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A little get together

Posted by Chloe Bennett on 31st October 2011

As proud members of The Gatwick Diamond Business Association we thought that it was about time we showed our fellow members exactly who we are and how we do things by inviting them to come along to a GDBA Members Meeting at our Renewable Energy Training Centre in Crawley, West Sussex.

The day saw over 90 business professionals enter our state of the art training facility and come together to both meet our team and build and maintain relationships made within this association.

A great day in where we met lots of great people and an event to remember.

Categories: company news

We heard that!

Posted by Chloe Bennett on 26th October 2011

At Trade Skills 4U you talk, we listen; you said you wanted to be able to book courses online, we made that happen. You said you wanted to be able to call us after work; we extended our office hours from Monday – Thursday until 8pm. You said that you’d like us to do taster mornings & open days, so we arranged them, (we’ve been busy hosting FREE solar PV taster mornings and 17th edition amendment evenings all because we love you) and now….let me introduce you to your newest treat, your long awaited common room.

Aptly called ‘Officer’s Mess,’ we’ve built you a common room complete with tables, chairs, that coffee machine that we know you love AND wait for it…Sky TV (oh we do treat you!)

However it is seriously lacking in character at the moment as you can see and we wondered what you’d like on the walls in terms of decoration? Would you like inspirational quotes, technical diagrams, or baby photos of our instructors?

Let us know because it’s you’re space and whether you use it to relax, revise, chat and make friends it’s there for you to enjoy.

If you could email: chloe@tradeskills4u.co.uk with your suggestions, we look forward to hearing from you.


Categories: company news

From the horse's mouth

Posted by Chloe Bennett on 25th October 2011

When it comes to reviews, who do you trust? Do you like personal recommendations from friends or family or do you look online for dedicated review sites on the products or services your looking to buy?

When you look online do you look in forums for relevant or expert views or do you like to hear it from the company itself?

The only trouble with online reviews and this online culture itself is that a lot of these things are anonymous. Anyone can pretend to be anyone on the internet can’t they? Reviews could be bias towards or against a company or product, fabricated by competitors or company staff or owners. 

So who do you trust?

Tough one isn’t it? Well this is what we thought so we’ve created dedicated testimonials pages within our website www.tradeskills4u.co.uk/pages/testimonials so that you can see exactly what our customers are saying about us, when their saying it – straight from the horse’s mouth.


Well, we have recently organised all our precious feedback forms that we get each and every candidate to fill in when they finish their course with us, and didn’t know why we weren’t making the most of what has been said.

On these forms we get a few moans and groans as well as some great praise and compliments, some guys even hand their forms in accompanied by bunches of flowers – we’re serious.

We take every detail said on our forms very seriously and make sure we use them to better our services and products so that we are constantly improving these. But once we’ve done our bit with the forms, complete with all your beautiful and sometimes very funny comments, they have been cast to the side to seek shelter in a filing cupboard – that is until now.

From today we’ll be scanning and uploading fresh testimonials every week from our students so you can see what they are saying about us and what they think about their time with Trade Skills 4U.

Why not take a look at our October Reviews.

See previous Trade Skills 4U Reviews.

ImageSource @ managingthework.com

Categories: company news

A Message from our Director

Posted by Chloe Bennett on 21st October 2011

If you are looking to train to become a domestic installer after December 31st 2011, you may be affected by the changes that are due to come in after this date. We're not quite sure what they are yet or when they will be coming in to affect as it's yet to be announced- but here's a message from our Director who is keen to pass on as much information about these changes as he can, when he can.




Dear Customer,

You may have heard that the qualification requirements to be a Domestic Installer are changing.

The easy answer is yes, you’re right, they are.

In fact as we speak the whole qualification industry from hairdressing to engineering is changing to something called the QCF; Qualification and Credit Framework.  (Wikipedia it if you’re having difficulty getting to sleep sometime.)

It’s a bit of a revolution for qualifications and it’s actually quite a good idea, but during this transitional phase, things are getting confusing.

The more difficult question to answer is when and what are they changing to. So let me try and explain, it’s a little difficult to get our heads around them here in the office and we’re in the business, but we’ll try, here goes!

Tradeskills4U are the trainers, we offer qualifications that are available to you that we get from accreditation people like the City & Guilds, EAL, NICEIC, BPEC etc. ( nice people, very hard working )

The accreditation people get their steer of what the qualification should do and who can do it from an organisation called SummitSkills.

Summitskills gets its steer from ‘the industry’, People like ECA, IET, Employers, Contractors, training providers.

The system is slow and inefficient; it takes opinions and views from just about everyone. We complain about it on your behalf, but frankly we just have to work with what we have.

So ‘The industry’ decided it wanted to upscale the Domestic Installers qualification, it told Summitskills to come up with the qualification skills set that would be appropriate for the job. The industry asked them to do it by 1st January 2012.

That’s the theory, sounds easy, but in reality, everyone and his son wants to have their say, so we are all waiting on Summitskills to put their knitting down and crack on. (By the way, please feel free to call them and complain)

To be fair they’ve been hard at work and come up with a single new qualification called ‘The Certificate in Installing, testing and ensuring compliance of electrical installation in domestic dwellings’ (What a mouth full!)  It will be a bunch of very relevant skills and knowledge modules, absolutely bang on the money for the job you intend to do, it will replace the several currently accepted qualifications with a single level 3 qualification, and will be accepted by all the industry bigwigs like the NICEIC, NAPIT.

So here we are, all waiting on Summitskills to confirm the qualification so we can offer it to you by the target date of 1st January 2012, we can then all get on with our jobs, which is getting you good people qualified for the jobs you need.

In the meantime, whilst we wait on the pen pushers, we’ll press on with how things are at the moment and as they have been for years. We’ll continue to offer qualifications that are appropriate at this moment. If and when they change, we’ll change them for you and ensure you are enrolled on the correct qualification for the job you want to do.

At the end of the day, we’ll be teaching you to install, test and commission electrics that comply in a domestic installation, so you can join a competent person’s scheme and work as a domestic installer. What the end qualification is actually code titled is not so important, teaching you to install & test is the same whatever the qualification code. What is important is that you get the proper skills and technical training.

So during this transitional phase I would say this, you can book your courses with confidence, we will alter the correct course title with minimum fuss to you. We’ll keep you in the loop and let you know the moment it changes.

We are pretty impressed by these changes, we’ve been calling for them for years, it’s all good, it’s just a pain that it’s been delayed by a slow bureaucratic process.

Work hard and prosper,

Managing Director



Categories: company news

Another Fine End to the Working Week

Posted by Chloe Bennett on 21st October 2011

This week, some of the Trade Skills 4U team have been let out of the office :o) to visit and exhibit at some shows this week. On Tuesday we ventured all the way up to NEC in Birmingham to visit the Installer Live show.  Together we saw a mix of plumbing, heating and renewable energy exhibitors showcasing their latest products and services. We even saw Tommy Walsh floating around the isles posing for photographs - stalker much?


Yesterday we exhibited at Effingham hotel in Copthorne with leading aerial and satellite distributor Alltrade. The show itself, sponsored by TRIAX, consisted of 25 exhibitors and held PV seminars every hour demystifying this new technology to attendees. Most of the attendees were from the AV installation trade and were keen to up-skill into this fast moving renewable industry as the demand for aerial and satellite work is set to dip after the digital switchover in April 2012.

We’d just like to say many thanks to Steve Simper – Director of Alltrade – who invited us along and looked after us during the day. It was a great show and we met some very interesting characters – and if you’re reading this Stephen smith – we mean you :o)


Categories: company news, events

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

More household savings revealed through Solar Thermal installation

Posted by Chloe Bennett on 12th October 2011

New research by the Energy Savings Trust has revealed for the first time the reductions that householders can achieve through using solar thermal.

The full report, due to be published on 13th October, will say that solar thermal can save households £55 a year compared to average gas prices and £80 a year compared to an electric emersion heater for heating water.

For those on a mission to cut down their carbon emissions, this new technology used for harnessing solar energy for thermal energy can realistically save 230Kg of carbon compared to gas and 510kg compared to electric.

Householders looking to install Solar Thermal technology will be rewarded through the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) which is set to revolutionise the way heat is generated and used. This scheme will provide long term financial support to those who install this technology and a grant of £300 which is valid for 3 months will be issued to those who meet certain simple condition involved with the application.

The Scheme which was due to launch for non-domestic generators on 30 September gas has now been delayed as there are some concerns that the large biomass tariff is set too high. The scheme is set to go live before the end of November.

Those looking to become Solar Thermal installers can go on our BPEC accredited course and learn all the skills required to safety and successfully install this technology. This course page can be viewed by clicking here.


Categories: solar thermal, renewable energy

UK Electrician Christopher Young wins award in the Electrical Installations competition at WorldSkills 2011.

Posted by Chloe Bennett on 11th October 2011

The London WorldSkills competition closed its doors on Saturday 8th October as Christopher Young walked away with an award in the Electrical Installation competition.

Bright spark Christopher Young, that turns 22 on 20th October, was awarded a medal of excellence at the WorldSkills London 2011. This event saw more than 1000 competitors from over 50 countries compete in their chosen vocational skill in the ExCeL exhibition centre in central London.



In support of the competition and its campaign to promote vocational skills amongst young people, Prime Minister David Cameron visited the centre and said: "I’m absolutely delighted that London is hosting the biggest WorldSkills Competition in its sixty year history. Standing here is so inspiring. To see almost 1,000 young people from more than 50 countries competing to be the best of the best. Not just in one skill, but in more than 40 skills from robotics, to web design, from cookery to landscape gardening.

"It’s great too for me that the UK is able to show off the skills and diversity of our own young people. What they have all achieved here sets a fantastic example for other young people."

Want to be like Christopher? Get qualified! Trade Skills 4U offer quality electrical courses and renewable energy courses as well as first class apprenticeship courses with our partners JTL. 

Contact us on 01293 529777 for more details.


Categories: events

Greg Barker's keyboard caught fire yesterday...

Posted by Chloe Bennett on 7th October 2011

Well it didn’t ACTUALLY catch fire, but he must have burnt his fingers off yesterday and he fired through the some 300+ questions that were tweeted/emailed during TwitterUK’s Question & Answer series live yesterday using hashtag #askenergy.

Lots of industry related questions answering those poised on rising energy prices and household energy bills were thrown at him and we must say, he did his best!



Greg Barker started the morning by saying:

11:35 DECCgovuk:

Hi everyone - we're just about to get started #AskEnergy [via Twitter]

And ended with:

12:35 DECCgovuk:

times up im afraid. good fun but answers frustratingly short, if you found it useful let me know & will do again. #askenergy @gregbarkermp [via Twitter]

For those of you who didn’t get your question answered Mr Barker and his team plan to publish answers over the coming days.

We particular like:

12:13 DECCgovuk:

Setting up Marine Energy Parks and giving more money to get projects in water.UK marine has huge industrial potential which I am backing [via Twitter]

We’re an island after all and we’ve all got to work with what we’ve got.

To see more of his tweets from the day see www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/news/_twitterqa/_twitterqa.aspx


Categories: decc, government

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