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Congratulations Mike Blair for winning our take a tour competition

Posted by Kirsten Beckwith on 27th March 2015

take a tour

We're delighted to announce the competition winner for our take a tour competition, please join us in congratulating Mike Blair on his outstanding efforts painstakingly looking around our centre to find Fusey Bear and the Graffiti. 

The competition prize is the 17th edition wiring regulation book, which is brand new to the industry including the 3rd amendment which all electricians have to be compliant with by 1st July 2015. 

It's not too late to have a look around our centre yourself to try and find them and please let us know where you found them we would be delighted to confirm your on success. 

mitre court training centreroyce road training


fusey beargraffiti





Case Study - Robert Ferri

Posted by Kirsten Beckwith on 24th March 2015

robert ferri

Name: Robert Ferri

Age: 27

Location: Norfolk

Course: City & Guilds 2365 Level 2 & 3 Diploma

Which course did you take with us?

I studied the 2365, in September 2014.

What did you do before studying with us?

I have worked for all sorts of different companies before starting my electrical training, I worked for one of the UKs largest holiday companies as a travel rep in Italy, before that I worked with a repossession company, I didn’t feel motivated to get out of bed in the morning. I felt like I needed a new challenge, with better prospects and a better earning potential in the future.

What made you choose Trade Skills 4U?

The online reviews helped me with my research, I decided to come down to the centre and have a look around, where I was blown away with the facilities.

The hospitality I received upon arrival was second to none, the ladies in reception were lovely and Noah the course advisor showed me around the centre he delivered everything in a professional way, he was straight to the point, and before I booked my course he answered all of my questions over the phone. The service I received exceeded my expectations and you guys really went the extra mile, so thank you very much.

How long did it take you to find work after leaving the centre?

I found work within three weeks of leaving the centre.

What did you enjoy the most about the course?

The course exceeded my expectations, the tutors were amazing with fantastic working attitudes, and they’re passion for electrics and clear knowledge of the industry certainly rubbed off on me. James my tutor even helped me with my CV before leaving the course and within just a few days I had been contacted by 14 different companies. I had lots of choice when it came to choosing a career after training, which is testament to you guys and the course.

What subject did you find the hardest?

Being a 27 year old man, I particularly found the maths subjects hard, after not picking up a calculator since school working out formulas and algebra equations I really struggled with. Once I’d mastered it, it’s a piece of cake.

What do you think helped you find a job?

The qualification definitely helped, my new employer wanted someone with the 2365 qualification and someone who was new to the industry with no bad habits, they wanted someone they could train in they’re approach to working. My qualification and working attitude definitely helped me get the job I am in today.

What difference has the training had on your career?

The training has helped me develop and improve my skills enabling me to get myself into the career I am in today, without Trade Skills 4U it wouldn’t have been possible so after discussing this with my family we said that training with Trade Skills 4U was probably the best decision I ever made.

Put it this way, I’m working less hours, for more money, with my own van, I am my own boss and I can work over time to earn more money, the prospects with my new job are endless, they’re financing me to complete first aid courses, asbestos training and many more to come I’m sure.

Since starting my new job, this has enabled me to buy a new bike which is worth a lot of money and I’m so thankful for Trade Skills 4U for helping me get to where I am today and enabling me to get a bike to help me with my charity work which I’m incredibly passionate about.

Please support Robert Ferri on his next cycling adventure:



robert ferri new bike



Categories: case study

Check out these dangerous home electrical 'problems' discovered by electricians in peoples homes.

Posted by Kirsten Beckwith on 24th March 2015

It's home safety week this week and now is the time to start thinking about how safe your home actually is.  Many people don't consider their homes as being electrically unsafe until something goes wrong.

There are all kinds of electrical problems lurking in peoples homes that have the potential to cause electrical injury or worse case fire.  Electrical fire is the most common form of fire in peoples homes and it often starts without the householder realising.  Electrical fires form some of the most serious UK house fires and can literally burn a house to the ground.  Some of the problems that lead to this type of fire occurring are contained in our gallery below.

Take a look to see some of the more dangerous electrical problems found in peoples homes by electricians who are often called to carry out a simple electrical job.  See if you can spot any of these signs in your own home.

3 cables in one plug

dangerous plug


Believe it or not this is not an uncommon find by electricians and PAT testers.  Householders who do not have enough plug sockets will try and get around this problem by attempting to feed several electrical items from the same plug.  This is extremely dangerous and not only are you putting yourself at risk of electrical injury and shock but also damage to the wiring in your home and fire.

Burnt out cable

burned out wire


Here in the picture you can see where a temporary repair has been carried out using PVC tape.  The repair has melted away and further damage has been caused to the cable.  This is why temporary repairs using PVC tape is not recommended and is so dangerous.  The cable has been damaged in another area and the cable is at risk of melting.  The live wire on view is extremely dangerous and could cause a serious electric shock if touched in error.

Burnt out cooker socket

burned out plug socket


This cooker socket was discovered by a home owner after they had asked a handyman to take a look at why their kitchen socket was not working.  The handyman fitted a fuse but did not carry out any electrical investigation as to why there was no fuse in the cooker socket to begin with.  The fuse burnt out whilst the home owner was at work. The problem caused damage to the wiring inside the walls and the guy had only recently had his kitchen fitted!

burnt our wiring

Burnt out shower switch

Incorrect wiring of electric showers is one of the biggest reasons for call out for electricians.  Unfortunately many house holders do not think to call an electrician when it comes to wiring up an electric shower.  If the wiring is not completed correctly it can cause burning to the inside of the switch and the melting of the cable.  This can lead to fire and electric shock especially if the shower is in use at the time of fire.  Remember electricity and water do not mix so always ensure that a qualified and registered electrician wires in your new electric shower.

Dangerous boiler installation

dodgy kitchen electrics


A gas boiler still has electrical components that need to be fitted by an electrician for the installation to be completely safe.  The work that an electrician carries out must be certified with a Part P certificate.  In this picture it is clear to see that the electrical work has not been carried out by a qualified electrician and it certainly wouldn't comply to Part P standards.


overloading plug sockets


Extension lead overload

This is what one electrician found when carrying out PAT testing! Worse still this lot had been covered up with a bean bag to make the room look tidier! Extension lead overloading is very dangerous.  It can cause overheating and fire as well as damage to the wiring inside the wall.  In this picture, extension leads have been plugged into extension leads.  This is known as daisy chaining and should never be attempted.

Shaver socket next to the shower


dangerous shower switch


Whilst shaver sockets are permitted within bathrooms, they cannot be installed just anywhere.  This is a prime example of a shaver socket being in totally the wrong place.  A shaver socket cannot be placed where it will come into contact with excess water.  It makes sense really as it still uses electricity in order to charge shavers.

Incorrect light above shower

un shower rated light

When using a shower, it is important to ensure you have a shower rated light in your bathroom.  This is because spray from the shower could come into contact with a normal light fitting causing electrocution.  This kind of light would not make for a relaxing shower – or bath for that matter contrary to what the shower curtain might say!

If you spot any of these electrical problems in your home, then please to get them addressed this month.  Home Safety Week serves as a reminder to take a closer look at the possible electrical dangers in our homes before they potentially harm a family member or loved one.

Only a qualified and registered electrician would be able to repair, install and certify the electrical problems in this article (and most other electrical jobs too.)

So make March YOUR month to get electrically safe!




10 Second Survey: Which subject is the hardest?

Posted by Kirsten Beckwith on 17th March 2015

happy electrician

This week we are asking our customers to take a ten second survey on which subject they liked the least or found the hardest. We know everyone has different areas of strength or weeknesses and wanted to see if there is a general trend?



Please take a few second to choose the subject you found the hardest below:

We think we know which subject most students find the hardest but don’t want to say anything until the results are in so as not to skew the figures.

As always we will post the results from our survey in a month’s time.

For more information on courses, please visit our course finder.


Categories: survey

Will The Solar Eclipse Cause Blackouts In The UK?

Posted by Kirsten Beckwith on 16th March 2015

solar eclipse

The Next Eclipse

On the 20th March 2015, we’re due to have a solar eclipse where the moon blocks out up to 95% of the suns rays from some parts of Europe. This natural phenomenon occurs when the moon passes between the sun and the earth and the moon partially blocks out the suns light. Although total eclipses can be seen somewhere in the world every couple of years, it’s a rarity in Europe, this is why there is mounting excitement.

How the Solar Eclipse does affect the electrical industry?

As the UK is relying more and more on renewable energy sources, The National Grid have warned that the power generated by solar panels will suddenly drop during this eclipse which means The National Grid could loose up to half of the UKs solar power supply.

Since the last big solar eclipse in August 1999, the usage of renewable energy and solar power has increased. In the UK it still isn’t enough to mean the eclipse will have a major impact on energy supplies however, energy experts have warned of possible blackouts across Europe where solar power provides a much higher percentage of the electricity used on a daya to day basis . The European Network Transmission System Operators for Electricity said: “The risk of incident cannot be completely ruled out. Solar eclipses have happened before but with the increase of installed photovoltaic energy generation, the risk of an incident could be serious without appropriate countermeasures.” Therefore we believe this is something that The National Grid is looking into.

Experiencing an Eclipse…

The blackout will begin in the UK at 08:45 GMT lasting for around two hours. We won’t be exposed to total darkness however our solar panels will be affected it will seem as though someone has turned the suns light down with a dimmer switch. Your eyes will adjust very quickly - it can seem very eery with the world becoming darker than usual. If you’re going to view the sun during this time please make sure you use protective eyewear – because looking directly at the sun with the naked eye can damage them. Please use a telescope or special goggles.

The maximum eclipse, when the moon is nearest the middle of the sun, will occur at 09:31 GMT, ending at 10:41 GMT.

We won’t see another total solar eclipse until August 12, 2026.




What Trade Skills 4U Are Doing For Red Nose Day!

Posted by Kirsten Beckwith on 13th March 2015

red nose day



The Great ‘Trade Skills 4U’ Bake Off

Here in the Trade Skills 4U office we went head to head in a baking competition for Red Nose Day, three of the lovely ladies baked some treats for everyone to enjoy and sold them as part of comic relief.

We often have cakes here in the office and we thought what better way to make some money was to enter our kitchens to cook up some culinary delights for all to enjoy.

Each cake was priced reasonably at 50p each which will be a part of the comic relief total tonight. 

We have raised the grand total of: 


We had a small wager in the office for who sold the most cakes and I’m please to announce that Hayley Hamilton won. 


We also decided to make our faces funny for charity as part of comic relief we set the office a task to make their faces funny for comic relief. All they needed was a red nose and some imagination, and as you can see from the below photos our staff went all out creating their funny faces, all the photos were posted on social media and each person donated a £1 for taking part by texting FUNNY to 70011.

We also entered into a competition with a local recruitment company called REED who gave us two noses to assist us with this year’s #RNDface campaign, therefore not only did we be send the photos into comic relief we also entered a local competition as well, lets hope we win!

We think this will be as big as #nomakeupselfie and the #icebucketchallenge!

And the Trade Skills 4U funniest face goes too Stacey Smith! 






National Apprenticeship Week - Jamie Doble Profile

Posted by Kirsten Beckwith on 13th March 2015

jamie doble student

Name: Jamie Doble

Age: 26

Location: Woking

Qualified: City & Guilds 2365 Level 2 & 3 Diploma Graduate

One part of our job which we enjoy here at Trade Skills 4U is going out and talking to our students, we like to find out how they’ve found the course. We had the pleasure of meeting Jamie today who was a joy to interview, he came across really well, we know that after completing this course he will go on to a good career within the electrical industry.

When you enrolled on the course what was your end goal?

To become a fully qualified electrician, I wanted to make sure I completed all of my modules, course work and end up with good grades. Then after completion of the course I would then start with an experienced electrician who can show me the ropes, then head down the NVQ/AM2 route.

What were you doing before this course?

My previous role was working with in the fire and security trade which isn’t dissimilar to the electrical trade, however it’s a step into a new industry which I’m really looking forward to and will hopefully excel at thanks to my experience.

Are you going to do another course with us?

94/95, NVQ.

Which sector would you prefer to work in? Domestic or commercial?

The Domestic route does appeal to me however I would be more than happy to work in both sectors.

Do you have previous experience with electrics?

Yes I have lots of experience working with electrics my previous role involved domestic installation, however we used lower voltage cables, but it gave me experience ripping up floorboards and running cables. I have continued to work for a fire and security company since studying here. I have been applying for work with electrical contractors, and thankfully getting lots of positive feedback.

Since taking this course – do you feel you have gained the correct knowledge and understanding?

I have gained an awful lot of knowledge since taking the course it’s given me the confidence to know the correct terminology which I wouldn’t have gained in my previous job without coming here.

What would you ideal job be?

Ideally I would be looking to work within an electrical firm, or even a one man band that has lots of experience where he can teach me the ropes. I’m open to any options that come my way, I wouldn’t rule anything out completely, I would be grateful for the experience.

Which subjects did you enjoy?

I much preferred the practical side of the course; I’m very hands on in my current role and I like getting stuck in and getting my hands dirty. I didn’t really enjoy the science section of the course, this was tough and very theory based.

Which module did you excel at?

I thought I did really well at the fault finding exercise we did yesterday luckily thanks to previous experience I was familiar with this exercise. Although I do prefer the practical side I have still done very well on my written papers.

How confident do you feel becoming an electrician after taking this course?

This course has been incredibly helpful, it’s help fill my gaps in knowledge and extend my skills into higher voltages and larger installations. This course has given me lots of confidence and experience to go out and get a job within the industry and know my stuff. I’m really looking forward to getting out there and working, taking all this knowledge I have learnt and apply it to real life.

Describe yourself in three words?




What we think about Jamie?

Jamie is clearly very likeable and charming guy. He has a good foundation of experience within the electrical trade and he would be a great addition to any company that takes him on. If you want to look at taking on Jamie then please call 01293 529777 and ask for Kirsten.






Categories: naw2015

National Apprenticeship Week - James Huxstep Profile

Posted by Kirsten Beckwith on 12th March 2015

james huxstep student


Name: James Huxstep

Age: 29

Location: Kent

City & Guilds 2365 Level 2 & 3 Diploma Graduate

Today we had the pleasure of meeting James Huxstop who is currently studying our 2365 course, he was a pleasure to chat with and he really knows his stuff. We know he will be very successful within the electrical industry after attending this course here with us.

When you enrolled at Trade Skills 4u, what was your end goal?

I would like to do domestic installations, rather than commercial, my end game is to become fully qualified electrician.

Did you have any previous experience?

Yes – I originally worked in the entertainment industry in the west end, I worked on the lighting and sound for Billy Elliott and Wicked. I have been working in a drama school since then. I enjoyed working in the entertainment industry but I’m interested in working for myself and earning a little bit more money in the future.

What made you change from being a technician to becoming an electrician?

I wanted to specialise in electrics and learn in a more in-depth way. Luckily from my previous experience at the theatre with all the electrical equipment this gave me a good understanding of the industry before starting the course.

Have you been working in-between the two weeks off?

Yes – I have been working in-between still working in the entertainment industry, mainly depping on the shows such as Wicked and Billy Elliott which has helped me put into practise what I’ve been learning. My employers have been incredibly accommodating whilst I’ve been training.

Why did you choose this training centre?

Its location, I did quite a lot of research with other suppliers and I was really impressed with the facilities in this centre.

Which part of the course did you enjoy the most?

I enjoyed the theory side; I really enjoyed the science module on the course, because I have worked in engineering as well, I like the more in-depth side.

All in all, I excelled at most sections of the course, I’m very thankful to have a good understanding before starting the course working behind the scenes on shows.

How confident do you feel to go out and work in the electrical industry since taking this course with us?

I’m confident in my ability and skills. We all know that it’s not as easy to find a job these days therefore having this qualification should assist me taking my career to the next level and have the piece of paper to prove it. Most work I’ve found during my career has been through a colleague or someone I know, which means I understand that my reputation is everything.

What we think about James?

We’re really impressed with James, with his previous experience and eagerness to learn as well as good working attitude we know he would be a fantastic asset to any company. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommending him to any potential employer. If you are interested please contact call 01293 529777 and ask for Kirsten.






Categories: naw2015

National Apprenticeship Week - Amos Smith Profile

Posted by Kirsten Beckwith on 11th March 2015

amos smith student


Name: Amos Smith

Age: 40

Location: Essex

Qualification: City & Guilds 2365 Level 2 & 3 Diploma Graduate

We were delighted to meet Amos who is studying his 2365, who has lots of experience as an electrician back in Bermuda he has been delighted to learn all the UK regulations, and is looking forward to starting work here in the UK.

Since starting the course with us, what was your end goal?

I wanted to become certified, and gain my certificates and hopefully gain employment in the UK electrical industry.

Where are you looking for employment?

I am currently looking for employment within the electrical industry, testing and inspecting. I would prefer to work in a domestic dwelling.

Which location are you looking for work?

At the moment I am based in Crawley, however shortly I am moving to Essex, I would mainly be looking for work in the Essex area, however I am very much willing to travel.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I like to cook in my spare time at home, I really like cooking, and cooking for myself.

Do you have any previous experience before taking this course?

Yes – I was an electrician for 13 years in Bermuda, this course has taught me lots when it comes to the English building and wiring regulations. The system I used in Bermuda is completely different.

How have you found the modules on the course?

The course has been tough; it’s almost like starting from scratch as an electrician, I have however passed all of my assignments thanks to the help of the tutors.

Have you gained much experience in the industry since you started?

I haven’t gained any experience in the UK at the moment but have lots of experience from Bermuda which helps a lot when it comes to the practical side of things. I am currently looking for work.

Which part of the course did you enjoy the most?

My favourite part of the course has been the practical side. My favourite module was the fault finding. I am feeling confident this course has given the skills I require to join the UK electrical industry.

Please describe yourself in three words?




What makes you more employable over another candidate?

Experience, I’ve worked on my own, I’ve managed my own businesses, and I am computer literate. I am good at working as part of a team or under the supervision of others. I have experience managing people as well.

What we think about Amos?

Amos has years of experience with electrics and he is very driven. We know he is keen to start working as soon as possible. He would be a great addition to any company that takes him on. If you want to look at taking on Amos as a trainee then please call 01293 529777 and ask for Kirsten.



Categories: naw2015

National Apprenticeship Week - Jack Gray Profile

Posted by Kirsten Beckwith on 10th March 2015

jack gray student

Jack Gray

Age: 27

Loction: Wokingham

City & Guilds 2365 Level 2 & 3 Diploma Graduate

We love meeting our students especially when they’re as hard working and dedicated as Jack, he has just completed our 2365 here at Trade Skills 4U. We’re delighted with his hard work and dedication to the course and will no doubt go on to great things after studying with us.

What did you want to achieve from taking a course here with us?

My main focus was to make it through my assignments and exams and hopefully pick up some experience along the way learning all the lingo and correct terms for everything; I wanted to be able to speak the same language as the rest of the electricians. This course has given me loads of confidence and a qualification which is recognisable by the industry. I understand this is just a stepping stone and I require more hands on experience, but it has given me the confidence to know what I am talking about.

When are you looking to start work?

I would like to start working ASAP I have a small family and a three year old son who I need to provide for.

What are your career goals since taking a course here with us?

One day I would like to work in the inspection and testing side of things, and one day I would like to work for myself and hopefully own my own business once I’ve got to know the basics. I am very flexible and happy to work, domestically, commercially or wherever the work is.

Did you have any previous experience in electrics before the course?

No previous experience.

What made you decide to pay for your own training?

I decided to pay for my own training, because apprentices get paid a small wage which wouldn’t cover my travel expenses to work, taking this course here (rather than at colleague) meant I didn’t have to work around the clock doing electrical in the daytime and working in a pub in the evenings. I could fit my training around my job as a tree surgeon where they are happy for me to work two weeks on two weeks off. I wish I had been an apprentice at the age of 16 when money wasn’t an issue!

Which was your favourite module?

I enjoyed the science side of the course best, I really like mathematical aspect of the course, working with formulas and the environmental side was important too.

What do you need more practice in to build your confidence?

I need more experience in installations, I did excel in the practical side of the course I am much better at explaining in person rather than on paper.

What makes you employable?

I have worked on sites before, I’m happy to start at the bottom and work my way up, I’m not going to be a ‘know it all’ with my employer after learning electrics in a classroom, I understand I have a long way to go.

I understand the safety side of things; I’ve seen a lot of people assume they know what they’re doing without taking the proper precautions.

Where have you seen this?

I have seen this often working as a tree surgeon. I understand I’ve still got a lot to learn but I also won’t pretend to know something I’m not 100% sure of because of the safety aspect when it comes to electrics.

What do you think makes your more employable being a mature student?

I know at 16 I didn’t know what a proper day’s work was like, however now I would happily work 6 days a week and 24/7 to make ends meat for my family!

What qualifications are you thinking of taking next?

17th Edition and PAT Testing.

I’m really looking forward to getting out there and working!

What we think about Jack?

Jack is clearly very smart and very driven. He is also humble and keen to continue to learn as much as possible. He would be a great addition to any company that takes him on. If you want to look at taking on Jack as a trainee then please call 01293 529777 and ask for Kirsten.







Categories: naw2015