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Tradeskills4u discuss Part P changes with Clive Betts MP

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 29th October 2012

Tradeskills4u welcomed Sheffield MP Clive Betts to our Gatwick facility last week.

Mr Betts who has responsibility for reviewing the Building regulations and in particular Part P building regulations had a thorough and robust discussion with Trade Skills 4U MD Carl Bennett on the implications of the review in to building regulations initiated by the government’s desire to reduce red tape and over regulation.

Electrical safety is of course the most important part of building regulations and it is our view that there is no doubt that the Part P building regulations have driven up safety standards within the electrical industry. Prior to Part P it was a free for all; let’s just remember where we were back then, Part P was brought in to increase safety.

Unintended Consequences

We spoke about the merits of the competent person’s schemes and the potential unintended consequences of any alteration in the qualification standards of the persons responsible for signing off installations. We must be careful if we restrict the signing off of the electrical installations by registered installers to NVQ Level 3 electricians only. It will be like pushing ten lanes worth of traffic into one lane. Good for the NVQ Level 3 Sparkie, not good for the customer. And a Qualified Supervisor Sparkie rushing around signing off multiple installations undertaken by competent installers is restrictive to business, has unemployment implications, is unnecessary over regulation and hardly good for safety of the public.

We think the system works quite well for those properly registered on competent installer’s schemes allowing them to sign off their own work. Where it is undermined is where people whom are neither trained or qualified undertaking electrical installations and go undetected by building control.

Let’s make sure we understand who the bad guys are here. They are not in our view, the properly registered Domestic Installer or associated trades. These guys undertake training, take qualifications, register with scheme operators like the NICEIC, get assessed, obtain insurances and operate perfectly valid businesses.

The bad guys are the many thousands who fly under the radar, you will find them in queues in wholesalers up and down the country and they are helped by the under resourced policing of Part P and a supply system that allows unregistered installers to buy electrical equipment.

Encourage these people to take training, take qualifications and that will raise safety. It will also level the playing field for hard pressed sparkies.

Be careful what you change is our message.


Categories: clive betts, part p

Kew Electrical Launch TS4U Partnership and New Head Office

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 26th October 2012

On Wednesday evening we were lucky enough to attend the opening of the latest Kew Electrical store based in Brighton. Kew have seen solid growth over the last few years and it was clear by the standard of their new head office and flagship store just off the seafront in Portslade that they are a company with a professional ethos and a solid customer base.

Trade Skills 4U attended the event along with a number of electrical manufacturers such as Dimplex, Schneider Electric and Ventaxia to name but a few. The event was a roaring success attended by many electrical contractors and also a range of Kew staff from all over the South East Region. Kew provided a fantastic spread including nibbles, cakes and a variety of drinks which were enjoyed by all at the event.

As well as marking the opening of a new store the event also gave Kew Electrical the opportunity to launch their partnership with us. Moving forward all Kew Electrical customers will be able to book Trade Skills 4U courses via their local Kew Electrical store and also use their Kew Electrical account. This means the customers can benefit from specialist payment terms and gain access to the latest training.

For us one of the key messages at the event was “Take on an apprentice!”. We are fully aware that the micro businesses that make up Kew’s client based are often averse to taking on an extra pair of hands. We were keen to help them realise that not only can they get up to £1500 just for taking on an apprentice but if they train with us, apprentices will often be much more useful to a contractor in a much shorter space of time. It was clear from talking to many contractors at the event they feel an apprentice may slow them down and take up more time. However what many contractors should recognise is that a skilled trained apprentice will enable them to expand their business and increase profitability.

One thing that really impressed us at the Kew event was the friendly nature of the Kew brand. It was clear that Kew have a very strong rapport with their clients and really do ensure they look after them well. They are quite clearly doing something right as the company have continued to grow during a period when many have seen a decline. Speaking to their staff it is apparent that this is the result of mainly word of mouth recommendations. We look forward to working with Kew Electrical in the coming months and years.


Categories: kew electrical

A Step in the Right Direction for Electricians

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 25th October 2012

Every electrician is familiar with the frustration of competing with Bob from down the pub or Jim the handyman who covers everything from carpentry to electrics.  The types who can always do the job for half the price and don't see any point in a Part P certificate.

After years of electricians feeling like banging their head against a brick wall when seeing countless people purchasing major electrical installation equipment such as consumer units and cable from High Street stores, it looks as though there is finally some good news on the horizon for tackling this on going concern.

MP's are addressing the need for the greater use of Part P Registered electricians in a select committee report.  The report has issued key findings which identify some well needed improvements to Part P and the public awareness of it.

Greater control over electrical equipment sold from DIY stores is top of the agenda with instructions advising the buyer to use a registered electrician to install the equipment.  This is great news for electricians who have long been angered by the continuing unsafe practices of DIY stores.

The committee will be writing to key DIY stores advising them to produce this important advice on their electrical products.  This essential advice will address the need to increase public awareness of electrical safety in the home as well as highlight the important work a Part P registered electrician does to ensure the safety of householders in the UK.

There is also talk of the possibility of introducing mandatory registration (or licensing) to prevent unlicensed individuals from purchasing such electrical equipment.  The committee will be looking into this possibility during a review in 2 years time.

The news has been welcomed by NAPIT who say they've submitted evidence to suggest that 90% of its members support the introduction of mandatory registration.

At Trade Skills 4U we also welcome this move.  No member of the public should be subjected to dangerous works from unregistered electricians.  We always advise home owners to check their electrician is registered with a Part P scheme such as NAPIT or NICEIC and to ensure their electrician has completed appropriate electrical training

As a trainer in electrical courses, we cannot recommend enough the importance of only using a qualified Part P electrician to undertake work in your home.  All persons working on your electrical installation should have completed an electrical course and be Part P registered before commencing work.  Please check qualifications and check their registration by calling the Part P scheme directly to confirm their membership.

Categories: diy, part p

Looking forward to a visit from Greg Barker

Posted by Carl Bennett on 19th October 2012

As a company we are very active in lobbying parliament on key issues that effect our industry. Last year we were consulted on changes to the student loans system plus we have recently been visited by MP’s Clive Betts and Barry Sheerman. We also have a very good relationship with our Local MP Henry Smith.

It is via Henry that we have recently written to Greg Barker inviting him to pay a visit to our renewable energy training centre and see the good work we have done in trying to help arm the renewable workforce with the neccessary technical skills to install green technologies. We have just received a very positive response and we hope to see Greg here in the coming months. It will give us an opportunity to discuss government policy towards feed in tariff’s, RHI and the Green Deal.



We look forward to meeting Greg Barker in the coming months and giving him the chance to see the the two training centres.


Categories: greg barker

Trade Skills 4U is proud to sponsor Paul Wood, our hero in the best sport in the world!

Posted by Carl Bennett on 16th October 2012

We always like to feel we have our eye on the ball here at Tradeskills4u, so it comes as no surprise that when the opportunity came to sponsor Warrington Wolves Rugby league hard man Paul Wood as a lifelong Warrington fan I jumped at the chance.

Paul Wood came to national and international notice when during the Rugby league Grand Final at Old Trafford last weekend he took an unintended knee to the groin that resulted him having surgery that night to remove one of his testicles.

The injury in itself is quite a trauma; however Paul refused to come off for 25 minutes insisting on doing his stint to help his team win the game. After the game, he went straight to the hospital for treatment.


The most impressive part of the story wasn’t Paul’s ability to cope with the pain. As a rugby fan I know the amount of courage these guys show on a weekly basis, what was more remarkable was Paul’s attitude expressed in his tweets during treatment and immediately following surgery. I particularly liked the tweet he sent as he was discharged.

What made the story for me was his attitude in adversity and is typical of the types of blokes that play the best sport in the world .

I’ve spoken to Paul on a number of occasions, despite his hard man image, he’s actually quite an articulate, intelligent and quietly spoken guy and his humorous attitude to his eye watering injury is what makes him a special bloke and the sort of guy that we would want to be associated with.  We think we have the best electrical training company in Britain, Paul Wood is consistent with our  ‘can do’ attitude.

Just to reinforce his positive attitude, Paul was straight back to work in his second job a few days later in his company Tryfitnesstraining.co.uk putting his customers through their paces. He also just started a degree course with the University Of Bolton.

He’s clearly got a busy dance card and we’ll play our part in helping him with his own business if we can be at all helpful.

We look forward to supporting Paul in the coming 2013 season, hopefully he can get through it without losing any more bits!

Every year thousands of experienced electricians and new entrants to the industry train with Trade Skills 4U. For those choosing a new career, retraining can be a daunting tough challenge. So a “can do attitude” in sometimes adverse circumstances is key.  Paul Wood’s attitude epitomises this and it is also something that I have experienced in my own life.

I was previously a tactical firearms specialist with SO19 in the MET where I was also heavily involved with training. However due to a brain tumour I was forced into retirement at the relatively young age of 41. At that time it was either sink or swim and I chose to swim. Despite what I had been through and still not fully recovered I decided to combine my love for DIY with my training expertise and TradeSkills4U was born in 2005. Since then we have gone from strength to strength and we are now the UK’s Premier electrical training company.

In 2011 more people passed electrical City & Guilds courses with Trade Skills 4U than any other training provider. This is something I am very proud of!


Carl Bennett MD in his MET Police Days



Categories: rugby league, paul wood, warrington wolves

QUALIFICATION UPDATE: Domestic Installer Quals Changing July 2013

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 8th October 2012


IMPORTANT UPDATE: Domestic Installer Qualification Route Changing in July 2013

You may remember that last year there was a lot of noise about changes to the domestic installer qualification route. Essentially City & Guilds are developing a new course which will wrap together all the training required to become a domestic installer, as such the rules governing what training is required before you can register on a Part P competent persons scheme will be changing.

The changes were due to come into force back in January 2012, however it was clear that the industry and City & Guilds were not ready with the new qualification and as such the date for implementation was pushed back to April 2013. However since then it has been pushed back further and is now set for the 6th July 2013.

Looking to get qualified?

If you are looking to qualify under the current scheme you still have 9 months to get trained and then register with a scheme provider. As long as you register before the 6th July 2012 the current qualification route will be valid and a course such as our Bronze or Silver package will suffice in terms of training requirements. This sounds like a long time, however it is likely there will be a rush of installers looking to complete their quals before the deadline. As such it is worth getting trained asap to avoid missing out.

Already Part Qualified?

There are also lots of people out there who have some but not all of their required qualifications. It is very important for these guys and girls to all get qualified before the deadline otherwise they may have to take the new qualification and repeat parts of their training. For instance this could mean if all you currently need is your 17th edition regs then you could be forced to sit a 6 week course and NVQ to get registered as a domestic installer. It is possible that we will be able to map people with previous quals into the new course, however this is not guaranteed and currently there is no mapping in place.

Want to do the new qualification?

If you are unable to register before the 6th July 2013 then you will need to ensure you train in the new qualification which is due to be ready for delivery very soon.

It is likely that the new qualification will be 2 weeks longer than our Bronze course and also include NVQ elements. As such it is likely that it will cost more and take longer to get qualified. It will also mean that you will have the latest qualification.

The new qualification will be called the City & Guilds 2397 Level 3 certificate in “Installing, Testing and Ensuring Compliance of Electrical Installations in Dwellings”. Now that is a mouthful and a half and as such we will mainly be referring to the course as the City & Guilds 2397 Domestic Electrician Course.

This is likely to be launched within the next month and rest assured that we will be one of the first centres to offer this in the UK.

We expect it to run over a 6 week period and also once you have finished your training you will then need to complete a portfolio of work before gaining the NVQ certificate.

More information will be available shortly, however if you have any questions please call us on 01293 529777.

The goal posts have been moved a few times on this but we are certain that the new deadline is not going to move.

For more information you can visit the IET website.


Categories: part p, domestic installer

Electrician in starring role at Old Trafford Rugby League Grand Final!

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 5th October 2012

Not many people know this but Warrington Wolves team Captain Legend, Adrian Morley, was once an Electrician! Even though he has surpassed a career dealing with cables, he completed his electrical apprenticeship with NG Baileys as a young man.

Adrian also happens to be a friend of ours here at Tradeskills4U. For those who know a bit about our brand, Tradeskills4u owners, Carl & Tracey Bennett, are lifelong supporters of the Wolves spending many weekends and many hours on the road travelling to see their heroes play.

“Adrian is a superb role model at Warrington and a genuinely nice bloke” says Carl, “We had chance to spend some time with Adrian and the team in recent months and the professionalism we witnessed is extraordinary”

“Tomorrow we’ll be a bag of nerves until the final whistle, whatever happens we’ve had a great year, but a win would top it off. I’ll be wearing my lucky primrose and blue socks too!” added Carl.

Photograph: Adrian Morley with TS4U owners, Carl & Tracey Bennett celebrating Warrington's Challenge Cup Win 2012.


Categories: company news, events

David Blaine to be 'Electrified' following Electrical Safety Week

Posted by Chloe Bennett on 4th October 2012

Following on the from the 7 day long campaign to raise awareness for electrical Safety, Daredevil and illusionist David Blaine is going to take on his most shocking – excuse the pun- display yet as he is going to spend three days and nights being zapped by 1 million volts.

This new challenge will see the crazy 39 year old don a medieval style chainmail suit complete with wire helmet during the 72 hour task which he has aptly called ‘Electrified.’

The show – if you can call it that – will be projected live at the Truman Brewery in London from 7pm on Saturday and visitors are said to be able to interact with Blaine for an hour from 9pm.

Obviously it goes without saying this is certainly not something to be tried at home or anywhere else for that matter. As to why this gent likes to put himself through ultimate paces is anyone’s guess.

To get a full insight into the dangers of electricity; go on our newly accredited City & Guilds MOD1 & MOD2 courses. They provide a real insight into general electrics; both the installation side and the principles behind installation. 

Maybe we should have offered one to Blaine himself? I wonder whether he realises the effects 1 million volts will have on his body?

Bit late now eh? Nevermind.... :)



Categories: electrical, events