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Been Working As a Sparky Since 2011? NVQ Opportunities Are Changing This Year

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 24th May 2013

With the recent changes to the requirements for Qualified Supervisors and a general move towards ensuring that anyone working with electricity is properly qualified, there are opportunities for everyone within or on the periphery of the electrical industry to become qualified. Many do not realise that they can use their experience to fast track their qualification and often they are eligible for funding to help them achieve this aim.

Existing sparkies, with no qualifications or with part qualifications are still able to achieve the existing Level 3 NVQ as long as they register before 31st December, 2013. After this date it will be more difficult to achieve.

Tradeskills4U are able to give electricians whether part qualified or not the support and training to complete their NVQ Level 3, and or a qualified supervisors qualification.

Why, How ? Well we have a great working relationship with JTL and unlike our competitors (and perhaps unique in the industry) we are able to offer those working in the industry before 2011 a route to gaining their NVQ Level 3. The good news is, that this can be part funded by the industry and the remainder can be privately funded. By gaining this Level 3 NVQ you will be able to increase your pay grade so it makes solid financial sense to get moving now.

If you lack some knowledge and skills certain areas we can help you fill those gaps with training tailored to you. We can assess your skills and then make sure you only take the training you need saving you precious time and money.  You can register for your NVQ and complete your portfolio and training over the following 3 years should you require.

There has never been a better opportunity to get the quals you’ve always wanted and needed but too afraid to ask.

Give us a call on 01293 529777 and we’ll show you how. 


Dangerous Electrical Appliances Still Widely Used In UK Households

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 15th May 2013

Despite product recall notices being issued (more than 260 in recent years) it seems as though many dangerous electrical appliances are still in use.

This disturbing headline comes after news that half a million Bosch dishwashers are still in use that are at risk of catching fire – some of the fires have been serious incidents.  The advice is to never leave the machine unattended and to use only in controlled circumstances.  The issue is a problem with the soldering on the control panel and takes a Bosch expert an hour to fix.  Only 1 in 4 of a batch of faulty Bosch dishwashers have been traced that were made over a 7 year period, leaving just under 479,000 unaccounted for.

So what has been happening?

It would seem that the current system of product recall notices is not working.  In many cases the customer may have moved addresses meaning the manufacturer is now unable to trace their customers.  More disturbing though is the results of a survey carried out by the Electrical Safety Council (ESC) which suggests that up to two million people in the UK have ignored a product recall notice.

This is a worry as dangerous products can ultimately cause electrocution and fire.  Responding to a product recall is straightforward and potentially can be life saving. It is always worth having a dangerous electrical appliance repaired and it is carried out free of charge by the manufacturer.

There are 9000 electrical fires in homes across the UK every year.  Each electrical fire has the potential to cause devastating consequences including serious injury and death and in many cases the householder has been completely unaware that the house fire was caused by a dangerous electrical appliance.

There is now a call to support the improvement of product registration and improve the traceability of electrical appliances should a fault develop.  Many cards asking the buyer to register the product following purchase are simply never returned.

At Trade Skills 4 U, we fully support the introduction of a system that will effectively address this worrying issue and ultimately bring down the number of electrical fires that happen every year in the UK.

Check if your product has been recalled below:

The Electrical Safety Council has set up a latest product recall notice on their website.  If there are concerns over the safety of particular electrical products, this is a great place to check to see if the appliance is listed. They have also created a widget that allows us to publish the tool here:

How to use this tool

Enter the brand name or product number into the search box. Click on the one that best matches your product to find out more about the recall and how to return items. For more options click advanced search. When inputting product numbers, check carefully to ensure you are inputting the correct number or digit.

Electrical Safety Council [Click to visit www.esc.org.uk]

Latest product recalls An up-to-date list of electrical product recalls

Widget from Electrical Safety Council

What if the advice is there are concerns over the safety of an electrical appliance?

Firstly unplug the electrical appliance and do not be tempted to use it.  Return the product to where it was purchased from, or alternatively to your local Trading Standards Office.


Come See Us At The NAPIT Expo 6th June 2013

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 7th May 2013

We will be exhibiting at the NAPIT Expo on the 6th June 2013 at the Copthorne Hotel, Effingham Gatwick. There a lots of reasons to attend such as bargain meter calibration, loads of useful Q&A sessions, free food and drink plus lots of offers and discounts on the day. To find out more read the press release below;

The NAPIT Expo will feature some familiar faces and more than a few new exhibitors.  The innovative Q&A sessions that proved so popular last year will also make a welcome return, as will NAPIT’s discount meter calibration service, a bargain at just £30 + VAT. With exclusive on-the-day-discounts and great networking opportunities, this will be an industry event that’s not to be missed!

The packed list of exhibitors already set to attend includes: Aico, Amtech, Brother, Buy With Confidence, Eco Skies, Fluke, Grant UK, Kewtech, Martindale Electric, Megger, Metrel, NVC Lighting, Testo, Trustmark, and Wera Tools. This year’s EXPO will also give you the opportunity to find out firsthand why everyone’s been talking about the pioneering competent electricians register, ElectricSafe.

But it’s not just industry leading exhibitors that are set to make this year’s NAPIT EXPO bigger and better than ever before. Three unique Q&A sessions have also been confirmed. Promising to provide an insight into some of the most pressing issues affecting the industry today, each of these sessions will feature a short presentation before opening the topic to the floor for a fully interactive discussion.

‘Technically Speaking’ will turn confusion to clarity on some of the major technical questions affecting the electrical industry today and is sure to spark lively debate! Guest expert from the IET, Richard Townsend, will cover the latest version of the PAT Testing Code of Practice. NAPIT Technical Director Frank Bertie will consider vehicle charging points, regulation updates and changes to notifications. Trevor Milner from the NAPIT Technical Helpline will share some of the most interesting FAQ’s he encounters.

‘A Sustainable Future’ will see guest speaker Dr Lisa Clark from the University of Sheffield consider to the future of renewable energy, discuss different solar PV technologies and focus on the data collection methods and software tools developed at the Sheffield Solar Farm – a great source of information for budding solar installers. This Q&A session will also see NAPIT Director of Standards David Cowburn outline the latest MCS and Green Deal scheme updates.

‘Promoting Your Business’ will deliver specialist advice on how to stay ahead in the world of business.  Featuring guest expert Laila Benifaida from Trading Standards’ ‘Buy with Confidence’, this Q&A session gives you the inside track with expert advice on consumer law, Trading Standards and working in a domestic setting. NAPIT’s political and consumer facing plans for the Electrical Safety Roundtable (ESR) and the ElectricSafe Register, presented by NAPIT Chief Operating Officer Martin Bruno, will also feature.

With more details still to be announced, NAPIT EXPO 2013 is fast measuring up to be one of the most anticipated industry events of the year. To find out more and register for FREE entry, visit the NAPIT EXPO 2013 website at www.napitexpo.co.uk.


Categories: napit

Review of the Megger Business in a Box

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 2nd May 2013

PAT testing is an increasingly lucrative service that can be offered in addition to electrical services or on its own entirely.  It is a very is a popular option for those who are new to the electrical industry. Any business that uses electrical equipment needs to have a PAT test carried out on each item of electrical equipment to confirm that it is safe for use by employees.  Such equipment would include computers, extension lead, kettles, microwaves and even radios that might be found in an office.

Some householders also choose to have PAT testing carried out although this is not compulsory, so the main market if you are thinking of becoming a PAT tester will be businesses.  So having qualified as a PAT Tester, the world is now your oyster right?

Well of course, becoming a PAT Tester should have opened up your options somewhat, but if you are new to the electrical industry, one of the first challenges you will face is how to find business.  This is where the Megger Business in a box comes in.

This ingenious product contains everything you need to start your own business as a PAT Tester and naturally, as this is Megger it includes the Tester!   Available in two versions the PAT320 is the manual version and the PAT420 is the computerised version. Included with the tester is everything you need to diversify the direction of your business and boost your income. In a nutshell, this is your business, you have the freedom to run it well without the worry of where to gain customers from.

The business in a box comprises of a tough PAT tester that will give years of service – this will get your business off to a great start without the worry of inferior equipment.  All the leads and adaptors needed to carry out PAT testing successfully are all supplied.

If you are buying the manual version, you will receive a duplicate test report book to enable results to be certified and a copy can then be issued to your customer.  The computerised PAT business in a box comes with the renowned Megger Power suite Contractor PAT certification software which manages both your customers and assets including arranging appointments, diary management and billing, automatic testing, printing certificates and repairs estimates.

Each business in a box comes with a roll of 1000 pass labels which is a great start for your new business plus a guide to PAT testing containing clear step by step instructions on how to do it.

Whilst this is useful, it is important to remember that is only a guide.  At Trade Skills 4 U we recommend taking a PAT Testing course even if you are an electrician already in order to gain a PAT testing qualification as well as to understand what it is about.  This is an important step in gaining customer confidence.

It also includes a guide to identifying who your customers are going be and selling your PAT testing services to them.  The guide includes:

Where to find and how to approach clients – this is essential knowledge if this is your own business.

Details of who, and why they need to be testing their electrical assets – again this is an essential component in selling your services successfully.

Guidelines on what to charge – It is important to price competitively, but not so low as you lose motivation and not so high that you price yourself out of the market.

Pre-designed advert and brochure for you to customise – this can save you a lot of money on paying for someone to design this for you especially if you are not creative enough to do this yourself, or lack the time.

Pre-written press releases for you to generate interest – again these can be distributed as editorials in local publications or even newspapers in your local area, perhaps there are websites these can be utilised on, including your own.  The great thing about the press releases is that they're written by the experts – the people who have designed the business in a box so you know its going to be written professionally.

Pre-written letters for you to send to your potential customers – again if you lack the time to compile business stationery and advertising, the letters can easily be sent out to clients without you spending large amounts of time composing letters at a computer – we're sure you can use your time more effectively!

At Trade Skills 4 U we feel the computerised version of the business in a box has the edge as this is going to produce the professional looking results that customers are looking for nowadays.  The computer generated certificates look more professional that a hand written document.  However the price tag of around £500 extra to purchase the computerised version has to be considered.

The great thing though about both versions is that everything is contained in the box to set up a successful PAT testing business.  The only optional extras for both packs are a bar code reader and bar code printer.

So whether you are considering a move into the electrical industry or are thinking of offering PAT testing to compliment your services, the Megger Business in a box will get you off to a great start.


Categories: megger, reviews