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2018 Trades Salary Survey: Electricians Salaries are still higher than other trades

Posted by Elaine Hammond on 14th November 2017

2018 Electricians Salary Survey

The results are in!

The latest electricians salaries results are now in. You may remember that last year we posted that the average UK electrician salary was £30,765. This year’s results show that there has been a slight increase of 0.1% with the average electrician earning £30,784.

Salary ranges will depend on a number of factors eg, experience, location, qualifications, professional credentials (NVQ and ECS Card level), employer and job responsibility. Of course the starting salary for an entry level electrician will inevitably be lower, but will rise once they have gained the relevant Electrical NVQs and experience.

Average Electrician Salary (£30,784)

The average salary for electricians is currently £30,784, according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS) and has risen by 0.1% in the last year. This is based on the median value which means that half will earn more than this amount and half will earn less. This is the ONS's preferred measure of average earnings and is less affected by a relatively small numbers of very high earners that can skew the data upward. The median average gives a better indication of typical salaries than the mean which shows salaries at £31,617.

The data below is based on the 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings taken from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).


2018 Electrician Salaries

Average Salaries by Trade

Other trades salaries have increased across the board with Roofers showing the biggest increase of 5.8% followed by Plumbers at 4.4%. We believe the reason these salaries have increased more is that they are catching up with the increase seen for electricians last year. When we ran this survey last year we saw that plumbers, carpenters, bricklayers, and tilers salaries had dropped. This year all trades salaries have increased, ranging from 0.1% for electricians to 5.8% for Roofers, however, electricians still earn most. However, it is good to report that electricians still earn nearly £1000 more than any other trade on average.

Hourly Rates / Day Rates (£20-£60 - £ Per Hour / £180 - £350 Per Day)

Obtaining accurate data is a challenge as many electricians are either self-employed or contracting. Most self-employed electricians generally charge a day rate, an hourly rate or fixed rate for individual jobs, therefore their earnings tend to fluctuate year on year, because work is not guaranteed. This is why it is difficult to gauge exactly how much they earn as there are no statistics available on a national level for this.

However, depending on where you are based in the country, on average it appears that an experienced electrician working in the South East charges £45 per hour or £350 per day.

Whilst self-employed electricians tend to earn more than those who are employed, there are other costs to take into account such as the cost of tools, van, costs of quoting and business insurance and your registration on a competent persons scheme.

How realistic is it to earn over £30K as an electrician?

Self employed electricians are more likely to earn more than those employed as they are not tied down by company pay categories. Whilst salaries represent what you can earn when employed by a company the amounts earned as a contractor tends to be more realistic.

An experienced self-employed electrician should be earning on average above £30K per year. In fact our research suggests that earnings are more likely to be around £35-40K per year, with this figure being higher if working in London and the south east.

Ways to earn more

As with any career, the better you are at your job the more you can earn. There are a number of ways you can increase your earnings, and this really comes down to how much effort you are prepared to put in.

1. Overtime – If you are employed and working on a job where deadlines need to be met then overtime is a great way to increase your earnings. Especially as overtime is often paid at a higher hourly rate.

2. Agency work – if you are starting out then working for an agency is an option. This will allow you to gain the confidence and experience to then go on to apply for contracts direct to building and contracting companies.

3. Up-skilling – if you want to progress in your career as an electrician then taking further training to improving your grade could increase your earning potential. Courses to consider are the C&G 2394/95 Inspection & Testing Courses – For Approved Electrician status and the C&G 2396 Electrical Design course – For Site Technician status.

4. Going self employed – once, you’ve got some experience and made some good contacts and you’re being offered work outside of your employed day job, you might find that it’s time to go self-employed. This means that you will be able to earn a much higher wage once you’ve set up on your own.

What are trainees salaries like?

Apprentices tend to earn below the minimum wage, however the benefit here is that they can earn while gaining a qualification. The current National Minimum Wage for apprentices in their first year is £3.50 per hour, although most employers will pay more and research shows that the average salary is approximately £170 per week. However, apprentices can start earning a higher salary once they have completed their training and get qualified.

An option many of our customers at Trade Skills 4 U choose is to front load their training and complete their technical certificates first (C&G2365 Level 2&3). This allows those entering the market as electricians mates to earn between £21-25,000 per year. This is a guide and will vary depending on the employer, where you work in the country, and the type of job you have been employed to do.

JIB Wage Grades

Each year the JIB publish wage grades on their website, however, whilst the JIB have clear guidelines for what an electrician can earn these are only guidelines and not every employer will stick to these. Since last year, the figures below have increased by approx. 1.9%

From and including Monday 2nd January 2017, the JIB suggests you should earn the following hourly rates if you have your own transport:

National Standard Rates:

Trainee Electrician - £11.79 - £13.95

Electrician - £14.68

Approved Electrician - £15.92

Site Technician - £17.92

And if you live in London or the south east you should expect:

Trainee Electrician - £13.20 - £15.64

Electrician - £16.45

Approved Electrician - £17.83

Site Technician - £20.07

A great way to increase your earnings potential is to get plenty of on the job experience, build a good reputation, work hard and improve your knowledge through further training. The courses below will help you to qualify for the higher pay grades:

1. Trainee Electrician – apprenticeship or electricians mate usually with C&G 2365 Diplomas

2. Electrician – relevant qualifications, Level 3 NVQ & AM2 (These days a 2357)

3. Approved Electrician – as per number 2 plus periodic inspection and testing qualification such as the C&G 2394/2395

4. Site Technician – As per number 3 plus over 5 years’ experience (3 of which in a supervisory role) plus a level 4 qualification such as a HNC

The Sky’s the limit

The salary ranges listed in this article are only guidelines. We believe that the sky’s the limit when it comes to what you could actually earn and as mentioned above this will depend on a number of factors, however, from our experience and from talking to our students, we believe that if you are prepared to put in the hours to build your business and work hard then there is no limit to what you could potentially earn.

We know that electricians are the highest earners among the trades, and to support this there have been some very interesting articles posted recently, one of which is a little extreme and did create quite a bit of stir on social media. I hope you enjoy reading them and wonder whether you agree with what they are saying!

Electricians are earning £156,000 a year amid a shortage of skilled workers

Apprentice electrician drives a Mercedes and expects to earn £50,000 by his mid-20s!

Categories: pay, salary

Halloween Electric Hall of Horrors 2017

Posted by Elaine Hammond on 26th October 2017

Trade Skills 4U hall of horrors

Can you believe it’s Halloween again? Whilst most of us are getting ready for the trick-or-treaters, getting our Halloween outfits sorted for the party, or getting together to watch a horror movie with our friends, spare a thought for the Sparky who could be working in dark and often dangerous spaces like those spider ridden attics or damp rat infested basements!

The risk of electrocution and fire in our homes is a real danger, where faulty electrics are concerned. Problems are caused when down lights don’t have proper thermal protection, there are exposed wires, wiring isn’t tightly connected or insulated, there’s too much load on daisy chained sockets and lighting installed in fixtures they weren’t designed to be housed in.

To give you an idea of what our fellow sparkies have to deal with on a regular basis, we've put together a sample of some real electrical horrors that are lurking out there.

hall of horors

This one looks like a ticking time bomb! A metered mains supply for the building was ‘hacked’ by bare uninsulated wires - possibly from tenants attempting to bypass the meter. You can also see signs of a previous fire!

snake hall of horrors

Aaaah don’t scream! - This is enough to scare the living daylights out of most of us! But I think this electrocuted ‘Cannibal snake’ bit off more than he could chew. I bet it gave the electrician a bit of a fright!

hall of horrors extension lead

This gooey mess looks like ghost slime! It’s what can happen if you don’t uncoil an extension lead fully when in use! Imagine if this was near to something that was easily combustible!

hall of horrors

SHOCKING! But did you know that most European countries allow sockets in a bathroom within 3 metres of the shower! If I stayed here I would definitely go without a shower rather than risk getting electrocuted. Thank goodness for UK Wiring Regs!

hall of horrors

Dangers are everywhere so beware! Loose terminals and missing fuse carriers all add up to trouble. Plus a fuse can blow with a lot of force!

hall of horrors

What horrors are lurking under the floorboards? Never put your hands in to have a feel about, otherwise you could get a very nasty electric shock!

hall of horrors

Oops! I hope the mains were turned off before he started screwing into this box, otherwise this would have gone off with a big bang.

hall of horrors

This is what a loose connection or too much load can result in inside a consumer unit. It looks like there’s been a fire and it’s melted the cables.

hall of horrors

Anyone scared or rats or mice? I guess everyone needs a home but I bet this electrician didn’t expect to find a family of mice living in the electric panel!

hall of horrors

The birds nest nightmare! This one is from Vietnam with what’s looks like a mix of lighting, telecom and mains cables – although with the cables all being black it’s difficult to tell!

hall of horrors

Make sure your plugs are frequently checked to make sure they are properly wired. This is a very common cause of house fires, so please make sure you this doesn’t happen in your home.

hall of horrors

Now that we’ve scared the heebie jeebies out of you, remember to always get a qualified electrician to do any electrical work in your home. Don’t try to do electrics yourself or you could end up looking like this guy!

And to finish, here’s a nice calming Youtube video to get you ready for Halloween, make sure you turn the sound up!!

Be safe and if you’re worried get an electrician to carry out an EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report) to highlight any issues that need to be resolved.

Categories: halloween, hall of horrors

6 ways to remove a stripped screw

Posted by Elaine Hammond on 19th October 2017

6 ways to remove a stripped screw

I’m sure that we have all run into problems at some point trying to remove that pesky threaded screw that seems impossible to get out! But what are the best ways to do this?

Stripped screws are a nightmare and try as you might, some just don’t want to come out. That’s when frustration takes over and before you know it, that once crosshead shape has turned into a big fat ‘O’.

There are plenty of great ideas out there, in fact too many to mention, and there is no one method that works on all screws. However, I have picked 6 techniques that I thought might be useful to share, using everything from an elastic band to an impact driver!

So, say screw it and get that thing out of there!!

1. Using a manual screwdriver

How to remove a stripped screw

If you’re having trouble with your screwdriver bit slipping against the screw head try this simple method. Start by using a hammer to tap the screwdriver down, lodging it firmly into the screw head. This should provide the extra grip you need to twist the fastener, especially if it’s made of soft metal. If that doesn’t work, to get a better grip on the screw, cover it with a rubber band or a small piece of duct tape with the adhesive side against the screw head, as this will give extra grip. Press the material into the hole with the screwdriver and try again.

Another option, if your screw has a Phillips head, is to use a flat-head screwdriver that is narrow enough to fit within the Phillips head hole. To pull this off easily try using the rubber band method mentioned above.

2. Using an impact driver

How to remove a stripped screw

This manual tool is great for removing threaded screws but make sure you use a good quality bit. Choose the correct screwdriver bit, ie Phillips or flathead and then insert it and tighten it. Next ensure the screw head is clear of any loose dirt and debris and ensure the bit is in the correct direction as you don’t want to tighten it up! Make sure you’re wearing your safety glasses and place the impact driver bit snugly into the screw head. Strike the handle end of the impact driver several times with a hammer. The bit will set firmly into the screw head and the impact driver head will rotate, loosening the screw. You should now be able to remove the screw by using either a drill or screwdriver.

3. Using a Screw Extractor

How to remove a stripped screw

For those stubborn screws that just won't come out then screw extractors are a good choice as they are counter-threaded to how screws are threaded.

Screw extractors come in different sizes, so you'll need to select the right size to fit into the screw head of your stripped screw. Load the extractor into the check of your drill and tighten the chuck to hold the extractor securely. Make sure you set the drill into reverse. Because the extractor is reverse-threaded this means that with the drill in reverse the extractor bit will drill into the stripped screw and bite into the screw head. Keep drilling in reverse and the extractor will start turning the screw in reverse which will back it out.

4. Using vice-grips or pliers

How to remove a stripped screw

This is a great way of removing a stripped screw as long as the screw isn't buried all the way. Just clamp down around the screw head and start turning! However, caution should be taken as this method could damage the surrounding surface around the screw as the jaws of the vise grip could scrape the surface.

5. Using left handed drill bits

How to remove a stripped screw

This isn't a joke, they really to exist! Left handed drill bits are designed to be used in reverse. Choose a drill bit that is slightly smaller than the head on the screw, then put the bit in the drill and tighten. Make sure the drill is in reverse and apply firm pressure to the screw head and start the drill. Once it bites there’s a good chance that it will remove the screw.

6. Using a rotary tool

How to remove a stripped screw

If none of the above techniques work then using a rotary tool is another option. Securely attach a thin cutting disk to your rotary tool and start to cut a thin slit in the stripped screw. Make sure it’s deep enough to fit a flathead screwdriver, but thin enough that the screwdriver has enough to grip. If your screwdriver doesn’t fit you may need to make the cut larger, but make only small cuts; if you cut off too much of the screw, a screwdriver will not catch and you will not be able to twist the screw. The rotary tool can scatter loose metal shavings around the device so make sure you wear your safety glasses.


I hope you enjoyed reading this article and that you found these techniques useful. However, please make sure that when attempting any of these methods you take care and wear suitable safety glasses.

For more ideas on how to remove a damaged screw check out this YouTube video which covers some of the methods above and also shows a couple of extra techniques for you to try.

If you are interested in an electrical training course, please visit our Course Finder page.


Categories: stripped screw, threaded screw, damaged screw, impact driver

The UK Skills Gap - Problem or Opportunity?

Posted by Elaine Hammond on 21st September 2017

UK skills gap

You may well have heard about the skills gap here in the UK - it’s an issue that’s been around for a little while now and to be honest it doesn’t look like it’s going to get much better any time soon!

For those who aren’t that aware of what the skills gap is - there’s a real need in this country for skilled workers in specific industries. You can see the list of industries here. However, there simply aren’t enough people to fill those roles, and therefore a gap has formed.

The good news is that jobs in the trades are becoming more and more popular again, which is fantastic news for anyone wanting to train as an electrician or for those that are already in the trade.

One of the most affected industries is the trades and construction

Why has this happened? Well there are a number of reasons - young people preferring to go to uni, a wider number of courses available for people to choose from, the list could go on and on.

The worry is that the gap could get even wider in the coming years, especially with Brexit on the horizon. It’s unclear the exact effect leaving the EU will have, but if tougher immigration laws come into play, which is likely, then it will make it harder for skilled workers to come into the country and fill the gap. Some might even choose to leave.

Add the housing crisis into the mix, and the government’s pledge to build millions of new homes, and it’s unclear how we’ll close that gap.

But is this really a problem, or should we see it as an opportunity for workers?

There’s no denying that many businesses see it as a problem. According to the Federation of Master Builders’ State of Trade Survey 2017, 40% of construction SMEs are finding skills shortages at their highest rate since 2013. Further research has shown that the skills shortage is costing UK businesses around £2bn a year due to recruitment costs, having to hire temporary workers, and paying over market rates for skilled workers.

However, if we take a look at the other side of the coin, this skills gap represents an unprecedented opportunity for those in this country who want to learn a trade, and of course we’d suggest electrical training as a fantastic choice!

If you can learn a trade, put the work in and prove your worth, then you’re going to be absolutely invaluable at the moment, and in the coming years. It’s an exciting time!

So, what to do if you want to become an electrician?

Well there’s never been more information out there for those unsure about what they want to do for a living, which can be useful but also incredibly overwhelming.

If you think a career as an electrician is the right choice for you, you’ll be glad to learn that it’s the highest paid of all the trades with the average salary being £30,000. It’s also an extremely rewarding career with skills that will always be in demand. Plus, don’t think that this is just a job for the boys there are plenty of very successful women electricians out there, read our blog to find out more!

We have plenty of information right here on our website in the form of our blog which has lots of fascinating articles and case studies, and then if you want to learn more about the training we provide, check out our electrician courses, and of course if you prefer to talk to an experienced course adviser they are here to help too.

Our electrical wholesaler friends at QVS Direct have produced a very handy guide listing all the steps you need to go through and consider if you want to get into the electrical industry, and it features plenty of info from Trade Skills 4U, so we know it’s good! For those with a little more experience or who like to dream big, this fantastic interactive guide from Thomson Local explains how to go about starting your own electrician business.

So every time you hear the doom and gloom about the UK skills gap, think of it as an opportunity for you to learn some highly in-demand skills, earn a decent living and make your mark in the industry.

Why choose us

We help thousands of people gain the knowledge, expertise and qualifications to develop successful careers in the electrical and renewable energy industry, and look forward to having the opportunity to help you too. If you are interested in an electrical training course, please visit our course-finder page, alternatively please call a course advisor on 01293 529777 who will be happy to help.


Categories: electrician courses, training, uk skills gap

Sergeant Sean McDowell - Case Study

Posted by Elaine Hammond on 13th September 2017

RAF image


Name: Sergeant Sean Williams McDowell (RAF)

Course: 20 day Bronze course plus PAT Testing.

After coming to the end of a 30 year career in the RAF, having served in many different countries and taken part on several operations, Sergeant Sean McDowell decided to find out what he needed to do to retrain in a trade to prepare himself for when he leaves the RAF next year.

Sean contacted Trade Skills 4U and following a discussion with one our Course Advisors decided to take our Bronze Domestic Installer Course and PAT Testing Course. As part of his resettlement package Sean was able to fund his courses in part with the MOD’s Enhanced Learning Credits (ELC).

I spoke to Sean to ask if he would be kind enough to share his training experience with us and to let us know what his plans are for the future.

Why did you decided to retrain as an electrician?

After 30 years of being in the RAF, I wanted to move into something I enjoy doing and as I’ve always had an interest in DIY I thought I’d take the plunge and get properly qualified in a trade.

Why did you decide to take the Domestic Installer Course and how has this helped you?

I chose this course as it fitted not only with what I could use my Enhanced Learning Credits (ELC) for, but also what I wanted from a course.

What are your plans now you have completed your course?

I’m due to leave the RAF in December 2018, and now that I’ve completed my course I can start to ‘cut my teeth’ on doing domestic work. Coupled with a bathroom installation course next year I should have a good extensive skillset to take me forward in future ventures.

Please tell us about your training with Trade Skills 4U. What were your best bits, difficult bits, interesting bits?

The course was full of interesting content; made all the better by the course tutor who has such an extensive knowledge of the trade and all its intricacies. The mix of students was good also, with many varied backgrounds and different aspects they all brought to the course.

How would you describe the facilities and training at Trade Skills 4U?

In a word – excellent!

What would you say to someone thinking about training with Trade Skills 4U?

I would say don’t even hesitate! Get online or ring Trade Skills 4U and get enrolled…do it now!!

What are you planning on doing in the future?

In the future I would like to set up my own property maintenance business serving my local villages and towns, and enjoy every challenging job that comes my way!

I also intend to use my ELC’s coupled with my resettlement entitlement next year to do further courses and am interested in taking the Solar PV course with Trade Skills 4U.

Finally, do you have any advice for others wanting to train as an electrician?

Have lots of Post-its! Be willing to listen and apply what you’re shown but don’t ever be afraid to ask.


We would like to thank Sean for sharing his training experience with us and wish him the very best of luck in his future ventures.

If you are interested in an electrical training course, please visit our Course Finder page.

Categories: case study, retraining, raf, enhanced learning credits, elc

Funny tradesman number plates

Posted by Elaine Hammond on 6th September 2017

Electrician funny number plates

Whilst driving to work this morning one of our work colleagues spotted a Plasterer's van with a number plate that made him giggle, so we thought we would see how many funny tradesman number plates we could find on-line! 

I actually struggled to find funny ‘sparky’ related plates, so have thrown in a few from other professions that I found amusing. 

So here they are, I hope they make you laugh too! There were quite a few naughty ones that I didn’t feel were appropriate to share, so I will leave it up to you to find these, if you’re interested!


I was surprised that I could only find two electrical trade related number plates, but as you can see from the header image above there are plenty out there to buy!

Electrical funny number plates

Drain Services

The drain guys seem to have the funniest and most creative!

funny number plates drains


Plumbers seem to have a greater variety of words to work with!

funny number plates plumber

Pimlico Plumbers have really taken this seriously!

funny number plates - plumbers

Pest Control

I wonder if this guy has bulging eyes!

funny number plate pest control

A few random ones!

random funny number platesfunny number plates 1

If you are interested in buying a personalised number plate, there are lots of websites to choose from. Here are a couple to get you started Nationalnumbers,  and Plates4less

Also, if you see any more on your travels please send them in and we will publish them online. Happy hunting and I look forward to seeing a few more ‘sparky’ plates out there soon!

Categories: personalised number plates, funny tradesman number plates

Trade Skills 4U Secure Investment from Ethical Fund

Posted by Elaine Hammond on 31st August 2017

Trade Skills 4U

We are delighted to announce that Trade Skills 4U have won investment from a fund set up to specifically target companies who can make a positive social and environmental impact.

Palatine Private Equity, an investment group, recently set up an impact fund as a vehicle to assist the growth of companies that can make a positive difference whilst providing return on their investment. They were attracted to us due to our involvement in helping people retrain or upskill in the growing electrical and renewable energy industries. The investment further highlights our commitment to providing first class training in the electrical sector for both experienced and new electricians.

Customer Service

Our customers can be assured that they will continue to see the same high standards of customer service delivered by our existing management team. The investment from Palatine’s Impact Fund will enable us to further improve our offering in particular by opening further centres across the UK.

Because we are passionate about what we do, we want to ensure that we continue to offer all our students the same high standards of training that have become our trademark over the past years. By expanding our business we will be in a stronger position to offer our students the opportunity to learn at a centre convenient to them. Of course, all new sites will have the same state of the art training facilities with superb learning environments taught by first rate instructors, who have many years of specialist experience in this field.

Responsible investing


Carl Bennett, Executive Chairman of Trade Skills 4U said: “Trade Skills 4U provides exceptional training for adults who are looking to develop their skills in an environment tailored to their needs.

The business has grown recently with the opening of a new centre in Warrington in 2016, and with Palatine’s support we are looking forward to increasing our presence across the country and increasing our social impact. Palatine have an exceptional track record of supporting companies like Trade Skills 4U with their expansion plans. We have found a unique partner in Palatine given their enviable track record in responsible investing and the recent close of their Impact fund. They have demonstrated that they share our passion and values that support our distinctive proposition in the electrical training sector, and are fully aligned with us in delivering a positive social impact and supporting our continued growth.”

The investment was led by Partners Beth Houghton and Zoe Clements, with support from Matthew Coles, Investment Manager.

Beth Houghton, Head of Impact Fund at Palatine Private Equity, said: “We are delighted to support the management team of Trade Skills 4U with their exciting and impactful expansion plans, and look forward to working with them to build on their success to date and explore a number of growth opportunities.

“Trade Skills 4U typifies the type of company that we are looking to invest in through our new Impact Fund. Namely a growing business with a strong and passionate management team, that looks to make a positive and meaningful social impact.”






Why choose us

We’ve already helped thousands of people gain the knowledge, expertise and qualifications to develop successful careers in the electrical and renewable energy industry, and look forward to having the opportunity to help you too.

To keep up-to-date with future developments please make sure you check our blog posts going forward. In the meantime, if you are interested in an electrical training course, please visit our course-finder page or call a course advisor on 01293 529777.


Categories: ethical investment fund, palatine private equity

Giovanni Asiedu - Case Study

Posted by Elaine Hammond on 23rd August 2017

Giovanni Asiedu

Name: Giovanni Asiedu

Courses taken: City and Guilds 2365 level 2 and 3 full diploma, City & Guilds 2393 Part P

Outcome: Working in industry

We caught up with Giovanni Asiedu, following his training with Trade Skills 4U to find out how he was getting on, and are delighted to hear that he was able to start work sub-contracting and working on commercial sites just one week after completing his course and is now working his way towards being a fully qualified electrician.

What did you do before your electrical training?

Before training to become an electrician, I worked in retail for many years. After a while it felt like I was going nowhere and I wasn’t doing anything to develop myself.

Why did you decide to train as an electrician?

I didn’t want to continue working in a job where I became comfortable in an environment that didn’t challenge me, so I started looking for work that was more technical. I wanted to do something that tested my abilities, and decided to go for a complete career change. I have always wanted to learn a trade and to have the ability and knowledge to physically carry out a skill, no matter the situation I was in, or where in the world I went.

Why did you decide to take the C&G 2356 L2 & 3?

I had no previous experience, skills or qualifications to get started in the electrical trade, and there weren’t a lot of opportunities available to gain the work experience I needed.

I thought it would be a struggle to get on the job training at an entry level and most places that offered apprenticeships had age restrictions, and to even start as an electricians mate I would need some foundation of theory, practical knowledge or experience.

I knew I had to start from the very beginning, so I looked online for courses that could help me get up and running. It wasn’t long before I was directed to the Trade Skills 4U website. The site had a clear explanation of what the C&G 2365 Level 2 & 3 was, in comparison to the other electrical courses offered. It stated it would be the best course for a beginner looking to get into the electrical trade, and on completing the course I would be employable.

And that’s exactly what I was able to do. I completed my Level 2 & 3 and had the qualifications to apply for work and start working as an electrician the next week.

What are your plans now?

Having completed the C&G 2365 course I set out to continue learning and adding to the knowledge and experience I had gained, and applying all of this to my current working environment in order to work towards an NVQ and AM2 as soon as possible.

What was your training experience like with Trade Skills 4U?

For me, learning the theory from scratch was one of the most difficult parts of the course. However, I had an amazing teacher, who was so patient and determined and taught me to understand so that I found a way to make it stick.

I went from not having a clue the first few times I heard a subject, to passing all my exams with merits or distinctions the first time, and later on in the course even being able to attempt and then complete detailed coursework at home.

What is the best experience you have had so far in your new career?

Since gaining my qualifications I have been sub-contracting and working on commercial sites; including new builds and refurbishments of schools.

At first I was nervous, and work seemed daunting outside of the Trade Skills 4U centre, however taking on everything I learnt and working alongside experienced electricians I have been able to put together my new-found knowledge and practical experience in many challenging situations.

Since then, I have been confident and capable enough to work alone and complete 1st and 2nd fix work in large areas and rooms of schools.

How would you describe the facilities and training at Trade Skills 4U?

The facilities at the Crawley Centre offered specific working areas that allowed me to gain vital practical experience that helped me understand what it would be like working in the electrical trade. From working at heights setting up towers to putting up a fuse board and wiring circuits in steel conduit, and even testing 3 phase boards and fault finding on different rigs. All of this mixed in with intense theory lessons helped me reach the level of understanding I have, and use today.

Finally, do you have any advice for others wanting to train as an electrician?

I was very lucky to have been part of a great class and to have had a dedicated and patient teacher. There was a range of experience and learning levels, some had years of experience and others, like myself, had none. My best advice would be to take in as much as you can during your time training as you can learn a lot from what different people and their experiences can bring to the time shared. And of course you have an experienced and well informed group of teachers, who themselves have their own experiences you can learn from. You don’t want to regret not asking those around you for help with how or what helped them already.

It’s because of the people and teachers I met during my time training that I was able to gain such an understanding of what it is to be, and work as an electrician before I even started as one. It is these tips and lessons I have learnt that I will keep with me going forward in my new career.


We would like to thank Giovanni for sharing his story and offering his words of advice to anyone thinking of becoming an electrician. We wish Giovanni the very best of luck for the future and hope he continues to have a successful career as an electrician.

If you are interested in an electrical training course, please visit our Course Finder page.

Categories: qualifications, employment, case study, electrician

Upgrading our energy system and battery technology announcements

Posted by Elaine Hammond on 9th August 2017

The government recently unveiled plans for a more flexible energy system and £246m of funding for battery research. This will have a major impact on the way we generate and consume electricity, manage our electricity networks and use transport. The government’s aim is to ensure that a smarter grid will help keep energy bills low for consumers.

Upgrading our energy system

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Ofgem have recently set out plans to upgrade our energy systems by putting consumers in control. The plan will deliver a smarter more flexible energy system by removing barriers to smart technology, reducing costs for consumers giving households and businesses greater control over their energy use.

The ‘Upgrading our energy system report’ explains how the UK energy system is changing and how it can ensure economic benefits for households and businesses. Currently over a quarter of the UK’s electricity is being generated through renewable energy such as solar and wind with most of it located close to our homes and businesses.

New technologies that help store and manage energy are emerging and these changes will provide a great opportunity to create new jobs and business opportunities.

New smart technologies like smart meters and appliances that can be controlled by your mobile phone, together with other improvements to manage the energy system will help the country save up to £40bn on the UK’s energy costs over decades to come.

Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said: “Upgrading our energy system to make sure it is fit for the future is a key part of our Industrial Strategy. A smarter energy system will create opportunities to reduce energy costs, increase productivity and put UK businesses in a leading position to export smart energy technology and services to the rest of the world".

Investments in battery technology

With the growing popularity of electric cars it is estimated that 50% of vehicles produced by 2030 will be either electric or plug-in hybrid electric and it is likely that future generations will be using vehicles with batteries as their primary source of energy.

The Business and Energy Secretary, Greg Clark, recently announced that the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund will invest £246 million into battery technology. This investment will go towards ensuring that the UK leads the way in the design, development and manufacture of electric batteries and is likely to have particular benefits in the automotive sector and renewable energy.

Known as the ‘Faraday Challenge’ this 4-year investment will form part of the governments Industrial Strategy to deliver a co-ordinated programme of competitions that aims to boost both the research and development of expertise in battery technology.

These competitions will be divided into 3 streams; research, innovation and scale-up, all designed to drive the UK’s world-leading research into market-ready technology to ensure economic success for the UK. An overarching Faraday Challenge Advisory Board will be established to oversee the challenge, chaired by Professor Richard Parry-Jones, a senior engineering leader.

The three competition streams are:

Research: To support world class research and training in battery materials, technologies and manufacturing processes, the Government has opened a £45m competition, led by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), to bring the best minds and facilities together to create a virtual Battery Institute. The successful consortium of universities will be responsible for undertaking research looking to address the key industrial challenges in this area.

Innovation: The most promising research completed by the Institute will be moved closer to the market through collaborative research and development competitions, led by Innovate UK. The initial competitions will build on the best of current world-leading science already happening in the UK and helping make the technology more accessible for UK businesses.

Scale-up: To further develop the real-world use and application of battery technology the Government has opened a competition, led by the Advanced Propulsion Centre, to identify the best proposition for a new state-of-the-art open access National Battery Manufacturing Development facility.

Electric Vehicle Charging Point

With the recent announcement banning the sale of new diesel and petrol cars in the UK from 2040 amid concerns that rising levels of nitrogen oxide pose a major risk to public health, the government has made a commitment to a clean air plan, which they say is needed because of the unnecessary and avoidable impact that poor air quality is having on people’s health. It is said that the air pollution outside and inside the home causes at least 40,000 premature deaths a year.

The recent Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill will allow the Government to require the installation of charge points for electric vehicles at motorway service areas and large fuel retailers. This is great news for electric vehicle owners as many more garages across the UK will have to provide forecourt charging facilities.

This in turn, is great news for electricians, as it will allow them to train as an electric vehicle charging point installer offering them an additional income stream.

If you are interested in becoming an Electric Vehicle Charging Point Installer, Trade Skills 4U offers the C&G 2919-01 Electric Car/Vehicle Charging Point Installer Course, which can be booked on-line using our course page, alternatively if you would like to speak to a course adviser please call 01293 529777 or 0800 856448.

Categories: electric vehicles, battery technology, energy system, smart systems

Gate Safe Register Hits 1,000

Posted by Elaine Hammond on 2nd August 2017

August 2017: Nearly seven years since Gate Safe became the first organisation to initiate a campaign for improved standards in automated gate safety, the charity marked another important milestone, as it celebrated hitting 1,000 installers on its acclaimed national register of Gate Safe Aware Installers - which currently features 459 companies.

The training session at Trade Skills 4 U – the UK’s no 1 provider of electrical training which regularly hosts Gate Safe Aware training – was attended by 17 delegates, including 4 from Acctive Systems, signifying 1,000 trained Gate Safe Aware installers in the UK.

In recognition of this important anniversary, Acctive Systems was provided with a year’s supply of Gate Safe MOT stickers, Gate Safe Aware van stickers and high-vis Gate Safe Aware Installer vests.

Richard Jackson, founder of Gate Safe commented, “When we first launched our IOSH (Institution of Occupational Safety & Health) accredited training programme, our intention was always to establish a national register of installers who had undergone the necessary training to enable them to understand the requirements to deliver a safe and compliant automated gate.  The training has been especially developed with the installer in mind, the course is easy to understand and not over-complicated by technical jargon; it has a strong practical emphasis and does not put too much pressure on the smaller company, both in terms of financial outlay and time spent out of the business.  With such a broad (and consistently growing) spread of installers across the UK, the Gate Safe brand continues to grow both in terms of stature (Gate Safe has been commended by the HSE, is officially supported by 12 credible opinion former bodies and is the leading authority on automated gate safety) and reach.”

If you would like to find out more about this course please click here Electric Gate Safety Awareness Course

Categories: gate safe, gate safe installers