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Product Review – Remora GripLoc Cable Glands

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 25th August 2015

The new GripLoc range of glands offers commercial and industrial end users a definitive solution to installing mechanical cable entry devices that are safe, secure and reliable.  For electricians entering commercial electrics, Remora GripLoc cable glands have already outperformed equivalent products in fire testing.  They satisfy the BS7671 update where it is now necessary to secure cables effectively in communal walkways to prevent premature collapse in the event of fire.

Safe and Cost Effective

Made from high quality nylon material, the high quality nylon glands are only made and offered for sale by Remora.  You won't find the same quality of materials packaged under any other brand.  Ideal for a commercial environment or in HMO buildings, Remora cable glands are a reliable choice for electricians who are after quality.  Remora cable glands will not break on installation and will last for years cutting down on return trips to replace faulty materials.

Remora GripLoc cable glands are designed for use in heavy duty commercial and industrial environments meaning they can withstand high and humid temperatures as well as freezing temperatures. Due to their high quality, Remora cable glands exceed international standards.

State of the art features

Whether for light commercial use or heavy duty manufacturing machinery, Remora cable glands lead the way in safety, reliability and security.  Remoras own in house team of engineers have worked hard to ensure the Remora glands are leading the way.  Features such as a removable atmospheric membrane seal allows GripLoc fitted enclosures to be isolated during assembly or preparation of the cable. This eradicates the need for temporary plugs and allows for pre-fitment and sealing during the manufacture stage. After the final cable installation has been completed the membrane can be easily removed by applying pressure.

Vibration lock system

The positive ratcheting feedback technology ensures installations meet safety requirements and aren’t put at risk due to loosening of the termination.

Superior Griploc seal

The superior griploc seal ensures the cable glands do not let water in.  An interlocking device ensures that the gland does not become separated from the body. As well as augmenting ‘pull-out’ resistance, this also reduces bulging and achieves a 100% water and dust tight interface with IP68 and IP69K ratings of over 10 bar.

Available in a selection of colours

Remora cable glands come in a selection of colours including black, grey, red and white, meaning they won't look out of place in most applications.

Remora cable glands are available at good electrical wholesalers.




Categories: reviews

UK Highways Agency Testing Electric Motorways

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 18th August 2015

It doesn’t seem real and when I first read this story I thought it was a hoax. However a quick check on the highways agency website shows that the UK will be one of the first countries in the world to experiment with roads that can charge an electric car wirelessly as it drives along. The thought of electrifying our roads seems crazy at first until you realise that we have been doing it for years with Rail and how much safer this new technology is. It works by powering coils under the surface of the road which transmit electricity to receiver coils fitted to cars. It is similar to technology used in new smart phones that can charge without plugging a cable in.

This will allow the cars to simply recharge whilst they cruise down the motorway at 70mph and eliminate one of the most restrictive aspects of owning an electric vehicle, “Range Anxiety”. Range anxiety is something that effects most electric car owners. Due to the restricted infrastructure at present most electric car owners must ensure their cars are fully charged and also plan their trips carefully to ensure they can make it all the way there and all the way back again. It is deemed to be one of the biggest issues holding back the sale of electric cars in the world today.

Experts predict that over the next few years electric vehicle ownership with continue to increase at a rapid rate and as such investment in infrastructure and new technology will be key. If the range issue can be well and truly solved then we really will see an explosion in electric vehicles.

Off road trials of this new technology will last around 18 months so we are still a long way off, however if successful it could really be a game changer.

Transport Minister Andrew Jones said:

“The potential to recharge low emission vehicles on the move offers exciting possibilities. The government is already committing £500 million over the next five years to keep Britain at the forefront of this technology, which will help boost jobs and growth in the sector. As this study shows, we continue to explore options on how to improve journeys and make low-emission vehicles accessible to families and businesses.”

Highways England Chief Highways Engineer Mike Wilson said:

“Vehicle technologies are advancing at an ever increasing pace and we’re committed to supporting the growth of ultra-low emissions vehicles on our England’s motorways and major A roads.

The off road trials of wireless power technology will help to create a more sustainable road network for England and open up new opportunities for businesses that transport goods across the country.”

At present there is a huge demand for new charging points and this shows no signs of slowing up. Battery technology is improving and Highways England is also committed to installing plug-in charging points every 20 miles (32.1km) on its motorway network over the "longer-term".

If you are already working as an electrician you can train in EV car charging point installation in as little as 2 days and can then install both domestic and public car charging points. As technology moves forwards growth will be amplified and it seems that electric cars and maybe electric roads could really be the future.




Categories: renewables

9 Famous People You Never Knew Worked As Electricians

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 11th August 2015

Now quite clearly we believe that becoming an electrician is one of the best career choices you can make. However there are a few people who chose to move away from the trade and pursue greater and grander things. So we have researched some of the most famous electricians in history and listed them in reverse order below:

9. Stuart Pearce

'Psycho' was a trained electrician when he was signed up by Nottingham Forest. Famously, he advertised his services in the match day programme. He worked as an electrician for four and a half years and is now a champion for asbestos awareness due to the fact he fears he was exposed to the substance whilst on the tools.

8. Rowan Atkinson

Rowan Atkinson studied Electrical engineering at Newcastle University. He then continued to achieve a masters in the subject at The Queens College, Oxford in 1975. However he never took his electrical career any further and swiftly moved into writing and comedy. He is most famous for his roles in Blackadder and Mr Bean. I think we can all agree it is a good thing Mr Bean was not an electrician.

7. Sir David Jason

David Jason was made famous mainly for his role as Del Boy in Only Fools And Horses. He had always wanted to follow in his older brothers footsteps and be an actor, however his father had other ideas. David actually trained for 6 years as an apprentice electrician before giving up his job and his current girlfriend (excuse the pun) to take up acting in 1962.

6. Sir Bobby Charlton

One of the UK’s most loved footballers, Bobby Charlton originally trained as an apprentice electrical engineer. His mother had forced him to do so as she felt football was unlikely to provide him with a sustainable income. As it turned out football didn’t pay so well in those days so he still used to pick up the tools in the off season when he didn’t get paid.

5. George Harrison

As one quarter of the most famous band of all time George Harrison was part of a cultural movement that changed the world. However by the sounds of it he was lucky to be alive. In an interview in 1966 he was quoted as saying:

“I had a short go at being an electrician's apprentice, but I kept blowing things up, so I got dumped.”

4. Alfred Hitchcock

Hitchcock is still to this day one of the most famous directors of all time. His films have electrified audiences around the globe and in fact his first ever job when he left school at 16 was as an apprentice electrician at Henleys who manufactured electronic appliances. It was clear his talents were wasted on the tools very early on and he was quickly promoted.

“Hitchcock swiftly graduated to the sales section, where he honed his design and draftsmanship skills. There he would cultivate his habit of diligent planning, with notes, drafts, and multiple revisions. There he would also learn various means of publicity and promotion. No one ever had a better procedural grounding for film than Hitchcock did at Henley’s. The job educated him technically, artistically, and commercially.”

3. Benjamin Franklin

Known by many as the First American, a founding father and present on the $100 bill Benjamin Franklin was also possibly one of the first electricians in history. He was an inventor and experimenter who really helped the world understand what electricity was and how it worked. He was famous for experimenting with flying kites in lightning storms, the result of which led to the use of lightning rods and grounding.

2. Albert Einstein

Everyone knows that being an electrician is probably the trade that requires the most brain power. However it clearly wasn’t challenging enough for Albert Einstein. One of his first ever jobs was running cables and hanging lights for his father and uncle at the first ever Oktoberfest to be lit with electric light via a steam generator. Once everything was set up Albert was asked to wander the fair to make sure all the lights were on.

1. Elvis Presley

The King is still pretty much the most famous person on the planet. It’s amazing to think what would have happened had he stuck to his training programme as an electrician with the Crown Electric Company. Thankfully for his millions and millions of fans worldwide he didn’t and was quoted as saying:

"I was training to be an electrician. I suppose I got wired the wrong way round somewhere along the line."

OK so not everyone on this list were out and out electricians, however it is amazing just how famous some of the names above really are. If you know of any more please let us know.


Which Tradesmen Recommendation Sites Are Best For Tradesmen?

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 3rd August 2015

If you’re already accredited by a competent person’s scheme with the relevant qualifications, a quick way to gain a reputation is by joining a tradesman recommendation site. These are websites where customers can leave you real reviews on your services, to hopefully entice more customers to employ you.

These sites help customers avoid cowboy builders whilst at the same time helping tradesmen to promote and grow their business. Essentially it can be a win win for reputable businesses.

But which site would you choose? We’ve looked into the top sites on the market today, and compared them below. When carrying out our research we have found there are two main types of sites:

Sites that charge tradesmen an annual fee to be vetted and listed

Sites that make their money by selling leads to tradesmen

We believe it is important for consumers and tradesmen to understand the difference between these types of site and how that can benefit them.


Checktrade is the original trade recommendation website. It started even before the internet really took off in the late 1990's. The scheme was originally set up in conjunction with the police after a tornado caused havoc in January 1998 in Selsey on the South Coast. An army of rogue traders descended on the area carrying out shoddy repairs and ripping people off. In response Kevin Byrne set up “Scout” a printed directory and continued to do so for 3 years until the opportunity came along to publish online.

It is important to know the background to Checkatrade as it was originally set up to solve a problem and help consumers. This ethos still runs through the company today and its reputation is one of the most important factors that helps consumers and tradesmen use the service. It generates its revenue from tradesmen who pay to be vetted and listed on the website. Once registered there is no extra charges for receiving leads. Customers simply browse the website and are able to view tradesmen profiles in their area and call them for a quote. Once the job is complete all customers are then encouraged to leave honest feedback on the tradesmen. This means that customers have some form of leverage should a job not get completed to their satisfaction.

The fact that Checkatrade are consumer focussed and spend vast amounts of money on advertising on TV and radio to attract consumers to the website is one of the main reasons tradesmen should be drawn to the service. By focussing on the consumer Checkatrade are actually serving the tradesmen as best they can by generating brand awareness and customers for their tradesmen.

Feedback from students in our centre is that many simply join Checkatrade and that’s all the advertising they need to do to keep them busy all year.

Rated People

Rated people are probably to second most popular trade recommendation site in the UK. They turn the Checkatrade model on its head by focussing on the tradesman. This does have its benefits as it means a low monthly fee of £15 per month and then you only pay for the leads you want. The site does a great job of vetting the customers for the tradesmen by asking lots of questions about the type of job, specific details of the jobs and even qualifies when the job is needed and the customers budget.

What this means for the tradesmen is they only incur costs when they see the right job, in the right location at the right price. It also means less time is wasted providing quotes for people who are maybe contacting lots and lots of companies as only 3 tradesmen can buy the details of the job.

The site seems to work very well, however for consumers we feel that it lacks the ability to easily search and contact tradesmen based on their feedback. It does however send the customer the profiles of the tradesmen so they can check the previous feedback from other customers before choosing which one to hire.


Like Checkatrade, TrustATrader is also focused on vetting tradesmen and then advertising their services online for consumers to search. They are very similar to Checkatrade and also advertise regularly on TV and Radio.

TrustATrader are also very consumer focussed, however they seem to have a few unique selling points for tradesmen which we think Checkatrade should look into too. They allow tradesmen to take card payments with no monthly fees, they limit membership in each area to prevent too much competition and they offer a text a trader service too. They seem to generally do a better job of selling their services to traders too making them look more appealing for those looking to join.

Generally the site is very well built and is easy and intuitive to navigate.


My builder is to Rated People what TrustATrader is to Checkatrade. It is a slightly smaller challenger with a very similar offering. However in terms of vetting customers and jobs it does not seem to be anywhere near as detailed as Rated People. When posting a job, there is just one form for the customer to fill out. Some could argue this will increase the number of jobs it will receive, however tradesmen may find that the quality of the leads may suffer. It does however charge slightly differently with the cost of leads for tradesmen priced based on the value of the job which is pretty handy especially if you are just starting out.

So which should you choose?

Well firstly I should highlight we are slightly biased here as we have a great relationship with Checkatrade who provide a discount to Trade Skills 4U customers. However for tradesmen it comes down to one key thing, how much business can they generate? We know Checkatrade has more of a South East bias, however a quick check on Google trends shows that searches for Checkatrade are way above all the others in terms of brand searches nationwide. This suggests that Checkatrade is doing something right in advertising to its customers which in turn will lead to more business for its tradesmen.

Data above is from Google trends for the past 12 months

Choosing the right one for you

Despite this it isn’t as simple as simply picking the most popular site. You will want to weigh up the pro’s and cons of whichever scheme you decide to register with based on your needs. If you are looking to advertise on one of these sites we recommend doing the following:

Search each providers website to see how many other tradesmen they have registered in your area and specific trade. This will help you find out how much competition you may come up against.

You may also want to do a Google search for a term like “electrician crawley” and see which trade recommendation sites rank best.

If you do join make sure your customer service and overall work is up to scratch. You need to ensure you are able to remain professional and courteous to even the most testing of customers.

You may find if you are just starting out as a business it’s a good idea to find your feet before registering so you have more experience under your belt before customers start posting reviews online about your work.

Whichever site you choose will almost certainly help your business grow. However make sure you maintain your excellent service once you do grow especially if you take on more staff.


Case Study - Alex Pentecost

Posted by Kirsten Beckwith on 30th July 2015

We were delighted to meet up with Alex Pentecost today, we interviewed him back in March whilst he was studying our C&G 2365 Diploma Course, as part of a campaign around national apprenticeship week. He was looking for work at the time and we were profiling great candidates on our website to try and assist them with their search. We caught up with him once he returned for his 2394/95 this week, three months after completing his course.

When we interviewed Alex originally we were blown away with his professionalism and we wanted to help him find work in the industry, we kept in contact with him and he’s now successfully gained employment with HMC Electrical, hear what he had to say:

Name: Alex Pentecoste
Age: 35
Location: Kent
Which courses did you take with us?

C&G 2365 Level 2 & 3 Diploma & C&G 2394/2395 Course Package

When did you take the course?

Finished the 2365 in February 2015

How did you find the course at our centre?

I enjoyed working two weeks on two weeks off, and the intensive format for the course, my tutor Phil was a great, he had a great teaching style, he wanted you to say the answer rather than telling you the answer which means you’re more likely to pay attention rather than information just being given to you. My wife is a teacher and she is all for this style of teaching in her classes.

What type of work were you doing before training?

Previously I worked in the aviation industry, I decided to re-train after being made redundant, a friend of mine working at Heathrow recommended your training centre to me, he successfully became an engineer in the new terminal 5 building at Heathrow, he works maintaining the baggage reclaim belts.

How long have you been working in the electrical industry now?

2 months

What were your key goals when initially training with Trade Skills 4U?

My initial goal was to get into inspection and testing, I didn’t want to go and work in the domestic sector.

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

Yes I would definitely recommend to a friend, from the front of house to the tutors, the staff are really friendly, I liked the intensive nature of the course, it meant I could get my qualifications quickly and get out working as soon as possible, and after being made redundant this was important to me and my small family.

How long did it take you to find work after our course?

HMC – employed me three weeks after leaving the centre. I started off as an electricians mate, and after 4 weeks, I requested to be given my own van and tools, two days later they gave it to me. I’m now out working on my own. I get a list from head office, jobs mainly in the commercial or industrial sectors, they could be a day job, or last a few weeks, we’ve recently been working at Greenwich university. I like that my days are planned and I’m not out there scrimping and scraping for work.

What are you planning on doing in the future?

I would like to come back and do the 2396 eventually, possibly in the next five years when I’ve got a bit more experience under my belt, this was the assignment I enjoyed the most whilst on the course.

Anything else you would like to add?

I would like to thank you personally for helping me get the job if it wasn’t for you pestering HMC to get me in for an interview I wouldn’t have got the job in the first place, I really appreciate your help and I’m very thankful for Trade Skills 4U.




Cool And Funny T Shirts for Electricians

Posted by Kirsten Beckwith on 23rd July 2015

trendy male model

Maybe you want to make your customers smile? Maybe you want to buy a gift for a sparky mate? Whatever the reason we have put together a blog post of the coolest and funniest electrician’s t-shirts. Some of these are guaranteed to get those heads turning.

This could be your new uniform perhaps? Or a better way to advertise your skills when you are off duty!

Again we wouldn’t charge you for using one of these brilliant ideas. We hope you enjoy this post as much as we did putting it together. Check out some of these cool T-Shirts below:

1. Electricians are the true craftsman on-site.

electrician are craftsman Tshirt

2. Electrician’s are awesome! 

electricians are awesome

3. How many of you can relate to this one? 

misspelt t shirt good at maths


4. Simply the best! 


worlds best electrician t shirt


5. This is good one for domestic electricians!

keep calm im an electrician tshirt


6. Who wants this for their wife? 

electrician wife t shirt


7. A great hoodie to stop your girlfriend stealing yours? 


keep calm and love an electrician


8. Who wants their partner to where this at 8 months?

the electrician did it


9. For all those sisters out there, Amen! 


finest women become electrical engineers tshirt


10. For those trendy electricians?

ee-lek-trish-uhn tshirt


11. The powerful T for a powerful electrician!


a powerful ohmmm


12. Just because!

i work with strippers tshirt



13. Electrician, fixing what your husband broke! 


electrician fixing what your husband broke


14. Who’d consider themselves as a genius? 


electrical genius

If you like any of these ideas there are loads of T-Shirt printing companies who can make the perfect T-Shirt for you, your company or your friends.

Win A Brother Label Printer Worth £45

Let us know which one was your favourite, or share your hilarious t-shirt on our Facebook page, or on twitter, we will share the funniest one we get sent. Whoever sends us the funniest one will win a Brother E100VP Label Printer worth £45. 

Please get your entries to us by Monday 1st September 2015 to be in for the chance of winning a brand new Brother printer.





10 Second Survey: Are You Ready for the Changes to BS7671 17th Edition Amendment 3?

Posted by Kirsten Beckwith on 22nd July 2015


Please take our 10 second survey on the changes to BS7671, are you ready for these all important changes, have you bought yourself a new copy of the book? We're really interested to hear from you. 



If you you have answered no to having a book, you buy one from us here at Trade Skills 4U, please call 01293 529 777, postage and packing charges will apply. And if you're unsure of the changes you can watch this helpful video/slideshow here. 



Domestic Installer Workshop (C&G 4141-01) Review

Posted by Kirsten Beckwith on 21st July 2015

Course: Domestic Installation Workshop

Duration: 5 days

Qualification: Electrical Installations Work within a Domestic Dwelling

So recently I attended the first week of our Bronze Domestic Installer course (C&G 4141-01) which is a practical training week. If you want to know more about the course then read on. Be aware this post is coming from someone who has never worked on a site, picked up a tool or even tinkered with the electrics at home. You know this should be an interesting read.

This was certainly going to be a challenging week for me or the tutor who decided to take me on, thankfully Doug immediately put me at ease. Being a 28 year old female this made me the second youngest in the class, the rest were in their forties or above, some had years of experience in a trade perhaps not electrics, but they’ve used tools before, as a chippie, a mechanic, working as a handyman, kitchen fitter, plumber, or an electrical apprentice, and lastly a property developer who wanted to save money. Then there is little old me who has never used a screwdriver, snippers (I mean wire cutters) and wire strippers, this was a whole new world to me, I might have put up a picture up, with a hammer and nail at most but that is it!

Therefore if I can make it through this course and pass, then anyone can, on my first day I cut my hand on those nasty “snippers”, I was covered in bruises which I still can’t explain. It’s the classic phrase of pen pusher turned tradesman and I couldn’t be prouder to make it out alive, let alone with a qualification in domestic installation. I will be tinkering at home with my electrics before you know it! Watch this space Trade Skills 4U, coming soon: “Superb Sparky - The Current Specialist”, with a 10 rating on Checkatrade. Perhaps not, but we can all dream can’t we.

The classroom for the 4141-01 is designed with practical teaching in mind. It is a dual purpose classroom with seating in the middle for looking at teaching slides and bays around the outside with consumer units from which you can then build your installations.

Myself and my classmates couldn’t quite believe what was achievable during the course, we learnt how to wire up two plug sockets, a spur, two light switches, a fan assisted switch, and a cooker switch all within just a few hours of class time.

On day one we wired up two plugs, and two lights. These were all connected in the consumer unit either to the Neutral bar, the earth bar or the live bar. You’ll learn quickly the different ways to test your wiring. Would you believe it, if I said that you’d be given a test sheet at the beginning of the day, and by the end of the day you would have filled this in correctly? The class had managed to wire up all of that into a consumer unit and make it work. Well I couldn’t. It was testament to the tutor and the teaching of course.

After the initial build we had to check our connections using a KewTech KT35 testing meter, you can download the test sheet here, filling in the form correctly is hugely important because it’s a legal document. As Doug explained this shows that when you left the property the electrics were working correctly.

Day two we tested our connections. I had some high readings on my circuits. This could have been for a number of reasons either the insulation around the conductor was touching the metal plate in the socket or the sockets themselves were damaged in some way. Once we’d figured out if the wiring needed adjusting. We were swiftly asked to wire up an intermittent switch on to the lighting circuit, this meant you could operate the same lights from various switches. You might see this in your hallway or landing.

Day three early on in the morning we were asked to wire up a cooker switch. This involved using three coil wire, this wire is very thick and hard to strip especially for a novice like me! Once we’d completed this, we filled out our test sheets, including all the final stages of testing to ensure the consumer unit can be powered up safely.

Day four we wired up a fan and fan assisted switch, these were attached to the lights meaning you could turn the fan on without the lights. As Doug explained these are normally used in bathrooms without windows or sufficient ventilation. During the build Doug’s attitude is, it doesn’t matter if you make mistakes, because you learn from them, and he preferred that they happened in the classroom rather than anywhere else.

Here’s a diagram of everything wired up week one, once this was completed it was time to take it down in preparation for assessment day.

diagram of what you need to wire up in week one

The final day of the domestic installer workshop, was assessment day, you have four hours to complete an installation, inspect and test your work. If you complete this correctly you’ll pass. The pressure was on. Upon entering the classroom on assessment day you can certainly feel the tension in the air. To be told you are  not allowed to talk about your work (was like being back at school) I had to consciously think about this at regular intervals throughout the day. Four hours is plenty of time. I decided to take my time during the assessment, because throughout the week, I had a couple of occasions where my wiring was too short and had to make last minute adjustments. I took my time measuring everything correctly to ensure each wire wasn’t too short to make a good connection.

All in all, the course was thoroughly enjoyable, from getting to know my fellow students and their reasons for taking the course, many of the students had decided to have a change of career after working in a different trade.

One thing that stood out was just how knowledgeable our tutor was. He used real life examples during class and broke everything down into bite size chunks, making it fun whilst we learnt. It’s easy to fall behind when you’re not paying attention because it’s very fast paced. It’s an intensive course, similar to taking one years worth of driving lessons in just one week!

To find out course availability please visit the course page, many people book this course as part of the Bronze domestic installer package, where you’ll also gain the following qualifications in; 2393 Part P building regulations, 2392-10 Inspection & Testing Course, and the 17th Edition Wiring Regulations (including the latest amendments), this will enable you to become fully qualified domestic electrician in just 18days. 

4141-01 certificate






Andrew Codling - Case Study

Posted by Kirsten Beckwith on 17th July 2015

Today we caught up with Andy Codling after spending a week with him on the 4141-01 Domestic Installer course, we wanted to find out his motivations for studying at Trade Skills 4U. 

Name: Andy Codling
Age: 43
Location: Kent, Maidstone
How did you hear about us?

I started my search by looking on the internet, I did a Google search, and Trade Skills 4U came at the top of my search results.

I decided to go with you over a different provider because the website is very professional and the location was an important factor for me.


Which course are you studying at Trade Skills 4U?

Green Domestic Installer Course


What are the dates of your course?

My course runs 4 weeks consecutively, then I am returning mid-August for the solar power section of the course.

How are you finding the course at our centre?

Yes really good, it’s been really helpful, all the tutors I’ve met so far have been really good, they’re very talented and always go out of their way to make sure they help each every student. On a heavy week like Part P where there is lots of theory, it’s nice to have a jovial atmosphere in the classroom, the tutor made it fun for us whilst we’re learning or it could have become very heavy going.

What type of work were you doing before training?

Managing an accelerometer calibration lab – we calibrate devices used on aircraft, automotive, space craft and many other applications to measure vibration. My job was to certify them and ensure they were working correctly. I got made redundant from them on the 29th May, they had decided to move their offices to North Wales, they gave me the choice to move with them or take a volunteered redundancy, as my wife owns her own hair salon here we decided we had too many ties to leave, therefore my old employers paid for the course as part of my redundancy package.

What work are you intending on carrying out after the course?

I am actually thinking about setting up a training and consultancy firm, similar to what I was doing before, but that is my long term goal, because I have an electronic and electrical background anyway, I thought if I could do this for my bread and butter money that would keep me ticking over until my business gets off the ground, it might take a few years to get going, so until that’s established I will be doing property maintenance, a few hours at a time, maybe not a full re-wire but small jobs to keep me going.

How long since you last studied?

I did a masters degree in 2007, this was an online course whilst working full time job, with two children the masters was in information technology, I also studied electrical, electronic engineering at university and college. I also taught myself software design at my previous company were most of the software was designed by me.

What difference will this course make to your career?

All the tips you gain from Doug on the course are really helpful, it’s really handy to know all the tricks of the trade and Doug teaches you the correct way to do everything which means not only are you learning but your learning how to install correctly and to the industry standards. I wanted to gain my qualifications, get my part p building regulations qualifications and get out working as soon as possible.

What type of work are you now doing?

Contracting for my old firm a few days here and there.

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

Definitely choose Trade Skills 4U, the facilities are really good and a lot better than some of the places I’ve been too, sometimes the parking is tight, but if you get here early which I normally do you’re fine.

What are you planning on doing in the future?

I would like to get my training company up and running and keeping my hand in electrics in the meantime, even at the weekends if people need work doing I would be more than happy to help where I can to make sure I put my qualifications to good use.

How did you find having me as your classmate?

Nah its cool, it’s nice to see the staff getting involved!

Would you encourage more women coming into the trade?

I don’t see why it should be a male orientated environment…




Van leasing – contract hire vs finance lease. What is the best option for electricians?

Posted by Kirsten Beckwith on 6th July 2015

A van is an essential item for a self-employed electrician.  What type of van you get will involve a fair amount of research and the pros and cons of monthly payments as against owning your own van.  A new van will set you back a fair chunk of money and unless you have several thousand pounds floating around in your bank account, chances are, you'll end up with an older van which could become costly in terms of maintenance, tax and even reliability. You need to be able to trust your van to get you to and from jobs reliably.

An old van can give also give the wrong impression to customers – a nice well kept van gives a professional appearance and in many cases can actually save you money.

Leasing a van is generally hassle free so long as you meet the monthly payments and don't exceed mileage agreements.  Every 3 years on average you can get your hands on a brand new van that won't depreciate year on year and without the hassle that ownership brings.

With many lease options out there, it can be confusing to know which deal really is a good one.  We're not going to tell you how to spot a good deal – we're pretty confident you can take care of that yourself.

Clue yourself up on lease options before you start

Many people assume that lease contracts are the same and only concern themselves with the bottom line. However, there are two different types of lease options and as electricians, this is pretty essential 'must know' stuff.

The two options are contract hire and finance lease.  Both types seem to mean not a lot on paper but upon delving a little further into the options, there are financial implications that could affect you as an electrician.

Contract hire

By far the most common form of lease agreement is contract hire.  This is where you pay a set monthly fee for the van and this covers use of the van up to an agreed mileage allowance, tax and often maintenance and breakdown cover leaving you with peace of mind when driving your van.

Providing the van is returned without damage at the end of the lease there should be no problems.

It is easy to think you have spotted a great deal and signed up without knowing about a lesser well known option that could actually reward you financially.

Finance lease

Finance lease is designed for those who work in occupations which involves more practical use of the van where there is a chance damage could be caused.  However, demonstrate good use of the van and you could be quids in.

Finance lease is similar to contract hire in that you pay an agreed monthly fee and have all the benefits you would expect in a contract hire arrangement.

The difference is what happens at the end when the van is sold.  If the company is able to sell for a higher price due to a better condition or lower mileage then you receive the difference.  Another option is to purchase the vehicle at a bargain purchase price – so it good be used as an economic way to acquire a vehicle if you didn't want to commit to years of leasing a van.

What is the best option for electricians?

Not every electrician is going to run their van into the ground.  With finance lease you have far more control over how you manage your van and will reap the benefits over the longer term.  With the more common contract hire, you are simply paying for the privilege of looking after your van for which you will receive no reward at the end of the lease.

Finance lease wins the day – at least from out point of view anyway!