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Gate Safe - Five Years of Making Gates Safe

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 22nd September 2015

September 2010 - September 2015

23rd September 2010 marks the fifth anniversary of Gate Safe - the charity founded following the tragic deaths of two young children in separate automated gate accidents – but five years on Gate Safe insists there is still much to be done to improve the safety of automated gates and barriers in the UK.

With a further five deaths and eight ‘near miss’ accidents since the original fatalities in 2010 and industry experts claiming that over 90% of automated gates potentially pose a serious safety risk, Gate Safe has launched a petition.  The campaign encourages government to consider the introduction of planning permission consent (which would require the gate to be fitted by a suitably trained professional installer) in a bid to regulate all new automated gate installations, putting an end to the creation of any further unsafe gates.

Further initiatives planned to support the official fifth anniversary include: the roll out of the innovative interactive Safe Gate Visualiser; the launch of a series of guidance documents designed to provide ‘safe gate’ guidance to a range of specialist audiences; the roll out of a series of blogs written by Gate Safe and various guest bloggers; the launch of a new video; a dedicated media relations drive and the launch of an awards scheme designed to identify examples of best practice within the installer community.

The original Gate Safe Summit, back in September 2010 represented a pioneering step designed to bring together representatives from a broad cross section of companies and generic trade / safety organisations, which Gate Safe identified as all having a role to play in calling for the introduction of tighter guidance pertaining to automated gate safety.   Since then Gate Safe has joined forces with eleven* powerful organisations / opinion former bodies to enlist their support in communicating with their respective audiences to drive home the importance of adopting the appropriate protocol to deliver a safe and legally compliant gate.

Commenting on the anniversary, Gate Safe founder Richard Jackson says, “Although we are proud of a number of important achievements, which includes the origination of the very first accredited training course specifically designed to provide guidance on the safety requirements for an automated gate, we are certainly not resting on our laurels and believe that there is still much to be done to prevent any further accidents or fatalities occurring.  Whilst we are not suggesting that planning permission is the only route to achieving this, we do believe that the introduction of a more formal procedure for anyone wanting to install a powered gate will go some way to reducing the number of illegal and unsafe gates fitted by what can only be termed ‘cowboy’ installers.  We will be working with our Patron, Madeleine Moon MP to see how best we can leverage support for this petition.  In the meantime, we are hopeful that with the continued support of our supporters as well as the introduction of our user friendly Safe Gate interactive tool, we can use the fifth anniversary milestone as a means to reignite public / media interest in the importance of automated gate safety.”

Anyone interested in lending their support to the Gate Safe petition can do so by clicking on the following link: https://goo.gl/9HCfVd.

You can find out more about Gate Safe Courses here.


Should Electricians Take A Deposit From Customers?

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 16th September 2015

Securing work from a customer is always a great feeling – all that hard work of quoting and negotiating seems worthwhile when you get that call to go ahead from your customer.  However that feeling can quickly disappear if the customer doesn't agree a start date or worse still pulls out or tries to change dates at the last minute. This can leave you out of pocket and twiddling your thumbs when you could be earning.

So how can you protect yourself from the situation of lost work and in turn lost income?  One of the simplest ways is to request a deposit upfront from the customer once they have accepted your quote.

Not all electricians are comfortable asking for a deposit, in fact most electricians are still not sure whether they should or could ask for a deposit, but today we will discuss why taking a deposit is a good idea and why it won't harm the relationship with your customer.

Dispelling the myth that taking a deposit is a bad idea!

There is often an unspoken feeling or myth that asking for a deposit is in some way a bad idea.  Taking a deposit is not a bad idea.  What is a bad idea is taking a deposit and then not turning up to do the work.  Unfortunately this has led to some hesitation on both sides about paying/asking for a deposit to begin with.

However taking a deposit safe guards you and your business against potential losses such as the purchasing of materials and overheads in advance of the job starting.  It also protects you against turning up to the job to find the customer no longer needs the work doing or got someone else to do the job for them and didn't let you know.

No doubt, the experienced sparkys amongst us will be familiar with the situations above which is why it is important and not a bad thing to do to ask for a deposit.

Taking a deposit means your customer is serious about having the work done and you can confidently plan your schedule. When you have a business to run, you cannot afford to be let down by clients.  It is not unreasonable to take a deposit up front at the point at which you agree a specific date for the work to start.  Customers who are serious about the work won't have a problem with paying a reasonable deposit upfront to not only confirm the booking but also to contribute towards the upfront cost of doing the job.

Asking for deposit is becoming more commonplace now. Here at Trade Skills 4 U we take a deposit for all our bookings on the day we receive a booking request.  We ask that the balance is then paid with 21 days of the course beginning.  This safeguards us against last minute cancellations or non-turn ups when someone on the waiting list could have had the place.

Taking a deposit is not only peace of mind for you from a business perspective, but also means that your customer is not planning on letting you down.  Almost all genuine customers are happy to pay a deposit upon booking.

Taking a deposit protects you incurring costs if the customer doesn't pay

Not being paid at the end of the job is quite rare thankfully, however you do not want to risk your business cash flow by paying for materials out of your own pocket. This is another perfectly valid reason why you should ask your customer for a deposit when securing the booking. If a customer is unable or unwilling to pay a deposit then this could be an indicator that there could be problems with getting paid further down the line. As such taking a deposit is a great way to identifying these potential issues before you start the work.

How to ask for a deposit

You should always make a customer aware that you take a deposit when you quote. It should not be a surprise to them once they confirm they want you to do the work.  When you first meet with a customer it is always worth explaining why you take a deposit and ensure they are confident that you will turn up and deliver what you say you will. If you are established with a good online reputation on a site like Checkatrade then customers are going to feel more comfortable paying you a deposit as there is some comeback if you do not show. If you explain that by paying a deposit now will guarantee you the slot they want in your diary at a time and day they choose, they are normally happy to pay the deposit that you are asking for.

If you are new to the industry you may want to hold back on asking for a deposit until you have a more solid reputation to give customers the confidence to pay you in advance.

Asking for a deposit of 30% on every job above £200 is not unreasonable and will protect you and your business from being out of pocket.  It is not normally necessary to ask for a deposit for jobs under £200 unless there is a large portion of up front costs.





CSCS CRO Cards Changing From 1st October 2015

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 7th September 2015

If you are working on site you will need to have some kind of CSCS card or for electricians an ECS card. The electrical industry has had the dedicated ECS card scheme for many years now and the requirements of this scheme is that you should have a suitable set of qualification or be working towards them (see our blog post here) in order to get a card. However there is a CSCS card which is called a Construction Related Occupation (CRO) Card which is designed for construction workers who work in areas where there is no nationally recognised qualification.

However CSCS has seen huge increases in applications for this card and essentially believe that it is being used as a back door onto site for many who simply haven’t got the necessary qualifications. In fact they have issued over 300,000 CRO cards since 2005. 

In July 2014 they launched the new Labourer card which is only issued if the applicant can show they are working towards a specific occupation. Despite 35,000 green labourer cards being issued CSCS have also seen a huge increase in the number of applicants for the CRO card. They believe this is simply because many applicants simply see it as a simple shortcut to avoid taking the necessary qualifications for their chosen skill.

Part of the reason that the CRO is issued is that the worker may have multiple skills which don’t fall into one category. However even in that situation workers will be asked to pick a single occupation which will be displayed on the card.

What happens on the 1st October 2015?

So from the 1st October 2015 a number of changes will come into to force:

All CRO cards issued from 1st October 2015 will expire on 30th September 2017 and are not renewable.

You will be expected to register for a nationally recognised construction related qualification before the card expires.

Only one occupation will be displayed on your CRO card from 1stOctober 2015.

CSCS will stop issuing CRO cards from 31st March 2017.

It is important to note that existing CRO cards issued before 1st October 2015 that expire after 30th September 2017 will remain valid until their expiry date.

So simply put this means that if you want to keep working on site you must pick a skill and at least register for a qualification and start working towards it. If you still haven’t registered for a construction related qualification by the 30th September 2017 you will be unable to renew your card and will be essentially unable to step foot on a building site.

This sounds quite drastic but realistically it make perfect sense. There is plenty of time for everyone already in the industry to start working towards a clear skill or trade that they can fully qualify in. This will in turn improve standards and safety on site in the long run.

How does this impact electricians?

For electricians these changes should have no impact whatsoever. That’s because the dedicated ECS scheme which is run by CSCS and the JIB has meant that since the year 2000 anyone working with electrics on site should already be qualified or working towards their fully qualified status in order to gain a card. If you know anyone working with electrics who owns a CRO card then they really shouldn’t be.

The real issue here seems to be that it will hit all those multi skilled “labourers” who may be a jack of all trades but a master of none. There are also numerous trades out there that do not have a nationally recognised qualification. In that situation applicants should probably call CSCS for advice as they have said work is already underway to develop new qualifications to fill this gap.

If you are unsure which qualifications you do need then simply use this handy online card finder tool.

Remember if you want to know more about ECS check out our previous blog post here.


Categories: cscs

Which all in one multifunction testers are best?

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 2nd September 2015

A multifunction tester is an electrician’s best friend – an integral part of every electrician’s tool box. However, the decision to buy a tester can be difficult.  They're an expensive piece of kit and whilst you don't want to spend more than what you have to, it is important that a multifunction tester is going to do what you want it to.

Does price matter?

To be fair, the clue to the quality of multifunction tester often lies within the price.  The tolerance/accuracy levels tend to be much better with higher end models and some essential features can be either missing or become a costly upgrade.

Saying that though, many electricians have an idea of the main players in the field such as Fluke or Megger, however sometimes budget does not allow for the big brands.  So we have decided to take a look at some of the most popular testers in the field to find out exactly what you are getting for your money.

Megger MFT1720 (£600 - £810)

Megger is well known in the industry and is associated with top quality and features.  Many electricians will use no other tester, and is literally is a household name in the electrical industry.  Therefore the Megger MFT1720 is one of the leading names in the field and is synonymous with quality.  We carried out a review recently of the MFT1720 and can certainly vouch for it's superior quality and features.

Phase rotation service

Auto RCD

2 Wire Loop test

Backlit LCD display

Non trip loop testing

Kewtech KT63 (£430 - £480)

Kewtech is a well known brand within the electrical industry and is known for supplying testers that fulfil the testing obligations.  Their testers are innovative, accurate and reliable.  Their KT63 features a 5 in 1 multifunction tester which includes:

Five in 1 multifunction tester measures insulation, continuity and more

16 different RCD tests for current ranges for versatile testing

Lock down testing for hands free measurements

Seaward Powertest (£330 - £485)

If you are looking for quality and an instrument that will last for years the n Seaward is a great choice.

Loop test in 5 seconds

Integral probe means reading results easily

Auto RCD test

Fluke 1653B (£600 - £900)

Fluke is a much wanted label amongst electricians and is seen as a desirable piece of kit in toolboxes

Fast high current loop test

Variable RCD current mode for customized settings

Pass/Fail indication for RCD tests

Most important features of a multifunction tester

Safety and performance are the two most important features of multifunction testers – they are also two of the most critical requirements for any electrical system.  A properly functioning grounding system is essential for any multifunction tester.

Remember you generally get what you pay for so you may find it is worth investing in a higher end product as it will have all the functions you will need and last for many years saving you money in the long run.


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.


Checkatrade 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.