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Case Study - Michael Williams

Posted by Michaela Elcoat on 20th February 2018



Michael Williams


2365 Level 2 & 3

What was your job before training as an electrician and why did you choose the electrical trade?

Before, I ran my own powder coating company. I had grown tired of having unreliable staff and being forced to work excessive amounts of hours in order to meet unrealistic deadlines for demanding customers. I wanted to find a career where I could work on my own and be able to properly plan my workload.

I already had an interest in electronics from school and I've always been fascinated by cutting edge technologies. Adding all these elements together, training as an electrician seemed like the perfect solution.

Why did you take the 2365 Level 2 & 3?

It offered the most comprehensive training for someone wanting to enter into the electrical industry without going through the apprenticeship route.

What did you enjoy most about the course?

I really enjoyed learning all the theory and reasoning behind electrical installations. Knowing why things are done a certain way meant that I started to see the everyday world in a different light. We had a great tutor in Adam Ormesher, who really engaged with the whole class and kept the content interesting throughout.

What did you find most challenging?

Definitely the lighting circuits in the practical! There are so many different ways to wire them up that I often got a bit lost.

Can you tell us what you’re doing now?

I have started up on my own as an electrician. I am mostly sub-contracting to other, well established firms in order to build up my practical experience, but I do get the odd offer of my own work through friends and family.

What are your future plans to grow your business?

I have already returned to Trade Skills 4U and taken the PAT testing qualification. I will be back again for the inspection and testing course, the electric car charging point and the 18th edition course (when it is released). I want to arm myself with as much knowledge as possible so I am able to take on whatever work is offered to me.

What advice would you give to someone looking at training to become an electrician?

Work hard. Sometimes you may not grasp part of it straight away, but if you ask for help and stick with it, it will all make sense eventually. It is a really satisfying career choice, seeing a project through from beginning to end (no matter what it is) and having a pleased and grateful customer at the end of the day is a brilliant feeling.

Why did you choose TS4U?

Their training structure of 2 weeks on the course then the following 2 weeks back at home suited me perfectly. It allowed me to continue running my company as I trained ultimately leading to me selling it to move in to the electrical industry full time.


Thank you Michael for taking the time to tell us about your experience, we wish you luck in building your career as an electrician. 

Categories: case study, employment, electrician, qualification, trade

150,000 Construction Jobs To Be Created In The Next Five Years

Posted by Elaine Hammond on 8th February 2018

construction jobs on the rise

Despite the gloom around Carillion and Brexit, it is predicted that 150,000 jobs are set to be created in the construction sector over the next five years.

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) predicts that 15,350 carpenters and 9,350 labourers plus jobs for other trades will be needed as more homes are built.

The Federation of Master Builders reported that 48% of small and medium sized companies were also struggling to hire electricians and plumbers, with a further 46% finding it difficult to hire plasterers.

Chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders Brian Berry said: “Skills shortages are skyrocketing and it begs the question, who will build the new homes and infrastructure projects the government is crying out for?”

“The government has set itself an ambitious target to build 300,000 homes every year in England alone.”

“More than two-thirds of construction SMEs are struggling to hire bricklayers, which is one of the key trades in the building industry. This has increased by nearly 10% in just three months which points to a rapid worsening of an already dire situation.”

“What’s more, nearly as many are facing difficulties hiring carpenters and joiners. These figures are the highest we’ve noted since records began a decade ago.”

“As a result, the wages for these increasingly scarce skilled tradespeople continues to rise sharply; that’s a simple consequence of supply and demand.”

“On the domestic front and in the longer term, to ensure we have an ample supply of skilled workers in the future, the government must continue to work with industry to set the right framework in terms of T-Levels and apprenticeships.”

For the fourth year in a row employment is set to grow

Industry experts have forecast that output within the industry will also rise by 1.3% annually creating 158,000 jobs in the next five years. Infrastructure remains the strongest sector with an annual growth of 3.1%, with housing output also expected to grow.

However, it is also expected that commercial building will stagnate over the next five years, as investors are holding back due to the level of uncertainty with regards to England leaving the EU.

Despite this the CITB predict that for the fourth year in a row employment will grow by an average of 0.5% until 2022, which would equate to a massive 2.77 million people working in the construction industry, slightly below the peak reached in 2008.

The CITB Policy Director Steve Radley said: “Though growth is slightly down on 2017, it’s looking more balanced with housing and infrastructure both expanding significantly. And the range of job opportunities is growing. While we need to bring in lots of people in the trades, the fastest growth will be for professionals at 7.8 per cent and for managers and supervisors at 5.6 per cent.”

“By 2022, employment will be in touching distance of the heady 2008 peak so we face a massive recruitment and training challenge, which is likely to get harder after Brexit. So while we can take some comfort from weathering the recent storms, it’s vital that we make the investment in skills today that will shape our own destiny for tomorrow.”

Federation of Master Builders State of Trade Survey Q4  2017

Categories: jobs, electricians, construction

2018 Electricians Events Calendar

Posted by Michaela Elcoat on 25th January 2018



Bookmark and share this page for the latest electrical events that are taking place in 2018.




Elex - London

Location: London, Alexandra Palace 

Date: Wednesday 31st - January - Thursday 1st February

About: Elex offers electrical professionals to access the latest technologies and attend various free seminars led by industry experts discussing key issues that face electricians today.



Tech Talk Seminars

Location: Newcastle, Newcastle Racecourse

Date: Wednesday 7th February

Location: Leeds, Leeds United FC 

Date: Friday 9th February

Location:  Newmarket, Newmarket Racecourse

Date: Tuesday 20th February

Location: Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton Racecourse

Date: Thursday 22nd February

About: Useful and informative half day seminars for those working in the electrical industry.


The Green Building & Facilities Roadshow 

Location: Manchester, Ethiad Stadium 

Date: Tuesday 27th February

About: Meet experts and suppliers for the latest cutting edge sustainable building products and solutions.





National Apprenticeship Week 

Date: Monday 5th- Friday 9th March

About: The 11th National Apprenticeship Week celebrates the success of apprenticeships and the hard work they do in the workplace. By highlighting their achievements they hope to encourage others to choose the apprenticeship path.




Location: London, Excel Centre

Date: Tuesday 6th - Thursday 8th March

About: Want to know about the latest technology and the freshest ideas? Hear about the government’s commitment to hit global targets and meet with architects, developers to local infrastructure clients.



Elex - Manchester

Location: Manchester EventCity

Date: Thursday 15th - Friday 16th March

About: Try out the latest products on the market, get the lowdown on the latest regulations and meet with exhibitors from across the country.   



The National Electrical Vehicle Show

Location: Malvern

Date: Sunday 8th April

About: The event features a range of classic and modern vehicles. There will be plenty of exhibitors as well trade and commercial stalls to browse through. Great event for fans of motors.





Elex - Exeter

Location: Exeter, Westpoint

Date: Thursday 19th - Friday 20th April

About: A hands-on event where electricians can try out the latest tools and hear from hundreds of exhibitors.




All-Energy Exhibition & Conference

Location: Glasgow, Sec Glasgow

Date: Wednesday 2nd - Thursday 3rd May

About: The go to event for renewable energy and low carbon innovation. The event will showcase the latest technologies and services for the energy supply chain for both public and private sectors. With over 400 speakers, 300 exhibitors and 12 industry sectors it’s not to be missed.





Elex - Harrogate

Location: Harrogate, Great Yorkshire Showground

Date: Wednesday 13th - Thursday 16th June

About: Find the latest tools on the market and get a fantastic discount on various products. You can also hear from exhibitors throughout the course of the two days.



Nothing in the diary yet



Nothing to confirm yet



The Energy Event

Location: Birmingham, NEC

Date: Tuesday 11th - Thursday 13th September

About: The event will be accompanied by The Energy Awards, where companies are celebrated for successfully reducing their emissions.





Elex - Coventry

Location: Coventry, Ricoh Arena

Date: Thursday 20th - Friday 21st September

About: Make a huge saving on some of the latest tools on the market and demonstrations from suppliers.





The Tool Show

Location: Kempton Park Racecourse

Date: Friday 12th - Saturday 14th October

About: Find the latest tools and grab a bargain at The Tool Show in October. There’s also prizes to be won and masterclasses taking place.





Elex - Surrey

Location: Surrey, Sandown Park

Date: Thursday 1st - Friday 2nd November

About: Electricians can get hands-on and try out a number of tools displayed by a large number of exhibitors. Savings can be made on purchases on the day.



The Electrical Design and Install Expo

Location: Birmingham, NEC

Date: Wednesday 14th - Thursday 15th November

About: The Electrical Design expo showcases various products such as; Platform to Learn More About the Fast Moving Electrical Industry. There’s also exhibitors from the Electronics & Electrical Goods industry. 



Nothing confirmed yet.


Categories: electrician, events, sparkie, exhibits, trade show

Case Study - Josh Smith

Posted by Michaela Elcoat on 19th January 2018


Name: Josh Smith

Course: 2365 Level 3

Josh, 24 who is close to completing his level 3 2365 City & Guilds qualification, speaks to us about why he chose to become an electrician after leaving the army.

What did you do before training to become an electrician?

I was in the British Army working as a Royal Engineer. I entered the army at 16 years old so I was very young when I joined. After seven years I decided it was time for me to leave and look for new opportunities and gain some life experience elsewhere.

What is your reason for training?

I investigated a few different trades and decided the electrical field was a job that was always going to be needed whatever the weather or season. For example a bricklayer is very seasonal, I never want to be out of work due to external circumstances and I also want a career where people needed me and I didn’t need my employer.

Also, I already have some experience in the electrical trade so this definitely helped me to choose which route to go down. I have a few friends who are electricians and they really recommended it to me, they have trained from apprentice level so I have seen the hard work they put in and knew I could do the same.

Are you currently employed?

Yes, I am an electrical trainee. When I’m not doing my two weeks on the 2365 I am working with them around the North Wales area. The work is mainly in commercial settings so we are visiting schools, retail outlets and large buildings. We are currently working on a rewire at a train station so it’s a big job. I feel like working on site and coming here is so beneficial, I have taken so much knowledge and practical skills from site each week and then into the classroom and vice versa.

Was it easy to find employment?

I applied for the job onsite when I started my first week at Trade Skills 4U and feel they were keen to take me on because I had already taken the initiative to start my qualifications. So on my first two weeks off from the course I started with the company.

Tell us about your training experience with TS4U?

I have really enjoyed training here and would definitely come back to do additional qualifications. The teaching is really in-depth and the tutors are approachable and willing to help with any questions or worries you have.

What is the best and most difficult experience you’ve had?

I feel like the experiences the army have put me through have taught me to drive myself through any situation. It has definitely set me up for learning new challenges which is exactly what this was. It has been a different learning environment but I’ve enjoyed every part of it. I can’t say there’s anything that has proven very difficult.

What are your plans for the future?

I have already enrolled on the NVQ so I will start that near enough as soon as I have finished here. I will also start fulltime work with the company I’m with now when the 2365 is completed.

Do you have any advice for those wanting to train as an electrician?

Research the training providers and try gain some experience in the electrical industry before paying for a course. The electrical field can prove quite complicated for some people so make sure you have the right skillset for the job beforehand. It’s never too late to learn a new trade either, I’m glad I picked Trade Skills 4U as they have demonstrated their knowledge from the get go and the tutors couldn’t have been more helpful.


We wish Josh all the best with NVQ and starting fulltime employment. 


Categories: 2365, electrician, study

JIB Launch New ECS Check & Registered Electrician System

Posted by Michaela Elcoat on 16th January 2018

What is it?

A new checking system has been launched by the Joint Industry Board (JIB) that enables clients and contractors to authenticate the skills of electricians.

The new Electronic Certification Scheme (ECS) Check is an online portal that provides information of an ECS cardholder that is due to work on site. The portal is also a beneficial platform that electrical contractors can utilise to showcase their own staff skills profile during tenders or projects.



The purpose of the website is to give clients full confidence that projects are being carried out by qualified and professional electrical tradesman. 

Who can register on the scheme?

Currently, eligible ECS cardholders who are qualified to NVQ level 3 and the current BS7671 Wiring Regulations are due to be notified about the opportunity to register to become an ECS Registered Electrician. All those wishing to do so, must enrol to a Code of Professional Practice, which includes a commitment to Continuing Professional Development. 

How do you register?

Existing ECS gold card holders can upgrade their card to include Registered Electrician status. It is also easy to upgrade when you renew your card. All you will need to do is prove you are qualified in the latest wiring regulations as well as sign up to a professional code of conduct.

If you do not currently hold an ECS card you can make an application as normal and the card will be issued.

Visit this here for more information 

Why has the scheme been launched?

One of the main reasons behind the ECS card scheme is down to public perception and contractor’s awareness of untrained and under qualified tradesmen on site. Paying customers and contractors want to know they are dealing with professional electricians who are qualified in the areas they say they are, so the work carried out complies with all health and safety regulations.

They key difference between the normal Gold Card and new Registered Electrician card is the need to hold the latest wiring regulations. As such the new scheme is designed to highlight the fact that the installer is qualified with the latest regulations.

Once a personal card has been issued, an electricians profile will automatically be updated on the ECS Check for contractors and customers to view. The intention is to build a national database or qualified electricians which can be easily verified online.

How can you check if an electrician is registered?

If employers want to utilise the site, they can use the Employer Portal to find out if an individual is registered. They should also be able to use the employer portal to allocate skilled electricians to specific jobs.  This can be crucial for an electrical company because until now, a client has never been able to visibly access the make-up of a workforce. 

Another added benefit for both an employer and client is that whilst a job is taking place, both can access Real Time information from site access as well as audits.

Ultimately, the new ECS Check system is an added bonus to the ECS Card. Once you have completed the full application process and entered your full information onto the MyECS profile you will have a tangible card and you will automatically be linked to the online portal which customers and clients can view. If you’re an employer there seems to be more to utilise on the system in terms of applying for contracts and going through the tender process with clients, then there’s the added ability to view jobs during the Real Time process. 

The new service has been rolled out across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, for more information on ECS Check visit here.

If you’re an electrician and want an ECS Card, the price is from £60 upwards and can be purchase online.

Categories: electrician, card, system, ecs

James Lasowski - Case Study

Posted by Elaine Hammond on 16th January 2018

Case Study

Name: James Lasowski

Courses studied: C&G2365, C&G2357, C&G 2392-10 Inspection & Testing, 17th Edition


We recently spoke to James to find out what his reasons were for changing his career after 10 years to train as a sparky. 

What did you do before you became an electrician?

Before I became an electrician, I was a lifeguard for 10 years. It was a challenging role but very much the same every day and I became bored with the role as there was not much development to be had.

What was your reason for Training?

My reason for training was that I believed gaining a trade to be a fantastic career move, plus it had been suggested by a friend that Trade Skills 4U do a good electrician's courses.

Tell us about why you chose to become an electrician?

I chose to become an electrician because I have worked on site before as a labourer and was always interested in what the electricians were working on. I also think that being an electrician is an interesting role where I can develop and learn at my own pace.

Why did you decide to take the C&G2365 course?

I chose to take the C&G 2365 course so that I could learn more about the electrical trade and develop practical skills whilst learning from a teacher who has previously been on the tools.

Tell us about the job you do now and how this training has helped you?

At the moment I am working for agencies across London. This training has helped me by providing the necessary practical experience and theoretical knowledge which I can apply to my work on site.

The course also helped me gain my first work in the industry by having a session dedicated to CV building which helped identify key things to include that employers would look for. They also had a Facebook page which would regularly be updated with new roles as it is always interesting to see what is out there.

How long have you been working in the electrical industry?

I have been working in the electrical industry for 2 years now and have loved it!

What other courses are you hoping to attend at Trade Skills 4U and why?

I plan to attend the Inspection and Testing 2391 because I want to develop my testing skills.

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

My favourite bit at Trade Skills 4U was the practical sessions. My tutor was a good teacher and explained the practical side very well. However, I did find the fault finding difficult and got confused on a few of the tasks but I found the theory very interesting, especially when I was doing the math.

What are your plans for the future?

In the future I plan on becoming a sole trader so that I can perform my ow inspection and testing.

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

My favourite period was when I was working as an electrical mate in a hotel in Tower Bridge. I learned a lot about metal work and wiring circuits in toilets.

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

I would say that the classroom atmosphere was brilliant and the materials were good, and of course really enjoyed the free coffee.


We would like to thank James for sharing his experiences with us and wish him well for the future.

Categories: qualifications, training, case study, electrician

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

Posted by Elaine Hammond on 10th January 2018

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

Are Electricians Jobs Safe from Robots?

Posted by Michaela Elcoat on 5th January 2018

As technology constantly evolves, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) becomes more advanced, there’s the risk of robots potentially taking human jobs.

Discussions have been taking place to establish whether people will lose their jobs in the future and which professions are most likely to be affected. It was reported from a study undertaken by McKinsey & Company that about 30% of tasks in 60% of occupations could be carried out by robots and labour jobs could be most affected. There’s a possibility that routine-physical jobs will initially take the hardest hit including; cleaning, automotive, waitressing, manufacturing and warehouse jobs. Places such as Mac Donald’s have already adopted an automated kiosk approach that takes customers’ orders, cutting out all human contact.  There’s divided opinion on whether AI will eventually takeover more intellectual jobs such as administration or financial roles and how quick this will happen.

Bricklaying Robots are here already

New York based company, Construction Robotics, has already created a bricklaying robot called SAM (Semi-Automated Mason) who can lay 3000 bricks a day, in comparison to builder who can lay an average of 500 bricks a day. Similarly, Australia has introduced a largescale bricklaying robot which can lay 1000 bricks an hour and could build approximately 150 homes a year. At this moment in time, there are set-backs for using these machines, SAM cannot deal with corners and the machine setup is timely which can delay the onsite process, SAM also needs human assistance to fully complete its bricklaying task.

Introducing new machinery like SAM poses a serious threat to builders working onsite, even though they require some human assistance thousands could lose their jobs once these machines are used onsite.

Modular Homes

Another potential threat to tradesmen is the increase of prefabricated homes. The UK has seen a steady growth in people opting for a prefab home as it gives them the opportunity to create and design their own home without the lengthy and complex building process they can also save a lot of money in comparison to buying a home. The latest prefab homes are hard-wearing with the exterior being built in three to four days. This means electricians will have to adapt their job role slightly. Instead of conducting a full installation, an electrician will have to test, certify and connect the main points of the electrics within the home to the land. They may also be required to work within the factory making sure the electrics are all installed correctly. Currently, when purchasing a prefab home, the company specify the customer will have to use their employees to fully set-up home, if the popularity of these homes increases this may change in the future.

Supporters of prefab homes partially blame the shortage of skilled labour for the increase of modular houses. The rapid retirement rate of UK construction workers, has meant housebuilding companies have had to embrace new building techniques. Along with the introduction of virtual construction software being integrated into the production line process means the construction industry is ready for a big change.

What jobs are safe from AI?

There are jobs which will remain safe from the evolution of AI, jobs that requires a lot of dexterity, hand-eye coordination and flexibility. Skilled trade jobs such as electricians will remain safe due to the varying challenges in different environments, which will prove difficult for machines. Jobs that require empathy and creativity will also remain safe, these include; nurses, teachers, designers.

Optimists also believe that although AI may initially create employment loss, in the long run it will create higher employment rates. What a machine takes away will also give back with new industries and entirely new job roles, these fields include; computing, data science and engineering. They also believe robots will eventually enhance the productivity of job roles as they will work alongside electricians and teachers helping with more tasks including checking homework or assisting onsite.

The speed in which the changes will happen differ when considering the high financial cost of inventing and introducing new technology as well as the public adopting to a life with less human interaction.


Categories: electrician, trade, artificial intelligence, robots

Chris Beckley Case Study

Posted by Michaela Elcoat on 12th December 2017

Chris Beckley


Name: Chris Beckley

Course: Level 3 2365

What was your job before training as an electrician?

I've had several jobs but before I decided to train as an electrician I worked as a Department Manager of a debt management company.

Why did you decide to train as an electrician?

I fancied a change and began to dislike the office life. I decided to do more with the skills I have in being a strong mathematician and fairly good at DIY. When I looked up the skills you need to be an electrician it seemed I had the right qualities to complement the job.

How long did it take you to find employment after completing the course?

I was fortunate because it didn't take me very long. I was in employment about three weeks after completing the course.

What job are doing now?

I am currently a highways electrician working on the M60 motorway, I have been doing this for six months now.

What did you enjoy the most about the course?

The things I enjoyed most about the course was the friendly and supportive atmosphere of the group and of the course teacher Adam from Birchwood. I also really enjoyed getting to grips with the practical side of things and actually seeing my progress week by week. The theory side of the course didn't bother me that much but I definitely preferred getting hands on and doing the practicals. 

How would you describe the facilities at TS4U?

Excellent, we never struggled for the equipment we required and the centre is in great condition.

Do you have any plans to gain anymore qualifications?

I am definitely considering doing the 2391 inspection and testing. I want to be a well rounded electrician and now that I am working on site I would have a better understanding of the inspection and testing course. I am really keen on developing my skills and knowledge further in the electrical industry, so I will go on to complete my NVQ level 3 and then progress onto the Level 4 electrical design. I want to keep learning about as much of the trade as I can.

What advice would you give to others thinking of training to become an electrician?

I would say it is the best decision I made and I wouldn't look back. I think the best advice is to look at what skillset you already possess and decide if it’s suitable, if you're willing to put the hard work in then absolutely go for it. I would highly recommend the course I did at Trade Skills 4U as a training provider due to how in-depth the courses are and how much you learn.

Categories: case study, 2365, electrician

10 Christmas Gift Ideas for Sparkies

Posted by Elaine Hammond on 7th December 2017

Christmas is coming! Now is a great time to think about what your sparky family member or friend would love to see in their Christmas stocking this year. Of course the easy option would be to buy a screw driver set, or perhaps a pair of warm socks but that would be a little boring, so we thought we would research some great gift ideas for you and have found some gems below, which we hope they will enjoy.

1. Gekko Gripper

Gekko Gripper

This handy tool is designed to route cables over ceilings, behind walls, and under floorboards and routes cable through dot and dab walls. It consists of a 6m long cord and two magnets that are strong enough to glide over underlay and carpet. Prices range depending on where you buy this but we found this one on Screw Fix for £24.99.

2. Electrician T-Shirt

electricians t-shirt

There are so many electrician t-shirts to choose from but we particularly liked this one at just £13.12 from Etsy.

3. Wrap Around Scratch Resistant Safety Glasses

wrap around safety glasses

Not the sexiest of things to wear but we think these ones are very stylish and a great gift idea to ensure your Sparky mates are protecting their eyes against any nasty incidents. This pair of clear Bolle wrap around safety glasses cost £7.90 from RS Components.

4. Electricians Pouch/Strap

Electricians pouch/strap

This is a great gift for the organised sparky who wants to carry what they need, when they need it. The TOUGHBUILT TOU-CT-114 Journeyman Electricians Pouch/Strap has been specifically designed for an electrician's tools. Its 21 pockets and loops include a wire-tester pocket, custom-fit flashlight wrap, 2 adjustable tool pockets, notebook pocket, tape chain, and 7 screwdriver loops. The ClipTech Hub allows the pouch to clip on and off any belt, hang from its shoulder strap, or kickstand on the ground close at hand. We found this on Amazon for £39.42.

5. WIFI Inspection Camera, hook and magnet set

Inspection camera and magnetic

This is a real gem and will be loved not only because of its usefulness but also by any gadget lover. The kit consists of a WIFI Wireless Endoscope Camera with a flexible rigid bendable cable, a side mirror, hook and magnet. The camera connects to most mobile phones and laptops and is a great way to see into those difficult, sometimes impossible-to-access spaces on work sites.

The magnet and hook are also great for retrieving small screws that are accidently dropped down small gaps that are hard to get to. Costs just £19.99 from Amazon.

6. Stud Finder Electric Stud Detector

stud finder

This Intey Stud finder is a great addition to any electricians tool box. It allows you to save time by easily finding the stud center and edges, accurately locates metal pipes, live wire, stud, wooden frames, rebars and joists which are hidden behind walls, floors and ceilings. We spotted this one on Amazon for a special price of £19.99.

7. Magnetic Wristband

magnetic wrist band

This is a great tool gadget gift for your sparky mate. The wristband has powerful magnets for holding screws, nails, bolts and small tools, which allows them to keep their hands free whilst working. I’m sure they will love this time saving tool, which will cut those trips back and forth to the toolbox or climbing up and down ladders! £15.99 from Amazon.

8. Insulated Travel Mug

Insulated Travel Mug

This is the perfect gift for on-the-move electricians. We like this and think the message will make them smile. It’s great for keeping their beverage hot or cold for hours and has a spill-resistant and convenient carry handle on lid. Costs £15.00 from Cafe Press.

9. Rechargeable Head Torch

Rechargeable Head Torch

We have been told that this is often a life safer, not only does this allow sparkies to work with both hands free but it also means they never work in their own shadow or have a light shining in their eyes. It also has an adjustable head lamp that swivels through 90°. We found this one on Electricians Direct for at a reduced price of £47.87. Our friends at Electricians Direct have offered an additional discount of 5% off this item when you quote discount code ED52017.

10. Electrician's Premium Tool Kit

Electricians tool kit

If you know an electrician who is starting out and want to spend a bit more, then this would be the perfect gift for them. This 19 piece tool kit has everything they could need. The kit includes combicutter, sidecutters, screwdrivers, 5 metre measuring tape, junior hacksaw, automatic wire stripper, lock knife and more! all complete in a handy tool case. Costs £186.00 from Edwardes.


We think any electrician would be happy to receive any of the items listed above. We also hope this has given you some gift idea inspiration.  Happy shopping!

Categories: tools, christmas, electrician, gift ideas