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Congratulations Alan Aldridge

Posted by Chloe Bennett on 18th July 2012

(Pictured above: Henry Smith MP, Carl Bennett Managing Director of TS4U, Alan Aldridge and Ali Tilbrook)

We first met Alan in the early stages of last year when we were building our renewable energy centre. After our investment in the development in the PV roof we wanted to echo this dedication in building 1st class solar thermal rigs and we called in Ecotube, which were at the time, a company product from Riomay. At the launch of our centre in 17th June 2011, we invited many industry contacts to the event but were particularly delighted when Alan and co-worker Ali Tilbrook arrived to congratulate us on the success of the centre, as their products have helped us deliver the best solar thermal training possible within our state of the art facility.

Our ties with Alan didn’t stop there as he actually took on one of our Forgotten Heroes bursary candidates that was awarded his place at the event. Mr Ian Lockie, a TS4U bursary candidate, left the forces following 9 years’ service as a RAF Regiment Gunner and like many was in search of a new challenge. However his new challenge wasn’t without limitations after Ian, a PTSD sufferer, found there was a lack of career prospects available to him. 

(Pictured above: Simon Weston O.B.E, Ian Lockie, Golden Zimmaestro and Carl Bennett MD)

Thanks to our bursary scheme, which offers to give away £100,00 every year to ex-military personnel who are struggling to get their feet on Civvy street, we were able to help him successfully complete his training as a domestic installer and solar pv installer thus making him employable with a set of skills no employer could resist. Alan saw his potential and agreed to take him on once he’d successfully completed his training – happy days.

Anyway without going too far off topic, we would like to wish Alan and the rest of the Solar Trade Association every success as they continue working together to promote and protect the solar industry.

Alan you have our full support, well done!

If you would like to know more about our renewable energy centre or our forgotten heroes bursary scheme, please click the links above which will take you to those pages.

Categories: event, open day, solar, resettlement, forgotten heroes bursary scheme, solar pv

Falkland's War; 30 Years On

Posted by Chloe Bennett on 2nd April 2012

Thirty years ago today, on April 2nd 1982, Britain’s first female prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, awoke to find out that the Falkland islands were no longer British. The Islands, an archipelago in the South Atlantic Ocean, had been seized in the undercover of darkness by 130 Argentinian commandos. Despite only having less than three years in office, Thatcher embarked on a mission to regain the islands and today we pay tribute to the Task Force sent out to take them back.

The war lasted 74 days and left many service personnel wounded and 255 British personnel and 3 Falkland islanders lost their lives. Today will mark the beginning of a very emotional anniversary for the families and friends of those who fought hard to regain independence of our Falkland Islands.

Lest we forget those who give us what we can never repay.

Help for Ex-Service Personnel

To recognise the bravery of our military and to help them with life after their service, we launched a bursary scheme titled: Forgotten Heroes Bursary Scheme. The scheme was launched last year with help from Falkland’s veteran Simon Weston O.B.E.

We are proud to have helped several men and women since its launch and will continue to do so to help give something to those who give their thankless service for us. We pride ourselves on our training for resettlement soliders and aim to help them where we can.

If you know anyone who might be suitable for our Forgotten Heroes Bursary Scheme or would like to apply yourself, please visit our dedicated Forgotten Heroes Bursary Scheme Page and fill in your details.





Categories: company news, resettlement, forgotten heroes bursary scheme

Lest We Forget

Posted by Chloe Bennett on 14th November 2011

In a heartfelt tribute held yesterday at the Cenotaph in Central London, the Queen led tributes to all the brave soldiers who served heroically and died for their country.

The Sunday morning ceremony saw the warm autumn sun shine over the vast crowds who surrounded the memorial. The sea of people stood in silence as wreaths were laid by her majesty the Queen before other members of the royal family stepped forward to do the same.

Amongst the Royalty, Military officers, politicians stood veterans and civilians, all shoulder to shoulder to remember the dead and those who have served – past and present.

As part of our support for those who have served in the forces, Trade Skills 4U have a dedicated bursary scheme for those who have served and fallen on hard times. We honour, cherish and respect all efforts great and small and would like to do what we can to help protect your future by helping you formulate a career for yourself after life in the military.

Our ‘Forgotten Heroes Bursary Scheme’ is something we strongly believe in and has already helped two ex-soldiers back onto their feet with one having found employment since retraining with us back in August.

We are only a small company and have to give these bursaries to candidates based on need, but where possible we will do what we can to help everyone that applies. If you could do with a helping hand or know someone who could, please contact our team on 01293 529777 or visit our dedicated Forgotten Heroes Bursary page.


Categories: forgotten heroes bursary scheme

A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed

Posted by Chloe Bennett on 14th October 2011

Over recent years we've helped thousands of people gain valuable knowledge, experience and the qualifications they need to pursue successful careers in the electrical industry, from new entrants, to existing electricians. We have now extended our range of electrical courses to cover Renewable energy training and have a dedicated centre for the training of these technologies 100 yards from our main Gatwick premises.

As a company we've always been very supportive of those who serve our country, from Police to Armed Forces, and have always made a conscious effort to make the resettlement process as stress free a transition as possible.

In June this year, we launched our Forgotten Heroes Bursary and in July we met with Civvy Street in an attempt to create a further service to our force leavers by enabling a new route to funding.

CivvyStreet.org has now got a dedicated page for us on their website which allows those looking to retrain, access to our free training pages should you or anyone you know want to apply for our free training Forgotten Heroes Bursary.

It's a great relationship to have and one we are proud of keeping; together we are helping each other to do the best by those who need it.

Should you want to apply for our free training scheme - visit our Forgotten Heroes Bursary Scheme Page.

To view our press release announcing our partnership with Civvy Street, The Royal British Legion click here.

Categories: company news, resettlement, forgotten heroes bursary scheme

Our War: 10 years in Afghanistan

Posted by Chloe Bennett on 7th October 2011

Cast your minds back to the year 2001; a year when the world was just getting their head around the devastating tragedy of the twin towers, a year when Beatles lead guitarist George Harrison died of lung cancer at the age of 58, and a year when the first ever iPod was introduced. All of aforementioned events, each memorable for very different reasons, were part of a year when the War on Afghanistan began.

Today, 7th October 2011, marks the 10th anniversary of British Forces being engaged in Afghanistan and more than five years since they assumed responsibility for Helmand Province. Remembering the related events that have led up until this date is a sobering opportunity for us to reflect of what our involvement has achieved.

Nearly 1,800 U.S military member have been killed, enough to form a single-file rank of soldiers a mile long. The UK’s military role in Afghan has not been without human toll as the number of British military deaths stand at 382. This is very little doubt that Afghanistan is a better place now that under the Taliban however the real question is when will it all end? A decade at war is long enough surely?

British troops have performed so bravely and achieved so much in this past decade it’s incredibly humbling. Thanks to documentary’s like ‘Our War,’ ‘Dispatches,’ and ‘The Bomb Squad,’ we have been able to really see bits of what the guys do day to day and snippets of what life could be like on the front line. These unglamorous real-life story’s give us a personal insight to our boys and girls who are giving their thankless service for their country.

So it is important that we look after them, especially when their service has ended and their life back into civilian world begins again. Trade Skills 4U offer a ‘Forgotten hero’s Bursary’ which aims to help those who have left the services and have struggled to find a suitable career path by arming them with electrical and/or renewable energy skills for free.

More information on our free training scheme can be found here.

Image source @DailyMail.co.uk

Categories: resettlement, forgotten heroes bursary scheme


Posted by Chloe Bennett on 28th September 2011

The UK’s leading independent electrical and renewable energy training provider, Trade Skills 4U, have announced that their ‘Forgotten Heroes Bursary Scheme’ candidates will now be able to access financial support when they take up the free training initiative set up in June 2011.

The free training bursary was officially launched by Falkland’s hero Simon Weston O.B.E, at the company’s renewable energy centre open day and aims to giveaway £100,000 worth of free training to those who are struggling to find their feet after leaving the forces. Whether this struggle is due to illness, injury or a lack of support this permanent offer will arm the candidates will practical skills for a new career.

However since its launch in June the company are experiencing a lack of eligible candidates that have the funds in place to travel to the centre based in Gatwick, West Sussex. “We are a national company and have strong affiliations with the forces and as a result eligible candidates from all over the UK are applying for our bursary. Unfortunately those who would benefit most from a scheme such as this are often facing hardship and have been out of employment for some time. As a result we are finding that these candidates are having trouble covering the costs of travel or accommodation in order to take advantage of this free training scheme,” says Chloe Bennett, Marketing Executive at Trade Skills 4U.

Thanks to Civvy Street, the Royal British Legion’s employment support service, a candidate who is eligible for Legion support could have access funding to help support their costs of travel and/or accommodation as well as other expenses whilst they train. “This partnership will bridge this gap and hopefully enable those most deserving of the bursary, the financial help to enable them to take hold of this great opportunity,” added Miss Bennett.

Trade Skills 4U Bursary candidates will have the opportunity to train as domestic installers, electricians and renewable energy installers and will take advantage of the company’s first-class and dedicated training centres. Trade Skills 4U offers the widest range of electrical courses and renewable energy courses in the UK today.

To find out more about the ‘Forgotten Heroes Bursary Scheme,’ candidates should visit www.tradeskills4u.co.uk/pages/free-training.


Categories: company news, partnerships, forgotten heroes bursary scheme

Forgotten Heroes Bursary Case Study: Ian Lockie

Posted by Chloe Bennett on 29th July 2011

Case Study – Ian Lockie

Role – RAF Regiment Gunner

Forgotten Heroes Bursary Candidate 1

Course Taken – 22 Day Green Solar PV Installer

Served: Iraq, Northern Ireland, Germany and Bosnia.

In 1998 following  9 years’ service as an RAF Regiment Gunner Ian Lockie, like many others, left the army in search of a new challenge. This new challenge wasn’t without limitations after Ian, a PTSD sufferer, found there was a lack of career prospects available to him. He later found work as a satellite engineer and then as a bus driver but was made redundant in January of this year.

Since his redundancy, Ian has struggled to find work and like many during these current times, realised he needed to re-train to get back into employment. However, the dilemma was what to train in and how to fund the training?

“Having spent my working life on my feet, I didn’t warm to the idea of being in an office situation. I’ve always preferred hands on work and was keen to seek training in this sort of area. When my wife showed me an article of Trade Skills 4U’s Forgotten Heroes bursary in The Sun newspaper, I knew I had to apply!”

The scheme, titled ‘The Forgotten Heroes Bursary Scheme,’ aims to giveaway £100,000 free training to ex-service personnel who are struggling to find employment due to injury, illness or a lack of support. This permanent offer is to arm our heroes with practical qualifications in both electrical and renewable industries to enable them to carve a new career path on Civvy Street.

Shortly after applying, Ian was awarded a place at the companies open day in June by Falkland’s Hero, Simon Weston O.B.E and chose to complete the Solar PV Installer’s GREEN Package; a 22 day package that enables a new entrant into the industry to train as a domestic and solar PV installer. 

This package includes:

 a TS4U exclusive MOD 1 course, 

City & Guilds Inspection & Testing 2392-10

City & Guilds Part P Domestic installers course,

City & Guilds 17th Edition (2382-10) and the

BPEC Solar Panel Installation which includes a health and safety module.

After a successful four weeks of training, Ian, who completed the GREEN package on 29th July, said “Trade Skills 4U have been great and I am very thankful for this opportunity. It was hard studying again as I haven’t been in this situation for more than 20 years, but I have been taught by some fantastic tutors, who have spurred me on from the start and made the learning as enjoyable as possible.”

Ian trained in both TS4U electrical and renewable energy centres and particularly enjoyed the 5 day BPEC Solar PV installation course. “Training on your solar PV training roof has to be the ultimate highlight of the course, I absolutely loved it. I’ve really enjoyed getting up there with the guys in all the workshops too and I have to say I’ve made some great friends. I’ve just finished the course now, and I’m buzzing! I can only look forward to future now, as I have a new career path to discover.”

If you are interested in applying for Trade Skills 4U’s Forgotten Hero Bursary please check out http://www.tradeskills4u.co.uk/pages/free-training .

We have recently partnered with The British Legion to help provide access to funding for those candidates that may struggle financially whilst they train with us. To find out if the scheme is for you, how it works and if you are eligible to apply follow this link to the Civvy street website.

Categories: forgotten heroes bursary scheme, case study

Further support for bursary candidates

Posted by Chloe Bennett on 8th July 2011

Since Trade Skills 4U launched their Forgotten Hero Bursary scheme in June, they have enjoyed a lot of support they have received from individuals with similar beliefs and ideals. National hero Simon Weston originally helped launch the scheme at TS4U’s renewable energy centre launch last month and since several charities have got involved to help search for eligible bursary candidates.

Particularly though it is the partners of this national electrical and renewable energy training provider that has been of notable support. “Our partners are helping to elongate the good work we are doing here at Trade Skills 4U by offering their services for little or no cost to our bursary candidates!” says Carl Bennett, managing director at Trade Skills 4U. “I am keen to encourage other businesses to do what they can to help and support our boys and girls with life after the forces whether it is through employment or empowering them with a new set of skills as we are.”

Industry leaders Easy MCS are amongst TS4U’s partners who are helping to lengthen the forgotten hero bursary by offering their support through the MCS accreditation process for free. Their service usually costs around £495 and is a vital part of the renewable industry. In order to gain MCS accreditation you have to compile a quality management system (QMS ;) this systems will be specifically designed around your companies unique operations detailing your internal and external practices. Every renewable installation must be signed off by a person who has been accredited by the MCS scheme. If you or your company are planning on up-skilling to take advantage of this fast-emerging industry one out of every 10 people in a business must be accredited under the scheme. MCS exists to ensure quality is maintained throughout the renewable energy industry and protects consumers from company’s installations substandard installations.

“Easy MCS Ltd is proud to support Trade Skills 4U in its forgotten hero’s campaign and as such would like to extend the Easy MCS Certification support to their bursary candidates. The forgotten heroes that are our service men and women deserve as much support as can be given in helping them retrain for civilian life. These brave people risk and often give their lives for others and often are never formally recognised. We hope that the training we are offering alongside Trade Skills 4U will provide support to those who require it after they have given everything to the protection of others.”

Stroma, a leading certification body in MCS accreditation is also doing their bit to help our bursary candidates. Stroma’s MCS accreditation process ensures that all notifications, inspections and installations of the microgeneration technologies such as solar PV, solar thermal are produced to consistently high standards. Those wishing to become an MCS installer must do so by applying to a certification body like Stroma in order to have their installations and QMS packages reviewed and verified. Installer certification entails assessing the supply, design, and installation, set-to-work and commissioning of renewable microgeneration technologies.  Stroma will offer their support through the process of accreditation certification for the low price of £100; a service that normally costs £385.

“It’s great to have support from these companies enabling of our bursary candidates to enter the industry with little or no experience and have the opportunity to train in the most fast-emerging technologies around with support from all the industry leaders for little or no cost at all. Thanks to their support together will are potentially able to give away £4919 worth of training for free. It proves if everyone does what they can whether it be the cost of a penny or a pound, it can make a real difference to those who have given their thankless service to support the freedom and safety of this country,” says Carl Bennett.

If you want to get involved and help us lengthen our bursary scheme, contact Chloe Bennett at chloe@tradeskills4u.co.uk


Categories: partnerships, forgotten heroes bursary scheme

Falklands War Hero Urges to Retrain Services Personnel

Posted by Chloe Bennett on 21st June 2011

More must be done by government, businesses and the military to prepare forces personnel for life after they have served their country.

“Servicemen and women need to be retrained seven years before leaving the military in order to be prepared for their future,” said Simon Weston OBE, who has thrived in the media after being dismissed as ‘totally unemployable’ after suffering horrific burns injuries during the Falklands War.

Weston was speaking as guest of honour at the launch of a training hub that is offering free bursaries to former forces personnel to become domestic installers, electricians and renewable energy installers in technologies such as solar PV.

Businessmen, energy consultants, installers and military personnel gathered at Trade Skills 4U’s new renewable training centre in Crawley, West Sussex, on Friday 17 June, when Conservative MP Henry Smith officially opened the site. The day featured key seminars by their industry leading partners and live demonstrations by instructors, helping to demystify the skills and processes involved when installing renewable energy technologies.

Simon Weston presented the first Forgotten Heroes bursaries kick-starting the free training initiative created by Trade Skills 4U. This scheme was purposely created to offer some practical help to our heroes by arming them with the opportunity to begin a new career in the electrical and renewable energy industries. The permanent offer aims to give away £100,000 worth of free training every year to those who have left the forces are facing adversity and are struggling to find a new career path.

Among the bursary awardees stands Ian Lockie, who served in the RAF in Germany and Norfolk for nine years and left the military in 1998. He still receives treatment for PTSD to this day and had found himself looking for a new direction. “I have been a bus driver and satellite installer since leaving,” he said. “I read news of the bursaries in a national newspaper and applied and have been awarded a bursary to retrain as an electrician and solar PV installer. I certainly hope to make the most of this opportunity.”

Golden Zimmaestro of Nottingham, another awardee, served in Germany for three years but was forced to leave on medical grounds. Now 33, he has found work difficult to find since leaving but said he was “really looking forward to my training in Solar PV installation”.

Trade Skills 4U (TS4U) Managing Director Carl Bennett, a former long-serving police officer who now works closely with the military, also appealed for more action to help former forces personnel: “I believe the government and military do not do enough to assist our ex-servicemen. Businesses and the military need to be encouraged to promote our boys and girls for their thankless service for their country. Hardworking, they have plenty of skills to offer. Help our heroes practically and financially by considering them for jobs and advertising your positions in military magazines.”

Simon Weston applauded Carl Bennett for TS4U’s training initiative, stressing that skills learnt in the military were transferable but believing that not enough was being done to help former personnel after they left the services, he said. “When you leave the military, they don’t do enough. Servicemen need to be retrained seven years before leaving the military to be prepared for their future.”

“Troops can be damaged physically and mentally,” Simon Weston said. “I had horrific burns injuries after the Falklands but focused on the opportunities that were available to me and have been in the media now for 29 years as a result. Men and women all over the world have been left injured after serving their country and haven’t had the same opportunities as I so they have been left to cope on their own. There aren’t enough opportunities for these people which is why TS4U’s bursary scheme is brilliant scheme to be a part of.”

When only 21, Simon Weston had to be resettled after suffering his injuries. A year later he was sent to see his colonel in a wheelchair, still covered in bandages and weighing just eight stone. Asked what he wanted to do for the rest of his life, he replied: “Serve in the military and play rugby.” After due consideration, the colonel ruled he was “totally unemployable”. “My regiment was a great support and helped with morale but the military did nothing and morale doesn’t pay the bills,” Simon Weston said.

The TS4U initiative should form “a model for other businesses to follow”, he added. “Prepare for the future now and diversify as much as possible. You don’t know what may happen and what you may not have.”

The Trade Skills 4U opening day was a resounding success raising awareness of not just renewable energy but also how employers can help our forgotten heroes. The day highlighted it’s not just about raising money for charity but also crucial that employers look at the skilled labour leaving the forces and take advantage of these very talented individuals.

Trade Skills 4U intends to continue to offer one free training place at its centre at any one time to a forgotten hero over the coming year. This is a massive contribution from what could be considered a small company but it is definitely going to make a huge difference to those that are successful in gaining a bursary place.

Categories: simon weston obe, renewable energy, forgotten heroes bursary scheme, events

First Bursary Place Announced!

Posted by Chloe Bennett on 15th June 2011

Forgotten Hero announced to kick-start Training bursary

Trade Skills 4U ‘Forgotten Hero bursary scheme’ will officially launch at their Renewable Energy training centre open day on 17th June 2011. The scheme was introduced by Managing director Carl Bennett, who watched February’s BBC documentary ‘Forgotten hero’s’ with Col Tim Collins and felt inspired to do something practical to help. This genuine and permanent offer of one space at any one time completely free of charge, aims to help ex-service men and women who are struggling to find their feet following their discharge from the armed forces.

Simon Weston OBE will be presenting the awarded bursary candidate, Ian Lockie, at the open day with the popular Green Package. This 22 day domestic installer training package is structured to allow a new entrant into the electrical industry to be become a Solar Panel installer and enter what is becoming an exciting new industry. The package worth just under £3000 will hopefully enable Mr Lockie a much deserved chance at a new career path.

During his 9 year term, SACC Ian Lockie served in Bosnia, Iraq, Germany and Northern Ireland and is now one of the many forgotten heroes who has been left to fend for himself in the civilian world. “This scheme allows me to actually get into a decent trade in which I can work in until I retire. It’s the miracle opportunity I’ve been wishing for.” Lockie also suffers from PTSD, Post-traumatic stress disorder, which is a type of anxiety disorder that can occur after you've seen or experienced a traumatic event that involved the threat of injury or death. Lockie’s regular treatment for the common disorder saw him pushed into compulsory redundancy from his previous employment. “I’m so glad that businesses are now doing what they can to help ex-serviceman and women, I just hope that other companies are inspired by Trade Skills 4U’s practical approach to help.”

If you might be eligible for the Forgotten Heroes bursary scheme, or know someone who is, contact Trade Skills 4U on 01293 529777 or visit www.tradeskills4u.co.uk/pages/free-training.


Categories: simon weston obe, free training, renewable energy, forgotten heroes bursary scheme, events