Paralympic Roundup 1
Want to re-live #TeamGB Olympic moments? Check out our Olympic blog posts here Olympic Round up 4, Olympic Round up 3, Olympic Round up 2, Olympic Round up 1.
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Friday, 7th September
As nineteen year old Jonnie Peacock raced to win Gold last night in the 100m – T44 Final it’s probably safe to say that was a moment in time for Great Britain. Having lost his right leg after a battle with meningitis, Jonnie proved that anything was possible smashing the Paralympic record with 10.90 seconds. His passion to succeed was echoed by the 80,000 strong crowd that chanted his name around the stadium last night. However in true British style, our nation showed the respect the athletes deserved by falling silent in the moments leading to the race.
His astounding performance came in a night where we saw David ‘The Weirwolf’ Weir and Hannah Cookroft claimed their third and second gold of the games respectively.
Our last Paralympic update highlighted the 54 medals won by our athletes, and only four days later I am about to note the additional 54 bring our total medals won to 108! This total exceeds the predicted total of 103 and with three more days to go before the closing ceremony who knows what this high spirited team are capable of?
Medal winners since Monday 3rd September:
Gold - Danielle Brown – Women’s Individual Compound - Open
Silver – Mel Clarke - Women’s Individual Compound – Open
Gold – Jonnie Peacock – Men’s 100m – T44
Bronze – Ola Abidogun – Men’s 100m – T46
Gold – Mickey Bushell – Men’s 100m – T53
Bronze – Ben Rushgrove – Men’s 200m – T36
Silver – Paul Blake – Men’s 400m – T36
Bronze – David Devine – Men’s 1500m – T13
Gold – David Weir – Men’s 1500m – T54
Silver – Dab Greaves – Men’s Discus Throw – F44
Bronze – David Devine – 800m – T12
Bronze – Paul Blake – Men’s 800m – T36
Gold – David Weir – Men’s 800m – T54
Gold – Hannah Cockroft – Women’s 200m – T34
Bronze – Beverley jones – Women’s Discus Throw – T35/T38
Bronze – Great Britain – Women’s 4 x 100m Relay – T35/T38
Bronze – Great Britain – Mixed Team BC1 – 2
Cycling - Road
Silver – Mark Colbourne – Men’s Individual C 1 Time Trial
Gold – Sarah Storey – Women’s Individual C 4-5 Road Race
Silver – Karen Darke – Women’s Individual H 1-2 Time Trial
Gold – Sarah Storey – Women’s Individual C 5 Time Trial
Bronze – David Stone – Mixed T 1-2 Time Trial
Gold – Sophie Christiansen – Mixed Individual Freestyle Test Grade la
Gold – Natasha Baker – Mixed Individual Freestyle Test Grade II
Silver – Deborah Criddle – Mixed Individual Freestyle Test Grade III
Silver – Sophie Wells – Mixed Individual Freestyle Test – Grade IV
Bronze – Lee Pearson – Mixed Individual Freestyle Test Grade Ib
Bronze – Ben Quilter – Men’s – 60kg
Gold – Helena Lucas – Mixed single – Person Keelboat (2.4mR)
Bronze – Great Britain – Mixed Two Person Keelboat (SKUD18)
Bronze – Matthew Skelton – Mixed R6-50m Rifle Prone-SH1
Bronze – Matthew Walker – Men’s 50m Freestyle – S7
Gold – Josef Craig – Men’s 400m Freestyle – S7
Bronze – Robert Welbourn – Men’s 400m Freestyle – S10
Bronze – James Clegg – Men’s 100m Butterfly – S12
Bronze – Oliver Hynd – Men’s 100m Backstroke – S8
Silver – Aaron Moores – Men’s 100m Backstroke – S14
Silver – Sasha Kindred – Men’s 200m Ind. Medley – SM6
Gold – Oliver Hynd – Men’s 200m Ind. Medley – SM8
Bronze – Eleanor Simmonds – Women’s 50m Freestyle – S6
Silver- Louise Watkin – Women’s 50m Freestyle – S9
Bronze – Susannah Rodgers – Women’s 100m Freestyle – S7
Silver – Heather Frederiksen – Women’s 100m Freestyle – S8
Bronze – Susannah Rodgers – Women’s 400m Freestyle – S7
Silver – Stephanie Millward – Women’s 400m Freestyle – S9
Silver – Charlotte Henshaw – Women’s 100m Breaststroke – SB6
Silver – Claire Cashmore – Women’s 100m Breaststroke – SB8
Gold – Heather Fredriksen – Women’s 100m Backstroke – S8
Bronze – Hannah Russell – Women’s 100m Backstroke – S12
Silver – Stephanie Millward – Women’s 200m Ind. Medley – SM9
Bronze – Louise Watkin – Women’s 200m Ind. Medley – SM9
Bronze – Natalie Jones – Women’s 200m Ind. Medley – SM6
Bronze – Great Britain – Women’s 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay 34 Points
Bronze – Paul Davies – Men’s Singles – Class 1
Silver – Great Britain – Mixed Quad Doubles
Can’t wait to see what this weekend brings…. #paralympics
For our other roundups visit our Paralympic Roundup 2, Paralympic Roundup 1
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Thursday, 6th September
In a statement released today, David Cameron has released details of his plans to help revitalise the construction industry. His statement highlighted details of how the cabinet are pursuing the removal of some of the restrictions that currently surround measures to gain planning permission.
This announcement comes at a time where the construction industry has received a slight dip in growth due to the amount of hurdles homeowners have to overcome in order to begin works on their homes. According to the independent “almost 200,000 households apply each year for permission to make improvements such as conservatories, rear extensions and garage conversions;” however the process of gaining planning permission can take years. By temporarily removing the bureaucracy surrounding planning permission, homeowners will be able to expand with no need to ask their local authority. This rule will apply to shops, offices and industrial units during this time.
The current rules stipulate that single-storey extensions can be construction freely without the need for planning permission providing they do not extend beyond the rear wall of the original house by a set distance. The limit for semidetached properties is 3 meters whilst an extra meter is given to detached properties looking to extend in this way. Under the new rules, set to be enforced next month, these limits will be doubled however these changes are not currently set to apply to loft extensions.
“The measures announced today show this government is serious about rolling its sleeves up and doing all it can to kick-start the economy,” Cameron said.
“Some of the proposals are controversial; others have been a long time in coming,” he said. “But along with our housing strategy, they provide a comprehensive plan to unleash one of the biggest homebuilding programmes this country has seen in a generation. That means more investment around the county; more jobs for our people; and more young families able to realize their dreams and get on the housing ladder.”
George Osborne’s ‘£60 billion’ investment into the infrastructure is also set to help first-time buyers who will be offered equity loans of up to 20% of the property value that can be used as a deposit.
Labels: company news, electrical, david cameron, government
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Tuesday, 4th September
Training with TradeSkills4U? You''ll be glad you did as you're one of the many success stories waiting to be written. On 31st August 2012 (Friday) we were sent a very beautiful email by one of our former trainee's Wayne Lewis and this is what is said.
In the sunny months of June last year, Wayne Lewis made a life changing decision. He was going to pack in his well-paid job in retail and begin a series of courses which would allow him to qualify as a domestic electrician. Why? “Because I’ve always wanted to be an electrician,” he recalls and he’s never looked back.
Mr Lewis now owner of FusedRight.com with his daughter and their company van
Mr Lewis, now 30, describes his next steps; “once I realised that I was going to pursue this career, I consulted my family on the decision and gained their full support. Even though I had very little experience in the field, I decided that an electrician is what I wanted to be. So I did some research to find the best place to achieve my goal and found TradeSkills4U to be that place.”
Wayne completed his training at Crawley based electrical training centre, TradeSkills4U despite living over 150 miles away. “Although I am based in Birmingham I took the risk of commuting to Crawley and received the best tutelage, which completely exceeded all expectation. The tutors were amazing and even though I trained over a year ago now, I can still remember their names. All my instructors were not only informative, but delivered their courses to the highest standard. As a totally inexperienced electrician, I gained the priceless knowledge that I needed to pursue my new career. I feel indebted to them for their time and patience and the opportunities that now lay before me.”
Wayne completed the companies specialist new entrant course called the Domestic Installer Bronze course which packages up the vital City & Guilds courses a new entrant needs in order to begin practising electrics in domestic settings. Courses like the Part P and 17th Edition Wiring Regulations are included so that installers can gain excellent competence when training for their future.
Wayne, now a fully qualified electrician lives and works in his hometown near Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham and runs a success business called FusedRight.
“A year on I not only have public liability insurance, I have employer’s liability too. I have a team of staff who like me are completely overworked with the sheer amount of jobs that are out there. We all work at least 6 days a week and I am continually turning down work because I just cannot squeeze the time in. I sometimes wish there were eight days in a week. I thoroughly enjoy the work I'm doing and love the opportunity to offer both customer service and knowledge of the regulations I now know. The journey has been a challenge, but the end result is priceless. Thanks ever so much to TradeSkills4U for fulfilling my dream of not only being an electrician, but a good one who practises the regulations on every job.”
Change is any form can be scary but if you want to a make a difference, you have to be different. If you are considering a career as an electrician and would like some advice about the steps to take, call us on 01293 529777 and like Wayne, you too could be fulfilling your dream.
For more information on the range of courses we offer, give us a call on 01293 529777 or visit our electrician courses page.
Labels: company news, electrical courses, electrical
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Monday, 3rd September
Having participated in every Paralympic games and cumulatively won 1,522 medals, #TeamGB sit proudly in 2nd place on the all-time medal table. This position, currently reflecting our 2012 London Games medal position, is an incredible place to hold and reflects how much support and opportunity this country provides for those with disability. So far we’ve won 54 medals in the London 2012 and here’s a recap of the action just in case you missed it.
Our Golden girl Ellie Simmonds smashed a world record to gain gold in the pool.
Richard Whitehead raced through the final 100m of his 200m – T42 race on the track, blitzing his previous world record time with a time of 24.38.
His success was followed by our two Irish sportsmen Jason Smyth and Michael McKillop also winning gold in the men’s T13 100m and 800m T37 respectively.
Two gold’s won in the velodrome for Team GB with Barney Storey piloted Neil Fachie to win the men's Individual B 1km Time Trial.
His success was made that little bit sweeter as his wife and fellow #TeamGB teammate, Sarah Storey went on to win her second gold in her Individual C4-5 500m time Trial event.
Great Britain's Equestrian riders won a fifth successive Team title and backed it up with three Individual medals, including a gold for 24-year-old Sophie Christiansen in Grade Ia.
Weekend’s Medal Winners
Silver - Graeme Ballard Men’s 100m – T36
Gold - Richard Whitehead Men’s 200m – T42
Bronze - Aled Davies Men’s Shotput F42/44
Bronze - Robin Womack Men’s Shotput F54/55/56
Gold - David Weir Men’s 5000m – T54
Gold - Aled Davies Men’s Discus Throw – F43
Silver - Stef Reid Women’s Long Jump – F42/44
Silver - Libby Clegg Women’s 100 – T12
Gold - Hannah Cockcroft Women’s 100m – T34
Bronze - Gemma Prescott Women’s Club Throw – F31/32/51
Bronze - Claire Williams – Women’s Discus Throw – F11/12
Gold – Anthony Kappes – Men’s Cycling Track
Silver – Neil Fachie – Men’s Cycling Track
Silver – Shaun McKewown – Men’s Cycling Track
Bronze – Darren Kenny – Men’s Cycling Track
Bronze – Jody Cundy - Men’s Cycling Track
Gold – Neil Fachie - Men’s Cycling Track
Bronze – Aileen McGlynn - Women’s Cycling Track
Gold – Sarah Storey - Women’s Cycling Track
Silver – Mixed Cycling Track
Gold – Sophie Christiansen - Mixed Individual Championship Test - Grade Ia
Gold – Natasha Baker - Mixed Individual Championship Test - Grade II
Silver – Deborah Criddle - Mixed Individual Championship Test - Grade III
Silver – Sophie Wells - Mixed Individual Championship Test - Grade IV
Silver – Lee Pearson - Mixed Individual Championship Test - Grade Ib
Gold - Mixed Team Championship
Silver – Samuel Ingram – Men’s 90kg
Gold – Mixed Rowing
Silver – Matthew Skelhon – Mixed Shooting
Bronze – James Belvis – Mixed Shooting
Bronze – Matthew Whorwood – Men’s 400m Freestyle – S6
Silver – Oliver Hynd - Men's 400m Freestyle - S8
Bronze – Same Hynd - Men's 400m Freestyle - S8
Bronze - James Clegg - Men's 100m Butterfly - S12
Silver – James Crisp – Men’s 100m Backstroke – S9
Gold – Jessica-Jane Applegate – Women’s 200m Freestyle – S14
Gold – Eleanor Simmonds – Women’s 400m Freestyle – S6
Silver – Heather Frederiksen – Women’s 400m Freestyle – S8
Bronze – Hannah Russell – Women’s 100m Butterfly – S12
Silver – Claire Cashmore – Women’s 100m Backstroke – SB8
Silver – Stephanie Millward – Women’s 100m Backstroke S9
Silver - William Bayley – Men’s Singles Class 7 (Table Tennis)
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Friday, 31st August
Today is the second day of the Paralympics which is extremely exciting however, rather like a waiter delivering a delayed desert, I can’t help but feel we waited a little too long for it all to begin.
This is of course no fault of the outstanding talent that we are watching, but the fault of the officials. I know that London might not have coped if we’d run one straight after another but it wouldn’t it have been nice to elongate the TEAMGB sprit instead of begin subject to the unwelcome 18 day gap between these two great events.
Despite my personal feelings and the inevitable comparisons that will follow, who can deny the incredible performances the London GB 2012 Paralympic team are starting to present.
Described by hosting channel as the ‘Superhumans,’ it is incredibly humbling to watch some of the world’s remarkable athletes reach their dreams having triumphed in the face of adversity.
One incredible athlete who is determined to win gold in the archery competition is American born Matt Stutzman. Despite being born with no arms, the 29 year old uses both his legs to fire the arrows with absolute precision.
Another incredible athlete is Chinese swimmer Tao Zheng who managed to break the men’s S6 100m backstroke yesterday using only the power of his legs. His show stopping performance completed in 1.13.56 was the first of four events he is competing in.
Their courage and ability is outstanding.
Now it’s time for TEAM GB to take the stage…
Having claimed 2 gold’s and 3 silvers in the cycling, a gold and 2 silvers in the swimming, a bronze in the Judo and another bronze in the powerlifting we’re back in our favourite spot of 3rd!
With plenty more in store, the nation is already gripped again and who can blame us as we are witnessing first class performance by what I believe are ‘real life heroes.’
For those of you who have missed the sporting events so far – he’s a recap on the medals won:
Women’s Individual C5 Pursuit – Gold – Sarah Storey OBE
Men’s Individual C4-5 Kilo – Silver – Jon-Allan Butterworth
Men’s Individual C1 Pursuit – Gold – Mark Colbourne
Men’s Individual C1-2-3 Time Trial – Silver – Mark Colbourne
Women’s Individual B Time Trial – Silver – Aileen McGlynn OBE & Helen Scott.
Men’s 60 kg – Bronze – Ben Quilter
Women’s 40kg – Bronze – Zoe Newson
Women’s 100m Backstroke – S6 – Silver – Nyree Kindred MBE
Women’s 400m Freestyle – S12 – Silver – Hannah Russell
Men’s 100m Backstroke – S7 – Gold – Jonathon Fox
With lots more to come, we’ll be keeping on top of the events and the outcomes so you can read the daily digests here.
Oh and one more thing… PARALYMPIANS… WE ARE IN AWE!
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Tuesday, 28th August
Help reach success with the modern apprenticeship & choose a career choice that pays off.
As the late weeks of August provide the youth of today with their hard earned grades, education is a hot topic for the month ahead. But when presented with limited options of this double-dip recession, how can this fresh-faced generation ensure their next steps are ones into well-paid jobs? Chloe Bennett speaks to industry & government experts to help outline why the modern route to success maybe in the traditional apprenticeship and what can be done to help encourage others to take this worthwhile route.
“Whether you are interested in working in nursing, engineering or for a large company like the BBC, apprenticeships are a sure fire way to equip yourself with the right skills and experience for the job in hand,” begins Carl Bennett, managing director of Britain’s Premier Electrical Training Company Trade Skills 4U. “As apprenticeship schemes come in all shapes and sizes there is one bound to suit everyone’s needs,” he continues. Carl Bennett’s comments come at the perfect time as this summer alone has seen apprenticeship vacancies rise to a staggering 15,000. “There really has never been a better time to apply for these worthwhile schemes.”
“Apprenticeships are open to all age groups and work on the basis where an individual gains on the job experience and works towards a nationally recognised qualification in the process. By implementing a blend of practical & theory training, individuals can be assured they are achieving the two vital skillsets that are required for anyone applying for work in the current job market,” Mr Bennett adds. “In addition, although age permitting, funding is available to cover the costs of training and the employer can be offered up to £1,500 for taking you on.”
On his visit to Tradeskills4u’s training facility near Gatwick Barry Sheerman, Labour MP for Huddersfield and Former Chairman of the Education and Skills Select Committee echoes Mr Bennett’s support for apprenticeships and explains that his goals are clear in bettering education and employment opportunities for the youth of tomorrow. “Together we are working for a more sustainable future and this begins with providing impending generations with the right opportunities to progress. I have always been in great support of the apprenticeship and the impact of small businesses and their importance of the future,” said Mr Sheerman. “My own view is that there should be no such thing as unemployment for anyone under 25 years of age. Until 25, everyone should be in education, training, high quality work experience, or a job so at local level it is my job to help encourage every community in every town in every constituency to forge a new partnership of employers, educators, and trainers to tackle the local challenge. The mission is simple; we need more young people to have jobs and companies like Trade Skills 4U have my full support as they are being proactive in this area.”
“With government help, businesses like ourselves can continue doing what we can to ensure young people are getting the right skills they need to begin fruitful lucrative careers,” says Mr Bennett.
“Modern apprenticeships are becoming attractive options for school leavers as recent reports outline that the manufacturing and engineering have enjoyed an increase in take up of more than 70% over the past three years. Figures like this help highlight that we are slowly getting to where we want to be but more needs to be done so that young people realise what a great opportunities are on offer through apprenticeships and in our case particularly, how beneficial the electrical sector is,” adds Mr Bennett.
“Opportunities are endless in the world of electrics and most people forget that this is an industry that is simply continuing to grow. Wherever you see a socket or a switch, an electrician has been there to install it so a job in this sector can take you places you might not realise. From roles in television and film as ‘gaffers’ and ‘best boy grips’ to designing and installing wiring systems on airplanes, cruise boats and houses the possibilities for a rewarding and varied career are endless,” he adds.
On the other side of the training, apprentices like Tom Ward, currently on Trade Skills 4U’s City & Guilds 2357 apprenticeship course outlines his experiences with the programme and urges that more needs to be done to encourage and financially support hose looking to enter the schemes.
Tom Ward, currently on Tradeskills4u's electrician's apprenticeship course, speaking with Barry Sheerman MP.
“I started my apprenticeship knowledge training with Trade Skills 4U in April this year and am really enjoying it. I’m currently working with EDES Ltd in London and have a goal of completing the entire scheme by this time next year.” When asked about his thoughts on apprenticeship awareness he confirmed “as someone who has always wanted to be an electrician, it seemed the only way to get into the industry. However I wasn’t completely aware of my funding options and the incentives available for employers which would have really helped me in the job seeking process. I’m lucky enough to be in the bracket where my training is fully funded but more could be done to financially support and encourage those who aren’t and come to discover that this career would be suitable for them.”
Apprenticeships, despite having junior connotations, aren’t just for school leavers as “a lot of the guys on my course after a lot older than me. We have a 45 year old, 38 year old and 39 year old amongst a range of twenty-something’s all taking the course to better themselves and their knowledge in the industry,” adds Tom. “I think it’s just me and one other lad that are able to receive funding and out of a class of 12 that means 10 are funding it from their own back pocket.”
“Tom makes a great point in addressing support,” says Carl Bennett. “I think if more could be done to help support everyone taking an apprenticeship, irrespective of age, we might find that the national shortage of electricians begins to decrease! Oh and one more thing if I may” adds Carl Bennett, “We have 15 young people on our waiting list, desperate to get an employer to sponsor them on an apprenticeship. If you’re interested in helping them, get on the phone and give us a call on 01293 529777!”
For more information on apprenticeship courses visit www.apprenticeships.org . Those interested in taking electrical apprenticeships should contact Trade Skills 4U on 01293 529777 or by visiting www.tradeskills4u.co.uk.
Labels: company news, electrical course, apprenticeships
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Thursday, 23rd August
Name: Tom Ward
Live: Nunshead, Dulwich
Company: EDES Ltd (East Devon Electrical Services LTD)
Started apprenticeship: 18 months ago
Stated training with TradeSkills4U: April 2012
Photo: Tom Ward speaking to Mr Barry Sheerman MP of Hudderfield
“I started training with TradeSkills4U in April this year and so far its’ going great. I thought it was going to a be a little bit tough at first as I’m taking time out to train 2 weeks of the month so missing out on work, but my employer enables me to work evenings and weekends if I want to catch up on missed pay. I chose TradeSkills4U because they helped me get the vital funding I needed to pay for the course, I’m lucky enough to be in the bracket where my training is fully funded.”
“Currently my training is all going really well; I’m finishing my electrician apprenticeship training on November 13th this year and hope to finish the full apprenticeship 8 months after that. My current employer is East Devon Electrical Services LTD which is actually based in London and through them I have been able to tick off various competences having demonstrated that I am able to work in specific areas and complete certain installations. We normally work in hospitals which I really enjoy and as the company is a large contractor firm, variety is a huge bonus. We are always working with different people and on different jobs which is great fun.”
“The best bit about training with TradeSkills4U is the facilities which are pretty spot on to life onsite but above all the knowledge! Sometimes, and I think it’s safe to say that other electricians feel this too, there are certain jobs or practices that I carry out without really knowing why. For example, the other day I asked some of the guys I work with why there isn’t such thing as an ‘A type breaker,’ only B’s, C’s and D’s. Funnily enough no one on site knew the answer, but James my instructor at TradeSkills4u said they don’t exist due to the possible confusion over the measurement of ‘Amps’ if an A breaker were to exist. It sounds silly but that really stayed with me. It’s great to go out and practise the work but have the technical support here so I can learn exactly what I’m doing and why. This helps to fill in any gaps that come about on site which is vital for me in these early learning stages.”
“On another note, a great bit about the training is how I’m able to carry it out. I’ve chosen to train 2 weeks on, 2 weeks off which is ideal for me as I’m getting a real steady flow of information which I’m constantly building on. Where most of my friends are on day release, they struggle with school holidays and other term-breaks like Christmas which can really delay their training and elongate the apprenticeship. By working in intense chunks I’m getting a lot of it done in a smaller time frame which suits me down to the ground.”
“I’m really excited about qualifying, and I’m so glad me and my employer chose TradeSkills4U t help me get there. I would recommend Trade Skills 4U, 100%, especially my tutor James as he’s teaching method is great. He is always going the extra mile to make sure we’re all on the same page and he offers some great advice on site too as he used to work on the tools. A career as an electrician is certainly one I’d choose all over again if I could turn the clocks back. As I say I can’t wait to get out there when I’m fully qualified and would urge others to do the same.”
Interview by Chloe Bennett for Trade Skills 4U.
Labels: company news, apprenticeships, electrical courses
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Monday, 20th August
Mr Skidmore MP calls for a crack-down on ‘soft courses’ as students neglect core academic subjects in favour of ‘flimsy’ ones like ‘Drinks Service.’
Conservative MP Chris Skidmore calls for revision on ‘Mickey Mouse’ subjects as nearly nine out of ten 16-year-olds took courses this year which are to be purged from school league tables. Courses like ‘sugar confection’ and ‘pastry craft,’ originally billed equal to GCSE Maths and Physics qualifications by the Labour party, are now being removed from league tables as they are too ‘flimsy’ and will not provide young people with a suitable academic foundation.
Qualifications such as ‘Make-Up’ and ‘Salon Reception,’ although popular with youngsters having seen 202 and 2,180 students enrol respectively last year, clearly highlight that students are choosing these subjects over core academic subjects such as history, geography and chemistry which will allow them to have a wider scope of options later in life.
“In tough economic times, we must make every effort to ensure that our children are learning the subjects that employers and universities value most so they can compete for jobs once they leave education,” said Tory MP, Chris Skidmore.
In a recent employer’s survey, research showed that experience combined with a good working knowledge of the subject area was preferred over candidates simply having theory level course certification. As such, routes like the modern apprenticeship may just be able to save those who have chosen to take these ‘soft courses’ as arguably some of them loosely transfer to a particular trade themselves.
The modern apprenticeship, which is considered the most relevant route for students to take, has just introduced 14 new frameworks ranging in subjects from nursing to horticulture and electrics so students will have plenty of choice to enrol on a programme that is best suitable to them. There has never been a better time to become an apprenticeship too with news that up to 15,000 Apprenticeships vacancies in over 1,400 job roles will be available to students getting their exam results this summer, according to new data from the National Apprenticeship Service.
Students considering apprenticeships should visit www.apprenticeships.org.uk for full details and benefits of these modern educational routes.
Trade Skills 4U offer a variety of electrical apprenticeships and a full list of our courses can be seen by viewing our electrical courses page on our website.
Labels: apprenticeships, electrical courses
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Thursday, 16th August
We're leading the way with bespoke and quality tailored courses: just for you!
You know we’re always at the forefront of offering you specialist and bespoke courses; well we’ve just launched another. Meet our 3 Day PAT Testing Course! This course is designed for those who have little or no experience in the electrical industry but would like to add this lucrative service to their offering and begin earning that little extra.
Whether you are an office manager looking to score some points with the boss and help save him some extra dosh per year or you are a landlord looking to PAT test your own properties to ease financial and time restraints in between tenants, this 3 day course has been sculpted perfectly for you.
Normally a 2 day course, this brand new and first of its kind our 3 day pat testing courses give you the extra day to learn the fundamentals of electric installation so that you are fully up to speed with the basics and have the best chance of excelling at the course when you come around to the exams on the final day.
Sound good? Of course it does, what’s more this extra day is offered at a low price compared to the rest of the course!
Interested? Check out our PAT Testing Courses online now by click either one of these links; City & Guilds 3 Day PAT Testing Courses, City & Guilds 2377-22 Day PAT Testing Courses and City & Guilds 2377-22 & 2377-32 PAT Testing Courses now or call 01293 529777.
Labels: company news, electrical courses
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Monday, 13th August
Sadly the incredible 16 day event that was London 2012 has now ended. With an incredible 65 medal total, our fabulous army of national treasures can look forward to their first cooked breakfast, mug of tea and good old fashioned lie in all in the knowledge that they have served their country proud.
Olympic silver medallist Samantha Murray collecting her medal during victory ceremony for modern pentathlon.
Having exceeded all expectations, in what is to be known as our greatest Olympics; London drew the curtains after a show stopping range of performances at the Olympic Stadium, Stratford, London.
From Eric Idle to the Spice Girls, Take that to Fatboy Slim, no genre was left unturned as British artists dominated the stage and paid tribute to the world class athletes that adorned the floor.
Speaking with great pride, Mr Seb Coe, Chair, London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), ended the celebrations with the simple and understated words "When our time came - Britain we did it right. Thank you!"
Final list of Medal winners:
49th Nicola Adams, the loveable Leeds fighter wins historic boxing gold for Team GB
50th Katie Taylor won Gold in the ring as she put up a champion performance against Russia’s Sofya Ochigava.
51st Gifted Taekwondo star, Jade Jones won Gold for her perfect performance on the floor.
52nd Charlotte DuJardin strikes second gold for Team GB as she excels in the Dressage event
53rd Laura Bechtolsheimer won bronze in individual dressage event
54th Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell take silver in the sailing
55th Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark also took silver in the sailing 470 class despite narrowly missing out on Gold.
56th Anthony Ogogo wins bronze in the boxing middleweight after losing to Brazilian Falcao in the Semi Finals.
57th Women’s hockey team wins bronze after Beating New Zealand
58th Lutalo Muhammad defeats the opposition and scored another bronze for Britain in the Taekwondo.
59th Ed McKeever wins Gold in the 200m Canoe Sprint
60th Our little Mobot storms 5,000m race to win second gold medal of the games
61st Tom Daley wins bronze in the Men’s 10m diving.
62nd Fred Evans wins silver medal in welterweight category in men’s boxing final
63rd Luke Campbell wins gold in the boxing bantamweight class final
64th Anthony Joshua clinches final gold in super heavy weight boxing final
65th medal is won by our fantastic modern pentathlon finalist Samantha Murray, ending Britain’s entrance into the games on a record of 29 Gold, 17 Silver and 19 Bronze.
Click the following links to see various medal winners. 1st - 8th medal winners, 9th - 37th medal winners and 38th - 48th medal winners.
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Thursday, 9th August
In a brand new survey, which polled over 300 employers in the UK’s construction industry, statistics highlights what some of us might state as the obvious – education combined with practical training is preferred over theory and a degree certificate. But are they more favourable and does this depend on the industry you are going into, Chloe Bennett shares her thoughts on the topic.
On average the employers polled, rated their experience employing qualified apprentices a reasonable 7/10 for providing ready-to-work young people compared with an average of 5.5/10 for those who arrived with a degree under their belt. These figures highlight that those who have a combined knowledge and practical ability are better prepared for the working world over those that have gained an arguably ‘higher level’ of education in a degree programme. Employers furthered their comments on the poll stating that degree students required extra support and training when carrying out the practical elements of the job.
Apprenticeships provide an incredibly valuable education to a student and a well-qualified apprentice is equally valuable to an employer. Apprenticeships not only provide you with the on hands knowledge you need for the job but equip you with a stable skill which enables you to move into a variety of job roles within the industry concerned. Apprenticeships are very well rounded courses so candidates are able to gain valuable insights into what can be expected of them in the working world.
So what is better for an apprenticeship or a degree?
Certainly where the construction industry is concerned, my personal opinion would be that the apprenticeship route is better suited to those seeking a career in this industry. As a twenty-something holding a 2:1 BA HONS degree myself, I feel that I am able to say this based on my own personal experiences upon stumbling into the professional world. My lack of experience gained in addition to my degree really held me back. Every job required me to have experience in my area of expertise and quite frankly employers were looking the other way when my CV detailed I ‘only’ had a degree to offer. Obviously this wall allows any newly qualified graduate to become frustrated, but experience is so valuable and in some areas like trades some would argue, essential. It might be the difference in gaining that job of your dreams and walking away empty handed.
If you look at it from the view of an employer; what would you prefer? To hire an employee that is able to carry out all the work or has a basic understanding of the work required or to hire an employee that require assistance/support or further training in order to carry out these tasks?
You could look at it like this; one day you decide you need a table for your kitchen, so you pop out and come home with a flat packed kit hoping it will end your past troubles of not having anywhere to eat dinner like a sensible adult. However on opening the box you find that the screws aren’t included. Nipping out and having to spend more money and time than you first anticipated is not quite what you signed up for when initially buying the table was it? Similarly, employers that have to seek further training for their new employees is a cost I’m sure most would strive to avoid. It certainly pays to get the right training for your career.
Obviously I would express that apprenticeships aren’t the be all and end all of education and I am certainly very proud of my honours degree, however you should always make that your educational route strongly relates to your career of choice. For most, if not all careers, it is fair to say a level of practical knowledge and experience is extremely valuable. Even in my experience having gained a reputable degree I still needed the vital experience to back up my knowledge of the industry I specialised in. In this day and age, where job opportunities are hard to come by any level of experience it essential to the employer and beneficial to you the employee. It provides you with that all important practical know-how for the job (which may set you apart from the competition) and helps you to uncover whether you are stepping into a career that you like too.
If you would like any information about the apprenticeships that Trade Skills 4U offers, visit our Electrician Apprentices page which has a guide on all our electrician courses and electrical apprenticeship courses.
Labels: apprenticeships, electrician courses, electrical courses
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Wednesday, 8th August
Since our last blog post Team GB have won 10 more phenomenal medals bringing team GB to a total 48 medals consisting of 22 gold, 13 silver and 13 bronze medals!
This total, help reached by Chris Hoy’s excellent gold medal performance yesterday in the velodrome, means that this Olympics is now Britain’s most successful Games in over a century!
38th Medal is won by gymnastic champ, Beth Tweddle. Her bronze medal is won on the uneven bars event.
39th Medal captured the Nation’s heart as Great Britain captured their first Olympic showjumping gold medal in 60 years! The team consisted of Nick Skelton, Peter Charles, Scott Brash and Ben Maher.
40th Medal is won by Jason Kenny as he beats France’s Grégory Baugé in the Men’s Sprint.
41st Medal is a gold and won Alistair Brownlee after a first class performance in the Men’s Triathlon.
42nd Medal won by brother Jonny Brownlee who finished in 3rd and scored Team GB a bronze medal.
43rd Medal was successful silver for windsurfer Nick Dempsey as he surfed to victory in Weymouth.
44th Medal was gold and won by the Equestrian team of Carl Hester, Laura Bechtolsheimer and Charlotte Dujardi in the dressage event. A first for GB!
45th Medal was taken by high jumper Robbie Grabarz who jumped a remarkable 2.29m.
46th Medal won by the very surprised Brit, Laura Trott who lifted her second gold medal in the Women’s omnium.
47th Medal won by the emotional Victoria Pendleton who won silver next to her aussie arch-rival Anna Meares in the Women’s sprint.
48th Medal won by Sir Chris hoy taking his Olympic medal total to 6 Gold – one more than Sir Steven Redgrave.
What’s on today!
Today we’ll be waiting for Team GB’s Shanaze Reade to take to the bike and compete in the BMX events as well as Tim Brabant’s defend his title in the Men’s Kayak singles in Greenwich Park.
• Don’t miss the Equestrian Individual Jumping Final at 2.44pm.
• Athletics Men’s 110m hurdles semi-final at 7.15pm
• GB Women’s Hockey semi-final against Argentine at 8.00pm
• Athletics Men’s 200m semi-finals at 8.10pm – can bolt do it again?
Click the following links to see various medal winners. 1st - 8th medal winners, 9th - 37th medal winners and 49th - 65th medal winners.
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Monday, 6th August
After a terrific weekend of relentless success our Olympic arenas, Team GB are up to 3rd place in the medal tables with 16 Gold, 11 silver and 10 bronze medals.
9th medal won by Michael Jamieson in the pool. Awarded silver medal for his race in the Men’s 200m Breaststroke final.
10th medal won by Britain’s lightweight men’s rowing four; awarded silver.
11th medal is gold, won by Time Baillie and Etienne Stott in the Canoe Slalom.
12th medal is silver also won by Team Gb’s canoe slalom team consisting of David Florence and Richard Hounslow.
13th medal is gold for GB shooting legend Peter Wilson who wins the medal in the Men’s Double Trap.
14th medal won by Gemma Gibbons who takes a fabulous Silver medal in the Judo.
15th medal is an incredible team effort in the Britain’s team sprint who takes home the gold to give Sir Chris Hoy his fifth Olympic gold.
16th medal is gold for Women’s rowing pair Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins.
17th medal is bronze for Men’s rowing pair, George Nash and Will Satch.
18th medal is bronze for Alan Campbell in the Men’s single sculls.
19th medal is gold, awarded to Men’s team pursuit in the cycling. Well done to Steven Burke, Ed Clancy, Peter Kennaugh and Geraint Thomas.
20th medal is gold for our girl Victoria Pendleton as she finishes first in the Women’s Keirin.
21st medal is bronze for Judo competitor Katrina Bryant.
22nd medal is bronze for swimmer Rebecca Adlington in the 800m freestyle.
23rd medal is won by the Britain men’s four who claim the gold and defend their title of Olympic champions. Won by Gregory, Reed, James and Triggs-Hodge.
24th medal is another gold for Women’s lightweight double sculls team Katherine Copeland and Sophie Hosking.
25th medal is silver for lightweight duo Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter.
26th medal is a marvellously won gold by GB team Dani King, Joanna Rowsell and Laura Trott in the Women’s Team Pursuit.
27th medal is awarded to the stunning Jessica Ennis in the Heptathlon as she takes home the gold.
28th medal is for Greg Rutherford as he takes home the gold in the long jump.
29th medal is claimed by Mo Farah who takes home the gold in the Men’s 10,000m.
30th medal is a well-deserved gold for tennis legend Andy Murray and he beats Rodger Federer at Wimbledon in the Men’s singles.
31st medal is for Ben Ainslie as he seals his fourth Olympic title by winning gold in the sailing.
32nd medal is silver and won by sailing Men’s Star team Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson.
33rd medal is for the tennis mixed pair that was Andy Murray and Laura robson as they take home a silver.
34th medal is silver for gymnast Louis smith as he narrowly misses out on gold, won by Krisztian Berki.
35th medal is a bronze, won by Max Whitlock in the same event, pommel horse final.
36th medal won by Ed Clancy in the Men’s Cycling Omnium.
37th medal is silver for Christine Ohuruogu in the Women’s 400m final.
Keep it up GB! You’re doing incredibly well!!
Click the following links to see various medal winners. 1st - 8th medal winners, 38th - 48th medal winners and 49th - 65th medal winners.
Labels: company news
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Wednesday, 1st August
After the opening ceremony was watched by more than 27 million people in the UK, we are now in the 5th day of the games so it’s about time for a quick recap of Britain’s success so far!
First medal – Silver, awarded to Lizzie Armistead in the Women’s Road Race.
Second Medal – Bronze, awarded to Rebecca Adlington in the Women’s 400m Freestyle race.
Third Medal – Bronze, awarded to our Men’s gymnastics team which is the first Olympic Medal Britain has won in this category in 100 years!
Fourth Medal – Silver, awarded to our Equestrian team consisting of Zara Phillip, Tina Cool, Nicola Wilson, William fox-Pitt and Mary King!
Fifth Medal – Gold, awarded to our stunning women’s rowing pair, Helen Glover and Heather Stanning.
Sixth Medal – Bronze, awarded to our British Men’s rowing team just 4 hours after our girls won gold.
Seventh Medal – Gold, awarded to the fabulous Bradley Wiggins as he finished first place in the cycling time trial.
Eighth Medal – Bronze, awarded to the incredible Christopher Froome in the same cycling time trial as Brad Wiggins.
Today’s victories have meant that Team GB have leapt from place 21 to place 10! GO TEAM GB!
Away from all the serious medal competition comes some trivia that we’ve heard about the games.
• BOTTLES of Pepsi cola and Nike T-shirts won’t be allowed inside Olympic venues, it has turned out due to the fact that their Olympic sponsors and well known rivals have donated so much to the games, organisers don’t want to upset them.
• McDonald’s have opened up their biggest restaurant at the Olympic site however it has received some really mixed reviews as some people think it’s ironic to offer such ‘unhealthy’ food to the world’s top athletes!
• Over 10,000 fake Olympic flags were seized at Heathrow this week after LOCOG (London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games) confirmed they were not the real deal.
Not sure what to watch tonight? Here’s the Team GB feature list for 1st August 2012.
Ok so here are the must-watch events tonight involving GB athletes:
• Men's hockey: GB vs South Africa at 4:00pm
• Men's beach volleyball: GB vs Norway 5:30pm
• Men's football: GB vs Uruguay at 7:45pm
• Men's gymnastics all-round: Finishes at around 6:45pm and Kristian Thomas is in medal contention
• Women's volleyball: GB vs Italy starts ANY SECOND NOW
• Swimming: With Michael Jamieson an enormous chance for gold in the men's 200m breaststroke
Click the following links to see various medal winners. 9th - 37th medal winners, 38th - 48th medal winners and 49th - 65th medal winners.
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Wednesday, 18th July
As Howard John steps down from the solar throne we welcome and congratulate our friend Alan Aldridge, managing director of Riomay, in taking his place.
(Pictured above: Henry Smith MP, Carl Bennett Managing Director of TS4U, Alan Aldridge and Ali Tilbrook)
We first met Alan in the early stages of last year when we were building our renewable energy centre. After our investment in the development in the PV roof we wanted to echo this dedication in building 1st class solar thermal rigs and we called in Ecotube, which were at the time, a company product from Riomay. At the launch of our centre in 17th June 2011, we invited many industry contacts to the event but were particularly delighted when Alan and co-worker Ali Tilbrook arrived to congratulate us on the success of the centre, as their products have helped us deliver the best solar thermal training possible within our state of the art facility.
Our ties with Alan didn’t stop there as he actually took on one of our Forgotten Heroes bursary candidates that was awarded his place at the event. Mr Ian Lockie, a TS4U bursary candidate, left the forces following 9 years’ service as a RAF Regiment Gunner and like many was in search of a new challenge. However his new challenge wasn’t without limitations after Ian, a PTSD sufferer, found there was a lack of career prospects available to him.
(Pictured above: Simon Weston O.B.E, Ian Lockie, Golden Zimmaestro and Carl Bennett MD)
Thanks to our bursary scheme, which offers to give away £100,00 every year to ex-military personnel who are struggling to get their feet on Civvy street, we were able to help him successfully complete his training as a domestic installer and solar pv installer thus making him employable with a set of skills no employer could resist. Alan saw his potential and agreed to take him on once he’d successfully completed his training – happy days.
Anyway without going too far off topic, we would like to wish Alan and the rest of the Solar Trade Association every success as they continue working together to promote and protect the solar industry.
Alan you have our full support, well done!
If you would like to know more about our renewable energy centre or our forgotten heroes bursary scheme, please click the links above which will take you to those pages.
Labels: solar, solar pv, resettlement, forgotten heroes bursary scheme, open day, event
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Tuesday, 17th July
Behold the torch!
Over the 70 days in the run up to the Olympics, the torch will travel 8,000 miles via the 8,000 torch bearers that have shown to be a real inspiration to their family and friends. Today at day 60 of the Olympic torch route, the torch is run through Crawley, West Sussex – the home of Crawley FC and Britain’s Premier Electrical and Renewable Energy Training Company – Trade Skills 4U!
Labels: company news
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Monday, 16th July
‘I am’; NICEIC announces new advertising campaign
Today the NICEIC has announced a new national advertising campaign that will be targeting a wide range of consumers and specifiers. Aptly called ‘I am’ the campaign is intended to raise awareness of their database of over 25,000 fully qualified electrical contractors, whilst focusing on the message ‘The Electricians Britain Trusts.’
I am will be seen by “landlords, facilities managers, architects, builders, letting agents, local authorities and housing associations over the next 6 months will hopefully help raise awareness of the important of hiring a qualified electrical installers,” said the NICEIC in a press statement.
“The eye catching designs will feature in a host of popular national titles including the Daily Mail, Daily Express and Sunday Telegraph.”
Trade Skills 4U are very proud to have the NICEIC on our list of accreditation bodies and have come together to offer an exclusive fast track service to becoming registered on the many schemes the NICEIC have to offer. Both companies believe it is important to not only promote the benefits of becoming registered but also make the process as easy, cost-effective and time efficient as possible, helping you the electrician get to work and start earning. This, along with a variety of discounts available to Trade Skills 4U customers, training with the UK’s premier electrical trainer couldn’t be any better!
To read about our fast track service with the NICEIC see our NICEIC fast track page.
We also offer a similar service with NAPIT. Visit our NAPIT offer page here.
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Wednesday, 11th July
Today we can reveal the government’s response to the Parliamentary Select Committees report on Part P of the building regulations which comes in the form of a 14 page document confirming that Part P will be made mandatory but improved.
This comes as no surprise seeing at the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) indicated these findings in their report which was published in earlier this year. The report outlines the need for revisions however as government are “satisfied that Part P has been successful in driving up standards and in reducing the number of electrical faults. We would therefore be reluctant to endorse any diminution of the scope or operation of Part P, which might reverse that trend.”
In attempt to raise public awareness over electrical safety in the home, the government have said they “have introduced new provisions, which require scheme operators to promote and publicise the benefits of Competent Person Schemes and raise public awareness of the responsibility to comply with 12 the Building Regulations. We see merit in the scheme providers working in partnership with retailers and manufacturers and will encourage them to do so.”
However the government feels that “There are already good examples of retailers providing the public with information on the Building Regulation and safety requirements. The Government would welcome further voluntary action by retailers and manufacturers but at present the Government does not believe there is a need for regulation."
The DCLG have confirmed they will be “actively seeking all available evidence” before any final decisions. Any changes are likely to come into place in April 2013.
The full report can be downloaded here.
Labels: electrical, part p, government
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Wednesday, 11th July
In an age where you literally want to see – click – own, we understand the need to make the ‘online shopping process’ a smooth and effortless one. Seeing as we specialise in a service not a product, we have never really been able to actively present and display merchandise on our site, let alone point you to the products you may need the most.
As we provide technical know-how and an education as such, this requires more of an explanation to the service you will be receiving rather than visual prompts for shiny new tools. However in a twist of fate our service does come hand in hand with some recommendations and those recommendations are reading materials.
Now when I say reading material you know what I mean, it’s just a rather sophisticated way of saying books that you will need for your course. Books like the ‘onsite guide’ and ‘Electricians Guide to the Building Regs’ are books that you will not only need for your course, but blinking good books to have for reference in your career. As these are prone to revision so there is a real necessity to make sure we’re pointing you the most up to date editions. So behold our new quick click links which direct you straight to amazon (a website that allows you to buy pretty much everything at a great price) so you can buy the books you need with little hassle. Pow!
You will find these links on the bottom of most course pages that included recommended or required reading material.
They look like this:
All you have to do is link the links and buy the book. We don’t mind if you want them delivered here or you’d prefer to have them delivered to your home address ready for some bedtime reading before your course – either way as long as you’re equipped with the bits you need to better your life and career then we’re happy.
So enjoy your new stress free booking buying experience and remember -you owe us one.
Labels: company news, electrical
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Monday, 9th July
In the spirit of summer and Great British sport, we have been running some offers in conjunction with the many athletic events that are taking place at the moment.
Last month we held an offer sporting England in the Euro’s, and in true Wimbledon spirit we recently ran an offer of £150 off the solar PV course due to expire once GB representative, Andy Murray, lost the battle to be the tennis court king. Much to our surprise, and that of the nations due to our poor tennis heritage, I think it’s safe to say that Murray wowed us all by making it to the final last night against veteran Roger Federer. The tense game, which was neck and neck for the majority was finally won by Wimbledon veteran Federer allowing him to retain his Wimbledon crown and make history himself by equalling Pete Sampra’s record of achieving seven Wimbledon victories over the course of his career. Federer, now having won a total of 17 grand slams, has now restored his number one ranking in world class tennis.
Obviously this means the offer has now drawn to a close but who knows…maybe as the Olympics draws closer, we may have some more offers in store!
Watch this space.
Labels: company news, solar pv, renewable energy, solar
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Thursday, 5th July
If you haven’t already heard, there is currently a solar PV trade war raging between the US and China. Both governments have realised the importance of this lucrative market to the future energy mix and are keen to protect their manufacturers in this sector.
In the last year a number of American and European solar PV manufacturers have folded as the market has been flooded with cheaper panels and tools imported from China. It has been suggested that the Chinese panels are unfairly subsidised by the Chinese government and as a result the US Government was lobbied by a number of American Solar PV manufacturers, calling for Anti-Dumping tariffs to be introduced. In May 2012 the US government ruled in favour of introducing these tariffs (set at roughly 31%) and are set to finalise the legislation in October 2012. However any final decisions will be applied retrospectively meaning that sales of Chinese PV panels from now could be subject to the tariffs.
US Senator Charles Schumer said: “This proposal is tough, but it’s needed to successfully counter China’s unfair trade practices. This hard-hitting plan will level the playing field for U.S. solar producers so that they can compete, create jobs and become a global leader in this rapidly-growing industry.”
Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman, Shen Danyang, said "The U.S. ruling is unfair, and the Chinese side expresses its extreme dissatisfaction,"
China denies that the industry is unfairly subsidised and will fight this ruling. We are at the start of a political war waged between the two countries which will ultimately shape the manufacturing landscape of the future PV industry for many years to come.
So was does this mean for the industry?
In terms of US and European manufacturing this is very positive as it protects the companies who have been established for a long time. It also means that both the manufacturing and installation industries can grow in a sustainable manner.
However Chinese manufacturers are already facing problems with a surplus supply of their products. The US and Europe make up around 75% of their PV exports and if Anti-Dumping tariffs are introduced in Europe too this could mean that a number of Chinese PV manufacturers could potentially fold. The European market is actually bigger than the US and generates around 44% of Chinese PV exports. In fact it appears that the European Parliament is already being lobbied by a similar consortium of PV manufacturers and tariffs could be imminent.
The Tariffs could mean slightly higher costs of installation and longer payback periods for investors and this could potentially slow the industry down. A recent report by HIS in the US looked at the potential impact of the American tariffs and found that in fact the impact of these increased costs should not deter most investors as the ROI is still attractive.
What does this mean for the UK?
Recent FIT cuts in the UK have been made based on the current cost of solar panels. If the European Anti-Dumping tariffs are introduced, it could well mean increased costs for a standard installation and a payback period which could stretch to the length of the life of the panels.
However this is unlikely to happen. It is most likely that Chinese manufacturers will find ways around being subject to these Anti-Dumping Tariffs by sourcing their raw materials from various international sources such as Taiwan.
In fact during the last month in the US the cost of solar panels still reduced very slightly. This may well be due to the surplus supply that is currently available.
As we examine the implementation of these Anti-Dumping Tariffs further it is clear that that there is a trade-off. It is important to protect our manufacturing industry to ensure that we don’t become as reliant on the East for Solar PV production as we have on fossil fuels. However by protecting this industry we are in turn slowing down the growth of this technology, it’s implementation and ultimately the amount of energy generated. This has an impact on the installers and the consumers who want to work with solar PV.
Also and more importantly from a green perspective anything that slows the industry down could be viewed as negative, however there have been accusations of Chinese firms not properly disposing of waste products to reduce costs which could mean the current crop of Chinese solar panels could potentially have a hidden environmental cost.
At the end of the day the Anti-Dumping tariffs have been implemented for a reason, to level the playing field. This means what we should see is continued growth at a level that should be sustainable. In the long term it also means greater stability for all in this still very young industry.
It is likely that the trade dispute will continue for some time. We are also likely to see tit for tat actions from China and the US as the dispute intensifies. One such action has already started with Chinese PV manufacturers demanding that their government impose similar Tariffs on imports of Polysilicon from the USA.
Unfortunately it appears that the business of Solar PV has taken centre stage rather than it’s green benefits. This is not an industry that anyone is going to want to give up or allow to be dominated by one nation and it looks that until the battle lines are drawn the market as a whole may suffer as a result.
Labels: solar pv, renewable energy
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Wednesday, 20th June
Like the queen, Trade Skills 4U have two birthdays. One that marks the beginning of our very existence and the other that celebrates the launch of our renewable energy training centre – lucky us.
The latter (on Sunday 17th June) marked our Renewable Energy Centre’s first birthday. For those of you who don’t remember the birth, we celebrated the arrival with a visit from Simon Weston O.B.E and our local conservative MP Henry Smith. Together Industry experts, installers, energy bods, partners and our delightful team enjoyed a day filled with seminars, demonstrations and a lovely bit of cake.
Since the launch we have built new classrooms, added extra courses, expanded and developed our roof, which is STILL Britain’s first and only training roof of its kind by the way and trained countless renewable energy installers in the bright industry that is renewable energy.
It is our constant progression and unrivalled dedication that has led us to achieve the title of Britain’s number 1 electrical and renewable energy training provider which we learned earlier in the year.
So what has this past year taught us?
“Renewable energy is undoubtedly the future,” says Carl Bennett, MD of Trade Skills 4U. “You only have to take a brisk walk around your neighbourhood to spot solar PV and solar thermal panels sitting happily on a variety of roofs and buildings. It’s incredible how much the industry has come along just in the past year and we are delighted to have been part of this move from fossil fuel energy to cleaner and greener source.
Mr Bennett set about building the renewable energy centre last year from a vision he had about offering the utmost practical electrical training experience the countries ever seen.
“We are very proud of what we have established here at our renewable energy training centre. We believe it sets a benchmark by which other training facilities can be measured. We have been overwhelmed over the last year with the response both in terms of numbers through our doors and customer feedback on the quality of the training and the centre itself.”
The launch also acted a platform in which to kick-start our Forgotten Heroes Bursary Scheme.
“We are happy to have helped some really deserving guys get a head start in a new career. We have learned a lot over the last year about how to manage and deliver our bursary scheme. One key thing we realised was that the people that needed the bursary the most could hardly even afford to travel to our centre. As such we have since teamed up with the British Legion and Civvy Street who have helped provide access to employment grants and other funding opportunities for our bursary applicants to travel to and from their courses,” adds Mr Bennett.
So far our notable bursary scheme has helped numerous candidates through the means of discounts and bursary places to help them achieve successful employment. Our first successful candidate Ian Lockie went on to find employment in the solar PV industry within days of completing his course.
If you know anyone who is looking to retrain who has a service serving background in the military make sure you check out www.tradeskills4u.co.uk/pages/free-training
The year ahead
With the expected arrival of the Green Deal and Renewable Heat Incentive, we have all sorts of goodies up our sleeve. We are unveiling new courses shortly and will be looking to offer a great range of energy assessor’s courses and green deal assessor courses as and when the course material is available – in other words watch this space!
Labels: company news, renewable energy
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Monday, 18th June
Join the 24 hour twitterstorm NOW!
Today, everyone and anyone that cares about the impact of fossil fuels on our gracious world is coming together on social networking site, Twitter, to campaign against the subsidies that encourage its existence.
During the 24 hour ‘twitterstorm’ which started at 6pm UTC in Sydney, twitter has been overwhelmed by messages from activists, green energy supporters, sustainable businesses and industry professionals to help highlight the need to end subsidies that encourage fossil fuels and encourage the need to invest in clean energy solutions. In recent weeks leading up until this twitter crusade, over 1 million signatures have been collected in support of this campaign which simply highlights the need to address this and the increasing amount of public’s interest that is associated with green energy.
According to figures compiled by Oil Change International, countries together are spending as much as $1 trillion dollars annually on fossil fuel subsidies. The International Energy Agency estimates that by cutting these subsidies, the world can cut global warming causing emissions in half and significantly contribute to preventing a 2 degree temperature rise, the number most scientist’s say we need to stay under to prevent runaway climate change.*
If you would like to get involved and show your support – tweet now and include #endfossilfuelsubsides and sign the petition today - http://endfossilfuelsubsidies.org/
Labels: renewable energy
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Friday, 1st June
Marking the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, there will be numerous festivities taking place to help honour and celebrate her 60 years reign.
What will you be doing? Need some help; this is a quick recap of the merriments:
Saturday 2 June 2012 – Epsom Derby
Sunday 3rd June 2012 – The Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant
1,000 boats will sail down the River Thames to mark the celebration and the Duke of Edinburgh and the Queen will travel in the Royal Barge which will from the centrepiece of the flotilla.
Monday 4th June 2012 – BBC Concert at Buckingham Palace
The televised concert taking place at Buckingham palace which will feature British and Commonwealth musicians.
Tuesday 5th June 2012 – St Paul’s Service & Balcony appearance
The weekend will close with a service at St Pail’s Cathedral, lunch at Westminster Hall and a Carriage ride to Buckingham palace finished by a Balcony appearance.
For those of you who will be staying at home, contemplating taking electrical courses and renewable energy courses don’t worry. Our lines will be open both Monday 4th June 2012 and Tuesday 5th June 2012 8.30am – 4.30pm.
Enjoy your weekend.
Labels: company news
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Tuesday, 29th May
Social Media – what’s it all about and should I be using it?
Social media, whether your tech savvy or not, is well and truly part of today. The ability to communicate with your friends, favourite celebrities, brand or band all at the click of a button is quite a remarkable prospect. But is it right for your business?
The simple answer is heck yes. As a business you will have day to day pieces of information that you want to distribute to your target audience however traditional methods of marketing and PR can take too long to organise. Maybe the information you have doesn’t quite fit a press release, maybe it can’t be summed up in a print advert? Or maybe your budget just won’t stretch to cover what you want to tell the world? Social media is this vital tool that can give your business an instant voice that has instant access to the world’s inbox. This voice if managed well can grow into a personality that will be able to speak to your customers and give them that personal service or message that they can interact with at their ease. It is this interaction that is invaluable as you will be able to talk to your target audience and build real-time conversations with them directly, which is something you can’t get from other traditional media approaches.
In an attempt to help electricians get online and begin/continue to use these social media platforms I will be writing a range of ‘how to guides’ with an aim of demystifying these sites and reveal how they can work for you.
There are now hundreds of social media platforms that you can use to further your message online. However I will be focusing on what I think are the main ones; twitter, facebook, google + and linked in.
Firstly, let’s talk about Twitter.
Twitter is an information network that allows millions of users to share information in the form of short 140 character messages. Messages are sent instantly to the public and anyone can reply, share your ‘tweets’ helping you to further your message online. Twitter helps you to reach people or brands that you wouldn’t normally be able to contact first hand. What’s more, 9 times out of ten you actually find that someone has already begun a conversation about your business on twitter, so it’s good to get involved and see what’s being said!
In order for you to understand how twitter works, you will need to get on board with the kids and learn the lingo. Here are some of the terms that surround twitter as some of you may not be familiar with the art of tweeting. Well tweeting is how you describe a conversation on twitter. For example: ‘I am speaking to John’ in twitter language would read ‘I am tweeting john.’
Like the phrases speaking, speak and spoken we have tweeting, tweet and tweeted.
Other terms you will need to get your head around include:
• Followers – your followers are people that have subscribed to your username and want to be updated with the information you send out. Trade Skills 4U’s followers mostly include professionals in both the electrical and renewable energy industry that want to know about our company, our news and our training.
• Following - you too can subscribe to people so you can see what they write all the time. We follow our certification bodies, our customers plus a range of industry news sites so we can keep on top of any news or products that will be able to benefit our followers and/or our business.
• Mention – in order to tweet a particular person you have to put an @ symbol before their username (you will have set up your username when you registered) You can track who you have spoken to in your account and see what other people have been saying to you here too.
Mentioning someone is the main part of twitter and is how you engage with others online. As a business you could say ‘thanks for training with us @chloecharlottex’ and as a customer you might in turn say ‘I had a great experience @Tradeskills4u, I will be recommending you.’
If you see a comment that you like a lot you can ‘favourite’it, which pretty much means you’re saving it and filing away in your account so you can see it again. If you followers favourite your tweets – good job – this will mean you’re sending the right tweets to the right people.
• Retweet – If you see something online that you like or you want to share you can click ‘retweet’ which is a button that will forward that information to your followers instantly. @Tradeskills4u tends to retweet industry news and funny comments we come across that might make our followers laugh.
• Message – Tweeting doesn’t always have to be public. You can privately message members by beginning your tweet with DM or D. For example ‘DM @Tradeskills4u When is my 17th Edition course?’
• Hashtag- In order to help others see your tweets and promote your conversation; you might want to include a hashtag which looks like this ‘#’. Hashtags help categorize your comments which will help you to gain followers. For example ‘Check out our offer of the week #discount’
Why it’s useful.
Not only are you able see what people are saying about you and your company, but you can share your latest information to help others make the right choices for them. Twitter is a great way of showing and growing your company presence and helping others find you online. Users generally want to follow brands or companies for a range of reasons. Check out the graph below.
Another advantage for the small businessman is that you can offer unique offers and be able to act fast in implementing them too. If you search ‘electrician’ and spot a user saying “I wish my light switch was closer to my bed! So annoying!” You can tweet them and offer to do the job for a great price.
How to tweet
When you join, you will have the urge to begin firing off random tweets, however the first lesson is to listen. Follow a couple of people who are relevant in your industry and watch how they behave online. They might tweet offers of the week ( like us) which might be really successful or be uploading pictures of their finished work which might attract lots of customers – either way it’s important to listen first and learn from others.
Whilst it is important to listen first to gain some inspiration, it’s also important to be yourself. By talking to people online in real time you will naturally adopt a casual style of writing as everyone tends to leave their formal language in the office. Casual writing is friendly and allows you to be approachable and most of all human. It is this human approach that enables you to begin building strong relationships with your followers which may turn them into loyal customers.
Turn that frown upside down
You may find that from time to time you may see a negative tweet that will need to be dealt with straight away to prevent any damage to your brand or business. These should be taken offline and be dealt with personally either via phone, email or Direct Message (DM) though twitter. If you handle them well and quickly you might even find that the user becomes your biggest fan.
David Cameron once said ‘I’m tweeting so much I feel like a tw#t’ which would suggest he felt like he was doing it too much! There are no rules about regular tweeting so just be natural about it and tweet as much as you like. It is good to make sure your presence is continuous though so even if you think there’s nothing to say you might want to consider tweeting offers specific to your customers to increase sales or just give out handy tips that might benefit you followers. We regularly tweet an offer of the week which is available to our followers both on Facebook and twitter and our customers in house:
As an electrician you might want to tweet things for your customers/followers to consider that may affect the condition of their electrics in certain seasons or festive periods. You could tweet ‘Light up your tree not your home’ at Christmas’ and offer advice about testing Christmas lights. You could tweet about the ‘joys sitting outside in the garden on a summer’s night’ whilst promoting your services on installing garden and outdoor lighting. Pictures are always great too so upload images of you and your staff at work, your company van plus anything you think may add to your following. In the past we’ve tweeted photos of all types of things even pictures of our company dog, Wilson simply because it’s actually been relevant and has added to a conversation (and because he’s really cute).
Let the world know you’re on twitter by putting your username on you van, website, business card, everything! The bigger following you have, the further your tweets will spread.
Measure your success
Tweeting can be fun but you need to know if it’s working for you. Measuring the success of your twitter campaign can be tricky but there are some indicators which are key into measuring your success:
• Are people engaging with you? Are they tweeting? Retweeting? Favouriting?
• Is twitter pushing people to your website? Use Google analytics to see if twitter is helping traffic/conversations?
• Create twitter only promotions. Get your customers to quote ‘twitter offer’ or similar so you know that they first heard of you through twitter – this can help bring regulars to your social space.
• Finally, why not ask your customers? Why are they following you? Are they enjoying it?
So What now?
If you like what you’ve read and want to get involved sign up at www.twitter.com and begin your conversation!
Just remember to:
Listen & Learn
Add us on @tradeskills4u
Labels: social media
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Friday, 25th May
We thought we were good but this is incredible!
April 2012: 100% of customers would recommend us
January to April 2012: 99.7% of our customers would recommend us
At Trade Skills 4U we value you feedback. We value it so much that we provide you with these forms so we can uncover exactly what you thought about your experience at every stage of your training. We do this because we care and because we want to make sure that you are getting the ultimate training experience that you have paid for and deserve.
So now that the first quarter is over we thought we’d compile this enormous stack of forms into some clear, understandable statistics so you can see what you and others think of us overall.
From January 2012 – April 2012 we can officially say that of the 1066 feedback forms we collected, over 99.7% of our customers said they’d recommend us!
We can also confirm that during April 2012 100% of customers surveyed said they would recommend us!
Out of these 1066 feedback forms, 67% of our customers said our courses met their expectations with a further 30% claiming that we actually exceeded their expectations. Overall, these figures combined show that over 97% of our customers were blinking delighted with our training.
Out of these 1066 feedback forms, 72.4% of our customers said their overall experience was ‘Excellent,’ and 26.1% rated it as ‘Good.’ When combined this data highlights that 98.5% of our customers were very happy with the overall service they received from Trade Skills 4U.
Pretty impressive stuff huh? The data, even though compiled with blood, sweat and tears has certainly put a spring in our step today and we hope it has yours too.
Allergic to graphs? Don’t worry if you would like to see the things our past and present students say about us you can check our feedback forms our online via our Trade Skills 4U Reviews page.
If you would like to hear about the things our students say about us you can check out our Trade Skills 4U Video Reviews page.
What can we say; we have a habit of going above and beyond to show you what it is like to train with Britain’s Premier Electrical and Renewable Energy Training Company, Trade Skills 4U.
All data has been compiled from actual feedback forms received in the centre.
Data source: In-House Trade Skills 4U Report into Customer Feedback Jan2012-April2012.
Labels: reviews, company news, feedback
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Thursday, 24th May
Last week we announced that changes to the Feed-in-Tariff had been delayed due to recent low solar installation figures. It was first proposed that new cuts would come into force 1st July 2012. However due to the 40 days’ notice required by law to protect ‘unlawful’ moves from the government, we can now expect the cuts to come into play a month later than first expected. This delay could have been caused by a number of factors but consumer confidence and news that the UK has slipped back into recession are thought to be amongst the two main reasons.
Since the revision figures have been introduced, the total installation figures for solar PV have naturally declined. The official introduction of the 21p kWh rate saw the total number of PV installs decrease from a whopping 9,009 in the last week of March 2012 to just 859 in the first week of April. Now more than ever it is important to broadcast positive message to all and try to win back consumer confidence.
The new FIT rate, now announced to come into play August 1st 2012, will be 16p kWh for domestic homeowners. Furthermore, all tariffs will decrease on a three month basis, starting on October 1 and are set to decrease at a rate of 3.5% unless a 'rapid uptake occurs.'
Barker commented, "We can now look with confidence to a future for solar which will see it go from a small cottage industry, anticipated under the previous scheme, to playing a significant part in Britain's clean energy economy."
In addition to the newly introduced lower tariff, other revisions include:
Export tariff will be increased from 3.2p to 4.5p/kWh for those installations with an eligibility date on or after August 1;
The expect FIT lifetime will be now decrease from 25 to 20 years for those installations with an eligibility date on or after August 1; and
Tariffs for installations that do not meet the energy efficiency requirements will mirror the tariffs for standalone installations.
We can now expect a small boom in this 10 week window before the new rate comes into play but it should be enough to get the market going again.
Labels: feed-in-tariff, decc, solar pv, renewable energy
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Wednesday, 23rd May
The gentleman who created a man’s best friend – the tv remote control - has died at the age of 96.
Born on November 29th 1914, Eugene Polley awoke to a world that slowly dipping into World War I. His love for electronics grew at the City Colleges of Chicago and Armour Institute of Technology, but he left before graduating. Despite not having many physical qualifications, he was offered a job Zenith Electronics in 1935 as a stock boy.
After a couple of years working for Zenith, his skills grew and he transferred to engineering where he began work on the Radar during World War II. His first invention however arose in 1955 when he created the world first television remote control. Named the ‘Flash-Matic’ the device used visible light to remotely control a television outfitted with photo cells in the screen. First marketed at $149.95, the device was a luxury item, saving those who could afford the high price tag of a walk to the television.
John Taylor, spokesman for Zenith Electronics, said: "He was a proud owner of a flat-screen TV and modern remote. He always kept his original remote control with him."
During his career Polley held 18 patents for his inventions and was presented numerous awards for his achievements in engineering; including an Emmy award in 1997.
Mr Eugene Polley died on Sunday 20th May 2012 of natural causes at the Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Illinois, USA. He is survived by his son, Eugene J Polley Jr, and grandson Aaron who lives in San Diego.
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Tuesday, 22nd May
Today the Department of Energy and Climate Change published the long awaited Draft Energy Bill which includes details of the UK Electricity Market Reform (EMR).
The EMR details how the government intends to plan the future of the UK’s electrical market and how we can move our traditionally sourced supply to meet our green energy targets of 15% by 2020 and 80% by 2050.
For those who don’t want to flick through the 302 page document, we have outlined the key points from the EMR below and defined the two main revisions.
EMR: The Main Objectives
To secure the investment needed to deliver a reliable and sustainably diverse low carbon technology mix.
To help maintain the government’s long term vision of creating a market full of low carbon energy generators that perform fairly and at stable carbon price’s. This vision is at least 10-15 years away as many carbon generators are still in the midst of development.
Provide key processes that enable us to meet and enforce the long term vision.
Government hope to achieve these objectives through the following two revisions;
The government have appointed the National Grid as an independent System operator to provide analytical basis for government decisions.
The government have also asked the National grid to administer new systems of low-carbon generation revenue support known as ‘Contracts for Difference’ (CfDs) and a Capacity Market.
By announcing these two main reforms, are positives steps towards a safer future and will leave the UK less vulnerable to growing energy prices and relieving some of the stress of the 250,000 jobs in the energy sector.
The full Draft Energy Bill can be read by clicking here.
Labels: renewable energy, government
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Thursday, 17th May
Government gives installers a break and pushes back next reduction in Feed in Tariff.
After the 21p kWh Feed-in-tariff rate was finally introduced 1 April 2012, we have all been preparing ourselves for the next reduction set to take place in July this year. However Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Greg Barker, seems to have had a change of heart and confessed his feelings towards the projected decrease on twitter on Wednesday 15th May. "Having listened carefully to industry, we are looking at scope for pushing back a little the next proposed reduction in solar feed-in tariffs.”
One could argue that this ‘delay’ in announcing future cuts to the subsidy could bring back another bout of uncertainty however Mr Barker has reassured the nation by responding “On the contrary, we are listening carefully to industry & full details of new much improved FITs regime will be published v shortly.”
On one hand this delay could been seen as another blunder in the way the government has dealt with the popular Feed-in-Tariff however it does mean that installers will be able to supply their customers with the higher rate of 21p kWh for a little longer than once expected.
As for when the cuts will be announced? Government are required by law to provide 40 days’ notice to Parliament of any changes to the scheme and as a result ministers would have to delay cuts until Mid-July at the earliest or else risk legal conflict which could result in future dismay.
It is no secret that drops in the demand for solar PV installation has been of direct consequence of feed-in-tariff reductions however numerous trade bodies have confirmed that ‘solar PV remains one of the best investments around.’ It is thanks to the falling costs of the technology combined with the rising cost in energy bills, the existing rate of gaining 21p kWh is actually proves to be a better investment than if you were to have had the cells installed when the higher rate of 43.3p kWh existed. A 4kWp system, the largest size for which the highest tariff is available, can be purchased today for under £9,000, whereas only one year ago it would have cost upwards of £15,000. An average domestic system is around 2.5kWp and it is these positives that need to be held up so that we as an industry can begin to win back the all-important consumer confidence.
Whichever way you look at it, hopefully we can all agree that this delay, even if only for a short period, will benefit the installer as they will be able to provide this higher rate of 21p kWh to their customers for a touch longer. Hopefully a little rush to install PV before the new rate comes into effect will allow solar installers to enjoy a last minute flourish which is the least they deserve after solar has seen as 90% drop off in installations since the cuts came into effect in April 2012.
Labels: solar pv, feed-in-tariff
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Tuesday, 15th May
75% of consumers are ignoring the benefits of installing a smart meter
According to recent research compiled by energy giant E.ON, 75% of British consumers are missing out on up to 4% savings on their energy bills by not having smart meters installed. Further to this, 60% of people don’t even know what a smart meter is.
By missing out on this technology, consumers are ignoring the benefits they could receive by having the devices installed. Being able to visualise your energy consumption, receive accurate bills and obtain a greater management of your finances are just some of the ways this new technology can be of benefit. In a modern age where enthusiasm for technology is paramount, E.ON is calling for people to ‘mirror the use of technology in their everyday lives and gain greater visibility into their energy use through smart meters so they can make positive behavioural changes and benefit from energy savings and cash savings.’
Jean Fiddes, Head of Customer Learning for Smart Meters at E.ON, said: "Technology is playing an empowering role in our lives and our research highlights people are keen to extend this to their energy use. Smart meters allow consumers to easily visualise their energy consumption daily, weekly and monthly, meaning they have increased transparency into their daily energy habits, providing accurate bills and greater management of their finances."
E.ON’s commitment to the smart meter rollout recently saw them celebrate the first anniversary of the launch of their first ‘Smart Meter Centre of Excellence’ in May this year. This centre stands as a dedicated contact point for customers who would like more information on the devices and how they can improve their cash savings by actively installing.
If you would like to know more about smart meters, visit www.eonenergy.com/smart
Data Source - E.ON Press release 09/05/2012
Image Source -Guardian.co.uk
Labels: smart meter, electrical
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Monday, 14th May
Trained at Trade Skills 4U
Course Choice: Domestic Installer Platinum Package
Goal: To change career.
1. Describe your previous career and experience before you made the decision to retrain?
Whilst I have a degree in Chemical Engineering I decided to move into payment cards. I previously worked for American Express where I was responsible for the merchant side of the payment card business across a number of countries including Turkey, Greece and sub-Saharan Africa. I worked with many banks in a business development role which necessitated a lot of long haul business travel. The travel coupled with a having a little daughter meant I wanted to cut out the travel and have more flexibility in my job.
2. What made you take the new direction and begin training as a domestic installer?
I've always enjoyed the practical side of things and as my dad was an Electrical Engineer I've learned a lot over the years.
3. What are your plans for business now you are fully qualified?
I believe it's important to differentiate from the competition and whilst my company provides a full range of services I specialise in lighting design and installation and electric central heating.
4. What is the best experience you have had so far in your new career?
Winning a major contract to design lighting schemes for a successful chain of estate agents in London.
5. Any advice for anyone thinking of training as an electrician/domestic installer?
It's important to stand out from the crowd. This means not just being a good electrician but developing your brand and having a range of sales channels coupled with an online and real world marketing plan.
6. Any regrets?
Not making the change sooner.
Want to hear more from Kevin Hird and our other customers? We have a range of video reviews avaliable to watch online as well as plenty of tutorials and centre walkthroughs. Take your tour today!
Labels: company news, case study
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Friday, 11th May
Because everyone loves a discount don’t they?
That moment when you realise that your purchase is actually cheaper than you thought it would be? It’s a good feeling that can make all the difference in difficult times like these so we make sure we do our best to save your hard earned cash where ever we can. By building relationships with contacts in the industry, such as tools suppliers and accreditation bodies, we are able to pass on some great discounts to you, our customer.
So in addition to all the wonderful things we offer you, we’ve just added one more.
Building on our customer offering, we’ve teamed up with accreditation body NAPIT to offer you exclusive discounts on their competent person’s scheme, defined scope AND MCS accreditation schemes!
By bringing the cost of joining NAPIT down from £480 to £380 (Excluding VAT) those saved pounds will allow you to stretch to tool purchases, extra training needs or even that important tradesmen’s insurance that we all have to pay.
If this is something that interests you, contact Mr Mark Pearce on 01623 812984 or email him at email@example.com and he will be able to talk to you about the discounts that can be applied to your NAPIT account having trained with Trade Skills 4U.
Why Join NAPIT?
This great offer is not the only reason to join NAPIT. This one flat fee also includes the following:
PIR, commercial & industrial work
Free technical helpline
Free legal helpline
Access to NAPIT online forum
NAPIT Trade Association Membership
Work quality guarantee on all notified work
No extra charges for periodics
So whatever you spend your savings on, spend it in the knowledge that you’ve trained with a company that has a habit of doing things properly and goes beyond their means to make sure your looked after long after you’ve left us.
Feels good to get more for your money doesn’t it? Check out our full range of electrical courses and renewable energy courses today.
Want to join NICEIC instead? Don’t worry we have built a similar relationship with them. Visit our NICEIC Fast Track Discount Page for more information.
Labels: company news, napit
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Thursday, 10th May
Yesterday the Queen’s speech confirmed a number of important plans for the year ahead whilst setting out her government agenda yesterday. Some of the announcements were to be expected, however there were some real positive moves as well as some controversial points which are bound to create a stir.
However the following may affect the practising electrician so they’re worth a skim:
An energy bill detailing the Coalition's proposals for electricity market reform was announced yesterday. The Bill is scheduled to become law in 2013 and will ‘propose reform of the electricity market to deliver secure, clean, and affordable electricity, and ensure prices are fair’.
This bill has been on the agenda for some time so was positive news for the industry to hear it being confirmed yesterday. The bill is expected to be published on 22nd May 2012 as the ‘crucial legislation’ will be able to ‘keep the lights on and emissions down in a more cost-effective way, while reaping the economic benefits’. It is set to reform the electricity market by encouraging more investment in low carbon generation and trying to ensure that electricity is delivered securely, clean and that prices are fair.
The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill
Ever been put off employing extra staff in fear that if it doesn’t work out you could be left liable? In a bid to give employers more confidence to hire staff, the ‘enterprise and regulatory reform bill’ aims to make it simpler to dismiss them. By giving employers more power it may encourage "settlement agreements” and the like so that workers could be paid off by consent.
A Banking Reform Bill
This bill aims to push banks to lend to more individuals and businesses rather than invest in large corporate companies. By the retails banks separating their retail arms like this we can hopefully prevent the need for future bank bailouts
In an attempt to equalise the need to spend time with your children when they are first born, maternity and paternity leave will be made more flexible so mothers and fathers can share caring responsibilities. In addition to this the process of inter-racial adoption will be made easier along with equalising access to children when parents separate or divorce.
Labels: government, renewable energy, electrical
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Wednesday, 9th May
Trade Skills 4U recognised as ‘Number one Training Centre 2011/2012’ by Kewtech Corp for the second year in a row.
Today we were visited by our account manager Martin Rooney at electrical supplier Kewtech Corp who presented us our second rather glamorous glass award for our consistently unrivalled sales of their products to our customers.
As a training provider, we teach over 4,000 students every year and often find ourselves discussing tools with our industry newbies and existing installers and helping them to source the right bits of kit for them. So much so that we set up a little tool shop in house which helps to get our customer equipped for the jobs to come.
It’s nice as easy for us as we’re just selling the tools due to demand as a way of providing a convenient extra service for our customers. There are no pushy sales or plugs, just reasonably priced tools on offer where and when our customers need them.
We sell a range of products but find ourselves mostly selling Kewtech Corps range of multifunction testers, PAT testers and test leads and accessories. Not only are they reasonably priced which goes along way these days, but we find that they are user friendly and perfect for the newly qualified domestic installer.
“They’re range of kit hold no boundaries and their products perfectly complement our courses and the way we like to teach them. The tools are high spec and trustworthy and so far having sold hundreds of units we’ve never had one complaint or return which highlights their reliability,” says Joe Bennett, Sales Manager for Trade Skills 4U.
Joe accepted the award on behalf of Trade Skills 4U and was also presented with a bottle of champagne for being ‘Number one training centre 2011/2012.’
Labels: company news
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Tuesday, 8th May
In April 2012 we turned 7, obviously it’s not a mile stone but it’s still a great achievement for any business to announce their year older, wiser and still growing. So with this in mind let me tell you a little story of how we came about…
As some of you may know, Trade Skills 4U are the UK’s number 1 electrical and renewable energy training company however despite initial assumptions, we were not created by an electrical mind or in fact anyone from this lucrative industry. Trade Skills 4U was born and raised in the face of adversity by an ex-copper (so to speak.)
This ex-copper, now formally known as Trade Skills 4U’s managing director Carl Bennett, was forced to leave his life in the Metropolitan police as a specialist firearms operator, due to a serious illness in 2004. Whilst in recovery, Carl spent his time taking on a rebuild project and enlisted the help of a training company close by to help him learn some building and plastering skills.
Having had first-hand experience of professional hands on training in the MET, Mr Bennett set up Trade Skills 4U and integrated the same principles to ensure we deliver the same quality of training here every day.
‘Since the company founded in 2005, we’ve helped thousands of career changers, ex-forces personnel and electrical minds gain the valuable knowledge they needed to up-skill or begin new careers as electricians, domestic installers and renewable energy installers. We now train a variety of people; from new entrants to those with a little bit of know-how and have been able to help guys and girls like you into gaining these experience to be able to pursue careers in these lucrative industries,’ says Mr Bennett.
‘We have grown so much over the past 7 years, we are now able to offer two specialist training centres which offer the widest range of electrical courses and renewable energy courses,’ Mr Bennett adds.
Helping others in a similar position…
Having experienced how difficult life can be when you’re facing a superfluous career change Carl wanted to do something practical to help those who have slipped through the net of resettlement and given their thankless service for our country.
The bursary scheme aptly called ‘The Forgotten Heroes Bursary,’ officially launched in June with the help of Falkland’s veteran Simon Weston OBE. The scheme itself is a permanent offer which aims to give away 100,000 worth of free training to those who are struggling to find their feet on Civvy Street.
If you would be interested in applying for our bursary scheme or would like some more information, please visit www.tradeskills4u.co.uk/pages/free-training
All our awards are at our discretion and applicants will be vetted before an award is made.
Even if you are not eligible for this place give us a call on 01293 529777 and discuss your needs.
We often will apply discounts for ex-service men and women at our discretion.
Labels: company news
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Friday, 27th April
With news of the double dip recession and figures confirming Britain’s longest economic slump, it's importnat for us to help promote the charities that can be on hand for those who need it most during these difficult times.
It’s fair to say that everyone has bad days, however what would you do if every day was a bad day? Who would you call upon if times were so difficult that just having food in the fridge was a luxury? Sometimes you don’t just have to ‘get out of the wrong side of bed’ to have one of these days and it’s important that you know who to turn to when things start getting from bad to worse.
For workers in the electrical and electronic industry, let me introduce you to The Electrical and Electronics Industries Benevolent Association (EEIBA). The EEIBA is the first and only charity to help those in ‘hardship or distress who work, or have worked in the electrical and electronics industry.’
In stressful times, such as Recession when times can be all the more difficult, it’s important for everyone to locate and rely on a support system such as the EEIBA and for companies like ourselves to help promote them so they can carry on supporting those in need.
Who are the EEIBA?
The EEIBA was founded over one hundred years ago and continues to offer a range of help and support to anyone who has worked in the electrical sector and the electronics industry.
In order to fund the great work that they do the charity has a variety of income streams with their main focus on holding large regional and national events which run throughout the year. The powerBall event, the company’s largest annual event fundraiser is being held this year in London on the 9th November 2012. http://www.eeiba.org/index.php/london-powerball-2012. Other events include Golf Days, Boxing events and Seasonal balls. The Southern Spring ball is being held in Brighton at the DeVere Grand Hotel this evening at 6.30pm.
How do they help?
Thanks to the support of their sponsors and their revenue generated charity events, the EEIBA focus their efforts into helping those who are in need of a listening ear, some support & financial assistance.
The charity offers help and assistance to all age groups, from the youngest child to the oldest pensioner, anywhere in the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. Their support is also extended to dependents of those who have worked in these sectors. By providing grants or loans for anything from adaptions in the home to assistance with household bills, their aim is to make a difference to your life for the better.
An example of their work comes from a tragic case study on their website that involves a gentleman called David* who contacted the EEIBA when his 13 year old daughter lost a battle with cancer. To ease some of his unthinkable pain, the EEIBA helped relieve some of their financial worries by providing assistance with the families’ bills. During this time David’s youngest child was diagnosed with a brain tumour due to the extensity of their treatment both David and his wife have been unable to work as their time is taken up with hospital visits and caring for their young family. To date the EEIBA has been delighted to provide the family with all the financial support they need during this difficult time.
*Names have been changed to protect privacy.
Over the last 100 years, the charity has assisted people from all backgrounds and age groups from all over the United Kingdom and would like to hear from you, should you need their assistance.
I want to help
If you want to help fundraise for the EEIBA or donate to this worthwhile cause, you can do so by doing the following:
Donate online at www.eeiba.org
Sponsor the EEIBA
Hold or arrange a fundraising event
Attend of the companies fundraising events
More information plus a fundraising pack can be found online on their website under the tab, ‘want to help?’
As electricians and domestic installer, The EEIBA is your charity and by supporting this worthwhile cause YOU have the "Power to make a difference".
Labels: charity, electricial
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Thursday, 26th April
Yesterday, economists confirmed what we already know. Britain’s figures outline that our economy is enduring its longest slump and that we are in a double dip recession.
For realists, this expected news has only confirmed that it has taken ‘longer than anyone hope to recover from the biggest debt crisis of our lifetime,’ stated Chancellor, George Osborne during a meeting in the House of Commons on Wednesday.
However as Mr Clegg stated in the commons, the ‘basic building blocks’ of recovery are in place and business leaders shouldn’t worry and to ‘step back from the panicked reaction.’
As electricians, domestic installers and renewable energy installers you needn’t worry as your jobs always make the top 100 recession proof job lists. We live in a modern world where the bug push if for energy efficiency and renewable energy and everything we ‘need’ is powered by electricity. You only need to switch your consumer unit off or endure a power cut to realise how important electricity is in all of our lives - you my friends are the beholders of this power.
Obviously it is natural to guess that during these difficult times, homeowners will not have extensions and outdoor lighting on their list of priorities at the moment but it’s important to remember the jobs that are required to happen by law such as annual PAT testing.
In quiet times, up-skilling is always a good idea so you can offer a lot more to your customers and begin to reap the rewards of being multi-skilled. Plus as work might have slowed down, you may be able to afford to take a day or two out?
If you’re interested in spreading your wings it might be worth checking out our specialist electrician courses, PAT testing courses and Inspection and Testing Courses.
Get Qualified and make sure the next job that calls is yours!
Labels: electrical courses, pat testing, inspection & testing
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Tuesday, 24th April
Starting tomorrow, the UK will be hosting the third ‘Clean Energy Ministerial’ (CEM3) at Lancaster House in London. During the two day event, the CEM3 aims outline how to accelerate the transition to clean energy technologies.
Even though the event covers a vast range of renewable technologies such as solar, bioenergy and hydropower; the main topic to be discussed is thought to be wind power. ‘Floating wind turbines’ as the DECC have put in in their press release, is to be the ‘initial focus of a new agreement between Britain and the United states’ and energy ministers are said to be convening at this event to begin discussing the deployment of this technology.
Commenting on the agreement, Energy Secretary Edward Davey has said:
“Britain has more wind turbines installed around its shores than any other country in the world and our market is rated year after year as the most attractive market among investors.
“Offshore wind is critical for the UK’s energy future and there is big interest around the world in what we’re doing.
“Floating wind turbines will allow us to exploit more of our wind resource, potentially more cheaply.
“Turbines will be able to locate in ever deeper waters where the wind is stronger but without the expense of foundations down to the seabed or having to undertake major repairs out at sea.
“The UK and US are both making funding available for this technology and we’re determined to work together to capitalise on this shared intent.”
Overall 23 energy ministers will be attending the two day event from some of the world’s leading economies and will it be interesting to see what the gathering will produce.
Labels: government, renewable energy
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Monday, 23rd April
Today is St George’s Day. What? I hear you say..
Well indeed as its shamefully not one of the most celebrated days in the English calendar and it should be considering St George is England’s patron saint. Considering we're always up for a guiness when St Patrick's comes around, it's probably fair to assume that most of us probably don’t even know who or what St George’s Day is all about.
Best to my knowledge; let me tell you some facts that have been widely ‘accepted’ about St George and his life and reputation that had survived until the present day.
St George was born to Christian parents in A.D. 270 (3rd Century) in Cappadocia, now known as Eastern Turkey
He later moved to Palestine with his Mother and became a Roman soldier, rising to the high rank of Tribunus Militum
St George later resigned from his military post and protested against his pagan leader, the Emperor Diocletian (245-313 AD), who led Rome’s persecution of Christians
His rebellion against the Emperor resulted in captivity and torture, however he remained true to his faith
This infuriated Diocletian and he had St George dragged through the streets of Nicomedia, Turkey, on the 23rd of April 303 AD and had him beheaded
The Emperor’s wife was so inspired by St George’s bravery and loyalty to his religion, that she too became a Christian and was subsequently executed for her faith
How did we hear of this?
Well as the crusaders returned to England from their battles ashore, they brought tales of the heroic St George with them and his reputation grew. A couple of years after his death, it was claimed that he presented himself outside Jerusalem in 1099 and led the Crusaders into battle. This miracle was recorded in the stone of a church in Fordington, Dorset which is now known as the earliest church to be dedicated to a patron saint.
St George’s Cross
After St George’s miraculous appearance, The Synod of Oxford declared a feast day in the kingdom of England in celebration of St George and his bravery in 1222. Edward III put his ‘Order of the Garter’ under the banner of St George which is still the foremost order of knighthood in England, and soldiers began to display the pennon of St George thereafter. Today we continue this theme and present the ‘St George’s Cross’ when we represent England all over the world.
Interesting stuff hey?
Labels: company news
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Friday, 20th April
The long awaited Green Deal, expected to give renewable energy technologies a boost this autumn, has now been delayed for the non-domestic sector. This delay is due to predicted complications the commercial scheme may face as it is more multidimensional to plan.
A DECC spokesperson said: “It’s likely the Green Deal for business won’t be launched at the same time as the Green Deal for domestic but this is because it is such a complex area and we need to get it right.
“We are discussing how best to do this with industry, who are telling us they support our decision to have a managed introduction of the Green Deal to ensure its success from day one. It is probable; however, that many small businesses will be able to take part in the domestic scheme.”
Even though delays have been announced it is likely that the rollout of the non-domestic scheme would follow shortly after that of the domestic when it is launched later this year in October.
Let’s just hope that everything runs smoothly because if it all goes well this will be a great scheme for both the installer and consumer involved. Of course, that’s if delays don’t set off further uncertainty within the industry because let’s face it – we could all do without that couldn’t we?
Labels: green deal
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Thursday, 19th April
Researchers have just uncovered an additional characteristic of the electron by revealing that it can undergo a personality crisis.
Electrons, one of the Universes few fundamental particles, can divide into what’s called ‘quasi-particles’ which means that their core properties can split up and move around like independent particles.
Experts have been able to distinguish two such ‘quasi-particles’ but this accomplishment of technical mastery has allowed physicists to identify the elusive third component of an electron – its ‘orbiton.’
These oribitons are now thought to carry the energy of an electron’s orbit around the nucleus. Generally speaking as the properties of an electron are not free, each electron maintains its properties as it moves around but can split and move independently to ‘jump on’ nearby electrons.
To ease understanding, just imagine if a traffic jam on a one-lane road –‘ it is as if one blue car, pointed west and running at 1,000 RPM, passes on its blueness, its engine speed and its direction to adjacent cars.’**
Magnificent isn’t it? For more details on this discovery visit www.nature.com
*Data source – Wikipedia for ‘electron’
**Data source – BBC Website
Labels: electrical news
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Wednesday, 18th April
As Easter weekend is one of the most popular times of year for homeowners to begin a bit of DIY, it’s consequently one the busiest times in casualty with insurance companies reporting a 44% increase in accidental damage claims.*
Shockingly over 75% of DIYers will have attempted to dabble in a bit of home maintenance without having ANY form of expert help. Needless to say the danger that these people will have put themselves is absurd; however it may not be without guidance from no other than our own government.
As an initiative to encourage tenants of social housing landlords to carry out their own repairs and improvements, the government have launched a ‘Tenants Cash back Scheme.’ This scheme is to ‘award’ tenants up to £500 a year for carrying out minor repairs onto their homes such as painting and decorating and fixing leaky taps.
The Housing Minister, Mr Grant Schapps has even gone on to encourage those who pick up a taste for the skills to begin a new ‘fulfilling career’ by starting works in their own homes.
As electrical training specialists, we campaign to prevent unqualified works occurring in the home by raising awareness of the types of dangers that can transpire when untrained persons attempt their own installations. Without the right guidance, knowledge and equipment the unthinkable tragedies can occur because let’s face it – electricity kills.
It is shocking that Mr Schapps is prepared to endorse untrained works in the home; it makes a mockery of the small contractor companies and training companies that fight hard and train hard to minimalise rogue traders and the injury and fatalities that occur with this type of work. Cash like this would be better spent reviving the famous Feed-In-Tariffs rather than awarding the unqualified.
The scheme has the potential to cause chaos as untrained tenants scour their properties for broken/damaged fixtures in a hope for getting some fast cash. One can only hope that tenants don’t begin to purposely inflict damage to their own properties in a bid to obtain this cash.
In recession led time, it’s understandable that organisations outline strategies to manage budgets but at what cost? the nations safety? Good one Mr Schapps!
* - Santander Insurance statistic
Image Source: http://www.idealgroupuk.co.uk
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Monday, 16th April
Don’t be caught out, be compliant! Those practising electrics in domestic dwellings without part p registration will now be ILLEGAL!
Since 2005, Part P of the Building Regulations has played an important role in regulating the safety of electrical installations by minimalizing the risk of injury and fatality and helping to eliminate the number of practising rogue traders.
In an attempt to revise the Part P scheme and lessen the burden for installers and building contractors, a public consultation was announced to take place during the winter months starting in December 2011 and closing on 27th April 2012. The revision takes place after plans were announced to replace the 1,000 page National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) to a succinct 50 pages without jeopardising the safety requirements contained within the document. The government proposed to do this as a way of reducing the ‘bureaucracy and cost burdens that Part P imposes on installers, building control bodies and consumers, without undermining the improvements to electrical safety, installer competence and the quality of electrical installation work arising from the introduction of Part P in 2005.’*
However, the electrical industry soon provided evidence to suggest that should the costs and time associated with complying with the Part P Building Regulations be reformed, both safety and quality regulation elements would suffer.
In support of the retention of Part P, a report by the Communities and Local Government (CLG) Select Committee on cutting red tape in the Building Regulations has recommended that Part P Regulations be preserved.
The report outlines the need to retain Part P Building regulations as well as providing some key guidance into improving and identifying what is necessary to ensure the Building Regulations continues to operate effectively in the future.
Clive Betts, chair of the CLG Committee, said: "We could only support deregulation if there was clear evidence that safety standards would not suffer, but such evidence has not been provided by the government."
This valuable support will help protect Part P and how it is carefully managed and maintained. The report also covers some recommendations which will help promote awareness for electrical safety amongst those who are not Part P registered.
the labelling of electrical equipment sold by DIY stores to warn that it is illegal for an unregistered person to undertake most electrical work in the home without checks by a competent person;
the government to coordinate industry efforts to raise public awareness of the need for electrical and gas safety;
any public awareness campaign should alert people to the dangers of using unqualified electricians and the need to regularly check electrical circuits in the home.
"From the evidence we have received, we are satisfied that Part P has been successful in driving up standards and in reducing the number of electrical faults,” as according to government figures Part P has contributed to a 17.5% reduction in fires attributed to main wiring faults. (3)
“It is the only legal framework in England which protects the consumer from unsafe electrical work in the home and is vitally important considered that every week in the UK, one person dies from an electrical accident and well over a quarter of a million (350,000,000) are seriously injured every year.” (2)
This report is a great success for the electrical industry and will stand as a first step into ensuring that there is no compromise on safety. The Committee's report on Part P will feed into the government’s on-going review of the Building Regulations for England.
The government consultation will close on 27 April 2012, with any deregulatory changes coming into force in April 2013. Any amendments with a regulatory impact will take effect in October 2013.
You can do your bit by signing an e-petition to show your support for Part P Building Regulations
(1) Data source – CLG fire stats 2010/2011
(2) Data souce - Ipsos MORI’s Capibus
(3) Data source – CLG 2004-2007
Labels: part p, company news, domestic installers
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Tuesday, 10th April
Being a Trade Skills 4U customer has never been so good.
At Trade Skills 4U, we share the notion that there are no traffic jams along the extra mile. We take great pride in providing you with extra value services and products as a way of ensuring you not only receive a great experience with us whilst you train, but are able to take advantage of some of the offers and services we can provide to you long after you’re in the working world.
From our great affiliations with certifications bodies to our heavy discounts eligible through our partnership companies we now have one more too add to the benefits belt.
Introducing the ‘Fast Track Application.’
We have great relationships with all of our certification and accreditation bodies so enjoy their regular visits to our centre. They make sure that what we’re doing is up to scratch and good enough of you, our customers. Last week during one of our regular visits, the NICEIC were simply wowed by how great we are. They were particularly ‘amazed’ at how well we construct and deliver our domestic installer packages. Being the first company to offer packages in this manner, it was great to not only have their support but to receive commendations as to how clear and valid routes they are into becoming a fully qualified domestic installer. The NICEIC then suggested we offer a fast track service especially for us, which will enable all Trade Skills 4U customers to take advantage of the NICEIC’s belief in Trade Skills 4U training by helping to speed up the process of registering for NICEIC schemes as well as offer you some generous discounts.
More information of the fast track service plus details of how and when to apply, can be found on our NICEIC Fast Track Page.
Being a Trade Skills 4U customer has never been so good.
Labels: domestic installer packages, niceic, company news
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Monday, 2nd April
Thirty years ago today, on April 2nd 1982, Britain’s first female prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, awoke to find out that the Falkland islands were no longer British. The Islands, an archipelago in the South Atlantic Ocean, had been seized in the undercover of darkness by 130 Argentinian commandos. Despite only having less than three years in office, Thatcher embarked on a mission to regain the islands and today we pay tribute to the Task Force sent out to take them back.
The war lasted 74 days and left many service personnel wounded and 255 British personnel and 3 Falkland islanders lost their lives. Today will mark the beginning of a very emotional anniversary for the families and friends of those who fought hard to regain independence of our Falkland Islands.
Lest we forget those who give us what we can never repay.
Help for Ex-Service Personnel
To recognise the bravery of our military and to help them with life after their service, we launched a bursary scheme titled: Forgotten Heroes Bursary Scheme. The scheme was launched last year with help from Falkland’s veteran Simon Weston O.B.E.
We are proud to have helped several men and women since its launch and will continue to do so to help give something to those who give their thankless service for us. We pride ourselves on our training for resettlement soliders and aim to help them where we can.
If you know anyone who might be suitable for our Forgotten Heroes Bursary Scheme or would like to apply yourself, please visit our dedicated Forgotten Heroes Bursary Scheme Page and fill in your details.
Labels: forgotten heroes bursary scheme, resettlement, company news
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Friday, 30th March
I hope you’ve all made the most of the sunshine this week, especially as the weather is supposed to return to a ‘normal chilly march’ this weekend. #shockhorror
But don’t fret! Obviously because we’re cool considerate cats at Trade Skills 4U, we anticipated this downturn and know that you’ll be bored at home when the sun no longer shines as bright on English soil, so we’ve been busy uploading marvellous videos for you to watch.
For those who visit the site regularly, you might have spotted where we’ve put them but for you newbies let me explain a little bit about the videos and where they are.
So far we’ve uploaded;
• A Domestic Installer Video:
• Our Renewable Centre Walk around Video
• Trade Skills 4U Review Videos
The reason we’re building on our video gallery is to help show you how we do things here and exactly why we go the extra mile to ensure that you’re competent and confident in your skills with your training after you leave.
Our Domestic Installer Video aims to demystify the process of qualifying as a domestic installer and describes the packages that we have put together to help you get qualified with ease. These packages are our most popular courses and are now endorsed by the likes of NICEIC as they believe they are credible and reliable routes into the industry.
Our Renewable energy centre walk around video is similar to our electrical centre walk around which we know you guys know and love. It features our MD, Carl Bennett as the entire centre was built from an idea he had about constructing the best renewable energy centre in the UK; and we think he’s done just that. In the video, you’ll see our wide range of first class facilities all purposely created for you and your benefit to ensure you get the most out of your learning experience. Mr Bennett believes that Solar PV installation is carried out AT HEIGHT so it should be taught AT HEIGHT and this theory is embedded into every technology we teach in the centre. From our rainwater harvesting tank, flushing toilet and hot water tanks to our first storey timber framed training roof and real PV cells, we hope you’ll agree that we’ve got it all.
Our video reviews are a brand new series of videos that we’re doing to help bring another level of reality to the feedback reviews we currently upload on our website. We know reviews are so important to a customer when choosing their training provider so want to make sure we’re doing everything we can to be open and honest about our training here. We don’t want them to be Hollywood quality or airbrushed to the nines, so be assured the entire process is carried out in house and at a moment’s notice. We’ll ask a course during the week and see who is up for a couple of minutes in front of the camera and telling us honestly what they think of everything we do here. We’ll ask customer about our facilities, instructors, whether they know any good jokes and more and it really helps us to see what they actually think. Be assured, and you can probably tell, we don’t edit any ugly bits out so they really are warts and all; if they highlight anything we need to work on, then we’ll blinking work on it!
We’ve got three in the bank with more to come so if you are thinking about training with us they might be worth a watch:
Kevin Hird – Domestic Installer Course Platinum Package
Richard Thompson – Domestic Installer Bronze Package
Brian McCann – Domestic Installer Bronze Package
We’d like you’re input?
If you would like to see anything in video about our centre or would like to see a video review on a particular course or have a question answered – get in touch. Call 01293 529777 and ask for Chloe or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Labels: company news, reviews
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Wednesday, 28th March
Solar PV: Rate of return is still very attractive for consumers
Cuts to the feed-in-tariff have gained more than enough public exposure this year, and a vast majority of this has been quite detrimental to the industry and left a rather unpleasant taste in everyone’s mouth. However the combination of price drops in installation costs and equipment has actually created a similar financial return as before.
Research conducted by the UK’s only solar panel comparison site, CompareMySolar, suggests that installation prices have dropped by 50% since January 2011 and typical 4kWp systems that used to ‘cost £15,000 can now be bought for around £7,500.’ Price drops like these are mostly ‘driven by much lower module prices and increased competition.’
Returns improve to 2011 level
The impact of these price drops provide us with evidence that suggests that the financial return for consumers is currently at similar levels as it used to be in the first half of 2011. ‘The graph shown illustrates this for an example roof in Exeter (south facing, optimal angle, no shading), where a 4kWp solar panel system is expected to generate around 4,000 kWh in the first year. If we assume the property consumes half the electricity generated in house and exports the other half to the grid, the expected year one payback is:
• (43p FiT) 4,000 x 0.43 = £1,720 from Government feed-in tariff
• (21p FiT) 4,000 x 0.21 = £840 from Government feed-in tariff
• 2,000 x 0.15 = £300 from electricity savings
• 2,000 x 0.03 = £60 from the export tariff.
The total year one payback used to be £2,080 on the 43p feed-in tariff, and is currently around £1,200 at the 21p rate. While this looks like a very large drop in financial return, please keep in mind prices halved as well. Combining these payback amounts with prices paid for the installation (based on the monthly price index) provides the more relevant perspective. The below graph shows that where year one payback used to be around 14-16 percent of the initial price in the first half of 2011, it currently is back at 16 percent. Therefore, solar panels are currently just as attractive as around June 2011.’
Help raise consumer awareness
Research of this kind suggests that consumers will be able to receive a similar rate of return of their PV installation investment despite the cuts in the feed-in-tariff from 43p to 21p. This news should help to put solar back on the map for a lot of consumers that have previously written it off for being ‘too expensive’ or for those heavily impacted by the negative press of the FiT cuts.
It’s important that we can continue to work together to explore the positives and promote benefits over this type of news. Attractive return rates can help build more consumer awareness and bring back demand for solar pv technology which is much needed for solar installers looking to maintain and build their business during 2012.
Research and image email@example.com
Labels: feed-in-tariff, solar pv
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Friday, 23rd March
BREAKING NEWS: The Supreme Court has today thrown out the government's appeal against a previous ruling that deemed its controversial changes to solar feed-in tariff (FIT) incentives as unlawful.
This ruling means that companies who installed panels between December 2011 and March 2012 will receive the high feed-in-tariff rate of 43.3p kWh instead of the 21p/kWh initially proposed by the government.
This long awaited decision finally closes the door on the drawn out saga generated by the government and highlights their ‘unlawful’ attempt to cut the feed-in-tariffs (FiT’s) at an unprecedented rate last year.
Even though the decision is one step forward for solar, fresh cuts are anticipated as the FiT’s will undoubtedly continue to exceed its budget this year allowing the government to bring out a second round of cuts to the incentive scheme.
"The extra money DECC will now have to commit leaves us with serious concerns about the remaining FIT budget, which remains constrained under the Levy Control Framework," said Paul Barwell, chief executive at the Solar Trade Association.
Labels: solar pv, feed-in-tariff, government, decc
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Thursday, 22nd March
The build up to Ecobuild was huge so I’m sure I’m not alone when I say I can't believe it's the final day at the enormous sustainable design event! We’ve met lots of big company names, small contractor businesses as well as plenty of individuals over the three days, all looking to grasp opportunities for themselves in this lucrative industry and making this whole experience an insightful one to say the least.
We’ve received lots of questions about EPC’s and the Green Deal as well as enquiries about Plumbing and Heating renewable energy courses which sort of shows the way in which demand is going. Obviously the launch of the RHI and the Green Deal is a contributing factor to the expected surge which makes an event like this all the more worthwhile to a training company like ourselves. We can use all of the information gained during the event, to make sure we’re best positioned to offer the courses to meet the demand.
Image above: our team on tuesday 21st March 2012 doing their thing at Ecobuild
Needless to say we thought it is a worthwhile event to anyone interested in this working or investing in this industryand as the final day is in full swing and we’re already planning for next year.
Highlights so far:
• Finally meeting all the great people (partners & contacts) we speak to on a day to day basis in person.
• Being able to talk to plenty of people about what they think of the FITs, RHI etc. and getting their honest view about the industry as a whole.
• Being greeted with ‘I’ve heard great things about your training,’ and ‘I’ve come all this way to see you guys,’ at our stand. It makes those long hours on our feet all worthwhile!
Favourite moment has to be:
• Seeing our colleagues image printed on the Di-log exhibition stand as he modelled one of their products on our solar PV training roof!
Images Below (Di-Log stand and our colleague with the stand!)
Labels: company news, events, ecobuild
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Tuesday, 20th March
Today is our first day at Ecobuild, so if you're going to the world's biggest event for sustainable design & construction, make sure you visit us at stand S2715 and say hello!
We are located in the south hall by entrance S7 so nice and central as Ecobuild can certainly be a maze!
During the three day event, we'll have a rota of expert training staff & course advisors to make sure we're best placed to answer any questions you have about electrical or renewable energy training.
We have created two purpose built rigs complete with solar panels and inverters so that demonstration of the connection can be shown to those who are interested in finding out the specifics of the installation itself.
Visitors can also join us for a beer as we'll be giving away a free bottle of beer at our stand to those interested in speaking about electrical and renewable energy training! Who says exhibitions are boring? ;o)
We'll also be giving away a solar PV kit worth over £450.00, kindly donated by our sister company solarpvtools.co.uk so come and visit for your chance to win!
Labels: company news, events, ecobuild
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Friday, 16th March
This is a 'Denver Omelette' - looks good doesn't it? You can find out how to make it by visiting
Labels: company news
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Thursday, 15th March
Next week is Ecobuild 2012! Boy hasn’t that come around quick?
We’ve been busy designing and printing an updated brochure plus we’ve created a new co-branded flyer with our fabulous sister company Solar PV Tools.co.uk.
As this will be our first time exhibiting at this event, we’re making sure we’re making the most of it! During the three days at the Excel Centre in London we’ll be showcasing our expert knowledge at stand S2715 with a selection of purpose built rigs of electrical installations. Visitors will be able to test their understanding of electrics whilst joining our electrician training specialists for a beer and a chat about the latest developments in the electrical and renewable energy training world.
We’ll also be giving away a FREE solar PV tool kit worthy nearly £500.00 which has been kindly donated to us by Solar PV Tools.co.uk.
The event, taking place from 20th – 22nd March 2012, will be attended by anyone and everyone interested in renewable energy technology and would be a perfect way for those interested in progressing from the electrical world to visit to see what this industry could offer. We’ll be bringing our finest electrcial course advisors and course tutors from Trade Skills 4U, so that potential customers will have the opportunity to ask both general enquiries and specific in depth questions about the training on offer.
Our Managing Director is excited to visit too; "We attended as delegates last year and realised EcoBuild was a pivotal event in the renewable energy calendar. As the UK's leading electrical and renewable training provider we felt it essential to have a presence at such an important show. We want to meet our customers old and new so they can get a feel for what Trade Skills 4U is all about and how we stand out from other training organisations."
"We are not just at EcoBuild to exhibit our renewables centre. People often forget the importance of the electrical installer in the renewable energy market and how many of these people already possess most of the skills required to drive the workforce forward."
As you may know and have seen, we invested heavily in our renewable energy training centre making it one of the most advanced of its kind in the UK. Our customers travel from far and wide to take advantage not only of the centre but of the exceptional tuition on hand for renewable and electrical courses.
If you are heading to EcoBuild 2012 at the excel in London, don't forget to pay us a visit at stand S2175 for a chance to win a free solar PV tool kit, enjoy a free beer or simply have a chat with our instructors or course advisors.
Labels: company news, events, ecobuild
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Wednesday, 7th March
Calling all electricians? Are you staying ahead of the game?
As electricians and domestic installers, you are blessed to work with one of the only energy resources that is not is declining supply. However, with any career, there is still the need to get ahead of the game and make sure you are continuing to offer the latest services and products. Soon enough, you will find that your experience and qualifications will naturally lead you to offer renewable energy technologies such as Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Installation if they haven’t already done so.
This extra service, whether it is asked for by your customers, or because you are seeing your competitor’s branch out into this area, will allow you to take on a range of new skills that can be applied to both domestic projects and to maintain existing renewable energy installations.
So how should I stay ahead? Is solar the only skill I can offer?
Solar PV is a great offering and details of our BPEC Solar PV Course and City & Guilds 2399 Solar PV Course can both be found on our website but they are not the only renewable services an electrician can offer. Due to roll out in autumn 2012, the Green Deal aims to ‘provide over £250,000 jobs in the next 20 years,’ and suggests that there is plenty of opportunity for those who wish to become a certified Green Deal Installer and that want to take advantage of the sheer amount of work that could be on offer.
There are a variety of jobs that will be in demand to ensure this scheme is rolled out effectively and opportunities for the electrician, domestic installer and Solar PV installer include Green Deal Assessors and Green Deal Installers.
To qualify for the Green Deal Scheme, homeowners will need to have their properties assessed by a qualified Green Deal Assessor to ensure their home meets the necessary requirements to obtain government subsidies. Once an Energy Performance Certificate has been produced, a Green Deal report is written and the homeowners Green Deal plan is compiled. The Green Deal Provider will pay your Green Deal Finance directly to your chosen Green Deal Installer; they will have to install your energy efficiency recommendations in accordance with a strict Green Deal Code.
So where do I sign?
You can become a Green Deal Installer by having gained certification to the Green Deal Installer Standard (PAS 2030) by a Green Deal Certification Body. The NICEIC are currently undergoing the accreditation process and hope to launch their certification scheme mid-2012.
As soon as the certification process becomes available, we’ll going to be running the courses in our centre. If you’re interested in becoming a Green Deal Installer, fill in the form below and we’ll contact you when courses become available.
Labels: company news, green deal
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Friday, 2nd March
As a family business (and avid Warrington Wolves supporters) we wouldn't help but share something sentimental with you all on a Friday.
Two weeks ago whilst we were sat in the club lounge in the Halliwell Jones Stadium, we got talking to the club owner about our company and the fact that most weekends our director makes his way up north to watch his team play. He was pretty impressed to say the least and couldnt help but commend our support by putting a little column about us in the match day programme.
Needless to say last weekend, Warry went on to smash Hull Kingston Rovers by a whopping 32 points leaving the final score of Warrington 42 and Hull KR 10.
We're looking forward to an interesting season this year and hope the boys manage to bring home the cup (again.)
Labels: company news
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Wednesday, 15th February
Engineers fit solar panels to a roof at Silvertown Solar Village, Docklands, London. Photograph: Alamy
Last week the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) released ‘a written ministerial statement by Edward Davey on reforming the Feed-in-Tariffs scheme.’ These proposed changes to the Feed-in-Tariffs (FITs) were the first time Mr Davey was able to publicise his position within the DECC after Mr Chris Huhne resigned as energy secretary at the beginning of this month.
Below is a summary of the changes announced last week that will directly affect the solar feed-in-tariff rate and the way in which it operates.
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) requirement to level D
The DECC have said that properties must now hold a level D EPC from April 1, 2012 to receive the full value of the FiTs. Currently until this date, there is no official requirement for an EPC prior to solar PV installation national grid connection.
For those who are unsure of what an EPC is, it’s the information on your home’s energy use and carbon dioxide emissions. The certificate itself gives you information on how to make your home more energy efficient.
DECC clarified that people who want to use solar PV towards obtaining an EPC rating of D would need to “have the solar panel system installed, conduct an EPC and then apply for the FiTs scheme. The EPC must be sent with the documentation relating to registration for FiTs.”
The tariff rates are exactly as DECC confirmed on January 19, as laid out below:
*The on-going FiT legal disagreement means that an assurance for this particular rate cannot be guaranteed. However it is worth noting that 43.3p kWh will be paid for all systems that were registered between December 12 2011 an April 1, 2012 due to the government loss of the recent appeal.
This tariff level is subject to change come July 2012 and the rate will depend of the level of capacity installed during March 2012 and April 2012. The new tariff options are outlined as below:
The outcome of the appeal, although lost, has allowed the government to take the appeal to the Supreme Court. This has bought them time and allowed further uncertainly to spread across the market. Should the case reach Supreme Court, it should formalise the tariff rate for those homeowners who had PV installations during the 12 December 2011 & 1 April 2012 period. Should the government win, and this is doubtful, the homeowner would receive a rate of 21p kWh for the rest of the guarantee period which currently stands at 25 years. Should the case be thrown out and the appeal lost, the homeowner will receive the higher rate of 43.3p kWh for the rest of the guarantee period.
Either way April 1, 2012 is certainly a date for the diary for anyone interested in the outcome but hopefully the result of the Supreme Court appeal should be announced before this date.
DECC's proposed mechanism for changing tariffs after July will include an automatic baseline transgression of 10% every six months, which can be triggered early if deployment exceeds pre-determined levels. The system will be reviewed annually to ensure that it is performing well against its objectives.
Announcing the new changes, climate change minister Greg Barker said:
"Our new plans will see almost two and a half times more installations than originally projected by 2015 which is good news for the sustainable growth of the industry. We are proposing a more predictable and transparent scheme as the costs of technologies fall, ensuring a long term, predictable rate of return that will closely track changes in prices and deployment."
Some of the other changes:
The reduced tariff rate of 21p kWh will remain in effect from 1st April 2012, for domestic sized solar panels with an eligibility date on or after 3rd March 2012. Other tariff changes will apply for larger installations.
From 1st April 2012, a new ‘multi-installation’ tariff will be set at 80% of the standard tariff. This will apply to existing installations where a single individual or organisation is already receiving FiT subsidies for other solar PV installations.
Due to the ‘unlawful’ cuts that were first ruled on the cuts in December 2011, the government have said these changes should bring "transparency, longevity and certainty,” we’ll see…
Labels: renewable energy, feed-in-tariff, solar pv
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Monday, 13th February
We have recently updated the customer feedback forms: Hoorah!
The changes are only small but aim to get some more information from our wonderous customers by asking them about hiring apprentices and what their twitter handle is etc.
To be fair, that is literally the extent of the changes but for those who look at them on a day to day basis - this is very exciting.
Here's a copy below:
As we're collecting private details such as your twitter handle & name, we will make sure these are protected prior to upload on our Trade Skills 4U Review pages.
Labels: company news
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Friday, 10th February
National Apprenticeship Week is over so unfortunately our apprenticeship taster days have come to a close!
Oh no I hear you gasp! Don’t worry, they’ve been so successful and we’ve had a great time holding them, we’ll probably conjure something similar up for the future. Make sure you keep checking our events page for similar events in the future.
We are holding electrical apprenticeship taster weeks throughout the year which are available for five days at £120.00. This taster training course aims to deliver a combination of classroom theory and practical workshops so that young people can decide first hand whether this is a suitable career for them.
The courses themselves are on an adhoc basis so if you’re interested, make sure you call up to see if we can work out a date that is suitable for you and go from there.
At Trade Skills 4U, we’re big on training and we’re even bigger on ensuring you’re on the right course for you. Our electrical apprenticeship taster courses are a way of allowing young people to understand the importance of making the right decision when it comes to their career in a friendly and educated environment. Our courses aim to get young people to get to grips with electrics and the basic of the job itself before making their mind up as to whether a career in this industry is right for them.
Give us a call on 01293 529777 or visit our dedicated young person’s electrical apprenticeship taster course page.
Labels: company news, apprenticeships
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Friday, 10th February
Continuing to Better our Communication
We’ve recently implemented an online chat widget on our website which will help us interact with you, our customer.
Sometimes when you have a little question about the site, a course or a pre-requisite you might not want to call us, but instead spend the next 5 minutes searching for the answers you need.
Our online chat systems means you can send out course advisors a quick question and they can send you a response back in seconds. Easy!
The messenger will mostly be in use during office hours of 9am – 5pm but you can always send us an online email enquiry using our contact us form on our website.
Communication is really important to us – plus it keeps your phone bills down so everyone wins!
Labels: company news
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Thursday, 9th February
MP Shows His Support for Electrical Apprentices
Crawley MP Henry Smith got the chance to meet several prospective electrical apprentices today as he visited our dedicated electrical centre in Crawley, West Sussex.
As part of National Apprenticeship week, we are holding three taster days for young people looking to learn about apprenticeships and what a career in electrics could offer them.
“To get support from Henry on a day like today is fantastic; he was able to get his message of support across to the students themselves and help them realise what a lucrative career electrics is,” said Carl Bennett, Managing Director of Trade Skills 4U.
“Carl Bennett and Trade Skills 4U are doing incredible things here; the facilities are excellent and they really care about young people and their futures. Electrics are a stable and worthwhile career option and I am extremely grateful for the work they are doing at Trade Skills 4U,” Said Henry Smith MP.
As part of our on-going support for electrical apprentices, we are holding electrical taster weeks throughout the year for those who are looking to get some hands on experience to see if this career is for them.
These young person’s Apprenticeship taster weeks cost £120.00 for 5 days of training and can be made bespoke by schools or colleges looking to encourage students to take up this type of learning after they finish school at 16 or after college at 18.
If you are from a school or college and are interested in this type of event, call us on 01293 529777 and ask for Chloe.
Labels: company news, events, apprenticeships, government
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Wednesday, 8th February
It’s National Apprenticeship Week!
We’re supporting the cause by holding three electrical apprenticeship taster days in our specialist electrical training centre in Crawley, West Sussex.
These days are FREE and dedicated to young people aged between 16 and 19 years old. Each day is purposely designed to give them a real taster of what a career in electrics could offer.
We understand the importance of making the right decision when it comes to your career and what better way to stay informed than a free taster training day that enables you to get to grips with electrics and learning the basics of the job.
What we’re offering:
Introduction to Becoming an Electrician
Career Options for Electricians
Finding an Apprenticeship
Apprenticeship Costs and Funding Options
Various Practical Workshops
Individual One to One Career Development Tutorial
Introduction to Renewable Energy
These taster days are only being held during national apprenticeship week so if you know someone who wold benefit from this experience – sign them up! We’re also offering to go the extra mile for those who attend by marketing them to our existing customer database in an attempt to help find them an employer so get involved!
Missed out? Can’t make it?
Don’t worry we’re also going to be holding dedicated Apprenticeship Taster Weeks for those who want to learn the basics of what an electrical career could hold with multiple practical workshops across the board. If you’re interested in this call us on 01293 529777 for visit our Apprenticeship Taster Week course page.
Labels: company news, apprenticeships, events
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Thursday, 2nd February
Now you can review us on our website!
Impulse buying is rare, most of us like to read reviews and do the research on a company or product before we part with our hard earned cash. We understand this and make sure we make our customer feedback and course reviews as available as we can for everyone to freely read.
Back in August 2011, we started uploading our course feedback forms directly on to our website so anyone and everyone can read our great Trade Skills 4U Reviews for them online. http://www.tradeskills4u.co.uk/pages/reviews-feedback
But today we’ve taken this a little further and implemented a commenting platform called ‘Disqus’ within our website so that our customers can review our courses directly on our site and help give tips, advice and feedback on the courses we run to other prospective customers.
Disqus is a great little company and their aim is improve conversations online so hopefully with this system embedded on our website, you can help others pick the right course for them, and hopefully find the right advice for you on the way.
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Monday, 30th January
On Wednesday 25th January 2012 the DECC lost their appeal against the tariff rates and have since announced their intention for further appeal. The court of appeal haven’t yet granted the DECC permission for further appeal but they are seeking direct permission from the Supreme Court in which to do so.
Should they be granted leave to appeal and become successful it could take up to a year before the final outcome is known. This appeal could also mean that they will be able to legislate to apply new tariff from the 12th December reference date.
Oh the uncertainty.
This uncertainty of not being able to guarantee either tariff rate (reduced rate at 21p kwh or last year’s higher rate of 43.3p kwh) on installations made between 12 December 2011 and 3rd March 2012, means that installers cannot correctly promote their services and homeowners are less confident about installing panels when they are less certain about the return of investment.
Delaying the outcome of the case could cause further damage to the industry due to the negative hype they’re continuing to create. The government are very keen not to give away 43.3p kwh as they simply cannot afford it so are trying their best to put off other buyers & installers off solar for selfish reasons until the next consultation on 3rd March 2012.
In an announcement by the DECC and in their formal response to question 1 of the consultation they have however confirmed that tariff rates will be no lower than 21p kwh from 1st April 2012 even if they government win their appeal.
Homeowners should be jumping at the chance to get involved as they may potentially be eligible to receive the higher rate of 43.3p kWh should the government lose their appeal. They have already lost twice so it might just be worth the gamble.
Labels: feed-in-tariff, government, decc
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Monday, 23rd January
Apprenticeships are a great alternative to those put off by the 9k annual price tag of today’s university degree; Trade Skills 4U explains why...
Since Education Minister, David Willets announced an increase in university tuition fees in 2010, students considering further education have been forced to contemplate cheaper alternative routes. In a new push for apprenticeships in 2012, Shadow Education Secretary Stephen Twigg is calling to parents to be more supportive over these alternatives. “Apprenticeships are the gold standard of post-16 vocational education" and "parents should be as proud of their children for securing a top apprenticeship as they are if they go to university.”
Whilst degrees will always be a very valuable qualification, the annual £9,000 tuition fees, the battle with rising living costs and the very possible outcome of unemployment lurking at the end of it all has begun to steer students away from this educational route. This year has already seen an 8% decrease in university applications as UCAS, ‘Universities and Colleges Admissions Service,’ recently reported that 283,680 people that have applied to university from within UK compared to the 306,908 who applied last year.
Since the costly tuition fee increase, alternative education options such as ‘apprenticeships’ are being thoroughly explored by prospective students looking to further their learning. Such terms have seen over a 100% increase in online searches since the initial announcement concerning university tuition fees from Willets back in November 2010.
Please see Google Insight research on term 'apprenticeship' below:
Whereas online search activity for the term 'University' has suffered a slow decrease in search. See below:
“Apprenticeships have always been a big part of Britain and it’s great that the idea of taking an apprenticeship still has such great appeal,” says Carl Bennett, Director of Trade Skills 4U. “Apprenticeships can be excellent routes into an industry as they combine the theory elements of a course with the important practical side; it is this key ingredient that degrees generally miss.” Mr Bennett is the Director of Britain’s Premier Electrical Training Company who currently hold three apprenticeship courses from two of the UK’s Leading qualification bodies; City & Guilds and EAL.
“Many still regard the apprenticeship as the best route into work combining technical education with practical experience helping to enable business and industries to acquire skilled labour. It has added appeal today because it soaks up the growing fears of entrenched youth unemployment as the effects of the recession continue to be felt and the unskilled are left further behind.”
“We’re holding FREE taster days during National Apprenticeship week for young people aged between 16 – 19 years old. We’ve almost sold out on these free places, so young people who are interested need to give us a call if their interested on 01293 529777. These electrical taster days aim to give young people a sample of the industry by detailing what is involved in an electrical career plus some practical training to help you decide if this is right career for you - It’s a great way of test driving a potential new career.
Click here to book your spaces or you can call our team to find our more on 01293 529777.
Labels: apprenticeships, electrical qualifications, electrical training
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Friday, 20th January
Carl Bennett, Director of Trade Skills 4U, Gives His Apprenticeship Advice.
"It’s national apprenticeship week during 6th – 10th February 2012!
Big Deal! What does that mean for me? Another government initiative, I hear you groan?
What it means for you is that training course providers, colleges, employers and those darned government people are trying to encourage you take an apprenticeship by drawing your attention to what’s available to you, and believe me there is plenty!
Why are they pushing this now?
Well Britain needs young people aged 16-19 years old to work in the hundreds of industries that offer apprenticeships as many are crying out for young people to train to become useful employees. University isn’t for everyone especially for those put off by the £9,000 annual tuition fees, so it’s great for those still interested in further education to hear about the vast range of opportunities that are available, apprenticeships being one of them!
What type of apprenticeships are you talking about?
Everything from Electricians to Aircraft engineers from Rolls Royce car assemblers to accountancy staff, you name it there’s an apprenticeship for it.
What is an apprenticeship? How much does it cost?
It’s a training and work and college thing. You take a training course and work at the same time which is an excellent way of learning as you put what you learn into the classroom into practice in the real working world. Apprenticeships are usually funded by various bodies depending on your course but you can always ask for your parents or guardians for help if you want to speed up your training. As an apprentice you’re employed by an employer who will pay you for your work (added bonus) and who will also help contribute towards your training costs. You’ll be a valuable worker once you’ve successfully gained your NVQ which will lead to a decent earning job.
How do I get the job for the apprenticeship? There’s no job about is there?
Actually lots of employers are queuing up for apprentices, the government actually gives employers a cash incentive to encourage them to help out with your training. To help find them, look online or in local newspapers – you can always check out apprenticeships.org for apprenticeship vacancies.
What’s the downside, where’s the catch?
No catch, you’ll have to work and you’ll have to stick at it. It won’t be paid very well at first, but at least you’ll be earning and as soon as you start becoming useful to your employer, they’ll start to pay you more and pretty soon you’ll be earning a decent wage. There’s no secret to it just advice to work hard, train hard, be a good employee and you’ll do just fine.
What should I do to get involved?
Get on the internet and Google the type of job you’d like to do, then search ‘your job role here’ apprenticeship courses and see what comes up. Normally the results will suggest various apprenticeship organisations and training companies that you will be able to do your training with. Next step is to give them a call and they will help you with the rest. So don’t wait, start searching – there a whole world out there you know!"
Carl Bennett, Managing Director of Trade Skills 4U, Britain’s Premier Electrical Training Company.
If you or anyone you know is interested in an electrical apprenticeship, give us a call on 01293 529777 or visit us during National Apprenticeship Week as we're holding electrical apprenticeship tasters for young people.
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Monday, 16th January
Once upon a time, the 'greenest government yet ' launched an incentive scheme rewarding a homeowner with 43.3 kwph for every unit of electricity generated via solar energy. This new incentive was called the Feed-in-Tariff which promoted the production of green energy which could be fed back into the national grid. By contributing to the production of green energy, the government agreed to look after the homeowner’s investment by allowing the rate to be protected for up to 25 years.
However in December last year, the fairy tale hit the rocky middle part where the ogre (we’ll call him Greg Barker) rushed to cut the incentive scheme in half because his incentive pot of gold started to dry up. Instead of adapting some sensible planning with plenty of notice, Barker opted for a quick fix which jeopardised nearly 30,000 jobs.
The ‘quick fix’ was cutting the subsidy from 43.3 kwph to 21 kwph overnight and leaving solar PV installers and homeowners with less than 40 days’ notice. Needless to say this sent the industry into panic as homeowners wanted to secure the higher rate and there simply weren’t enough installers to do the jobs they were confronted with. Great news for the installer in the short term, but this opened up a pit of uncertainty as no one could rightly say what the industry would look like in the New Year.
Meanwhile, Environmental and Climate change company, Friends of the Earth started campaigning that the FIT cuts were ‘unlawful’ and won a high court case against the government. Since then, the government appealed the court ruling in early January and we’ve all been clinging to our seats since to hear how this story ends.
Well the ending has been err...delayed and it turns out the judge ruling on the governments appeal case, has postponed his decision which will undoubtedly create more uncertainty for the industry and its future.
How will it end?
Fingers crossed the government loses they’re appeal, the ogre will get a slap on the wrist and everyone can get the chance to get their pot of gold before the inevitable review date of 1st April. The sooner the appeal decision is announced, the sooner we can repair the holes the government has created in such a lucrative industry. It’s a shame it’s had to come to this, but the good guy always wins in the end don’t they?
Meanwhile: At least we've got support from our MP Henry Smith:
(Image above was in reply to email sent from company director Carl Bennett regarding FIT support.)
disneycastle - Imagesource@thecontaminated.com
Labels: feed-in-tariff, government
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Thursday, 5th January
The recent feed in tariff review, published in October 2011, announced expected yet sudden cuts due to commence in the early days of December 2011. The cuts that were announced saw the solar PV incentive halve from 43.3p p/kwh to 21p/kwh for installations carried out on and after the 12 December 2011. This sudden cut was ruled unlawful by Mr Justice Mitting in the consualtion on 12th December 2011 and he set a deadline of 4th January 2012 for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to seek permission to appeal. In the meantime the cut-off date of 12th December was pushed back to the 1st April 2012 so consumers could adopt the higher rate until this ruling was appealed.
Yesterday afternoon the government announced that they filed this request to appeal and outlined their grounds for appeal in a move to help speed up the legal process.
Should the government win this appeal, the rates will immediately drop back down to 21p/kwh and those consumers who were able to seek the 43.3p/kwh after the 12th December 211 cut-off date will have their incentives cut. This will not affect consumers who had PV installed before 12th December 2011 as their incentives will be protected by contract for up to 25 years.
If the government does not win this appeal then the 43.3p/kwh will remain until the parliamentary process has concluded which is actually expected to be 1st April 2012 or earlier.
Whilst most disagree with the way in which the government handled the cuts with special reference to the time period given to installers and the like to complete installations, it seems this brief relief period until (hopefully) 1st April 2012 will help to put consumer trust back into the industry and be some sort of compensation to consumer and installation companies who were and could have been harmed by the ‘unlawful’ cuts.
Either way it worth getting your PV installed asap as not only will incentive continue to drop as all do, but it may be worth seeking the 43.3p/kwh while you can. As for installers, be prepared for a busy few months as solar PV installation is still a very lucrative and modern money earner.
We have a range of solar PV courses available for those wishing to take advantage of the predicted demand.
Labels: solar pv, feed-in-tariff
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Tuesday, 3rd January
Make January 2012 Your New Start By Putting Your Ideas Into Practice
New Year’s Eve is always a time to reflect on the past years events whilst creating new resolutions to implement in the New Year ahead.
The New Year always seems the perfect time to enforce change and embrace it so if you’re considering a career change in 2012, why not consider a career in electrics? It’s a lucrative career which can lead you to all sorts of jobs.
I was once told by a customer that he was so glad he was taking electrical courses as everything these days is electric; your phone, your laptop, your TV and so on and he’s right. They’re not making oil fired TV’s last time I looked and wherever you find a light switch, a power point, or a light bulb whether this be at work, at home or whilst you’re watching Coldplay on their stadium tour, an electrician was required to install them. There is so many opportunities open to the practising electrician it just depends where your interest may lie as to what path is right for you.
Electricians mainly specialise in the wiring of building structures both domestic and commercial however may also specialise to wire ships, airplanes and other mobile platforms. Electricians can also find work in the film industry as they are required for safety and to help produce lists of required equipment and configure and design installations for the lighting & production directors. Electricians are also required on music tours as they need to assist and commission set designs and lighting configurations as well as making sure that amount of light is both safe for the audience as well as the artist. So which ever route you’d like to take a job like this, you’re bound to find the correct role for you.
The true diversity of these job roles is also a major benefit to the career; once you qualify you will find that your skills are transferable across all of the aforementioned platforms. There is also an added benefit of having your qualifications recognised internationally should you choose to take a City & Guilds course. City & Guilds electrical courses are widely respected and undertaken by all industry professionals and you will find that most if not all electrical trainers, such as Trade Skills 4U, host a wide range for you to choose from. Wherever there is electricity you will find an electrician which is why is makes for such a great career choice in times like these as they have an added bonus of being recession proof.
Whatever your chosen New Year’s resolutions are, whether are encompass losing weight, getting fit, being better with money, seeing family & friends more or learning something new. The latter is where we come in. We are the UK’s number 1 City & Guilds electrical qualification provider which is an achievement we’ve fought hard to get and maintain. Last year we delivered just fewer than 15,000 exams to over 4000 candidates who were looking to simply learn something new by up-skilling or retraining.
So if being an electrician, domestic installer or electrical apprentice sounds good to you, pick up the phone and give us a call. We can help give you advice about some of the qualifications we offer and help you decide whether this is the right career choice for you. Call us today on 01293 529777.
Be proud of what you do, consider a career in electrics and train with Trade Skills 4U.
Labels: electrical training
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Tuesday, 13th December
In a press release, available for download here, the IET confirms that the long awaited revision of the domestic installer qualification has been delayed until April 2013.
This decision was agreed at the Electrotechnical Assessment Specification Management Committee meeting on 1st December 2011 where they announced ‘the new level 3 domestic installer qualification is expected to become available by June 2012, with the first candidates completing some two month later.’ The new requirements will come into effect on 6th April 2013 still leaving five different routes satisfying the requirement for registration as a Qualified Supervisor. These include on-site assessment, off-site assessment a mixture of both and the gaining of appropriate qualifications.
How does this affect me?
Essentially if you are already an existing qualified supervisor this will not affect you. When the new requirements come in in April 2013, they will not apply retrospectively to existing qualified supervisors nor will they need to complete the new qualification to complete works after April 2013.
Those looking to register under the existing requirements should do so aptly before the new revisions come in as it is likely that an entrant after April 2013 would have to hold the full electrical NVQ in order to register for the domestic installer scheme – however this notion is yet to be confirmed.
You can download your copy of the IET’s Press Release here.
Trade Skills 4U have various course packages on offer which contain all the qualifications a new entrant or existing contractor would require in order to train as a domestic installer and/or fully qualified electrician.
Labels: electrical news, domestic installer qualification
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Friday, 9th December
Much of the talk surrounding solar as of late, has been about the reduced Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) rates coming in on Monday 12th December.
Whilst this is obviously a newsworthy subject, it is important to remember that there is another incentive in town that could be potentially much larger than solar PV. This incentive, for those unaware, is called the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) which is the heat equivalent to the FIT scheme and is to be launched for domestic sector in October 2012. The scheme actually went live for non-domestic properties in November 2011 after a short delay concerning compatibility with EU state rules.
This incentive aims to pay homeowners an income for every unit of heat generated by renewable technologies such as Solar Thermal, Biomass Boilers and heat pumps. To encourage the take up of installations such as these, the government have launched a one-off payment called the RHI premium payment, similar to a grant, which is available to all homeowners wishing to take part in the scheme.
Before the FIT launched in 2010, solar thermal technology installations surpassed solar PV installations as it’s reliable, easy to install and should provide you with 50-70% of your hot water all year round. The launch of the RHI is a great opportunity once again for both installers and consumers looking to do something good for the environment and save money on energy bills.
We run a great 3 day solar thermal hot water course designed for skilled plumbers and renewable energy installers looking to take advantage of this predicted demand. The course itself will be run in our state of the art renewable energy training centre on specially designed rigs to prepare you for real installations. Training in this technology ahead of the RHI domestic rollout will prove very wise investment so make sure you get ahead of the game!
For more information on this industry, the RHI or our renewable energy courses call us on 01293 529777 or visit our solar thermal hot water course page or our blog on the Renewable Heat Incentive.
Labels: renewable heat incentive
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Tuesday, 6th December
Light up your Christmas Tree, not your home.
Hidden away in the corner of your loft lies your beautiful Christmas tree. Tightly wrapped up and accompanied with boxes of protected decorations, it’s literally waiting to stand proud once more. When December finally comes around, you can almost feel the rush in the air. The shops are filled with brightly coloured baubles, the town lights turn on and sparkle, illuminating sensation as Christmas is on its way.
However there are a few very important things, besides the turkey, to remember every time the festive season begins. According to The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, (ROSPA), ‘around 80,000 people suffer accidents and injuries in their homes during the Christmas holidays every year’. Many of those happen in the kitchen during food preparation, while putting up decorations – or worse, as a result of faulty fairy lights or unattended candles.
Making sure your old Christmas lights are safe:
Times have been a little tight over the past two years so who can blame you if you don’t want to update your set of Christmas fairy lights right? Wrong! Faulty Christmas lights cause unnecessary accidents over the festive period if poorly stored, damaged or faulty appliances can lead to accidents in the home or worse – electrical fires. Retrieving your lights from damp, dusty storage spaces can lead to unnecessary hazards, so always see a purchase like this as an investment not a cost.
Most sets of lights are based on the Edison incandescent bulb which is an ordinary light bulb which requires electrical energy to heat up a tiny metal filament so that it glows. The heat itself makes the filament emit light, and frankly the hotter the filament, the greater the light. However the whiter the light – the shorter the lamp life, which is why when the lights are finally unravelled it’s not unusual to find that a couple fail to work. Our advice is to check your lights are up to modern safety standards or if their looking past their sell by date it’s time to get some more – and no before you ask we’re not working on commission.
So what’s our top ten safety tips this Christmas? Keep you and your family safe by reading our advice below:
So starting with the obvious: if you have old Christmas lights, consider buying new ones, which will meet much higher safety standards, keep the lights switched off until the Christmas tree is decorated, don’t let children play with lights (some have swallowed the bulbs), and remember to switch off the lights when going out of the house or going to bed.
Christmas novelties are not toys, even if they resemble them, and they do not have to comply with toy safety regulations. Think carefully where you display them by making sure their out of reach from young (and old) hands.
Always make sure you buy batteries over Christmas – chances are you or aunty jean will buy dear little Jonny a battery powered toy that he’ll want to play with immediately. Being organised helps prevents temper tantrums as well as the temptation to remove batteries from smoke alarms.
Children’s gifts are age marked for a reason; make sure you buy your children gifts for the correct age group from reputable courses that comply with safety standards e.g. The Toys (safety) Regulations 1995.
In the rush to open presents and scoff Christmas dinner, you may find that decorations become damaged or small items like burst balloons or party popper cases get strewn over the floor. Make sure these are promptly spotted and cleared to avoid choking hazards.
A nice open fire is fuelled by poorly placed Christmas cards and real trees. Keep a fire guard on at all times and keep decorations and other flammables away from fires and other heat sources such as light fittings. Don’t leave burning candles unattended, make sure you put them out before going to bed and do not put candles on Christmas trees.
Give yourself enough time to prepare and cook Christmas dinner to avoid hot fat, boiling water and sharp knife accidents that come from rushing, and keep anyone not helping with dinner out of the kitchen. Wipe up (or drink) any spills quickly.
Have scissors handy to open packaging, so you’re not tempted to use a knife, and have screwdrivers at the ready to assemble toys.
Plan New Year fireworks parties well in advance and follow the Firework Safety Code.
Do not drink and drive, and plan long journeys so you won’t be driving tired.
But most importantly enjoy yourself. Christmas is the time to be surrounded by family members and loved ones so enjoy your time off and be merry.
Labels: electrical training
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Friday, 2nd December
After much deliberation we can thankfully announce that there will be no change to the domestic installer’s scheme qualification requirements for the foreseeable future.
In a discreet document published yesterday, the NICEIC have re-issued the ‘Guide to Registration – Domestic Installers Scheme’ which states that candidates looking to join the NICEIC Domestic installer scheme and become a ‘Qualified Supervisor’ must attain the latest edition of the 17th Edition Wiring Regulations, be competent and/or adequately supervised to carry out all domestic installation work and have 12 months relevant experience.
Essentially what this document outlines is that there is no change to the current entry requirements for this qualification which is great news for everyone that was going to be affected by the changes occurring in the New Year. The initial statement announcing the changes was published in July this year suggesting that those looking to qualify as a qualified supervisor after 1st January 2012 would have to hold the full electrical NVQ in order to register for the domestic installer scheme.
The date for this revision has been put back substantially meaning those looking to retrain or up-skill to become a qualified supervisor will now be able to do so under the existing provisions. However, it is worth mentioning that even though the changes have been not yet come into force, they will inevitably arrive later on in the year so it really is worth training before these revisions arrive.
Trade Skills 4U have various course packages on offer which contain all the qualifications a new entrant or existing contractor would require in order to train as a domestic installer and/or fully qualified electrician.
Labels: part p, company news
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Thursday, 1st December
Renewable Heat Incentive launches after being postponed in September 2011.
At long last the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is now open for business for non-domestic generators. The original launch was expected to go live on 30th September 2011 but was postponed at only 12 hours’ notice as it was established that the scheme may not wholly comply with EU State Aid rules. The scheme has since been deemed compatible with said rules and after its passing in parliament and those looking to apply for the incentive can submit their applications from Monday 28th November.
Eligible candidates will be able to access payments on a quarterly basis for heat generated over the next 20 years. The scheme will generate payments from renewable technologies including biomass boilers, solar thermal equipment and heat pumps installer since July 2009.
The launch of the RHI is set to revolutionise the way heat is generated and is the first scheme of its type in the world and will be closely watched by others to see whether it can be successfully replicated elsewhere. The incentive scheme sits next to other government incentives like the solar Feed-in-Tariff and the expected Green Deal which is set to take off in October 2012.
At the launch on Monday Greg Barker, Energy and Climate Change Minister said:
“The RHI will usher in a new era in clean green heat technology. It’s a world first and has the potential to put the UK at the forefront of a vibrant new green technology sector.
“Renewable heat will be a big win for our economy – it will support thousands of green jobs, reduce our dependency on imported fossil fuels, reduce our carbon emissions and help us meet our renewable target.”
Trade Skills 4U deliver quality solar thermal training for those looking to up skill into this industry and take advantage of the forecasted surge of installations eligible to receive RHI subsidies.
Labels: decc, company news, renewable energy, solar thermal
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Wednesday, 30th November
A great man once said "all great men have moustaches" (rod kimble) and as the month of Movember draws to a close, we must remember why we grew and supported those who grew the gentlemanly moustache.
Together our team have raised a tasty sum to the worthy cause and created so much more awareness with the unruly creations that have ‘naturally’ grown upon our teams faces. Amongst the handlebars and the traditional mo lie some great hearts that have chosen to lend their face to raise awareness of this cause by growing moustaches. The money donated to Movember is directed to programmes run directly by Movember and their men’s health partners – The Prostate Cancer charity and the Institute of Cancer Research.
Whilst November is aptly named to allow an amalgamation of itself and ‘moustache’ it’s certainly not the only month than we should take time to raise money for these charities. Throughout the year we’re informed that those who have signed up to Movember.com will receive a couple of updates throughout the year so inform the mo bros and sisters how their donations are being spent. “We hope this will help you appreciate the incredible work that is being carried out as a direct result of your fundraising efforts,” says the company.
Here are a couple of close ups of some of our guys:
The sadness of this month ending has also enabled #goodbyemovember to start trending on Twitter.
Here’s a couple of our favourites;
We don't have to say #goodbyemovember - come on men, advance with pride into Decembeard!#
#goodbyemovember I am going to have a moment of silence before I say good bye and then a burial at sea for my Mo
Labels: company news
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Tuesday, 29th November
Validation time; Greg Barker to face questions over solar incentive cuts
Today a rare inquiry is set to take place as MP’s from two parliamentary select committees aim to seek facts over rapid incentive cuts and their effect on the UK’s solar industry. This inquiry is set to help establish the impact on job creation, social housing and community schemes.
The inquiry will be chaired by MP Tim Yeo, the Energy and Climate Change Committee and Environmental Audit Committee, and will question Greg Barker this afternoon and as well as the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) Permanent Secretary Moira Wallace and DECC Director General Simon Virley.
"We just want to try and understand how the government came to reach a decision to cut the incentive so quickly and what impact that's going to have in getting solar PV into the energy mix on a long-term basis," said Environmental Audit Committee chairwoman, Joan Walley MP.
The inquiry will result in a report containing recommendations of which the DECC is required to respond to. Even though we agree that the current FiT rates are unsustainable and a cut was necessary to protect future incentives, it will be interesting to see how Barker defends the time period in which the cuts are being incorporated. Installers have had less than 40 days to complete installations to ensure that their customers received the higher incentive of 43.3p KwH. Even Barker must admit that he could have handled this better.
Labels: feed-in-tariff, government
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Friday, 25th November
As November draws to a close and we prepare for the festive season to begin, we shall take a moment to commemorate our teammates that have put their dignity to one side to raise money and awareness for ‘Movember.’ 'Movember' is a portmanteau of ‘moustache’ and ‘November’ and is an annual month long event which involves the growing of a moustache in order to raise money and awareness for men’s health issues.
Our fabulous team consisting of Joe Bennett, Noah Saks, Paul Fatkin, Kris Edwards, James Deans (mobro above), Terry White, Mark Syrett and our wonderful director Carl Bennett together have managed to raise a cool £119 so far, but with a couple of days left we’re urging you guys to help raise some cash to support this charity and the message the mo’s bring.
We’ll be adding to the funds next week to make sure we’re donating a pretty sum but It’d be nice if we got a little bit of help from our friends :o) To check out our Movember team page follow this link: http://mobro.co/tradeskills4u
We’ll be taking photos of our boys next week so you can marvel at the hairy art upon their faces or mock them – either way, but trust me it’s worth taking a look to see what they've been growing.
Until next week compadres!
Labels: company news
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Thursday, 24th November
Today our ambitious government have announced a new funding scheme to help encourage the UK’s householder into making their home more energy efficient.
This scheme, called the Green Deal, will kick off in October 2012 with 200 million pounds worth of incentives to encourage homeowners to take out loans and invest in energy saving measures. The ‘golden rule’ is that the homeowner’s savings will be greater than the loan repayments.
The £200 million funding from the Treasury could be worth hundreds to those that take up the deal in the first year however how this incentive is actually being delivered is yet to be announced. Discounts on council tax and cash back offers are amongst the few that have been mentioned at present.
This announcement also combined details of the eagerly awaited Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) which will officially start next week. The launch of the first phase of the scheme was delayed due to EU state aid appeal but is now back on track and open for business. The RHI itself is an incentive scheme similar to the Solar PV Feed in Tariff (FIT), which was launched back in April 2010, where financial support is provided to individuals, communities and business for switching from using traditional fossil fuels for heating to renewable courses such as wood pellets using biomass boilers and water fuel using solar thermal technology.
Although it is obviously good news that the government are still investing big bucks into this industry, those that have been affected by the recent FIT cuts might be cautious of this new funding announcement. However there is one thing we can be sure of; where there are incentives there will be demand, when there is sufficient demand there may be revisions so it’s always best to get in first.
Labels: government, green deal, solar pv, decc
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Tuesday, 22nd November
Bespoke Test kits for solar PV installation
Solar PV Tools.co.uk installation tool kits are reportedly built to be one of the best kits around and contain the complete range of solar PV tools you would need to install and maintain on PV systems including those with MC3 MC4 connections.
These specialist kits comes in a protective case with a pre-cut foam lining to ensure the maximum safety for your tools inside and are ideal for installers who are doing their MCS training or are going for their MCS accreditation.
Their tools kits range from a basic ‘PV kit 1’ to a complete ‘build your own kit’ option where you can tell them what you need and they’ll built a custom case just for you. So whether you need a solar irradiance meter, a clamp meter, infrared thermometer gun or all three, their friendly team will happy to build the kit you need for a very competitive price.
For more information on the types of kits you can buy and build see their website www.solarpvtools.co.uk
Labels: company news
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Wednesday, 16th November
Part P Registration Business As Usual In The New Year
Back in October we published a ‘Message from Our Director’ announcing that there will be changes made to the existing Domestic Installer Qualification. These changes were originally supposed to come in 1st January 2012 however as this target date is fast fading, the NICEIC have reported that they will keep ‘business as usual’ by continuing to accept previous registrations requirements. This means that at present the qualifications required to register as a competent domestic installer are all contained within our Bronze Domestic Installers Package.
So what does this mean for you?
If you are already training and rushing to get registered on a competent person’s scheme you can breathe a sigh of relief. You now have some extra time to complete the qualifications and your assessed installations.
If you were thinking of training but have been putting it off, this is an opportunity not to be missed. The new qualification (when it does arrive) is likely to be longer in length and will therefore be subject to price increases. From a student’s perspective it might not be a bad idea to begin training before the changes come in to avoid these costs.
Obviously, from a training provider’s perspective once the entire framework has been written and confirmed, we are really looking forward to delivering the new qualification when it does finally arrive. This is something we and many others in the industry have been wanting for some time and if done right, it will lead to safer, better practices for all.
So be assured that as soon as the new domestic installer’s qualification is released you will be able to take this with us at Trade Skills 4U. As always we will be on the cutting edge of the electrical and renewable industry and will always offer the latest most up to date qualifications. In the meantime we’ll keep you updated with announcements as they come through and endeavour to make any transition the industry coughs up as stress free for you guys as possible.
Labels: company news, electrical qualifications
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Monday, 14th November
In a heartfelt tribute held yesterday at the Cenotaph in Central London, the Queen led tributes to all the brave soldiers who served heroically and died for their country.
The Sunday morning ceremony saw the warm autumn sun shine over the vast crowds who surrounded the memorial. The sea of people stood in silence as wreaths were laid by her majesty the Queen before other members of the royal family stepped forward to do the same.
Amongst the Royalty, Military officers, politicians stood veterans and civilians, all shoulder to shoulder to remember the dead and those who have served – past and present.
As part of our support for those who have served in the forces, Trade Skills 4U have a dedicated bursary scheme for those who have served and fallen on hard times. We honour, cherish and respect all efforts great and small and would like to do what we can to help protect your future by helping you formulate a career for yourself after life in the military.
Our ‘Forgotten Heroes Bursary Scheme’ is something we strongly believe in and has already helped two ex-soldiers back onto their feet with one having found employment since retraining with us back in August.
We are only a small company and have to give these bursaries to candidates based on need, but where possible we will do what we can to help everyone that applies. If you could do with a helping hand or know someone who could, please contact our team on 01293 529777 or visit our dedicated Forgotten Heroes Bursary page.
Labels: forgotten heroes bursary scheme
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Wednesday, 2nd November
Since the announcement of the Feed-in-tariff cuts on 31st October 2011, everyone is in an absolute rush to make sure their installation is completed before the deadline of 12th December 2011 in order to be eligible for the ‘old’ tariff rate of 43.3p kWh.
We’ve received so many calls as of late by some of our partners who specialise in solar PV installation proclaiming the urgency to get hold of installers so that they can implement as many installations as possible before the December deadline.
One of our partners said:
“Up until this announcement we were normally completing 17 installations a month, over the past two days we’ve done 20 installations!”
In order to do what we can we’ve done a mail shot to every installer that has completed wither BPEC solar PV installation course or the City & Guilds 2399 solar PV installation course with us and asked them to contact the following companies if they are looking for work.
If you are a solar PV installer and are looking for work: give the following companies a call as they are crying out for you.
• RIG Energy Recruitment
• The Green Homes Company
• JoJu Solar
Keep an eye out for our jobs page as we are currently developing this to include both job opportunities as well as a skills swap exchange feature.
Labels: company news, solar pv, feed-in-tariff, government, decc
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Tuesday, 1st November
November is the 11th month in the year. It is the month that remembers Guy Fawkes and the anniversary of his failed gunpowder plot, a month that remembers those who have died on duty since the First World War and apparently, the month to grow a mooey.
For those of you who are unaware what I’m going on about, let me introduce to you Movember. Movember is a portmanteau of ‘moustache’ and ‘November’ and is an annual month long event which involves the growing of a moustache in order to raise money and awareness for men’s health issues. The reason why I’ve decided to blog about this is because our entire office (apart from the skeleton female staff of 5) is going to get involved.
Now there are some rules with this event,
• The face should be completely shaved including the upper lip on ‘Shadowe’en (October 31.)
• For the entire month of Movember no hair is allowed to grown in the goatee or beard zone.
• And there is to be no joining of the moustache to the sideburns.
To support our guys, I’ll be taking a photo every week for 4 weeks to document their progress as well as posting links online to their Movember accounts so you can help sponsor our Trade Skills 4U team.
Trade Skills 4U Movember profile: http://uk.movember.com/mospace/627852
If you’re interested in growing a Mooey for Movember, why not sign up and help raise awareness in this worthwhile and notable cause. See uk.movember.com for more details.
Our Day one clean shaven boys:
Labels: company news
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Monday, 31st October
As proud members of The Gatwick Diamond Business Association we thought that it was about time we showed our fellow members exactly who we are and how we do things by inviting them to come along to a GDBA Members Meeting at our Renewable Energy Training Centre in Crawley, West Sussex.
The day saw over 90 business professionals enter our state of the art training facility and come together to both meet our team and build and maintain relationships made within this association.
A great day in where we met lots of great people and an event to remember.
Labels: company news
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Wednesday, 26th October
At Trade Skills 4U you talk, we listen; you said you wanted to be able to book courses online, we made that happen. You said you wanted to be able to call us after work; we extended our office hours from Monday – Thursday until 8pm. You said that you’d like us to do taster mornings & open days, so we arranged them, (we’ve been busy hosting FREE solar PV taster mornings and 17th edition amendment evenings all because we love you) and now….let me introduce you to your newest treat, your long awaited common room.
Aptly called ‘Officer’s Mess,’ we’ve built you a common room complete with tables, chairs, that coffee machine that we know you love AND wait for it…Sky TV (oh we do treat you!)
However it is seriously lacking in character at the moment as you can see and we wondered what you’d like on the walls in terms of decoration? Would you like inspirational quotes, technical diagrams, or baby photos of our instructors?
Let us know because it’s you’re space and whether you use it to relax, revise, chat and make friends it’s there for you to enjoy.
If you could email: firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestions, we look forward to hearing from you.
Labels: company news
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Tuesday, 25th October
When it comes to reviews, who do you trust? Do you like personal recommendations from friends or family or do you look online for dedicated review sites on the products or services your looking to buy?
When you look online do you look in forums for relevant or expert views or do you like to hear it from the company itself?
The only trouble with online reviews and this online culture itself is that a lot of these things are anonymous. Anyone can pretend to be anyone on the internet can’t they? Reviews could be bias towards or against a company or product, fabricated by competitors or company staff or owners.
So who do you trust?
Tough one isn’t it? Well this is what we thought so we’ve created dedicated testimonials pages within our website www.tradeskills4u.co.uk/pages/testimonials so that you can see exactly what our customers are saying about us, when their saying it – straight from the horse’s mouth.
Well, we have recently organised all our precious feedback forms that we get each and every candidate to fill in when they finish their course with us, and didn’t know why we weren’t making the most of what has been said.
On these forms we get a few moans and groans as well as some great praise and compliments, some guys even hand their forms in accompanied by bunches of flowers – we’re serious.
We take every detail said on our forms very seriously and make sure we use them to better our services and products so that we are constantly improving these. But once we’ve done our bit with the forms, complete with all your beautiful and sometimes very funny comments, they have been cast to the side to seek shelter in a filing cupboard – that is until now.
From today we’ll be scanning and uploading fresh testimonials every week from our students so you can see what they are saying about us and what they think about their time with Trade Skills 4U.
Why not take a look at our October Reviews.
See previous Trade Skills 4U Reviews.
ImageSource @ managingthework.com
Labels: company news
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Friday, 21st October
The Domestic Installer qualification is changing:
If you are looking to train to become a domestic installer after December 31st 2011, you may be affected by the changes that are due to come in after this date. We're not quite sure what they are yet or when they will be coming in to affect as it's yet to be announced- but here's a message from our Director who is keen to pass on as much information about these changes as he can, when he can.
You may have heard that the qualification requirements to be a Domestic Installer are changing.
The easy answer is yes, you’re right, they are.
In fact as we speak the whole qualification industry from hairdressing to engineering is changing to something called the QCF; Qualification and Credit Framework. (Wikipedia it if you’re having difficulty getting to sleep sometime.)
It’s a bit of a revolution for qualifications and it’s actually quite a good idea, but during this transitional phase, things are getting confusing.
The more difficult question to answer is when and what are they changing to. So let me try and explain, it’s a little difficult to get our heads around them here in the office and we’re in the business, but we’ll try, here goes!
Tradeskills4U are the trainers, we offer qualifications that are available to you that we get from accreditation people like the City & Guilds, EAL, NICEIC, BPEC etc. ( nice people, very hard working )
The accreditation people get their steer of what the qualification should do and who can do it from an organisation called SummitSkills.
Summitskills gets its steer from ‘the industry’, People like ECA, IET, Employers, Contractors, training providers.
The system is slow and inefficient; it takes opinions and views from just about everyone. We complain about it on your behalf, but frankly we just have to work with what we have.
So ‘The industry’ decided it wanted to upscale the Domestic Installers qualification, it told Summitskills to come up with the qualification skills set that would be appropriate for the job. The industry asked them to do it by 1st January 2012.
That’s the theory, sounds easy, but in reality, everyone and his son wants to have their say, so we are all waiting on Summitskills to put their knitting down and crack on. (By the way, please feel free to call them and complain)
To be fair they’ve been hard at work and come up with a single new qualification called ‘The Certificate in Installing, testing and ensuring compliance of electrical installation in domestic dwellings’ (What a mouth full!) It will be a bunch of very relevant skills and knowledge modules, absolutely bang on the money for the job you intend to do, it will replace the several currently accepted qualifications with a single level 3 qualification, and will be accepted by all the industry bigwigs like the NICEIC, NAPIT.
So here we are, all waiting on Summitskills to confirm the qualification so we can offer it to you by the target date of 1st January 2012, we can then all get on with our jobs, which is getting you good people qualified for the jobs you need.
In the meantime, whilst we wait on the pen pushers, we’ll press on with how things are at the moment and as they have been for years. We’ll continue to offer qualifications that are appropriate at this moment. If and when they change, we’ll change them for you and ensure you are enrolled on the correct qualification for the job you want to do.
At the end of the day, we’ll be teaching you to install, test and commission electrics that comply in a domestic installation, so you can join a competent person’s scheme and work as a domestic installer. What the end qualification is actually code titled is not so important, teaching you to install & test is the same whatever the qualification code. What is important is that you get the proper skills and technical training.
So during this transitional phase I would say this, you can book your courses with confidence, we will alter the correct course title with minimum fuss to you. We’ll keep you in the loop and let you know the moment it changes.
We are pretty impressed by these changes, we’ve been calling for them for years, it’s all good, it’s just a pain that it’s been delayed by a slow bureaucratic process.
Work hard and prosper,
Labels: company news
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Friday, 21st October
This week, some of the Trade Skills 4U team have been let out of the office :o) to visit and exhibit at some shows this week. On Tuesday we ventured all the way up to NEC in Birmingham to visit the Installer Live show. Together we saw a mix of plumbing, heating and renewable energy exhibitors showcasing their latest products and services. We even saw Tommy Walsh floating around the isles posing for photographs - stalker much?
Yesterday we exhibited at Effingham hotel in Copthorne with leading aerial and satellite distributor Alltrade. The show itself, sponsored by TRIAX, consisted of 25 exhibitors and held PV seminars every hour demystifying this new technology to attendees. Most of the attendees were from the AV installation trade and were keen to up-skill into this fast moving renewable industry as the demand for aerial and satellite work is set to dip after the digital switchover in April 2012.
We’d just like to say many thanks to Steve Simper – Director of Alltrade – who invited us along and looked after us during the day. It was a great show and we met some very interesting characters – and if you’re reading this Stephen smith – we mean you :o)
Labels: company news, events
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Friday, 14th October
Over recent years we've helped thousands of people gain valuable knowledge, experience and the qualifications they need to pursue successful careers in the electrical industry, from new entrants, to existing electricians. We have now extended our range of electrical courses to cover Renewable energy training and have a dedicated centre for the training of these technologies 100 yards from our main Gatwick premises.
As a company we've always been very supportive of those who serve our country, from Police to Armed Forces, and have always made a conscious effort to make the resettlement process as stress free a transition as possible.
In June this year, we launched our Forgotten Heroes Bursary and in July we met with Civvy Street in an attempt to create a further service to our force leavers by enabling a new route to funding.
CivvyStreet.org has now got a dedicated page for us on their website which allows those looking to retrain, access to our free training pages should you or anyone you know want to apply for our free training Forgotten Heroes Bursary.
It's a great relationship to have and one we are proud of keeping; together we are helping each other to do the best by those who need it.
Should you want to apply for our free training scheme - visit our Forgotten Heroes Bursary Scheme Page.
To view our press release announcing our partnership with Civvy Street, The Royal British Legion click here.
Labels: company news, resettlement, forgotten heroes bursary scheme
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Wednesday, 12th October
New research by the Energy Savings Trust has revealed for the first time the reductions that householders can achieve through using solar thermal.
The full report, due to be published on 13th October, will say that solar thermal can save households £55 a year compared to average gas prices and £80 a year compared to an electric emersion heater for heating water.
For those on a mission to cut down their carbon emissions, this new technology used for harnessing solar energy for thermal energy can realistically save 230Kg of carbon compared to gas and 510kg compared to electric.
Householders looking to install Solar Thermal technology will be rewarded through the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) which is set to revolutionise the way heat is generated and used. This scheme will provide long term financial support to those who install this technology and a grant of £300 which is valid for 3 months will be issued to those who meet certain simple condition involved with the application.
The Scheme which was due to launch for non-domestic generators on 30 September gas has now been delayed as there are some concerns that the large biomass tariff is set too high. The scheme is set to go live before the end of November.
Those looking to become Solar Thermal installers can go on our BPEC accredited course and learn all the skills required to safety and successfully install this technology. This course page can be viewed by clicking here.
Labels: solar thermal, renewable energy
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Tuesday, 11th October
The London WorldSkills competition closed its doors on Saturday 8th October as Christopher Young walked away with an award in the Electrical Installation competition.
Bright spark Christopher Young, that turns 22 on 20th October, was awarded a medal of excellence at the WorldSkills London 2011. This event saw more than 1000 competitors from over 50 countries compete in their chosen vocational skill in the ExCeL exhibition centre in central London.
In support of the competition and its campaign to promote vocational skills amongst young people, Prime Minister David Cameron visited the centre and said: "I’m absolutely delighted that London is hosting the biggest WorldSkills Competition in its sixty year history. Standing here is so inspiring. To see almost 1,000 young people from more than 50 countries competing to be the best of the best. Not just in one skill, but in more than 40 skills from robotics, to web design, from cookery to landscape gardening.
"It’s great too for me that the UK is able to show off the skills and diversity of our own young people. What they have all achieved here sets a fantastic example for other young people."
Want to be like Christopher? Get qualified! Trade Skills 4U offer quality electrical courses and renewable energy courses as well as first class apprenticeship courses with our partners JTL.
Contact us on 01293 529777 for more details.
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Friday, 7th October
Well it didn’t ACTUALLY catch fire, but he must have burnt his fingers off yesterday and he fired through the some 300+ questions that were tweeted/emailed during TwitterUK’s Question & Answer series live yesterday using hashtag #askenergy.
Lots of industry related questions answering those poised on rising energy prices and household energy bills were thrown at him and we must say, he did his best!
Greg Barker started the morning by saying:
Hi everyone - we're just about to get started #AskEnergy [via Twitter]
And ended with:
times up im afraid. good fun but answers frustratingly short, if you found it useful let me know & will do again. #askenergy @gregbarkermp [via Twitter]
For those of you who didn’t get your question answered Mr Barker and his team plan to publish answers over the coming days.
We particular like:
Setting up Marine Energy Parks and giving more money to get projects in water.UK marine has huge industrial potential which I am backing [via Twitter]
We’re an island after all and we’ve all got to work with what we’ve got.
To see more of his tweets from the day see www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/news/_twitterqa/_twitterqa.aspx
Labels: decc, government
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Friday, 7th October
Cast your minds back to the year 2001; a year when the world was just getting their head around the devastating tragedy of the twin towers, a year when Beatles lead guitarist George Harrison died of lung cancer at the age of 58, and a year when the first ever iPod was introduced. All of aforementioned events, each memorable for very different reasons, were part of a year when the War on Afghanistan began.
Today, 7th October 2011, marks the 10th anniversary of British Forces being engaged in Afghanistan and more than five years since they assumed responsibility for Helmand Province. Remembering the related events that have led up until this date is a sobering opportunity for us to reflect of what our involvement has achieved.
Nearly 1,800 U.S military member have been killed, enough to form a single-file rank of soldiers a mile long. The UK’s military role in Afghan has not been without human toll as the number of British military deaths stand at 382. This is very little doubt that Afghanistan is a better place now that under the Taliban however the real question is when will it all end? A decade at war is long enough surely?
British troops have performed so bravely and achieved so much in this past decade it’s incredibly humbling. Thanks to documentary’s like ‘Our War,’ ‘Dispatches,’ and ‘The Bomb Squad,’ we have been able to really see bits of what the guys do day to day and snippets of what life could be like on the front line. These unglamorous real-life story’s give us a personal insight to our boys and girls who are giving their thankless service for their country.
So it is important that we look after them, especially when their service has ended and their life back into civilian world begins again. Trade Skills 4U offer a ‘Forgotten hero’s Bursary’ which aims to help those who have left the services and have struggled to find a suitable career path by arming them with electrical and/or renewable energy skills for free.
More information on our free training scheme can be found here.
Image source @DailyMail.co.uk
Labels: forgotten heroes bursary scheme, resettlement
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Thursday, 6th October
(From left to right: Andrew Fielding - Electronics UK competitor, Chris Young - Electrical Installation UK competitor, World Skills Logo for the competition 2011.)
London is always a very exciting place to be, and today, as the ExCeL reaches its full capacity harbouring the world’s biggest vocational skills competition – you can really feel it in the air.
Today 1,200 competitors from approximately 51 countries/regions around the world will be competing in 45 skills that range from bricklaying to beauty therapy to landscape gardening all battling to win a medal during the 4 days of intense competition.
As a specialist electrical training company our support is particular directed to the two young gentlemen competing in electrical installation and electronics.
Chris Young and Andrew Fielding competing in the aforementioned field respectively are two very intelligent and capable young men who are hugely passionate for their chosen skills.
Andrew Fielding: “I believe engineers shape the world we live in and I wanted to be part of that, creating and working with new technologies. I would like to one day become a managing director, travel to every continent in the world and complete a private pilot’s license.”
Chis Young: “(My biggest personal achievements are) achieving and passing my apprenticeship and becoming the UK gold winner. I also achieved first place in the Advanced Apprenticeship Awards and Bridgwater College Apprentice of the Year. (My ambition is) to learn new skills, strive for excellence and represent my country at WorldSkills.”
As a company we’re extremely proud of all the young people choosing to compete in WorldSkills as they are raising awareness for vocational skills and promoting the amazing opportunities they bring. Vocational careers open so many doors to so many people as they enable you to have both qualifications and experience which are the two key ingredients that employers search for in new employees. Learning the job alongside the practical skills will enhance the experience and make you more saleable.
We wish both boys and the rest of the UK team the best of luck!
Interested in find out more about vocational electrical skills? Visit our electrical courses, renewable energy courses, and apprenticeships courses pages for more details.
Labels: apprenticeships, events
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Wednesday, 5th October
Oh Twitter! David Cameron once tweeted “I’m tweeting so much I feel like a tw#t,” and now you’ve got our very own Climate Change and Energy Minister Greg Barker is now taking part in Twitters UK Question & Answer series. How. Very. Modern.
Mr Barker himself will be answering your energy related questions on subjects like rising energy prices, household energy bills on Thursday 6th October from 11.00am to 12.30pm.
Although if you feel like you’ve got a real burning question he’ll be taking questions in advance using the DECC twitter account @deccgovuk.
For those without a twitter account don’t worry your voices will still be heard. Multi-tasking Mr Barker will be also taking questions via his email address at: email@example.com but make sure you submit them by midnight tonight (5th October) so you don’t miss out.
Questions and answers will be captured and published on the DECC website following the session
If you're on Twitter why don't you add us by click here, we tweet about the industry, company news & offers as well as lots of funny bits and pieces to break up the working day!
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Wednesday, 5th October
Trade Skills 4U has just been awarded Preferred Supplier Status within the Career Transition Partnership (CTP) which is the Ministry of Defence working with Right Management.
This highly sought status and is recognition that Trade Skills 4U is an effective supplier of health, safety and environmental training and that our accredited courses are approved to the highest of standards.
This regulated and carefully measured preferred supplier status is only awarded to companies who meet the CTP’s criteria to ensure that all service leavers throughout the UK and the world seeking a new career will be in safe hands should they choose us for their training.
Managing Director of Trade Skills 4U Carl Bennett said, “We are absolutely thrilled with the news of the approval as it really is substantiation that our company provides first class training to candidates looking take electrical courses and renewable energy courses in the respective and growing industries. We take such pride in providing our professional service to members of our Armed Forces who are making the transition into civilian life and look forward to welcoming those who come through the CTP with open arms.”
Trade Skills 4U are very proud of our armed forces affiliations and have a dedicated resettlement page and forgotten heroes bursary page that can be found by clicking on the respective links.
Labels: company news, partnerships, resettlement
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Monday, 3rd October
Trade Skills 4U are proud to announce that they are sponsoring the very first online electrician of the year awards. The awards, officially held by My Local Electrician.co.uk, are the first of their kind and intend to encourage and create awareness for the electrical industry online; other sponsors for the event include Megger UK and Super Rod.
All electricians and electrical contractors are invited to nominate themselves and/or someone else for the awards which will be judged in two stages.
The first stage will be judged by the in house team at My Local Electrician who will draw up a short-list of nominees to be put forward to be judged in the finals by Megger, Super Rod and Trade Skills 4U.
There will be 3 awards presented:
Gold winner, Silver winner and a Bronze winner. Currently the prize package for each winner is as follows:
Gold Winner: Megger MFT1730 Multifunction Tester, and a Super Rod Mega Set kit.
Silver Winner: Megger MIT320 Insulation & Continuity Tester and a Super Rod Delux Set.
Bronze Winner: Megger DCM330 Fork Multimeter and a Super Rod Telescopic Pole and R2 Test Lead.
In addition, all 3 winners will receive a framed certificate plus a special winner’s logo which can be used on all your publicity material with the compliments of My Local Electrician.
The closing date for entries is 21st November 2011. Together Trade Skills 4U and My Local Electrician will announce the short listed nominees on the 5th of December 2011. This short list will then be judged by the sponsors and the three winners will be notified by the 12th of December 2011 – what better way to get you into the festive spirit?
To enter the awards click HERE
Labels: awards, company news
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Wednesday, 28th September
The UK’s leading independent electrical and renewable energy training provider, Trade Skills 4U, have announced that their ‘Forgotten Heroes Bursary Scheme’ candidates will now be able to access financial support when they take up the free training initiative set up in June 2011.
The free training bursary was officially launched by Falkland’s hero Simon Weston O.B.E, at the company’s renewable energy centre open day and aims to giveaway £100,000 worth of free training to those who are struggling to find their feet after leaving the forces. Whether this struggle is due to illness, injury or a lack of support this permanent offer will arm the candidates will practical skills for a new career.
However since its launch in June the company are experiencing a lack of eligible candidates that have the funds in place to travel to the centre based in Gatwick, West Sussex. “We are a national company and have strong affiliations with the forces and as a result eligible candidates from all over the UK are applying for our bursary. Unfortunately those who would benefit most from a scheme such as this are often facing hardship and have been out of employment for some time. As a result we are finding that these candidates are having trouble covering the costs of travel or accommodation in order to take advantage of this free training scheme,” says Chloe Bennett, Marketing Executive at Trade Skills 4U.
Thanks to Civvy Street, the Royal British Legion’s employment support service, a candidate who is eligible for Legion support could have access funding to help support their costs of travel and/or accommodation as well as other expenses whilst they train. “This partnership will bridge this gap and hopefully enable those most deserving of the bursary, the financial help to enable them to take hold of this great opportunity,” added Miss Bennett.
Trade Skills 4U Bursary candidates will have the opportunity to train as domestic installers, electricians and renewable energy installers and will take advantage of the company’s first-class and dedicated training centres. Trade Skills 4U offers the widest range of electrical courses and renewable energy courses in the UK today.
To find out more about the ‘Forgotten Heroes Bursary Scheme,’ candidates should visit www.tradeskills4u.co.uk/pages/free-training.
Labels: company news, partnerships, forgotten heroes bursary scheme
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Thursday, 8th September
National Electrical Provision enhanced by New Training Partnership
Trade Skills 4U and JTL have announced a partnership to deliver NVQ Diploma qualifications to electrical apprentices looking to become fully qualified in the electrical industry.
Thanks to this new agreement, the two organisations are working together to offer the most recognised electrician’s NVQ qualification of its kind in the UK. The government, ECA, JIB, JTL and Summit skills all recognise it as a robust route to becoming a fully qualified electrician.
Candidates looking to train within this industry will now be able to benefit from this collaboration as they will effectively receive the ‘best bits’ from two nationally recognised organisations, allowing the partners to focus their energy on what they do best.
The theoretical and practical training required to complete the knowledge components of the qualification will be conducted within Trade Skills 4U’s state of the art training facilities in Gatwick, West Sussex. Candidates will be able to take advantage of the centre’s fully equipped classrooms complete with workshop areas built to enhance student learning. The assessments and NVQ visits after the training course will then be delivered nationwide via an assigned JTL assessor.
Carl Bennett, Managing Director of Trade Skills 4U said: “As one of the UK’s leading independent electrical training provider’s, we bring an expertise in making people aware of the opportunities available to them along with the right customer service attitude needed to drive a retail business where the customer is key. This is a great opportunity for us as well as the students to come together and build the best training programme on offer today.”
Caroline Turner, Director of Operations for JTL added “We are delighted to have entered into this arrangement with Trade Skills 4U which we envisage can only bring benefits to the apprentices and their employers. Both organisations place strong emphasis on the quality of provision and support and we very much look forward to working together to creating innovative ways of meeting our employer partners’ requirements for training and assessment long into the future.”
Trade Skills 4U have many fully and partially funded electrician apprenticeships available for those wishing to become trained as fully qualified electricians.
About Trade Skills 4U LTD
Trade Skills 4U LTD is the UK’s largest independent electrical & renewable energy training provider based in Gatwick, West Sussex. The company established in 2005 and has since added a dedicated renewable energy training centre to its brand. The centre houses Englands first and only single storey training roof created solely for the use of students training to install Solar PV. Trade Skills 4U offer a range of electrical courses and renewable energy courses for those looking to train to become fully qualified electricians, domestic installers, renewable energy installers and sales and management consultants.
For more information please contact: Chloe Bennett on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01293 529777.
Labels: electrician training, partnerships, apprenticeships, company news
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Monday, 5th September
Trade Skills 4U.co.uk, the UK's largest independent electrical & renewable energy training provider, have launched a brand new sister company called Solar PV Tools.co.uk. The website, http://www.solarpvtools.co.uk, is designed to equip renewable energy installers with all the tools they would need to install, test and maintain solar PV systems.
Trade Skills 4U.co.uk Managing Director, Carl Bennett says: “We have always taken customer care very seriously, talking and listening to our customers and taking their views on board. We only recommend tools based on our own practical hands on testing; tools must be fairly easy to use and survive the rigors of daily practice to become a tool we trust, in order for us to feel able to sell them to our customers. Having found difficultly sourcing solar PV kits ourselves, it seems there is space for a market leader to supply solar installers with the kit necessary to complete installations and comply with MCS accreditation standards.”
In June this year, Trade Skills 4U successfully launched their Renewable energy training centre, complete with purpose built facilities built to cater for the demand for renewable energy installers. The centre houses the England’s first and only single storey training roof that enables candidates to install solar PV at height and with all the necessary kit they would require on a real installation such as pulleys, ginn wheels etc.
“We are in great support of this growing industry and have invested £350,000 into building our dedicated renewable energy centre; it seems like a step in the right direction to enable candidates to buy the kit we trust whilst they train with us. We are continually innovating and improving our products and services. The new website is the natural next step," added Carl Bennett.
Joe Bennett, Director of the new site added: "We are in a competitive market. Customers rightly expect a good deal and a professional service. At Solar PV Tools we know that our products are not only the very best available but also that we listen to our customers and construct the kits they need for the job. We provide fully bespoke solar PV kits which installers and contractors can design for themselves based on need and continue to refine our products and services to meet their needs now and in the future."
Solar PV Tools.co.uk has been established since 2011 and provides huge savings on a great range of tools, to visit the store today click www.solarpvtools.co.uk.
Labels: company news
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Thursday, 1st September
Today the production of the old-style clear tungsten bulb has been banned in an effort to encourage people to buy more energy efficient light bulbs.
Although the suggested energy efficiency bulbs could help you save some penny’s on your electricity bill, the majority of those affected have been describing their mad dashed to the store to stock up on the traditional 60 W bulb.
The impact of the ban on has said to be the equivalent of ‘taking seven million cars off the road’ commented Gunther Oettinger, the EU’s Energy Commissioner as the light consumes too much energy for the light they produce. ‘The average family can ‘easily’ save EURO50 a year on their electricity bill.’
Others aren’t so convinced; “Although it won't solve my problem forever, I have been bulk buying the 'old style' bulbs,” one blogger called Morglin wrote online this week.
The ban has been introduced in a bid to meet the government’s carbon targets in a reduction of carbon emission of 20% by 2020.
What do you think? Will you miss the traditional bulb or are you in favour of the modern energy efficient light?
Labels: electrical news
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Thursday, 25th August
Our second 17th edition amendment seminar was last night and what a great seminar it was. Our instructor James Deans stole the show this time as he led our 30- something guests into the world of the changes and helped them to discover how the said changes will affect them.
I have seen some comments on various websites and forums where existing electricians have expressed their initial feelings about the green book but I assure you, the changes are certainly worth looking into.
There are over 700 changes to the BS 7671 and even though many of these are editorial, there are some major changes which you can’t fight knowing about. The changes include additions as well as amendments and will affect everyone from designers, engineers and contractors to project managers, maintenance technicians and electricians.
Due to the demand and the necessity to know these changes we have decided to teach them right up until January 2012 when the changes get put into practice.
If you are interested in coming along to one of our free seminars, visit our events page or choose from one the dates below:
17th Edition amendment 1 - 28th September 2011 - 6.30pm - 9pm
17th Edition amendment 1 - 26th October 2011 - 6.30pm - 9pm
Labels: company news, 17th edition, events, ts4u taster events
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Wednesday, 24th August
Our taster mornings are a great way of getting to know some of the facts about a trade/industry before you jump straight in. We also find that holding open and free events like these are a great way of showcasing our facilities and allowing potential customers to visit us and see how we operate.
On Saturday 20th August, we held our first Solar PV Taster morning at our dedicated Renewable energy Training Centre, Crawley, West Sussex. The event itself lasted just over 3 hours and featured a presentation on the overview of solar PV installation as well as live demonstrations of roof installation, testing and maintenance.
Paul Chapman, our excellent electrical and solar PV instructor, managed a great audience of 25 and helped uncover what life could be like as a solar PV installer.
Some Feedback from our Solar Pv Taster Candidates:
- Sean Tierney via Twitter
"Great intro to #solarPV by @TradeSkills4U. Really informative and i will definitely be signing myself and others up for #MCSCertification"
- James Imray via email
"I came to the solar PV taster on Saturday and would like to thank you all for the morning, I found it very useful and will be in touch soon to organise some training."
If you are interested in coming to an open day or want to experience a taster in the electrical or renewable industries visit www.tradeskills4u.co.uk/pages/events for more information.
Labels: company news, ts4u taster events, solar pv, events
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Monday, 22nd August
Being a local electrician these days doesn’t just involve working on the tools. You need to be your own accountant, customer service advisor and of course the all-important marketing manager! The most successful electricians aren’t just skilled at the job they are rounded business people that understand the importance of finding customers as well hanging on to them.
This is the first in a series of advice articles looking at digital marketing for localised tradesmen, specifically domestic installers and electricians. Digital marketing can seem daunting and can be very costly should you employ outside help, however especially when it comes to setting up new campaign employing an expert can be worthwhile.
However for those that want to have a stab at it themselves this first article in the series deals with paid search and will set out a basic template and advice for local electricians to get off the ground.
Step 1 - Identify your keywords
Before you even get started you will want to identify which keywords you want to target. To begin with brainstorm keywords that you want to advertise on. These keywords will trigger your ads to show so try and think of every variation possible, include singulars and plurals. You need to identify keyword groups and keep them together as these groups will be useful.
You can use this tool it’s free and will tell how often a term is searched for and how competitive a term is: https://adwords.google.co.uk/o/Targeting/Explorer?__u=1000000000&__c=1000000000&ideaRequestType=KEYWORD_IDEAS#search.none
However I have identified some standard groups which you could use using Crawley as the location:
You will notice that the terms have the following extra characters:
 Exact Match - Terms within these brackets will only trigger your ads when this term only is searched for.
+ Broad Match Modifier - Terms with pluses will need to appear somewhere in a phrase in any order.
“” Phrase Match - terms within speech marks will need to be searched for in this specific order but other words can appear before or after the speech marks.
If a term has no characters with it then the terms will be broad matched which is similar to braod match modifier but you will ads may appear on similar terms. Google will make a judgement on this so I prefer to opt for “broad match modifier” in most situations.
Step 2 Create your campaigns
The key thing about creating a paid search campaign that is locally targeted is that you need to create two campaigns. This may seem like a lot of extra work but it is essential as it allows you to use keywords that a broader in one campaign such as “electrician” and locally targeted keywords such as “electrician crawley” in another which are not geo-targeted.
It is important that you set up the two campaigns with the following settings:
Campaign 1 – Local Terms such as “Crawley Electricians” Targeting a national audience
Location – England
Languages – English
Networks – Google Search
Devices – All
Budget – Set your maximum budget per day
Ad Delivery – Show ads
The key thing above is that this campaign targets all users in England.
Campaign 2 – General Terms such as “Electrician” Targeting a local audience
Location – 10 Mile Radius of RH10 9JY
Languages – English
Networks – Google Search
Devices – All
Budget – Set your maximum budget per day
Ad Delivery – Show ads
This campaign will only show to users based within 10 mile of your location. You can edit this and set the radius to be whatever you want. However remember the bigger the radius the more clicks will be generated.
Step 3 Create some ad copy for your ads
Your ad copy needs to be related to your keywords, enticing to users, include unique selling points and a call to action. It is also important to point your ads to a page that also includes your keywords and is relevant to what a user has searched for.
What is important to remember is that by grouping keywords together, having relevant ad copy and having a landing page that contains relevant keywords you will be rewarded by Google with a better quality score which in turn will lower the amount you pay per click.
I have written 2 different examples of ad copy below one for a local keywords and one for national:
For Crawley Terms For General Terms
Both ads are very similar as it is important that the location is prominent in both ensuring people only click on your ad if they think you are near to them.
Setting up your account
Armed with this information you will need to set up your Google account and create the two campaigns. This is a fairly simply process. Simply visit this link, click get started with Adwords and follow your nose:
Moving forwards you will need to track conversions on your site by setting up analytics with goal conversions or adding conversion tracking code to your contact forms. You will want to monitor which campaigns, keywords and ads perform best and if possible assign more budget to those that work best.
As with all marketing you will need to monitor your spend and your results to ensure this is working for you. My advice with paid search is to always start small and focus on the keywords which are most relevant and targeted to what you do. It is also wise to keep the location targeting close to you. You can expand to local towns or cities but you will spend more money and get a lower conversion rate.
Keeping things tight ensures that your campaign only spends on keywords that are likely to generate leads. If I currently search on Google for the term “electrician” the first ad that comes up is for an electrician in Huntingdon event though I am in Crawley.
This is likely to get clicked by mistake as it is first and waste a lot of money for this company.
Before embarking on a paid search campaign it is essential that you have a professional looking website otherwise you will find user won’t call or email and you will waste your money.
Adwords can eat money so be careful, play it safe to start with and if the enquiries don’t come there may be an issue with your campaign. The great thing about paid search is it is instant. You can turn it on or off immediately meaning you can use it as and when required.
If you are feeling brave dive in if not think about speaking to a specialist at least to set up your campaign.
For more information about marketing and business, you can take our 1 day business start-up course which will help point you in the right direction when you're making vital decisions about yout business.
Click here for more information about this course
A uniquely effective way of equipping yourself for a bright future in business.
Labels: marketing advice
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Friday, 19th August
Trade Skills 4U team up with MyLocalElectrician.co.uk to provide relevant content, news and up-to-date information for the industry.
MyLocalElectrician.co.uk is the only online magazine for Electricians, Trainee Electricians and consumers that makes full use of on-line social media. The magazine, owned and managed by editor and marketeer Gary Pratten, provides honest, helpful and informative reviews, news and products available to the electrical market.
Gary, a 33 year old father of two, set up My-Local-Trades.co.uk as there was a lack of a professional on-line resource for the electrical industry. Gary is a qualified electrical engineer and has built a career within the online publishing industry over the last 3 years. This move has led him to manage several online magazines and is proud editor of a growing number of trade magazines MyLocalElectrican.co.uk, My-Local-Plumber.co.uk and My-Local-Builder.co.uk.
Gary's key experience combined with Trade Skills 4U’s enthusiasm for the industry make us a great team to supply the growing demand for quality material with a constant stream of relevant and informative editorial for those looking to get into/already in the electrical & renewable energy industries.
The collaboration will allow the strong points of both companies to be communicated effectively and help to guide those interested in both or either the renewable and electrical industries to make informed decisions in order to progress through their training and career.
Trade Skills 4U will also be able to supply MyLocalElectrician.co.uk with updates and offers on our courses, such as our FREE 17th Amendment 1 seminar, and hopes to provide exclusive events and offers for MyLocalElectrician.co.uk subscribers in the future.
We look forward to having MyLocalElectrician.co.uk on board, together we can continue to create interesting debates and discussions online for all to communicate, ask listen and talk about all things electrical.
Labels: company news, partnerships
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Thursday, 18th August
Yesterday we held our first FREE 17th Edition amendment 1 seminar; a seminar designed to cover the regulation changes that were published 1 July 2011 for those who have already completed their City & Guilds 2382 17th Edition course.
The seminar, which could have easily been quite hard to listen for anyone on a Wednesday evening, was made very enjoyable by our valued instructors, James Deans and Andy Hay-Ellis. This combined with a great collection of both present and past customers has hopefully inspired customers for the future.
The event was held in our renewable centre on Royce Road, 100 yards from our specialist electrical centre in Crawley, West Sussex and delved into the major changes reflected in the amendment 1 such as:
• Section 444 – Measures against Electromagnetic Disturbances
• Section 534 – Devices for Protection against Overvoltage (surge protection devices)
• Section 710 - Medical Locations
• Section 729 – Operating or Maintenance Gangways
• Changes to the periodic inspection report
• Changes to Fuse Standards
Next week, we will holding our second and final seminar next Wednesday 24th August at 6.30pm, and for those who are interesting in attending – we have extended our capacity to make sure everyone who is interested in these changes, can benefit from our last FREE seminar.
Click here to register
Labels: events, 17th edition, ts4u taster events
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Thursday, 4th August
Case study – GREEN Solar PV Installer Package
Job title: Owner & Director at RenResTec
BEFORE YOU STUDIED
How did you hear about Trade Skills 4U? I found you via an internet search.
What attracted you to train with us? Professional setup, good feedback on forums, attractive package
What interested you in taking our solar PV Installer GREEN package? Enabling me to add the solar PV to my portfolio of renewables, in addition to solar thermal, air/ground source heat pumps & rainwater harvesting. Also enables me to be able to undertake my own electrical works as part of my renewable, heating & plumbing business
WHILST YOU STUDIED
How did you find the GREEN Package? Searching your website.
What did you think of the facilities? Very good, pleased with the facilities, tutors and location.
What did you think of the tutors? Professional, knowledgeable, approachable, experienced with hands-on expertise.
What are your best bits? Well equipped workshops, pleasant surroundings, friendly banter.
AFTER YOU TRAINED
Have you found work or have you set up on your own? I had already setup my renewables, heating & plumbing business but have now secured my first solar PV job.
Have you found it hard finding work? Not so far.
How well did the course prepare you for the real installation? Very well.
Have you found any other benefits to training with us? Kept in contact with a fellow student (Rich Barton) and he has been helping me with my first solar PV job.
What do you think of the industry and do you think there is a demand for solar PV installations? There is definitely demand for it but I think the MCS approval process and costs are putting some installers off.
What advice would you give prospective students who wish to get into solar PV? Be realistic about the cost to setup and get MCS approval, your ability to do the work, and also the increasing competition.
What do you intend to do next? I’m just intending to grow the business with the existing portfolio I offer.
Earlier this year, Vaughn Wiles completed the Solar PV Installers GREEN package. Since adding solar PV installation to his belt he has completed his first installation and enjoyed watching his company grow.
Vaughn will be keeping us updated on future PV installations, the industry and interesting insights to life as a solar PV installer.
Labels: case study, solar pv, renewable energy
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Friday, 29th July
Case Study – Ian Lockie
Role – RAF Regiment Gunner
Forgotten Heroes Bursary Candidate 1
Course Taken – 22 Day Green Solar PV Installer
Served: Iraq, Northern Ireland, Germany and Bosnia.
In 1998 following 9 years’ service as an RAF Regiment Gunner Ian Lockie, like many others, left the army in search of a new challenge. This new challenge wasn’t without limitations after Ian, a PTSD sufferer, found there was a lack of career prospects available to him. He later found work as a satellite engineer and then as a bus driver but was made redundant in January of this year.
Since his redundancy, Ian has struggled to find work and like many during these current times, realised he needed to re-train to get back into employment. However, the dilemma was what to train in and how to fund the training?
“Having spent my working life on my feet, I didn’t warm to the idea of being in an office situation. I’ve always preferred hands on work and was keen to seek training in this sort of area. When my wife showed me an article of Trade Skills 4U’s Forgotten Heroes bursary in The Sun newspaper, I knew I had to apply!”
The scheme, titled ‘The Forgotten Heroes Bursary Scheme,’ aims to giveaway £100,000 free training to ex-service personnel who are struggling to find employment due to injury, illness or a lack of support. This permanent offer is to arm our heroes with practical qualifications in both electrical and renewable industries to enable them to carve a new career path on Civvy Street.
Shortly after applying, Ian was awarded a place at the companies open day in June by Falkland’s Hero, Simon Weston O.B.E and chose to complete the Solar PV Installer’s GREEN Package; a 22 day package that enables a new entrant into the industry to train as a domestic and solar PV installer.
This package includes:
a TS4U exclusive MOD 1 course,
City & Guilds Inspection & Testing 2392-10,
City & Guilds Part P Domestic installers course,
City & Guilds 17th Edition (2382-10) and the
BPEC Solar Panel Installation which includes a health and safety module.
After a successful four weeks of training, Ian, who completed the GREEN package on 29th July, said “Trade Skills 4U have been great and I am very thankful for this opportunity. It was hard studying again as I haven’t been in this situation for more than 20 years, but I have been taught by some fantastic tutors, who have spurred me on from the start and made the learning as enjoyable as possible.”
Ian trained in both TS4U electrical and renewable energy centres and particularly enjoyed the 5 day BPEC Solar PV installation course. “Training on your solar PV training roof has to be the ultimate highlight of the course, I absolutely loved it. I’ve really enjoyed getting up there with the guys in all the workshops too and I have to say I’ve made some great friends. I’ve just finished the course now, and I’m buzzing! I can only look forward to future now, as I have a new career path to discover.”
If you are interested in applying for Trade Skills 4U’s Forgotten Hero Bursary please check out http://www.tradeskills4u.co.uk/pages/free-training .
We have recently partnered with The British Legion to help provide access to funding for those candidates that may struggle financially whilst they train with us. To find out if the scheme is for you, how it works and if you are eligible to apply follow this link to the Civvy street website.
Labels: forgotten heroes bursary scheme, case study
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Thursday, 28th July
Electrical contractors and renewable installers could be in high demand, as the proposed £110 billion investment is set to revamp the UK’s electricity generation infrastructure.
This huge venture has led experts to call on the government to incentivise training in the electrical and renewable energy (R.E) industries and it is expected that 115,000 new jobs will be created over the next ten years.
However this investment isn’t R.E specific and multi-skilled tradesmen such as electricians and plumbers will be able to enjoy the jobs demand too. “The idea that somehow we’ve been massively investing in renewables is absolute nonsense,” Energy Secretary Chris Huhne said on Tuesday. “We are catching up from a very low base. We’ve had 25 years of dithering on energy investment. We’ve got to stop dithering, because decision time is coming. You can have investment or you can have blackouts.”
This announcement comes from the new White Paper on Electricity Market Reform (EMR) from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC.) It outlines a plan to raise the percentage of R.E produced by 30% by 2030; it accounts for just 3% of the UK’s energy portfolio today. By raising the bar and investing in the countries energy generation infrastructure, it will help the UK move away from the more unreliable traditional fuel sources such as oil, and help to meet it’s legally binding carbon targets.
To ensure that our government is the “greenest government ever,’ officials at the DECC have confirmed that they will be spending £30 million over the next four years on developing green technology that’ll help power up the national grid and keep the countries lights on. This is the most significant change to Britain’s electricity sector since the privatisation in 1990 and the EMR is expected to pass into law in 2013.
Interested parties can still get into the industry before the boom by training or retraining in renewable energy technologies – as long as they chose a reliable course.
Trade Skills 4U are members of the Solar Trade Association and the Renewable Energy Association – so we are expertly able to offer training in renewable energy courses.
Trade Skills 4U have a dedicated Renewable Energy Training Centre, where first-time students and experienced personnel alike can train in renewable energy courses approved by BPEC, City & Guilds and NICEIC.
We offer a wide range of renewable energy courses for installers, sales consultants and industry professionals. Courses such as our Solar PV, Solar Thermal and Rainwater Harvesting are conducted on purpose built facilities within our centre and have received fantastic feedback from our accredited bodies and partners.
Training with Trade Skills 4U, could enable you to become fully qualified ahead of the boom in renewable energy.
Image Source @ eastsussexplumbingandheating.co.uk
Labels: decc, government, renewable energy, solar pv
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Tuesday, 26th July
What is a Smart Meter?
A smart meter is an electrical meter that records consumption of electric energy in intervals of an hour or less and communicates that information once or more daily to your energy supplier for monitoring and billing purposes.
In December 2009, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) announced its intention to have smart meters in all homes by 2020. This UK rollout of smart meters is considered to be the largest programme ever undertaken – involving visits to more than 27 million homes to replace meters for both electricity and gas.
The purpose of introduction
Traditional electrical meters only measure the total energy consumption and have never offered further information as to when and how the energy was consumed. Smart meters provide an economical way of measuring this information and can provide a number of potential benefits for homeowners.
A much desired end to the dreaded estimated bill. Through the rollout of the smart meter, householders will always receive accurate energy bills as their energy consumption will be correctly measured and submitted to their utility once or twice daily.
In House-Display to help consumers manage their energy bills. The home-display smart meters allow you to see how much your using and when it’s being used. Through this understanding you can pick a more suitable energy tariff/supplier or make changes to your current habits by managing your household’s energy consumption during peak usage hours.
Full control of your energy costs. The home-display will allow householder to have a better idea of how much your next bill is going to be, there will be no big surprises and it will be easier to budget.
A better environmental awareness. As you will have a better and more present idea of what you are spending, any cut back you make to decrease your overall energy usage will benefit the environment and reduce CO2 Emissions.
Smart Meters and the ‘in house-display’ (IHD)
In January 2011, the most intensive study of its kind was conducted by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. They reviewed more than 36 different residential smart metering and feedback programmes internationally and their conclusion was: “To realise potential feedback-induced savings, advanced meters (smart meters) must be used in conjunction with in-home (or on-line) displays and well-designed programmes that successfully inform, engage, empower and motivate people.”
Last July, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) set out ‘proposals for a minimum set of functional requirements for the IHD that should be provided to domestic customers. In the design requirements – smart metering implementation programme it was concluded that:
• The smart metering equipment should store 13 months (instead of 12 months) of half hourly consumption data.
• There will be guidelines for ambient feedback (i.e. visual, non-numerical display features of the IHD) and accessibility will be developed as part of the technical specifications work in the next phase of the programme.
As we get closer to the official 2012 launch for this initiative there will be a wider variety of Smart Meters available in the domestic market, however these proposals have now been concluded and consumers should see the above functions* embedded within the new smart meter devices. The DECC should be announcing comprehensive proposals for the technical specifications this month (July 2011.)
*To see a list of all the minimum functional requirements click here.
Who will be installing my Smart Meter?
Energy suppliers, such as E.ON UK and British Gas, have taken it upon themselves to kick-start this installation process and have outlined plans to install 100,000 smart meters in customers’ homes by the end of 2011 and ‘reach 1 million by the end of March 2014,’ taken from E.ON’s website.
This determination to be at the forefront of smart meter installation has led companies like E.ON to specially train installers; a spokesperson at the company says: "Eon-UK has helped develop a smart metering qualification, which is aligned to our current training offerings, and is now supporting the work to develop an apprenticeship route. We are also hoping to be one of the first organisations to gain accreditation from NSAP for the quality of our smart meter training programmes and academies. Eon-UK has also just opened a Smart Metering Centre of Excellence in Nottingham, providing a dedicated contact point for customers with smart meters."
The Smart Meter Installer
According to an article published on Utility Week , ‘Smart meter installers will need to have both technical know-how and customer interaction skills.’
However, the main recruitment challenge will be in identifying and training installers who have both dual-fuel technical skills and the "softer" skills required to explain the operation of smart meters to customers - this dual-fuel cross-training and up skilling is a key training need.
Some feel the government should sponsor the development of suitable apprenticeship schemes to support the mandate. Eon-UK, however, has taken the initiative itself.
"Field force engineers will have to have dual-fuel capability, know how to commission the communications for the smart meter, pair up the in-home display device (IHD) and explain how it works to the customer. This requires a much broader set of technical and softer skills than is normally expected from a meter installer," says the spokesperson from Energy & Utility Skills, whose qualifications are funded by the National Skills Academy.
The Energy & Utility Skills suggest that up to 6,300 installers will be required to complete the smart metering rollout across the UK between 2014 and 2019.
EU Skills also indicates that, with a high proportion of the existing metering workforce approaching the average retirement age for the industry over the next five years, we could see a need for around 4,000 new recruits during this period.
Protecting the householder
To stop energy companies from making their sales pitch whilst installing your smart meter, independent expert advice company Which?, have encouraged other suppliers to take up their ‘Which? Smart Meter Challenge.’ Companies who accept the challenge will not sell during the installation and their smart meter installers will not be on sales-related omission or have to make any sales leads. Several companies have taken up the challenge so far; Co-operative energy, Ecotricity and First Utility are amongst the first seven.
Image source:@utilityweek.co.uk & @mirror.co.uk
Labels: smart meter
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Monday, 25th July
In a press release, published Thursday 21st July, the DECC has officially announced details on the Renewable Heat Premium Payments. It has been revealed that householders can receive Premium Payments from next month, to cover a proportion of the installation costs of renewable heat technologies.
£860 million has been allocated for the RHI, with £15 million set aside for Premium Payments. The available £15m will be to support heat installations in up to 25,000 homes with a review point once the £10m limit is approached. £3m of the £15m will be set aside for registered social landlords to improve their housing stock; details of how to apply for this will be released at a later date.
The Premium Payment scheme will be run by the Energy Savings Trust and anyone requiring information about the scheme should contact them at www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/RHPP
Key points are as follows:
• The scheme starts 1 August and closes 31 March 2012
• Solar thermal is available to any householder. Other technologies are only available for households not currently using gas heating.
• Householders in England, Scotland and Wales can apply. They must certify that this is their main home and that they have basic energy efficiency measures in place (loft insulation to 250mm and cavity wall insulation, where appropriate)
• Both the product and installer must be MCS (we think this also means ‘or equivalent’, but the DECC press release is unclear)
• Recipients of the payments will be eligible for RHI, assuming they meet the other conditions of the RHI. There are no details of these conditions on the press release
• Payments for solar thermal are at the same rates as those previously published - £300
• Once registered, householders receive a voucher for the relevant amount. They must install the kit within 3 months for solar thermal and 6 months for all the others. Installations must have been completed by 31st March 2012
• Participants must complete 2 surveys
• Some households will also be selected at random to provide further information via meter installations. Agreeing to this if selected is a condition of the scheme – the meters will be installed free of charge.
The scheme is open to householders in England, Scotland and Wales and will open on the 1st August 2011 and operate on a first come, first serve basis. The government have not yet published proposals how the RHI will work in the domestic sector, and have not yet published any eligibility criteria.
In the House of Commons Energy Minister, Greg Baker, called the RHI scheme ‘a new era in home heating.
Research Source - STA
Interested in taking advatnage of the solar thermal demand? Take a look our our solar thermal courses today.
Labels: renewable heat incentive
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Wednesday, 20th July
The government have announced that they will spend 22 billion on construction projects over the next three years which could mean more work for various tradesmen including electricians.
Minister of the cabinet office, Francis Maude, spoke yesterday at the Construction Procurement Conference and stated that further details of these figures and details will be confirmed later in the autumn.
Mr Maude Said: “The government’s construction strategy is reducing costs by up to 20% by reforming the way we procure construction projects across all sectors. However, we are still investing billions of pounds annually; with the same money we will procure more schools, hospitals, courts and prisons. Despite an incredibly difficult economic climate we are investing in and prioritizing our construction industry.”
“The government and the construction industry have a shared obligation to cut waste and find new and better ways of doing business. This is especially important when we are talking about creating first class, modern, fully functioning public service delivery buildings like hospitals and schools.”
This announcement came as a shock since there were expectations amongst the industry that construction funding would be slashed.
The Minister also revealed further details of the new Government Construction Board chaired by Paul Morrell under which:
• The Efficiency and Reform Group Steering Committee will be chaired by Andrew Wolstenholme, who will work with task groups chaired by Nick Pollard, Tim Eaton, Deborah Rowland, Mark Bew and Bill Yardley.
• The IUK Steering Committee will be chaired by Peter Hansford, working with task groups chaired by Simon Kirby, Professor Brian Collins and Steve Fox.
The full Construction Strategy can be found by clicking here.
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Wednesday, 20th July
It is always great to hear back from our customers; so when you receive a letter of thanks about the course and our instructors it put our whole team on track for a very good day.
Below is a letter we recieved from Site Safety Supervisor, Andrew Fitches. Andew attended our PAT testing course in June and wrote to us with thanks.
Thank you Andrew for you letter, it is much appreciated.
If you or your collegues would like to do our PAT Testing course, click here for more information.
Labels: customer feedback, company news
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Tuesday, 19th July
The 17th Edition course amendments were published on 1st July 2011. To help you and your colleagues gain an appreciation of the changes and additions incorporated in the first amendment, we are holding a one off free seminar on 17th August 2011 at 6.30pm, aimed at all those involved in the electrical installation industry.
If you are a designer, engineer, electrician, electrical contractor, maintenance technician, project manager or tutor/trainer in these areas, you will need to know about the following changes and additions:
Measures against electromagnetic disturbances - new section 444;
Devices for protection against overvoltage (surge protection) - new section 534;
Medical locations - new Section 710;
Operating or maintenance gangways - New Section 729;
Model forms for certification and reporting - Appendix 6;
This evening theory course covers the regulation changes being introduced by the First Amendment to the 17th Edition Wiring Regulations, published in July 2011. It is designed for those who’ve already completed the City & Guilds 2382 17th Edition course. There is no assessment involved as there isn’t a qualification specific to this course. However, delegates will receive a Trade Skills 4U Certificate of Attendance.
Labels: 17th edition, events, ts4u taster events
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Thursday, 14th July
The Renewable Energy Roadmap, the first of its kind in the UK, is set to accelerate the deployment and use of renewable energy in the UK. It plans to put us on ‘path to achieve our 2020 target’ while focusing on the matters that are of interest to the consumer such as delivering long term change with minimum cost. The 107 page document identifies eight technologies that have the potential to help the UK meet its target of sourcing 15% of its electricity from renewable sources.
‘The Government’s Electricity Market Reform White Paper, published alongside this Roadmap, sets out our reforms to the separate Great Britain and Northern Ireland markets for all forms of electricity generation. Reform will ensure that low-carbon electricity from a diverse range of sources - not just renewables - becomes a more attractive choice for investors, delivering long-term change while minimising cost to the consumer,’ says the department of climate change.
Changing the focus?
Because renewable energy isn’t just about electricity; the focus has moved onto the heat, wind and biomass technologies such as solar thermal and heat pumps. These have actually been around a lot longer than the popular solar PV, however because the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) has taken some time to establish itself, the demand for these aren’t quite as high…yet.
There has been a real global appetite for solar PV and since the UK launched the Feed-in-Tariff in April last year, the interest in this technology has grown because of the sheer benefits available. The incentive for solar power has been supported by the Renewable Obligation which protects the incentive once it has been reviewed from 2013-2017.
A report published by Ernst & Young 2011 reveals the uptake of the scheme and states that by the end of May 2011 ‘nearly 38,000 solar PV installations in Great Britain were receiving support through the Feed-in Tariff’ which shows how popular this technology has become. Considering the impact solar PV and other solar technologies and how they contributed to the 2020 target so far, It was quite surprising to read that solar PV was left of the list of technologies.
The Renewable Roadmap clearly outlines ways to promote other technologies focuses on these particular 8 technologies that the government feel have the most potential to help the UK meet its 2020 targets in the most cost effective and sustain way.
• On shore Wind
• Offshore Wind
• Marine Energy
• Biomass Electricity
• Biomass Heat
• Ground and Air Source Heat Pumps
• Renewable Transport
Creating actions for these key technologies will allow the UK drive the cost of deploying these energies down, whilst enabling them to mature so that medium to long-term they will not need additional support to compete with other low carbon technologies.
‘A lack of good quality heat installers and engineers’
For those that are most interested in training to installer renewable heat, this new financial strategy should encourage installation of equipment like heat pumps and biomass, reducing emissions and helping support of 150,000 jobs in the UK’s heating industry. The renewable energy industry already employs more than a quarter of a million people and by the time we reach 2020, that number could reach to over half a million. This industry has created news jobs within the sector and given indirect support and benefits to sustain this new green economy. This journey has been heavily measured and the UK Renewable Energy Roadmap has deployed a wide range of renewables to help the government meet their 2020 target.
Conclusions from the DECC analysis on the key 8.
• Even though we are starting from a low level the UK can meet the target to deliver 15% of the UK’s energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020 through domestic deployment. Recent ‘bottom-up’ analysis, based on industry inputs, suggests that there is significant upside potential and downside risk to deployment;
• Based on current information, and taking account of their long term potential as well as their cost effectiveness, 8 technologies are capable of delivering more than 90% of the renewable energy we estimate is required by 2020;
• The pipeline of renewable electricity projects is healthy. Although, allowing for historic dropout rates27, it puts us on track to deliver approximately 29 GW of capacity by 2020, significant uncertainties remain and we still urgently need new renewable projects to come forward to ensure we meet the 15% target and longer term carbon reduction targets;
• The pipeline for renewable heat projects is less well developed but following the introduction of the world’s first incentive for renewable heat could deliver up to an additional 100,000 heat pumps and an additional 24,000 biomass heat28installations by 2020;
• Road transport biofuels are proposed to increase to 5% of road transport fuels by 2014. Subject to the results of current consultations, Government will come forward with options in Spring 2012 to stimulate further growth in renewable transport for the period after 2014;
• Costs of renewable energy technologies are currently high and uncertain but are expected to fall over time as supply chains develop, technical challenges
Labels: renewable energy, decc, government, solar pv
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Wednesday, 13th July
Below is the letter from one of our happy customers that completed his 17th Edition training with us.
Last week we received a letter of thanks from one of our customers studying the 17th Edition course.
Mr Atkins was particularly impressed with Mark our instructor who did 'an excellent job.'
Mr Atkins said " I recently completed a 17th Edition course (20-22nd June) at Trade Skills 4U. I want to congratulate Mark, our instructor for an excellent job. The subject was quite in-depth with all the regulations yet Mark made the subject interesting with relevant examples given by his experienced background. I did find the subject hard going (22 years Marine Engineering with the Royal Navy as my background) yet Mark's instruction was very informative and professional.
Labels: customer feedback, 17th edition
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Monday, 11th July
Trade Skills 4U mentioned in the House of Commons
Trade Skills 4U were recently commended by Henry Smith MP for their work and contribution to meeting the UK’s green targets. The 17th June 2011, saw the UK's leading electrical training provider, Trade Skills 4U; officially launch its renewable energy training centre. This new addition, complete with a range of purpose built facilities, enjoyed a celebratory opening where numerous guests, gathered to gain an insight in this fast-emerging industry.
Henry Smith MP officially opened the centre with help from national hero, Simon Weston O.B.E, by revealing a plaque that was created in honour of the occasion. He spoke about the great work Trade Skills 4U are doing as a business and in their campaign to introduce green energy training to Crawley, West Sussex.
Mr Smith has written to the company since expressing his upmost support. “I was pleased to have the opportunity earlier today to pay tribute to the work of Trade Skills 4U in the House of Commons during Questions to the Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change. Please always be assured of my assistance now and in the future.”
Trade Skills 4U are very proud to be affiliated with Henry Smith MP and the work he has done for Crawley and the Manor Royal Business Park. The company hopes to maintain this valuable relationship and will continue to support Mr Smith with his future campaigns.
Labels: company news, renewable energy, events
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Friday, 8th July
Since Trade Skills 4U launched their Forgotten Hero Bursary scheme in June, they have enjoyed a lot of support they have received from individuals with similar beliefs and ideals. National hero Simon Weston originally helped launch the scheme at TS4U’s renewable energy centre launch last month and since several charities have got involved to help search for eligible bursary candidates.
Particularly though it is the partners of this national electrical and renewable energy training provider that has been of notable support. “Our partners are helping to elongate the good work we are doing here at Trade Skills 4U by offering their services for little or no cost to our bursary candidates!” says Carl Bennett, managing director at Trade Skills 4U. “I am keen to encourage other businesses to do what they can to help and support our boys and girls with life after the forces whether it is through employment or empowering them with a new set of skills as we are.”
Industry leaders Easy MCS are amongst TS4U’s partners who are helping to lengthen the forgotten hero bursary by offering their support through the MCS accreditation process for free. Their service usually costs around £495 and is a vital part of the renewable industry. In order to gain MCS accreditation you have to compile a quality management system (QMS ;) this systems will be specifically designed around your companies unique operations detailing your internal and external practices. Every renewable installation must be signed off by a person who has been accredited by the MCS scheme. If you or your company are planning on up-skilling to take advantage of this fast-emerging industry one out of every 10 people in a business must be accredited under the scheme. MCS exists to ensure quality is maintained throughout the renewable energy industry and protects consumers from company’s installations substandard installations.
“Easy MCS Ltd is proud to support Trade Skills 4U in its forgotten hero’s campaign and as such would like to extend the Easy MCS Certification support to their bursary candidates. The forgotten heroes that are our service men and women deserve as much support as can be given in helping them retrain for civilian life. These brave people risk and often give their lives for others and often are never formally recognised. We hope that the training we are offering alongside Trade Skills 4U will provide support to those who require it after they have given everything to the protection of others.”
Stroma, a leading certification body in MCS accreditation is also doing their bit to help our bursary candidates. Stroma’s MCS accreditation process ensures that all notifications, inspections and installations of the microgeneration technologies such as solar PV, solar thermal are produced to consistently high standards. Those wishing to become an MCS installer must do so by applying to a certification body like Stroma in order to have their installations and QMS packages reviewed and verified. Installer certification entails assessing the supply, design, and installation, set-to-work and commissioning of renewable microgeneration technologies. Stroma will offer their support through the process of accreditation certification for the low price of £100; a service that normally costs £385.
“It’s great to have support from these companies enabling of our bursary candidates to enter the industry with little or no experience and have the opportunity to train in the most fast-emerging technologies around with support from all the industry leaders for little or no cost at all. Thanks to their support together will are potentially able to give away £4919 worth of training for free. It proves if everyone does what they can whether it be the cost of a penny or a pound, it can make a real difference to those who have given their thankless service to support the freedom and safety of this country,” says Carl Bennett.
If you want to get involved and help us lengthen our bursary scheme, contact Chloe Bennett at email@example.com
Labels: forgotten heroes bursary scheme, partnerships
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Tuesday, 5th July
The IEE Wiring Regulations, published in January 2008, are soon to be changed as revisions are taking place. New regulations, known as the IET Regulations, will be published any day now and will include several changes. These changes include revision on medical locations, measures against electromagnetic influence and devices for protection against overvoltage (surge protection).
These changes are not certain as the revision is only a proposal but it is more than likely that the regulation amends will take place.
A brief look at some of the changes
The largest revision is to Section 710 which deals with medical locations. This not only covers hospitals but other healthcare facilities such as doctor and dentist surgeries. The new regulations will deal with the reliability of supply in these locations, and to reduce the risk of electric shock.
As there are particular risks associated with medical locations, additional measures are now to be taken to ensure a patients safety.
Section 710 divides medical locations into three groups:
Group 0 locations – no applied parts (medical instruments and devices) are intended to be used, and supply failure will not endanger life.
Group 1 locations – applied parts are intended to be used, but again supply failure will not normally endanger life.
Group 2 locations – applied parts are used and supply failures can cause danger to life.
The measures attached to these groups will relate to the new regs and include things as medical IT distribution systems with special isolating transformers, supplementary equipotential bonding and “safety service” power sources that will ensure continuity of supply.
Another big change in the regulations will be to Section 534. This is the section that covers the selection and applications of surge protection devices. These devices are used to minimise the effects of voltage transients produced by natural phenomena, such as lightning and by switching operations. This section will now divide the protection devices into three categories will explain how a device should be selected and how all three types much be co-ordinated in an installation.
Amongst the many revisions, a fresh section that will cover operating and maintenance gangways and measures against electromagnetic influences will be included in the new 17th Edition amendments.
The timetable is subject to change, but the present schedule calls for it to be published in June 2011, and for it to come into force on 1 January 2012.
Who will these changes affect?
As there are a lot of specific changes it is likely that it will affect a lot of practising electricians.
Below we have listed the changes and who they will affect.
• Protection against electric shock - Chapter 41 will affect all persons carrying out alteration work on installations under the control of ordinary persons such as domestic installations
• Measures against electromagnetic disturbances - new section 444 will affect anyone involved in the design, erection, and verification of affected electrical installations need to be familiar with this section.
• Selection and erection of wiring systems - Chapter 52 is a significant change from the 17th Edition and affects all persons carrying out alteration work on concealing installations such as domestic installations.
• Devices for protection against overvoltage (surge protection) - new section 534 will affect all persons involved in the design, erection, and verification of these types of electrical installations needs to be familiar with section 534.
• Medical Locations - new section 710 will affect all persons involved in the design, erection, and verification of electrical installations in medical locations need to be familiar with the draft requirements contained in this new section of the first amendment.
• Operating or maintenance gangways - new section 729 will affect all persons involved in the design, erection, and verification of restricted areas such switch rooms with switchgear and control gear assemblies need to be familiar with the new requirements.
• Model forms for certification and reporting - Appendix 6 will affect all persons involved in the periodic inspection of electrical installations need to be familiar with this.
Labels: 17th edition
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Monday, 4th July
A recent report submitted by energy regulator Ofgem, showed that on average, power company profits are the lowest they have been for two years.
‘With companies like Scottish Power pushing up gas prices by 19% and electricity tariffs by 10%, the question has been when British Gas would follow suit, not if,’ says Robert Peston, Business editor of the BBC. ‘British Gas, the largest supplier of gas and electricity in the UK, will announce price rises some time before the results of its parent company, Centrica, are published on 28 July, I have been told.’
When the energy giant inevitably announces their price raise this month, it will be yet another blow for the millions of households that are struggling to pay their bills.
Back in April, Ofgem announced that its plan to make energy suppliers give 30 days’ advance notice of all price rises was formalised, in an attempt to protect consumers from the ever growing energy prices. These new rules aimed to sweep away the complexity in energy pricing and allow a consumer time to switch to a cheaper energy supplier and avoid what has been described as ‘Fuel Poverty.’
As the world’s oil supply is unavoidably disappearing, gas prices will continue to rise and it may be the right time to take your energy finance into your own hands. There is a lot of discussion about energy alternatives and a lot of people are seen to be jumping on the bandwagon. “I was at a friend’s BBQ last weekend and our neighbours fine solar array was a hot topic’ says Lorraine Nugent, West Sussex homeowner. “There was mixed views at the beginning of the conversation however it seemed they were down to awareness. The majority weren’t aware that solar panels can come in all shapes and sizes and that you can earn money even from the energy you use, we certainly walked away with a potential installation on our minds.’
Since the Feed-in Tariff became available, energy companies are obliged to pay householders a regular tariff for their production of renewable energy such as electricity produced from a solar PV array. Simply put, for every kilo-watt you produce you get paid. Below I have demonstrated a typical investment of a 3kWp system (approx.) for a roof that faces south. These figures are dependent on the systems you install and their efficiency. Please bear in mind these figures are in good faith and should not be used as ‘financial advice.’
Based on an investment in a 3.08kwp system costing £13,369.70
Income from Feed-In Generation Tariff @ 43.30p/kWh: £1,132.42
Income from energy you don’t use @ 3.20/kwh: £40.54
Electricity Saving of £181.76
Which means your total benefit would be £1,354.72
Payback time: 8 years and 5 months
Total Profit over 25 years: £45,302.74 (13.55% per year & at 5.92% AER)#
Calculate your potential solar costings here.
When you really begin to uncover the potential benefits of going green you really understand why the government are really backing this industry at the moment. It really is a way out of having to spend an ever increasing amount of money with energy suppliers, as a lot of what you pay for is maintaining their infrastructure.
Labels: renewable energy, solar pv, feed-in-tariff
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Wednesday, 22nd June
On Friday 17th June we held our Renewable energy open day. We held a free raffle and a solar PV installer’s kit worth £450 was up for grabs.
The lucky winner was Elaine Oake who was thrilled with the result. “I am impressed with your centre and I really enjoyed the day. I would like to thank you again for the prize I am really chuffed,” said Elaine.
I’m sure Elaine will put the kit to good use and we hope to see her clambering on a roof near you soon!
Labels: renewable energy, events, simon weston obe
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Tuesday, 21st June
More must be done by government, businesses and the military to prepare forces personnel for life after they have served their country.
“Servicemen and women need to be retrained seven years before leaving the military in order to be prepared for their future,” said Simon Weston OBE, who has thrived in the media after being dismissed as ‘totally unemployable’ after suffering horrific burns injuries during the Falklands War.
Weston was speaking as guest of honour at the launch of a training hub that is offering free bursaries to former forces personnel to become domestic installers, electricians and renewable energy installers in technologies such as solar PV.
Businessmen, energy consultants, installers and military personnel gathered at Trade Skills 4U’s new renewable training centre in Crawley, West Sussex, on Friday 17 June, when Conservative MP Henry Smith officially opened the site. The day featured key seminars by their industry leading partners and live demonstrations by instructors, helping to demystify the skills and processes involved when installing renewable energy technologies.
Simon Weston presented the first Forgotten Heroes bursaries kick-starting the free training initiative created by Trade Skills 4U. This scheme was purposely created to offer some practical help to our heroes by arming them with the opportunity to begin a new career in the electrical and renewable energy industries. The permanent offer aims to give away £100,000 worth of free training every year to those who have left the forces are facing adversity and are struggling to find a new career path.
Among the bursary awardees stands Ian Lockie, who served in the RAF in Germany and Norfolk for nine years and left the military in 1998. He still receives treatment for PTSD to this day and had found himself looking for a new direction. “I have been a bus driver and satellite installer since leaving,” he said. “I read news of the bursaries in a national newspaper and applied and have been awarded a bursary to retrain as an electrician and solar PV installer. I certainly hope to make the most of this opportunity.”
Golden Zimmaestro of Nottingham, another awardee, served in Germany for three years but was forced to leave on medical grounds. Now 33, he has found work difficult to find since leaving but said he was “really looking forward to my training in Solar PV installation”.
Trade Skills 4U (TS4U) Managing Director Carl Bennett, a former long-serving police officer who now works closely with the military, also appealed for more action to help former forces personnel: “I believe the government and military do not do enough to assist our ex-servicemen. Businesses and the military need to be encouraged to promote our boys and girls for their thankless service for their country. Hardworking, they have plenty of skills to offer. Help our heroes practically and financially by considering them for jobs and advertising your positions in military magazines.”
Simon Weston applauded Carl Bennett for TS4U’s training initiative, stressing that skills learnt in the military were transferable but believing that not enough was being done to help former personnel after they left the services, he said. “When you leave the military, they don’t do enough. Servicemen need to be retrained seven years before leaving the military to be prepared for their future.”
“Troops can be damaged physically and mentally,” Simon Weston said. “I had horrific burns injuries after the Falklands but focused on the opportunities that were available to me and have been in the media now for 29 years as a result. Men and women all over the world have been left injured after serving their country and haven’t had the same opportunities as I so they have been left to cope on their own. There aren’t enough opportunities for these people which is why TS4U’s bursary scheme is brilliant scheme to be a part of.”
When only 21, Simon Weston had to be resettled after suffering his injuries. A year later he was sent to see his colonel in a wheelchair, still covered in bandages and weighing just eight stone. Asked what he wanted to do for the rest of his life, he replied: “Serve in the military and play rugby.” After due consideration, the colonel ruled he was “totally unemployable”. “My regiment was a great support and helped with morale but the military did nothing and morale doesn’t pay the bills,” Simon Weston said.
The TS4U initiative should form “a model for other businesses to follow”, he added. “Prepare for the future now and diversify as much as possible. You don’t know what may happen and what you may not have.”
The Trade Skills 4U opening day was a resounding success raising awareness of not just renewable energy but also how employers can help our forgotten heroes. The day highlighted it’s not just about raising money for charity but also crucial that employers look at the skilled labour leaving the forces and take advantage of these very talented individuals.
Trade Skills 4U intends to continue to offer one free training place at its centre at any one time to a forgotten hero over the coming year. This is a massive contribution from what could be considered a small company but it is definitely going to make a huge difference to those that are successful in gaining a bursary place.
Labels: renewable energy, events, forgotten heroes bursary scheme, simon weston obe
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Wednesday, 15th June
Forgotten Hero announced to kick-start Training bursary
Trade Skills 4U ‘Forgotten Hero bursary scheme’ will officially launch at their Renewable Energy training centre open day on 17th June 2011. The scheme was introduced by Managing director Carl Bennett, who watched February’s BBC documentary ‘Forgotten hero’s’ with Col Tim Collins and felt inspired to do something practical to help. This genuine and permanent offer of one space at any one time completely free of charge, aims to help ex-service men and women who are struggling to find their feet following their discharge from the armed forces.
Simon Weston OBE will be presenting the awarded bursary candidate, Ian Lockie, at the open day with the popular Green Package. This 22 day domestic installer training package is structured to allow a new entrant into the electrical industry to be become a Solar Panel installer and enter what is becoming an exciting new industry. The package worth just under £3000 will hopefully enable Mr Lockie a much deserved chance at a new career path.
During his 9 year term, SACC Ian Lockie served in Bosnia, Iraq, Germany and Northern Ireland and is now one of the many forgotten heroes who has been left to fend for himself in the civilian world. “This scheme allows me to actually get into a decent trade in which I can work in until I retire. It’s the miracle opportunity I’ve been wishing for.” Lockie also suffers from PTSD, Post-traumatic stress disorder, which is a type of anxiety disorder that can occur after you've seen or experienced a traumatic event that involved the threat of injury or death. Lockie’s regular treatment for the common disorder saw him pushed into compulsory redundancy from his previous employment. “I’m so glad that businesses are now doing what they can to help ex-serviceman and women, I just hope that other companies are inspired by Trade Skills 4U’s practical approach to help.”
If you might be eligible for the Forgotten Heroes bursary scheme, or know someone who is, contact Trade Skills 4U on 01293 529777 or visit www.tradeskills4u.co.uk/pages/free-training.
Labels: events, simon weston obe, forgotten heroes bursary scheme, free training, renewable energy
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Monday, 13th June
This week we got talking to Honour our Forces, a UK non-profit organisation which raises much needed funds & awareness for the Armed Forces at home & abroad as well as their families. The Charity was set up in 2009 with the aim of supporting our boys and girls, past and present.
Honour Our Heroes director, Piers, noticed our campaign for free training for forgotten heroes and has jumped in to help promote this great opportunity. Our first bursary places will be presented at our Renewable energy launch happening this Friday (17th June,) with national hero Simon Weston OPE awarding the worthy candidates.
“I will do my up most up to promote this great idea,” says piers. “It’s so great when people do what they can to help our heroes.”
Ian Lockie & Golden Zimmaestro are the first two candidates to participate in the scheme having been awarded our popular GREEN packages. Our green package allows entrants to enter the industry and train to become a domestic and solar PV installer.
We are giving away 100,000 worth of free training and we want to spend. If you know anyone that may be eligible or want to support our cause contact us on 01293 529777 or visit www.tradeskills4u.co.uk/pages/free-training.
Labels: forgotten heroes bursary scheme, free training, renewable energy, events, simon weston obe
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Thursday, 19th May
On Tuesday, Chris Huhne announced the UK’s fourth carbon budget in the House of Commons. It was confirmed that government would continue to support the legally binding targets which promise to halve our carbon output by the year 2025. Due to the extremity of the improved budget, our international community can see the UK’s commitment to the low carbon economy. These targets set the UK apart from other nations as the budgets runs past 2020.
This target follows on from the Climate Change Act in 2008, which outlined a target to reduce greenhouse gas emission in the UK by at least 80% from 1990 levels by 2050. This Act requires government to set carbon budgets, including limits on greenhouse gas emissions over five year periods. Under the terms of the act, the target for the five-year period must be set by June 30, 2011.
In the announcement, it was also made clear that a carbon budget review will take place in 2014 however ‘it is not a get-out clause’ says Gregory Barker, Minister of Climate Change. Another announcement regarding the impact on energy-intensive businesses is due to take place at the end of the year; this will provide said companies with measures to help them adjust to a low carbon society.
Positive impact on jobs
“We calculate that we will move up from the present figure of 27,000 jobs in the insulation sector to 100,000 by 2015 and that, at its peak, the policy will result in 250,000 jobs right across the industry, which will have to retrofit every home in the country” says Vince Cable.
The revised budget “will provide greater certainty for business to invest in green technologies and create jobs,” said Peter Young, Aldersgate group chairman.
UK Green Building Council’s chief executive Paul King said: “This is a world-leading target – and absolutely the right decision. Government has shown it still has the ambition, but the proof of the pudding will be in the policies.
image source @ CCC calculations
Labels: decc, government, renewable energy
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Monday, 16th May
‘David Cameron is about to go further than any prime minister before with a radical “carbon budget.”
On Tuesday, a long term programme said to reduce carbon emission is to be announced. This is expected to detail exactly how Britain will commit to two decades of drastic carbon emissions reductions and make them legally binding. This will put the UK ahead of almost any other country that is changing their ways for a greener world and this move supports his promise of ‘the greenest government ever.’
The legally binding agreement is intended to put the UK on-track to reduce carbon emissions 80% below 1990 levels by the year 2050, and 60% by 2030.
This commitment to renewable energy stimulates the formation of such industries and installers job opportunities. Imagine the installations the UK will have to create by the year 2030 if 6o% of carbon emissions are to be reduced.
Image Source @ tangerine-digital-pr.blogspot.com
Labels: government, green deal, decc, renewable energy, solar pv
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Thursday, 12th May
Simon Weston OBE due to launch new training hub in Manor Royal
Britain’s most advanced renewable training centre officially launches on 17 June 2011. The launch will also act as an open day for those who wish to visit the centre as it truly showcases Trade Skills 4U’s dedication to training. The centre provides candidates with purpose built facilities to train domestic installers and electricians in real and relevant scenarios to prepare for the renewable revolution.
The open day itinerary includes seminars from their partners, live demonstrations of renewable installation and a presentation from guest speaker, Simon Weston OBE, a name well-known for his time in the Falklands. Weston’s fight to overcome horrific burn injuries and redefine his role in life after the Falklands War is an example of the incredible bravery shown by Britain’s Heroes as we continue to fight for our country.
Simon will tell of his achievement and present the companies first bursary place launching TS4U’s forgotten hero’s bursary scheme.
The Crawley-based training provider reserves a place each week for ‘forgotten heroes’ which have slipped through the resettlement net and hopes to provide free and discounted training for those in need of a new career path.
‘We are not a huge company and can’t offer free training to everyone that is eligible so we have to select and prioritise those able to take the free training, based on need,’ says Carl Bennett, Managing Director of TS4U.
The day will also be an eye opener for those who are confused by the Renewable energy industry with seminars from partners Easy MCS, Stroma and Eco Tube. These highly regarded companies within the industry will explain accreditation, Feed in Tariffs and installation. Following the theme, the 100% electric car, the Nissan leaf, will be making an appearance as the company will be attempting to charge the car via a solar array.
“The renewable energy market is growing so quickly that there is a real need for qualified installers,” Carl Bennett stressed. That’s why Trade Skills 4U is working hard to create the best facilities for candidates to train on.
TS4U Trainees will have the advantage of being able to learn how to install photovoltaic (PV) systems on a purpose-built single-storey timber-framed house, constructed next to the training centre’s main building, located on Manor Royal Industrial Estate.
“Our goal is to enable a trainee to finish the training on a Friday, confident, competent and compliant to complete an installation the following Monday, hassle-free”, said Carl Bennett, Managing Director of TS4U.
Only 1,500 renewable energy electricians are currently registered in the UK but research by the Department of Climate Change predicts that there will be 7 million PV installations by 2020, requiring up to 50,000 accredited installers.
The facility opened for training courses earlier this year, providing fully qualified instructors with hands-on practical workshops and theory lessons with delegates obtaining registration and accreditation from governing bodies such as City & Guilds, NICEIC, BPEC, EAL, trading standards and ELC. The solar PV courses are a key step into becoming MCS accredited.
“We have a modern approach to training,” added Chloe Bennett. “Our collaboration with PV panel manufacturers ensures that we have developed an appropriate training package for trainees.”
TS4U trained more than 3,000 (now qualified) domestic installers across the UK last year and it runs the first training centre in the UK to offer “at-height training on a single- storey roof” at the leading edge fully specified Manor Royal site.
”Candidates gain invaluable experience of not only working at height but also how to use equipment such as gin wheels and pulleys – an aspect of training that some companies may cut back on,” Chloe Bennett said.
TS4U instructor Mark Turner, who completed his training with the company, said: “Those who want a career change should grab opportunities like this. The courses equip you for the future, whether you choose electrics or renewable energy. You’ll be glad you did it, I am.”
To register for the event on 17th June, call 01293 529777 or visit www.tradeskills4u.co.uk/events
Contact for more info: Chloe Bennett – 01293 554010 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Labels: renewable energy, events, simon weston obe, forgotten heroes bursary scheme
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Wednesday, 11th May
Government Figures Highlight the Increasing Interest in Renewable Technologies
Today marks the first full year since the Feed-in-tariff (FIT) have been introduced. Government figures released today show a record of 11,314 PV systems fitted over the first three months of 2011, despite the perceived threat to feed-in tariff levels posed by the government's early review. This means that over 28,000 solar PV installations have been connected as householders rush to take advantage of payments for producing clean green electricity.
The governments surprise review in February this year unsettled renewable energy installers as the review threatened to review the FIT incentive which has not only encouraged homeowners to reduce their carbon footprint by installing these new technologies, but also produced a demand for jobs in this rapidly-growing industry.
By reviewing the system, the government seems to be pulling back on the original commitment to support solar energy; FIT incentives were originally fixed until 2012, and no changes were to be implemented until April 2013.
Since, a group of 11 solar firms have filed a claim in the High court yesterday to seek judicial review against Chris Huhne, the department of energy and climate change secretary (DECC), and his decision to launch yet another review of the incentives related to FIT for larger solar installations.
The DECC is widely expected to contest any judicial review as they suggest that cuts on these larger installations will stop large solar farms from ‘eating into the funds available for domestic rooftop installation,’ said DECC spokeswoman.
It seems the actual demand for installation was never anticipated to escalate by quite so much, this would suggest that the government ‘incentive budgets’ did not foresee this level of interest.
Image Source @ Guardian.co.uk
Labels: decc, feed-in-tariff, government, renewable energy
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Friday, 8th April
What are you doing 17th June 2011?
As you may have noticed we have uploaded new banners to our website which support our Renewable centre open day on 17th June 2011.
It really will be a great day for all to visit Trade Skills 4U, see our facilities and get a feel for how we do things here.
We aim to have seminars from our partners, demonstrations of new technologies plus a special guest!
So if you fancy joining us on this exciting day please click here to register.
You’ll be glad you did.
Labels: renewable energy, events, simon weston obe
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Friday, 25th March
We always appreciate our customer’s feedback, in any shape or form. Our business was created with you in mind which is why your feedback helps us improve what we do at Trade Skills 4U.
We have updated our new website to contain snippets of your (our customer) feedback. These quotes will be updated regularly so our website remains fresh and current.
It’s always great to hear positive things about our courses, tutors and facilities and it gives our new customers a sense of security knowing that they are training with a recommended centre that exceeds most of our customers’ expectations.
Have a look around our new site; you may even see your quote on one of the pages!
Labels: company news
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Friday, 18th March
After lots of hard work it is finally ready for you to see what we offer and how we offer it. We’ve got lots of new bits, kept some of our old bits and gone with the times and added some modern bits. We’ve listed some of the new additions below so you see what we mean.
This was all inspired with you in mind so we hope it fits the bill. Take a look around our new site and let us know what you think by dropping us an email at email@example.com
New website features:
Our support section
This will offer useful documents; FAQ’s and plan to have a student support section coming soon.
Our partner section
You can now see who we partner with and what we can offer you as a result. Through here you can get extra benefits from our partners that no one else can offer.
We now have both an image and a video gallery. These will continue to be filled with new and fresh content, enabling you to see exactly what we offer and how we offer it.
Our Renewable energy section
This new edition contain all our specialist renewable energy training courses and management courses so your staff can get qualified along with you. This section will grow to house Heat Pumps courses, solar thermal courses and more.
Domestic installer Packages
We’ve made our course packages more available so you can see exactly what they include and what these qualifications will enable you to do. If you have no experience in the electrical industry but you’d like to practice installing Solar PV, then an option like our Green course would suit you as it provides all the key courses you’d need to become a qualified domestic installer and Solar PV installer.
We’ve also added some new courses to our ever growing belt. These can be located under our electrical courses section and our renewable energy courses section.
We have improved our navigation so it’s easier for you to find what you’re looking for.
This section lives in our blog and support and gives you information and links to our accreditation and awarding bodies.
You can now pay by debit card
We now have the technology in place so you can pay by Credit AND debit card. This handy addition allows you to pay for your course at the click of a button so you don’t miss out on those last couple of spaces on your chosen course!
Labels: company news
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Friday, 18th March
CARL BENNETT, RUNNER UP IN BUSINESS PERSON OF THE YEAR AT THE GATWICK DIAMOND BUSINESS AWARDS
Managing Director of Trade Skills 4U is runner up at prestigious award ceremony
Last night it was revealed that Carl Bennett was announced runner up in the ‘Business person of the year’ category at the Gatwick Diamond Business Awards, a well-known and respected award ceremony in Copthorne, West Sussex. The Evening itself was showcased within the fabulous grounds of the Effingham park hotel and saw the very best of the Gatwick Diamond community come together.
The winner of the award, Justin Acres of Clearwater was presented the award by Trevor McDonald OBE, who has been the face of ITV for many years, and saw a round of applause by a well entertained crowd.
The Gatwick Diamond is home to a vast range of businesses, which span all sectors of the economy, from household names to niche companies, and from multinationals to sole traders. ‘Just to be nominated for this award and become noticed amongst so many big and successful businesses is itself a great achievement’ says Carl. ‘I was against two much respected members of the Gatwick diamond which were a pleasure to contend with. I look forward to growing my business within the diamond as I continue to commit to the community and the success of the South East.’
Carl was originally nominated for both Business Person of the year and Small Business Person of the year in the early stages of the awards but was upgraded as judges felt his successful business was more suited to the higher category. Carl Later became a finalist in the Gatwick Diamond Business awards where he placed second out of an original thirty.
Direct Dial: 01293 554010
Labels: company news
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Thursday, 17th March
TRADE SKILLS 4U AND EASY MCS TOGETHER IN PARTNERSHIP
The Two Companies Combine to Provide First Class Training and Simple Route to MCS Accreditation.
Trade Skills 4U and Easy MCS, today, announced their collaboration to deliver first class training with award winning MCS accreditation. This type of partnership will enable both parties to provide better and extended services to their customers.
MCS accreditation exists to protect the consumer by ensuring the products installed and the installer feeds back to the national grid and meet the approved standards. If an installation is not certified then the home owner will be unable to sell their energy back to the national grid. An installer can only gain MCS accreditation if they have both relevant accredited training and the appropriate QMS package in place.
“We are excited to be offering this new service to provide trainee’s with a straightforward route to MCS accreditation. It’s great to have found a company like Easy MCS that provide a professional and supportive service which echoes our own philosophy, when delivering relevant training” says Quality Coordinator Donna Latimer at Trade Skills 4U.
Thomas Farquhar, Sales Manager for Award Winning Easy MCS Ltd comments “We are thrilled to be partnering with Trade Skills 4U undoubtedly the UK’s most forward thinking Renewable training provider. The installers we are working with who are starting up in the Renewable’s industry often need a high levels of support and training, Trade Skills 4U has unrivalled training facilities and a full suite of courses to suit each individual installer’s needs and we are pleased to be recommending them to our customers”.
About Trade Skills 4U LTD
Trade Skills 4U LTD are the UK’s largest independent electrical training centre that specialises in electrical training courses. Their Renewable Energy Training facility will be launching in May where a range of Renewable energy skills such as Solar PV courses will be on offer.
For more information please contact: Chloe Bennett on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01293 554010
About Easy MCS LTD
Easy MCS LTD provides award winning MCS accreditation for installers by offering a complete MCS accreditation mentoring package. This is built to ensure your company meets all the requirements of the MCS scheme.
For more information please contact: email@example.com or call 0844 414 6041
Labels: mcs accreditation, company partners
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Friday, 11th March
After several months of delays, the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is here. It’s due to start in 2012 and the £860 million pound scheme is set to save 44 million tonnes of CO2.
We have reached a time where future problems surrounding fossil fuels are inevitable as we cannot reply of the supply of oil and gas. By creating micro-generation technologies, such as solar PV and solar thermal; and launching government agreed incentives, we can start rebuilding our world with secure and natural energy sources like sun, rain and wind.
This new energy supply will reduce our traditional reliance on fossil fuels and at the same time provide new jobs throughout the supply chain: from research and development to manufacturing; renewable fuel production and supply; equipment installation and maintenance.
What is the RHI?
The RHI is similar to the Feed in Tariff but for heat instead of electricity "This incentive is the first of its kind in the world. It’ll help the UK shift away from fossil fuel, reducing carbon emissions and encouraging innovation, jobs and growth in new advanced technologies” says Chris Huhne, Energy secretary. It will guarantee long-term payments of 20 years for the end user on their renewable installations and will include all types of heating, from households to factories and public sector buildings. The Early focus however is on industry, business and large organisations and the payments will be based on the ‘heat requirement that the installation is intended to serve’ using estimates rather than actual consumptions.
Once these micro generation technologies are in place we will be reducing the production of carbon, the harmful gas affecting our world. The Incentive exists to promote these renewable technologies and offer real opportunities for the public to aid the green revolution as adjustments like these need financial support to help bring change. The RHI will pay different tariffs for different technologies, but ministers claim it will provide a 12 per cent return on the original cost of installing the technology.
The Launch of the RHI will coincide with the Governments ‘Green Deal’ which is also set to go live in 2012. The DECC explains that “The coalition government will introduce legislation to make it possible for you to have energy efficient measures carried out through the Green Deal from autumn 2012.”
The Green deal
The Green Deal itself is the biggest shake up in the history of energy efficiency, it too has the opportunity to support thousands of jobs as anyone in the supply chain of green energy is set to benefit, as mentioned before. It is mainly a way to measure energy use and encourage ways into reducing energy consumption in your home or business – whether rented or owned – and allowing you to pay for the work from the great savings on your energy bills.
The work in question, incorporating in the ‘Green Deal’ is energy installation as a quarter, or even worse a third of a home’s heat can be lost through a loft and walls. By carrying out energy efficiency improvements such as insulation you will cut your fuel bills and the saving will allow you to enjoy your cosier home for less.
Image source: solcentric.co.uk
Labels: renewable heat incentive, renewable energy
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Thursday, 3rd March
What we thought of EcoBuild 2011
Ecobuild 2011 was set to be the biggest event for sustainable design, construction and the built environment, with over 1,300 suppliers attending, more than 130 free seminars and over a dozen interactive attractions. They did not disappoint.
The day itself breamed with information as we were handed a mass of brochures, leaflets and magazines that contained more information on renewable technologies than we could have dreamed of. Our time was spent visiting stands and seminars which demystified micro generation technologies to their finest detail and some of the stands hosted fantastic demonstrations of rainwater harvesting systems and other modern technologies.
Considering the type of event I expected to see a lot more effort made in reducing exhibitors carbon footprint by electronically distributing their information or producing their promotional materials from sustainable sources. Some companies used a modern initiative and adopted a barcode scanning system so that their customers can receive information via email whereas companies such as Dyson presented their hand drying creation the ‘Airblade,’ a product designed to dry your hands fast and effectively without the use of paper tissues, on a stand surrounded by a large wall of paper tissues which seemed to contradict the entire message they were conveying.
A down point, if this can be viewed as one, was that there was just too much information. We found ourselves overloaded by the amount of material available and not enough time to see it all. The numbering system on all the stands didn’t help as they seemed to lack any type of logic and could have been made a lot simpler.
Overall the event served its purpose by reinforcing the importance of sustainable design and proved to be paramount in demystifying such technologies so that they seemed less daunting to the potential customer, installer and any business looking to move into this fast growing market.
This expansion has led to an extension of their training family; ex-military man Mark Turner joins their team after his 23 year service ends this month. “Trade Skills 4U are a great training facility that practice what they preach.” They understand the need to employ great staff that can offer unbeatable teaching, especially whose background relates to those they teach.
“Those wanting a career change should grab opportunities like this, they’re courses equip you for the future whether you choose electrics or renewable energy. You’ll be glad you did it, I am” Says Turner.
Image source @ eco build
Labels: renewable energy, ecobuild
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Tuesday, 1st March
Tomorrow Trade Skills 4U are off to Eco Build, one of the most influential conferences in the sustainable sector to listen and learn about design, construction and debates.
This event will showcase the latest developments, products and companies in the world of environmentally friendly building. It will no doubt be both interesting and invaluable for us as we continue to explore the world of renewables in order to provide you with the best courses that have the most relevant training.
Last year it was apparent that a lot of exhibitors preached about sustainability and energy efficiency yet the venue presented a blaze of halogen lights and plastic exhibition stalls. It will be interesting to see if there are any changes this year as renewable energy has taken to new heights since the feed in tariff was introduced. There are rumours that the RHI will be announced around this event so we will have to keep you posted if we hear anything! Watch this space.
The event itself is running over the course of three days (1st-3rd March 2011) and if you’re going tomorrow; we’ll see you there!
Labels: renewable energy, event
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Friday, 25th February
New Year’s resolutions, how are you getting on with yours?
Now that the first few months of the year have passed and it’s nearly March, it may be time to reflect on the promises you made to yourself when that clock struck 12. Whether you decided to change your eating habits or change your career, we at Trade Skills 4U understand that change can be hard.
A majority of our customers are new entrants into this industry and we understand that there is a real need to make sure that they are supported through this journey. Change is something that people embrace or choose to avoid at all costs but it’s something to consider when it comes to your career. Long gone are the day where you’d pick a career from 16 and work hard until you were 60; statistics suggest that workers between the ages of 18 and 38 change jobs an average of 10 times. By changing your career you may even discover that hidden skill, did you know that Vincent Van Gogh was a school master before he became a painter?
So whatever changes you’ve agreed you’d make this year, try to put them into practice. You never know they may lead you somewhere great.
Check out our range of electrical and renewable courses online today.
Labels: career change
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Tuesday, 22nd February
The charity bike ride update
Trade Skills 4U would like to say a massive well done to April Gullis and her friends at school for raising a brilliant £230 for their chosen charity, The Chestnut Tree House, last month.
April and her friends rode during their break times last month and sold a variety of foods and other lovely bits & pieces all to raise money for this wonderful charity.
The Chestnut Tree House is a children’s hospice near Arundel which provides invaluable care to children who develop life-limiting illnesses. This worthy cause has provided invaluable support for both children and families so every donation counts.
If you would like to donate or get involved with fundraising for The Chestnut Tree House, take a look at their website www.chestnut-tree-house.org.uk/
Labels: charity, company news
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Monday, 21st February
The lack of women in trades
There has always been a lack of women in trade industry, particularly in the electrical side of things. As career choices happen so young with apprenticeships and GCSE choices, electrical training career opportunities don’t attract girls at that age because they are simply not the target audience. Gender stereotypes are not as blue and pink as they have been and to inspire women to become part of trade as a whole there needs to be a change early on. There is no reason why these professions should be so stereotyped, there's a shortage of decent electricians and part of the reason must be that 50% of the population aren’t choosing to train in the non-traditional services. Young women need to be shown the benefits of a well-paid job and a rewarding career.
So what attracts men to the trade?
Every job has their pro’s and con’s so what makes this type of job so well received by men? Boys love their toys; men often like to tinker, tweak, problem solve, fix and work hands on. Electrical contracting often means a great variety of when and where you work as well as what you do on a day to day basis. An obvious attraction to this trade is the wage packet, electricians are well paid and depending on where you are located you could earn £40,000 PA. However none of these attractions are specific to men they are simply more specific to the stereo typical male.
Women in the trade
For many women in the trade they have used their gender as a marketing tool. This usually involves labelling men as cowboy’s and suggesting that by employing a lady you will get the job done more quickly, tidily, politely and sometimes at lower prices . This stereotyping of male electricians is not greatly received by many in the trade and rightly so. Although there are some rogue traders these stereo types definitely do not apply to all male electricians.
However despite the fact these stereo types are mainly unfounded the there is definitely a demand for female domestic electrical installers as many women do prefer to open their door to someone from the same sex.
The NICEIC’s Emma McCarthy “There is now a good business case to employ more women. Consumers sometimes prefer to hire female contractors and our research highlighted that some female homeowners admit to feeling intimidated when having to deal with a male electrician.”
Other marketing aspects for women can relate to religion, in the Muslim community, husbands prefer to have a lady in the house rather than a man.
Training together can help men and women
Interestingly, many trainers have noticed that the whole class benefits from mixed lessons. Females tend to achieve above average and when taught together in a mixed environment there is a direct improvement in males.
Andy Hay-Ellis from Trade Skills 4U says “Whether it is a natural effort to impress or prove themselves we are not sure but our instructors have noticed that classes tend to be less boisterous and test scores were higher almost every time a woman was present on the course. However even in this day and age we still find many of our classes do not contain a single woman”.
Recent figures indicate that ‘less than one in every 1,000 electrical contractors is female.’ This has plunged since 2003 when there was an average of one female electrical contractor to every 600 men. To redress this imbalance NICEIC has recently launched its ‘Job for the girls’ campaign.
Emma McCarthy, said, “This image of our industry as an exclusive one is dangerous. If we are to plug the skills shortage gap then we can’t afford to dismiss half the working population.”
As part of the campaign, The NICEIC is working on a practical guide to help raise awareness and promote equality whilst giving its accredited members guidance. This scheme is hoping to recruit more young females into its new apprentice academy. Hopefully the future sees a gender balance in the more male dominated trades, as gender certainly doesn’t define capability.
Labels: electrician training
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Friday, 18th February
Today it was announced that Trade Skills 4U Managing Director Carl Bennett, has been selected as one of the three finalists in the ‘Business man of the year’ category for the Gatwick Diamond Awards. The award ceremony will take place on the 17th March 2011 where the winner will be announced.
Carl Bennett said "It is a real pleasure to be nominated for this type of award as the Gatwick Diamond is home to a vast range of businesses which span all sectors of the economy, from household names to niche companies, and from multinationals to sole traders."
Having spent 22 years in the Met Police until a brain tumour resulted in his early retirement from the elite SO19, Carl Bennett opened up Trade Skills 4U which with a little bit of luck and a lot of hard work became the UK’s No.1 specialist independent electrical training provider. In the beginning Carl put a lot of consideration into where to locate the business to give it the best chance of succeeding. Carl said, “I had to be in an area to encourage my customers to visit, and the Manor Royal fits that bill perfectly."
Having been established since 2005, Trade Skills 4U has aimed to provide their customers with the knowledge, understanding and approval of their awarding bodies so that their customers are fully equipped with the skills promised. Armed with such skills, a customer can begin carving their path as a qualified tradesman.
Carl Bennett’s drive and managing skills have led his team through the recession. The success and dedication to training has seen the company grow at a time when many have seen a decline. As a result of their hard work, Trade Skills 4U will be launching their brand new Renewables Energy Training Facility in April 2011. This launch will include the attendance of special guests.
The Gatwick Diamond Business Award winners are those businesses or people who have shown innovation and inspiration in their work, and have demonstrated a real commitment to the sub-region.
Labels: company news
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Friday, 18th February
Trade Skills 4U partner up with Chichester College to provide quality training apprenticeships.
Apprenticeships are an excellent way of gaining qualifications and workplace experience. As an employee, you can earn as you learn and you gain practical skills from the workplace and learn in a way that is best suited to you – through hands on experience on the job.
As the Apprenticeship week (7th-11th February 2011) draws to a close, the ‘Million Extra scheme’ is officially launched. This scheme, sponsored by City&Guilds, aims to help lead a talent revolution by bringing people together to ensure that one million people start an apprenticeship by summer 2012, and shine and grow through them.
Extra is how they’re going to make it happen. They will create a range of inspiring programmes and support for training centres, employers and learners, all to help achieve the mission.
Trade Skills 4U are doing their bit and have just partnered up with Chichester College in West Sussex to provide a range of apprenticeships. Both employers and employees can benefit from electrical NVQ traineeships which are available for people aged 16 and over covering the following areas:
City & Guilds Electro technical (levels 2 & 3)
Apprenticeships really can be a win-win situation for both employers and employees. Apprentices also offer an affordable solution for your work force needs, not just in the short term but also in the longer term as they grow with your business. Employers gain quality skilled labour, that house your own practices and skills. These two combined provide invaluable teaching for the employee and the ideal workforce for the employer.
For an information pack please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or simply call 01293 529777.
Labels: apprenticeships, company news, electrician training
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Friday, 18th February
We have teamed up with 'The Green Homes Company' to offer exceptional training and a great new career offer!
Due to the outstanding quality of our training, our trained solar installers will be looked at as potential employees for 'The Green Homes Company's' growing business. This obviously doesn't mean that you are guaranteed a job after you train, but a relationship like this enables a foot in the door.
Acceptance to interview will depend on criteria such as location and previous experience.
Labels: renewable energy, solar pv, jobs
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Friday, 18th February
On the 13th of March 2011 a very special skiing trip will commence. The SSCD ‘Southern Ski Club for the Disabled’ will be gracing the slopes of Courchevel, France with the support of their volunteers.
Amongst the volunteers is Paul Chapman, an instructor at Trade Skills 4U.Paul begun volunteering for the SSCD five years ago and trained as a ski guide with them helping children with various disabilities ranging from neurological disease to Down syndrome. TS4U will be funding his trip so that he can continue to help the children enjoy the joys of childhood.
We hope Paul and the SSCD have a fantastic time, all the best.
Labels: charity, events, company news
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Friday, 18th February
Trade Skills 4U are delighted to sponsor April Gullis this month in her efforts to support ‘The Chestnut Tree House’ which is a children’s hospice near Arundel.
The hospice helps children and their loved ones by providing care and support when their child develops a life-limiting illness.
April and her friends have decided to do a sponsored bike ride which will consists of the girls riding for one hour at break time on Thursday 27th and Friday 28th January 2011. As well as their riding efforts, there will be a stall of toffee apples for the supporters to purchase.
For more information on this worthy cause, visit their website www.chestnut-tree-house.org.uk/
Posted by Chloe Bennett on Friday, 18th February
Everyone has their 15 minutes of fame, but getting noticed for the wrong reasons tends to last a lot longer than that.
The reason this is being brought to attention is because we seem to be getting confused with another competitor.
We would like to remind our customers of who we are, and why we are the UK’s largest and most successful electrical training centre.
We at tradeskills4u are very proud of our brand. We have been established since 2005, aiming to provide our customers with the knowledge, understanding and approval of our awarding bodies so that they are fully equip with the skills we promised them. Armed with these skills, a customer can begin carving their path as a qualified tradesman.
We have a dedicated team of staff who give honest and constructive advice to help you choose the right course for you. We are all dedicated to your success.
We house a professional and well experienced team that practice in our brand new state of the art facilities.
We are proud of the courses we run and of the instructors that teach them.
We have continued to use our friendly and fresh approach to adapt to the times, and now offer renewables courses for this eco-friendly age.
We hold examinations that have credibility and are truly a thorough test of the knowledge gained here.
We are fully accredited by City & Guilds, EAL and NICEIC, offering real world training by the most interesting and experienced instructors
We deliver ‘Platinum training’ says EAL.
We monitor our press on forums and value it. Tell us how we can get better.
If you have any queries old or new please be sure to give us a call 01293 529777, we’re always happy to hear from you.
Labels: electrician training, company news, renewable energy