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2017 Electrician Events Calendar

Posted by Michaela Elcoat on 18th January 2017

Bookmark and share this page to keep up to date with the latest electrical events of 2017. The post will be updated regularly as more events are confirmed throughout the year.


Nothing much happening this month!




Elex - London

Location: London, Alexandra Palace

Date: 1 - 2 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. 



The Green Building & Facilities Road Show

Location: Manchester, Old Trafford Stadium

Date: 14 February

About: Learn about new green schemes, if Part L is making a difference and how Brexit will affect the Eco-standard.




Tech Talk Seminar

Location: Newcastle, Newcastle Racecourse

Date: 28 February

About: Keep up to date with the latest that’s happening in the electrical industry. Discover more about; electrical supply issues, legislation changes, common assessment visit departures and much more.





National Apprenticeship Week

Date: 6 - 10 March

Marking its 10th anniversary, National Apprenticeship week celebrates the incredible work apprentices do in the workplace and acknowledges what they have achieved.

Trade Skills 4U is hosting an electrical taster week to from 6 – 10 March. This will provide those between the ages of 16 – 21 year olds the opportunity to see whether a career in the electrical industry is for them.

Book today




Location: London, Excel Centre

Date: 7 - 9 March

About: Ecobuild attracts over 34,000 people to the event every year which consists of architects, developers to local government and infrastructure clients. This year, the theme will be regenerated into an immersive city – with a main street, specific destinations and special feature attractions.




Location: Manchester

Date: 9 - 10 March

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.



Electrical Review Smart Lighting Summit

Location: London, Royal Victoria Dock

Date: 28 March

About: The Smart Summit will bring together a range of industry experts to discuss the latest developments in smart lighting controls and challenges the businesses need to overcome in a face-to-face environment.









The National Electric Vehicle Show

Location: Malvern

Date: 23 April

About: This a fantastic free event where electricians can hear key speakers discuss the benefits of EV’s and have the chance to discover the latest information on electric vehicles.





Location: Glasgow

Date: 10 - 11 May

About: All-Energy is one of the largest renewable energy events that enables you to meet some of the industries key players from the renewables sector. 



NICEIC Elecsa South

Location: Epsom, Epsom Downs Racecourse

Date: 18 May

About: The event is relevant to professionals within the electrical industry from CEO’s of major electrical companies to sole trader domestic installers and contracting businesses.



Napit Expo - TBC



Napit Expo - TBC



Nothing happening yet





Energy Event

Location: Birmingham

Date: 12 - 13 September 

About: The Energy Event brings together the supply and demand industry to help influence the way we buy and manage energy. The show regularly attracts over 7,000 visitors and offers a range of industry insight, achievable strategies and quality networking opportunities.



Tool Fair

Location: Coventry, Ricoh Arena

Date: 21 - 22 September

About: Get huge deals on the latest tools and equipment available in the industry.




Napit Expo - TBA



D&M Tool Show

Location: Kempton Park 

Date: 6 - 8 October

About: Make savings on some of the biggest brands in the UK and watch the free masterclasses available.





NICEIC Elecsa Live North

Date: TBC

Location: TBC

About: The event is relevant to professionals within the electrical industry from CEO’s of major electrical companies to sole trader domestic installers and contracting businesses.




Napit Expo - TBA


Categories: events

Trade Skills 4U Employment Survey

Posted by Michaela Elcoat on 5th January 2017

With a skill shortage in the electrical industry, there is always the need for more sparks to train and learn the trade. This is why Trade Skills 4U is dedicated to training electricians to the best of their ability so they are knowledgeable, able and ready to enter the workplace.

We recently conducted a survey on past students who took our C&G 2365 Diploma course, dating back to 2014 to find out if they had managed to find employment within the electrical field and what area they have chosen to work in.

The results showed an astounding 87.8% of our students have indeed found employment in the electrical field. 



Whilst speaking with the students we found the majority were working as electrician’s mates or had now worked their way up to working as an electrician for contracting companies on both employed and self-employed basis. We also discovered some were working in some more niche fields such as:

Smart Meter Installation

Electric Vehicle Charging Point Installer

Army Electrician

Maintanence Manager / Electrician

Theatre / Stage Electrician

Engineer at Network Rail

Domestic Installer

Kitchen / Bathroom Installer

Media Broadcast Electrician

Many have gone onto complete their NVQ and their AM2. 

Who are our students?

We have and still continue to see a mixture of students coming through the doors at both our Gatwick and Warrington centres, with ages ranging from 18 – 65 both male and female. Some have entered the field from school knowing this is the career path they wanted to take, whilst others have decided to choose a completely different career path and retrain as an electrician later in life. Others have also taken their qualifications across the pond to Australia to start a new life and career overseas.

Aimee Dalton is 25 and currently completing her 2365 while working for an electrical company. She is coming to the end of her Level 3 and said: “I’ve found the course really interesting and the things I’ve learnt in the centre I’ve then put into practice at work. I’ve been here since September and I would definitely encourage more women to come and train as an electrician. There’s a world of opportunity out there for electricians"

How can I get qualified and will I find employment?

If you wish to work on larger commercial projects, you can study the 2365 Level 2 &3. Most people will generally find employment with an electrical company alongside completing the course. Other avenues to explore once you have completed level 3 is to register to complete an electrical apprenticeship then the AM2.

There are a variety of electrical courses available for people to consider, for example the 18 day Bronze course will enable you to work in domestic properties. Your qualification will allow you to legally install, test and inspect electrical work in existing properties or new builds. With the government’s plan to build 1 million homes by 2020 across the UK you shouldn’t struggle to find work.

Categories: 2365, survey, employment, electrician

Paul Aspinall Case Study

Posted by Michaela Elcoat on 3rd January 2017


Paul Aspinall


Lancing - West Sussex


City & Guilds 2365 Level 2 & 3






We spoke to Paul about what he's been up to since completing his Level 2 & 3 diploma and how he found employment after the course. 

1. What type of work did you do before becoming an electrician?

I worked in insurance as a Third Party Motor Claims Negotiator.

2. Why did you decide to retrain as an electrician?

I wanted a career change and I have always been interested in the electrical world and have been interested in how electricity works, so I thought it would be a great time to change.

3.  What difference has training with us made to you?

It gave me a great knowledge base and a platform from which I could potentially go into various areas of the electrical field.

4. Did you meet your initial goals through completing the qualification?

I did, and exceeded them. The course taught me more than I thought I would have learnt.

5. What were the highlights of the course?

There were quite a few. The facilities are top class, I had really knowledgeable tutors and the practical experience it taught me was great.

6. What type of employment did you find when completing the course?

I initially got called up by an electrical firm and we installed miles of basket tray and ran cables for new door controls at a flight instruction centre. I have also worked on house rewires as well as various domestic jobs in a variety of places.

7. How long did it take you to find a job?

I actually got called up from a flyer I left with an electrical wholesaler before I had finished my final exams.

8. What job are you doing now?

I have started work at British Gas as an Apprentice Smart Energy Expert.

9. What are your plans for the future?

Starting work at British Gas has given me the security of a job that I sought and there are fantastic opportunities to continue to learn and progress within the company.

10. Would you recommend Trade Skills 4U?

Absolutely. It is by far the best training centre you can go to. The facilities are excellent and the trainers are top class. If anyone is considering going to Trade Skills 4 U, you will not be disappointed.

We wish you the best of luck in your career with British Gas Paul.

Categories: training, qualifications, case study, electrician

2017 Trades Salary Survey: Electrician Salaries Rise Whilst Many Others Fall

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 1st January 2017

It’s that time of year again. The results are in and it’s no surprise that for the 4th year in a row our salary survey shows that electricians still earn the most of all the trades. What is a surprise in the most recent data is that a number of trades (including plumbers) have seen a drop in average salary over the past twelve months.

Average Electrician Salary (£30,765)

The average salary recorded by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) of £30,765 is actually the median value. This means that 50% of electricians earn more than this amount and 50% earn less. It’s the ONS's preferred measure of average earnings as it is less affected by a relatively small numbers of very high earners that can skew the data upward. Therefore this average gives a better indication of typical pay than the mean which comes out at £31,648.

When we  ran this survey last year we saw the biggest increase for plumbers whilst electrician pay seemed to have stalled. This year we can see plumber salaries have dropped by around 2% whilst electricians have increased by around 1%.

Why have some trades seen a drop in average salary?

When we last ran this survey it was surprising to see that the biggest increases in salaries had been in some of the less skilled trades where people still earned much less than an electrician on average. However the drop this time around is most likely a slight adjustment to these larger increases last year. It is also important to note that the data is for salaries, and as the construction sector sees increased demand more workers tend to go freelance or self-employed where they can earn a much higher wage.

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

The majority of electricians tend to work on a self-employed or a contracting basis. Whilst salaries represent what you can earn when employed by a company the amounts earned as a contractor tends to be more realistic. With established self-employed electricians you will be hard pushed to find anyone earning below £30K per year and earnings are more likely to be around £35-40K per year. In London and the south east this figure is likely to be higher.

Hourly Rates / Day Rates (£20-£50 Per Hour / £140-£350 Per Day)

Since most of the people working as electricians are either self-employed or contracting it is very hard to gather data on how much they charge or earn. In the South East and London it is very realistic for an established electrician to charge £45 per hour or £300 per day, further north this amount will drop. However, these days it is more likely that a sparky will charge a set rate for a particular job. In this situation smart working and marking up on materials such as sockets, cables and consumer units can make a real difference to an hourly rate. You will be hard pushed to get a new consumer unit supplied and installed for less than £450 these days, and with the boxes costing around £130 and the job taking less than a day you can see that this is where the money really can start to add up.

What are trainee salaries like? (Around £21K)

If you start out as an apprentice then you will most likely earn below the minimum wage. This is because you are earning and learning at the same time. However if you front load your training, like most of our customers, you can start out on a trainee salary usually around £21K per annum.

If you do a quick search online you will find that most jobs for electrician mates start off at around £11 per hour which is great for someone starting out.

The key to earning more?

If you do a search for electrician jobs on a website such as Indeed you will see that there are lots of jobs available offering some fairly decent salaries. You will find most of the jobs are advertised by agencies. These agencies will be taking a cut from your hourly wage- usually around 10-15%! So one very simple way to earn more is to put in the leg work and apply direct to numerous building and contracting companies. This will allow you to maximise your earning potential. There is nothing wrong with working for an agency and especially in the early days agencies can play an important part in finding you work. However as you progress your career you should make lots of contacts who will assist you in finding the latest and best contracts.

As well as working direct the best way to increase your earnings is simply to work hard, be on time, build a good reputation and of course progress your knowledge through great experience and further training. For most electricians one way to increase their wage or grade is to take the following courses:

1. C&G 2394/95 Inspection & Testing Courses – For Approved Electrician status

2. C&G 2396 Electrical Design course – For Site Technician status

For more information on JIB wage grades see below:

JIB Wage Grades

The JIB publish wage grades on their website. Whilst the JIB have clear guidelines for what an electrician can earn these are guidelines only and not every employer sticks to these.

As of the 4th January 2016 the JIB suggests you should earn the following hourly rates if you have your own transport:

Trainee Electrician - £11.56 - £13.68

Electrician - £14.39

Approved Electrician - £15.61

Site Technician - £17.57

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

Trainee Electrician - £12.94 - £15.33

Electrician - £16.13

Approved Electrician - £17.48

Site Technician - £19.68

In order to qualify for the higher pay grades most people will need to fulfil the following:

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

Remember at the end of the day it isn’t just about how much you can earn but also about how happy you are in your job. Most people choose to train as an electrician not just because of the earning potential but because they are sick of being stuck behind a desk and want to work on the road, on site and with their hands. Remember being a sparky is the perfect job for someone who wants to work with their hands and their mind.


Categories: salary, pay

Top Gifts for an Electrician this Christmas

Posted by Michaela Elcoat on 19th December 2016

If you’re struggling to find the perfect last minute gift for an electrician this Christmas, why not take a look at these handy tools we’ve put together? We’ve even included something for the young budding electrician of the family!

1. Flexi torch multi-light magnetic lamp 

If you want a flexible light while you work try the Flexi torch you can hang it, stick it on the wall or use it as a front torch

2. Dewalt Finger Framer Safety Gloves

These are a great stocking filler for an electrician. The three fingerless gloves make it great for terminating while still protecting the rest of the hand from £14.95


3. 7 Piece Screwdriver Set

It’s always handy to have extra screwdrivers available so why not purchase some additional ones for an electrician? Buy the set from £15.95  


4. Thermal flask

Take a warm drink and bring some food with you for those colder days on site from £15.99

5. Speedy Sparky 

This new tool has been great for speeding up an electricians work. Why not buy something different and quirky for the electrician in your life from £19.99


6. Unilite USB LED Beanie Hat

Again, these are great for the colder days on site, the added head torch also makes it even easier for an electrician to work from £25.00


7. Workman Trousers

It’s always good to look professional while creating ease on the job. Workman trousers make it easier to store tools and make working that bit more comfortable. From £29.95


8. Pipe Threading Tool 

This gadget will make it more convenient to use on site than your traditional stocks and dyis from £89.99

9. Multimaster from Starlock

If you want to spend a bit more on a present then purchasing a Multimaster is a great tool for cutting through different surfaces to install light switches and sockets from £196.00

10. Bosch Mini Tool Box 

If you have a little one that is already a keen electrician why not try the Bosch mini tool set? From £20.00


An electrician would find these items handy on site so would make a great gift idea.

Categories: christmas, tools, electrician

The Perils of Doing Electrical DIY

Posted by Michaela Elcoat on 13th December 2016

When something needs fixing within the home, we can all hold our hands up admit we’ve attempted to tackle some form of DIY. Nowadays, many people turn to YouTube or Google for advice or demonstrations on how to correct or change electrical items. Not only does this pose a danger to DIYer’s when doing the job, it could also lead to problems once they think they’ve changed or installed an electrical item ‘properly’.

Whilst doing a simple like for like change seems completely harmless there are often things which if done incorrectly can pose a serious risk. They may not be immediately obvious but after time they can cause faults, fires and leave you wishing you had spent money and got a professional to do the job. Here’s our list below: 

1. Overtightening screws

If you overtighten or squash the copper, the connection could snap off or create a dangerous hotspot, potentially causing a fire risk. 

2. Changing a socket outlet

There’s plenty of people who do this in their home, and they may come across problems when doing so. For example the wires may not be long enough for the new connections in the replacement sockets. This could lead to the DIYer making bad connections or over-extending and stretching cables which puts stress on the connection itself, when this happens, the connection could potentially pull itself out.

3. Light switches

If you have existing fittings that are plastic, they’re electrically insulated. If you change from plastic to a metallic fronted (brushed steel) switch there may not be adequate earthing or any earthing at all. This in turn could cause a nasty shock to someone turning the lights on and off.

4. Drilling into cables

This happens even when you aren’t attempting any electrical DIY. When hanging pictures, paintings or ornaments onto a wall it’s so important to use a good quality cable detector to establish where the cables are running. Drilling through a cable or cables, will not only cause you a nasty shock you can also cause an electrical fault throughout the rest of the house.  Yes the cables should run in line with any sockets, but how can you be sure? It’s always best to be safe than sorry.

5. Light fittings

Depending on the light fitting, you may need to re-terminate cables neatly, which is the point where the DIYer may forget which cable goes where. Again, the cables could be too short for the new fitting causing over stretching and strain. 

6. Non-fused double or triple adaptors

These days most plug adapters are fused so this probably won’t be an issue. However, if you are connecting anything to a double or triple adapter you should make sure that it is fused. If you have found an old 3 way plug adapter in the loft make sure you double check it before plugging everything in. If you are constantly running multiple appliances from these adapters it is highly recommended that you consider getting some proper sockets installed.

7. Not Safely Isolating

Above all else, the most important thing to remember when working on any electrics is to ensure it is safely isolated! Many people make this mistake before they have even started a job. Failure to do so could result in a very nasty shock.

Although these DIY amends seem pretty simple hopefully you can now see why it is always best to leave any electrical changes to a qualified electrician. This way, people know the changes are up to regulation standards and are safe. You will also avoid any future electrical problems within the home.

To seek advice from a qualified electrician today visit the NICEIC website.

Categories: diy, registered electrician, electrician

Product Review: Easy Safety Cert PAT Testing App

Posted by Michaela Elcoat on 8th December 2016


Electricians will soon be able to forget about fiddling around with paperwork as Easy Safety Cert launches a brand new PAT Cert App.

The new app, which is available to download from Apple’s App Store will allow electricians to create and email PAT certificates in matter of seconds to their customers. All the tradesman needs to do is tap the screen on their iPhone or iPad a couple of times and they will have produced a valid PAT certificate once they have completed a job. The electrician will be able to email the customer directly with a PDF version of the certificate or print it off from their database instantly or at a later date.

The new way of producing certs provides a more streamline approach for electricians, saving them time and money whilst alleviating the amount of paperwork produced on a job. Electricians will also be able to make use of the apps other features including; the ability to schedule visits and get an overview of any upcoming jobs. Each job can also be set with an annual reminder, alerting the electrician of when the job will need to be completed again.

We asked our tutors here at Trade Skills 4U review the App, Mike from the Warrington centre said: “I’m impressed the app, it’s easy to use and will definitely help electricians on the job cut out some of the paperwork they have to continually sort through, this way it’s all stored on a database. It’s also a great way to organise your workload and jobs; I particularly like the reminder calendar so that renewals can be booked. The only glitch I could really see on the software was when I was inputting the readings the app let me put in any numbers- it wasn’t fool proof, but then at least it gives you the ability to manually insert figures whatever they may be.”

The app was developed off the back of the successful Easy Safety Gas Cert which helped hundreds of gas engineers throughout the UK. The electrician’s version is currently only available to download from the Apple App store, but as the Gas Cert app is available on both Apple and Android we can’t imagine it will be long before they roll out the programme on Android as well.

The app is currently free to download to manage certificates, get reminders and manage jobs, but will charge an annual £50 fee to produce unlimited PAT certificates. However, extra users can be added for no additional cost, which is great if you’re working with a team of people. Easy Safety Cert are also offering a free trial for electricians which can be accessed on their website.

Overall, we think this is a great app that will help electricians become more organised and stop the amount of paperwork that builds up. 

Categories: app, certificates, pat, product review, paperless

Case Study - Tony Middleton

Posted by Michaela Elcoat on 30th November 2016

After conducting a short survey, I had a chat with one of our students Tony Middleton. He was telling me what he has been up to and what he plans to do in the future now he has some qualifications under his belt.

Name: Tony Middleton

Age: 33

Location: Berkshire

Course: Level 2 & 3 2365 January - August 2015

Q. What type of work did you do before becoming an electrician?

I served in the military.

Q. Why did you decide to become an electrician?

I decided to become an electrician because the money is well-paid and there will always be a demand for an electrician. It’s a diverse field and a worldwide profession.

Q. What difference has the course made to your career?

The course completely made a difference. I had worked briefly as an electricians mate on the docks helping re-wire Oil Rigs. I was mostly pulling SWA and clearing up with not a great understanding on why you use this size/type and not a smaller or larger cable. I also didn’t know the difference between RCBO’s and RCD’s.

Q. How long is it since you last studied?

Yesterday! I haven’t been in the profession very long so I regularly study to keep everything fresh. I am also starting my NVQ Level 3 and AM2 in the New Year.

Q. What type of work are you doing now?

I am currently working on a commercial project in my local area.

Q. How long did it take you to find employment once you finished studying?

I found employment the Monday after I finished my course at Trade Skills 4U working on domestic new builds. 

Q. What advice would you give to someone who is looking at entering the trade?

I would advise them to try and find employment with a qualified electrician whilst you are studying. This will benefit you massively in the workshop and help you get a better idea of how to apply what you’ve learnt on site.

Q. What are your future plans?

My future plans are to complete my NVQ Level 3 and AM2. Once I am qualified I plan to emmigrate to another country as having a trade skill backing you, such as an electrician will really help my application.

Q. What did you think of Trade Skills 4U?

I found the training centre very helpful. The tutors understand that each student has come from different jobs and backgrounds and adapt their teaching so everyone understands. I would definitely recommend them as a training provider.

We wish Tony the very best of luck with his NVQ and AM2 and his plans to emmigrate. 

Categories: qualification, employment, case study, electrician

Things to Consider When Pricing Up an Electrical Job

Posted by Michaela Elcoat on 28th November 2016

If you’re newly qualified and decide to go it alone, then pricing up your first few jobs can be tricky if you don’t plan properly.

We’ve collated some processes to consider before dealing with customer requests. This will help you with your pricing structure and make sure you as the electrician are not left out of pocket.

Consumer Unit Change Over

When asked by the customer for the consumer unit to be changed’ it is always a good idea to carry out a Periodic Inspection or at least the ‘dead’ tests on the existing wiring.

It could actually end up costing you money if you fail to carry out the correct tests. If you have already agreed the change of a unit price and haven’t allowed for any unforeseen problems that need to be rectified post board change, you could be out of pocket, as adding on additional costs once you’ve agreed a price with a customer never goes down well. On top of this, you’ll most likely end up running over on your own allocated job time- and you know what they say?! Time is money!

Pre-board Change Over

Ze and Insulation resistance readings are always a good start with domestic properties. If the Ze is too high then this will need to be brought to the attention of the energy provider before you carry out the work. It would then be up to the energy provider to rectify any problems with the existing earthing to the building, this will need to be explained to the customer.

Remember always work safely and use the safe isolation procedure.

Hidden Problems With Electrical Wiring

As mentioned before, insulation readings are important, but even more so when changing a re-wireable BS3036 consumer unit to the modern split load RCD consumer units.

A fault to earth could have been there for a long time on the old fuse board, but with sensitive RCD’s being installed in the new consumer unit these existing faults could cause nuisance tripping. The saying ‘well it worked before’ could be the next thing you hear from the customer. In this instance, always ensure any repairs to the existing wiring are dealt with before the consumer unit change goes ahead. Remember you are the qualified electrician certificating the installation, the customer needs to take advice from you.

Price Accordingly

When pricing up a job, try and get as much information as possible from the customer when you carry out the initial visit. This information will help to ensure you adequately price the job and that you can allocate the right amount of time per job whilst ordering the correct materials and equipment. Another handy tip is, if you don’t know how long a job is going to take i.e. when fault finding, it might be beneficial to charge per hour rather than price for the complete job, this will provide you and the customer with an indication of a price.

So remember, planning, preparing and ensuring the correct electrical tests are completed before you get into the job will enable you to set a price that will in the long run save you time and money.


Categories: electrical, domestic, job, pricing

Nightmare on Regs Street

Posted by Michaela Elcoat on 31st October 2016

Go on admit it, we’re all scared of the dark. There’s nothing worse than the thought of sitting in complete darkness on fright night. Did you know there could be some electrical horrors lurking in your home ready to scare you unexpectedly? We have found some real Nightmares on Regs Street. Check them out below:

1. Remember taping old wiring is a major fire hazard! Keeping up to date with the latest wiring can ensure your safety


2. Now this is bad! The wires are all over the place- time to tidy up the joint box!

3. This is a bad example of a distribution board with no front- what a nightmare!

4. We all know water and electrics do not mix!

5. Again, tape should never be used


6. The real lottery here is who will get electrocuted first!

7. Suitable IPA rating?


8. We think this is a suitable image for Halloween!

9.We definitely think this sign prevented the fire hazard!

10. Revenge is a dish best served cold!


11.Perfect lighting for your Halloween disco!

These electrics would definitely give you nightmares! If you think any of your electrics might be faulty contact a qualified and registered electrician ASAP.

Categories: halloween, electrical horrors