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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

Solar PV Companies on Watchdog

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 23rd September 2011

Many of you won’t be surprised to hear Watchdog highlighted Solar PV as one of the fastest growing industries in the world. Some companies have grown ten fold in the UK over the last year and this is a direct result of the financial incentives on offer.












However with rapid growth like this consumers have to be wary of many small companies that spring up offering services. The building trade as a whole has always suffered from the stigma of cowboy builders, however solar PV installation is a bit different in that it is heavily regulated and anyone installing solar panels will need to be REA and MCS accredited.

What many people don’t realise is that MCS accreditation can be a difficult thing to achieve. In order to gain MCS accreditation companies have to demonstrate they have a comprehensive quality management system that covers everything from how they source their products, to how they deal with complaints. One of the main pre-requisites is that the MCS accredited individual in the company must have a formal certification in their chosen technology. In the case of Solar PV this would be a City & Guilds, Bpec or NICEIC qualification.

As such it was no surprise that Watchdog actually didn’t focus on the installer. Instead they focussed on the selling of Solar PV and companies that will take deposits from customers only to struggle to deliver the PV installation.

Currently it is very hard to find good installers and we know only too well that currently the demand for installers out strips supply. This is the reason that Solar PV Installation Courses are currently our most popular offering as many train to take advantage of the high demand.

However watchdog gave some great advice when choosing a PV supplier. Much of this is common sense when dealing with any trade:

Get at least three quotes before you decide which company to contract with

Make sure you get genuine testimonials from genuine customers

Make sure all quotes are formally put in writing

Make sure your receive and read in full the terms and conditions of your contract

Never pay more than 25% of the value of the contract up front

I would also add:

Look for companies that are accredited by REAL and MCS. Just because it’s not essential for sales companies to be accredited doesn’t mean they can't be.

Don’t just pick the cheapest quote. Pick the company that you trust the most. Follow your gut. If you have doubts don’t sign.

Also ask about how the installation will be implemented and by who?

Look for companies that have been established for some time. Many will be brand new to the market but there are many such Riomay who have been around for many years and have their act together.

It is interesting to note that in Germany where solar PV has been around for much longer they do not have an equivalent MCS accreditation scheme. It is comforting to know that MCS is here and protects consumers and the industry’s reputation at the same time.


Categories: solar pv

A meeting of electrical minds

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 20th September 2011

Yesterday Trade Skills 4U and JTL came together and solidified their relationship and understanding of how the two companies can work closer together. JTL held their quarterly meeting of South East Assessors at the Trade Skills 4U renewable energy training centre where employees from both companies got a chance to meet, get to know one another and share ideas.

We will be working closely with JTL in the coming year to deliver electrical apprenticeships. JTL will be focussing in their specialism, assessing whilst Trade Skills 4U will provide industry leading training to apprentices for the EAL NVQ diploma.

The day also gave JTL members a chance to tour our facilities and get a feel for the way in which Trade Skills 4U stand out from the crowd not only in terms our premises but also in terms of the quality of delivery of our courses.

Anyone interested in taking on an apprentice or wanting to join the apprenticeship programme should contact Donna Latimer by calling 01293 529777 who will be able to assess your suitability and get the application moving.

Top of page: Ian Stoneham and Mark Syrett from JTL with Andy Hay-Ellis and Mark Streete from, Trade Skills 4U.

Bottom of page: The JTL South East Team.



Categories: partnerships, apprenticeships

Trade Skills 4U & JTL partner to deliver quality electrical apprenticeships

Posted by Chloe Bennett on 8th September 2011

National Electrical Provision enhanced by New Training Partnership

Trade Skills 4U and JTL have announced a partnership to deliver NVQ Diploma qualifications to electrical apprentices looking to become fully qualified in the electrical industry.

Thanks to this new agreement, the two organisations are working together to offer the most recognised electrician’s NVQ qualification of its kind in the UK. The government, ECA, JIB, JTL and Summit skills all recognise it as a robust route to becoming a fully qualified electrician.

Candidates looking to train within this industry will now be able to benefit from this collaboration as they will effectively receive the ‘best bits’ from two nationally recognised organisations, allowing the partners to focus their energy on what they do best.

The theoretical and practical training required to complete the knowledge components of the qualification will be conducted within Trade Skills 4U’s state of the art training facilities in Gatwick, West Sussex. Candidates will be able to take advantage of the centre’s fully equipped classrooms complete with workshop areas built to enhance student learning. The assessments and NVQ visits after the training course will then be delivered nationwide via an assigned JTL assessor.

Carl Bennett, Managing Director of Trade Skills 4U said: “As one of the UK’s leading independent electrical training provider’s, we bring an expertise in making people aware of the opportunities available to them along with the right customer service attitude needed to drive a retail business where the customer is key. This is a great opportunity for us as well as the students to come together and build the best training programme on offer today.”

Caroline Turner, Director of Operations for JTL added “We are delighted to have entered into this arrangement with Trade Skills 4U which we envisage can only bring benefits to the apprentices and their employers. Both organisations place strong emphasis on the quality of provision and support and we very much look forward to working together to creating innovative ways of meeting our employer partners’ requirements for training and assessment long into the future.”

Trade Skills 4U have many fully and partially funded electrician apprenticeships available for those wishing to become trained as fully qualified electricians.

About Trade Skills 4U LTD

Trade Skills 4U LTD is the UK’s largest independent electrical & renewable energy training provider based in Gatwick, West Sussex. The company established in 2005 and has since added a dedicated renewable energy training centre to its brand. The centre houses Englands first and only single storey training roof created solely for the use of students training to install Solar PV. Trade Skills 4U offer a range of electrical courses and renewable energy courses for those looking to train to become fully qualified electricians, domestic installers, renewable energy installers and sales and management consultants. 

For more information please contact: Chloe Bennett on chloe.bennett@tradeskills4u.co.uk or call 01293 529777.


Categories: company news, partnerships, electrician training, apprenticeships

Trade Skills 4U launches new tool website 'Solar PV Tools.co.uk'

Posted by Chloe Bennett on 5th September 2011

Trade Skills 4U.co.uk, the UK's largest independent electrical & renewable energy training provider, have launched a brand new sister company called Solar PV Tools.co.uk. The website, http://www.solarpvtools.co.uk, is designed to equip renewable energy installers with all the tools they would need to install, test and maintain solar PV systems.

Trade Skills 4U.co.uk Managing Director, Carl Bennett says: “We have always taken customer care very seriously, talking and listening to our customers and taking their views on board. We only recommend tools based on our own practical hands on testing; tools must be fairly easy to use and survive the rigors of daily practice to become a tool we trust, in order for us to feel able to sell them to our customers. Having found difficultly sourcing solar PV kits ourselves, it seems there is space for a market leader to supply solar installers with the kit necessary to complete installations and comply with MCS accreditation standards.”

In June this year, Trade Skills 4U successfully launched their Renewable energy training centre, complete with purpose built facilities built to cater for the demand for renewable energy installers. The centre houses the England’s first and only single storey training roof that enables candidates to install solar PV at height and with all the necessary kit they would require on a real installation such as pulleys, ginn wheels etc.

“We are in great support of this growing industry and have invested £350,000 into building our dedicated renewable energy centre; it seems like a step in the right direction to enable candidates to buy the kit we trust whilst they train with us. We are continually innovating and improving our products and services. The new website is the natural next step," added Carl Bennett.

Joe Bennett, Director of the new site added: "We are in a competitive market. Customers rightly expect a good deal and a professional service. At Solar PV Tools we know that our products are not only the very best available but also that we listen to our customers and construct the kits they need for the job. We provide fully bespoke solar PV kits which installers and contractors can design for themselves based on need and continue to refine our products and services to meet their needs now and in the future."

Solar PV Tools.co.uk has been established since 2011 and provides huge savings on a great range of tools, to visit the store today click www.solarpvtools.co.uk.


Categories: company news

No longer the light of our lives: The 60 Watt bulb sees production ban.

Posted by Chloe Bennett on 1st September 2011

Today the production of the old-style clear tungsten bulb has been banned in an effort to encourage people to buy more energy efficient light bulbs.

Although the suggested energy efficiency bulbs could help you save some penny’s on your electricity bill, the majority of those affected have been describing their mad dashed to the store to stock up on the traditional 60 W bulb.

The impact of the ban on has said to be the equivalent of ‘taking seven million cars off the road’ commented Gunther Oettinger, the EU’s Energy Commissioner as the light consumes too much energy for the light they produce. ‘The average family can ‘easily’ save EURO50 a year on their electricity bill.’

Others aren’t so convinced; “Although it won't solve my problem forever, I have been bulk buying the 'old style' bulbs,” one blogger called Morglin wrote online this week.

The ban has been introduced in a bid to meet the government’s carbon targets in a reduction of carbon emission of 20% by 2020.

What do you think? Will you miss the traditional bulb or are you in favour of the modern energy efficient light?


Categories: electrical news