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Winner of the Prize Draw Announced

Posted by Chloe Bennett on 22nd June 2011

On Friday 17th June we held our Renewable energy open day. We held a free raffle and a solar PV installer’s kit worth £450 was up for grabs.

The lucky winner was Elaine Oake who was thrilled with the result. “I am impressed with your centre and I really enjoyed the day. I would like to thank you again for the prize I am really chuffed,” said Elaine.

I’m sure Elaine will put the kit to good use and we hope to see her clambering on a roof near you soon!


Categories: simon weston obe, renewable energy, events

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

Honour our Forces Help Boost Forgotten Heroes Bursary

Posted by Chloe Bennett on 13th June 2011

This week we got talking to Honour our Forces, a UK non-profit organisation which raises much needed funds & awareness for the Armed Forces at home & abroad as well as their families. The Charity was set up in 2009 with the aim of supporting our boys and girls, past and present.

Honour Our Heroes director, Piers, noticed our campaign for free training for forgotten heroes and has jumped in to help promote this great opportunity. Our first bursary places will be presented at our Renewable energy launch happening this Friday (17th June,) with national hero Simon Weston OPE awarding the worthy candidates.

“I will do my up most up to promote this great idea,” says piers. “It’s so great when people do what they can to help our heroes.”

Ian Lockie & Golden Zimmaestro are the first two candidates to participate in the scheme having been awarded our popular GREEN packages. Our green package allows entrants to enter the industry and train to become a domestic and solar PV installer.

We are giving away 100,000 worth of free training and we want to spend. If you know anyone that may be eligible or want to support our cause contact us 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

Renewable Centre Official Launch 17th June 2011

Posted by Chloe Bennett on 12th May 2011

Britain’s most advanced renewable training centre officially launches on 17 June 2011. The launch will also act as an open day for those who wish to visit the centre as it truly showcases Trade Skills 4U’s dedication to training. The centre provides candidates with purpose built facilities to train domestic installers and electricians in real and relevant scenarios to prepare for the renewable revolution.

The open day itinerary includes seminars from their partners, live demonstrations of renewable installation and a presentation from guest speaker, Simon Weston OBE, a name well-known for his time in the Falklands. Weston’s fight to overcome horrific burn injuries and redefine his role in life after the Falklands War is an example of the incredible bravery shown by Britain’s Heroes as we continue to fight for our country.

Simon will tell of his achievement and present the companies first bursary place launching TS4U’s forgotten hero’s bursary scheme.

The Crawley-based training provider reserves a place each week for ‘forgotten heroes’ which have slipped through the resettlement net and hopes to provide free and discounted training for those in need of a new career path.

‘We are not a huge company and can’t offer free training to everyone that is eligible so we have to select and prioritise those able to take the free training, based on need,’ says Carl Bennett, Managing Director of TS4U.

The day will also be an eye opener for those who are confused by the Renewable energy industry with seminars from partners Easy MCS, Stroma and Eco Tube. These highly regarded companies within the industry will explain accreditation, Feed in Tariffs and installation. Following the theme, the 100% electric car, the Nissan leaf, will be making an appearance as the company will be attempting to charge the car via a solar array.

“The renewable energy market is growing so quickly that there is a real need for qualified installers,” Carl Bennett stressed. That’s why Trade Skills 4U is working hard to create the best facilities for candidates to train on.

TS4U Trainees will have the advantage of being able to learn how to install photovoltaic (PV) systems on a purpose-built single-storey timber-framed house, constructed next to the training centre’s main building, located on Manor Royal Industrial Estate.

“Our goal is to enable a trainee to finish the training on a Friday, confident, competent and compliant to complete an installation the following Monday, hassle-free”, said Carl Bennett, Managing Director of TS4U.

Only 1,500 renewable energy electricians are currently registered in the UK but research by the Department of Climate Change predicts that there will be 7 million PV installations by 2020, requiring up to 50,000 accredited installers.

The facility opened for training courses earlier this year, providing fully qualified instructors with hands-on practical workshops and theory lessons with delegates obtaining registration and accreditation from governing bodies such as City & Guilds, NICEIC, BPEC, EAL, trading standards and ELC. The solar PV courses are a key step into becoming MCS accredited.

“We have a modern approach to training,” added Chloe Bennett.  “Our collaboration with PV panel manufacturers ensures that we have developed an appropriate training package for trainees.”

TS4U trained more than 3,000 (now qualified) domestic installers across the UK last year and it runs the first training centre in the UK to offer “at-height training on a single- storey roof” at the leading edge fully specified Manor Royal site.

”Candidates gain invaluable experience of not only working at height but also how to use equipment such as gin wheels and pulleys  – an aspect of training that some companies may cut back on,” Chloe Bennett said.

TS4U instructor Mark Turner, who completed his training with the company, said:  “Those who want a career change should grab opportunities like this. The courses equip you for the future, whether you choose electrics or renewable energy. You’ll be glad you did it, I am.”

To register for the event on 17th June, call 01293 529777 or visit www.tradeskills4u.co.uk/events

Contact for more info: Chloe Bennett – 01293 554010 or chloe@tradeskills4u.co.uk

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

Open day

Posted by Chloe Bennett on 8th April 2011

As you may have noticed we have uploaded new banners to our website which support our Renewable centre open day on 17th June 2011.

It really will be a great day for all to visit Trade Skills 4U, see our facilities and get a feel for how we do things here.

We aim to have seminars from our partners, demonstrations of new technologies plus a special guest!

So if you fancy joining us on this exciting day please click here to register.

You’ll be glad you did.


Categories: simon weston obe, renewable energy, events