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Trade Skills 4U Secure Investment from Ethical Fund

Posted by Elaine Hammond on 31st August 2017

Trade Skills 4U

We are delighted to announce that Trade Skills 4U have won investment from a fund set up to specifically target companies who can make a positive social and environmental impact.

Palatine Private Equity, an investment group, recently set up an impact fund as a vehicle to assist the growth of companies that can make a positive difference whilst providing return on their investment. They were attracted to us due to our involvement in helping people retrain or upskill in the growing electrical and renewable energy industries. The investment further highlights our commitment to providing first class training in the electrical sector for both experienced and new electricians.

Customer Service

Our customers can be assured that they will continue to see the same high standards of customer service delivered by our existing management team. The investment from Palatine’s Impact Fund will enable us to further improve our offering in particular by opening further centres across the UK.

Because we are passionate about what we do, we want to ensure that we continue to offer all our students the same high standards of training that have become our trademark over the past years. By expanding our business we will be in a stronger position to offer our students the opportunity to learn at a centre convenient to them. Of course, all new sites will have the same state of the art training facilities with superb learning environments taught by first rate instructors, who have many years of specialist experience in this field.

Responsible investing


Carl Bennett, Executive Chairman of Trade Skills 4U said: “Trade Skills 4U provides exceptional training for adults who are looking to develop their skills in an environment tailored to their needs.

The business has grown recently with the opening of a new centre in Warrington in 2016, and with Palatine’s support we are looking forward to increasing our presence across the country and increasing our social impact. Palatine have an exceptional track record of supporting companies like Trade Skills 4U with their expansion plans. We have found a unique partner in Palatine given their enviable track record in responsible investing and the recent close of their Impact fund. They have demonstrated that they share our passion and values that support our distinctive proposition in the electrical training sector, and are fully aligned with us in delivering a positive social impact and supporting our continued growth.”

The investment was led by Partners Beth Houghton and Zoe Clements, with support from Matthew Coles, Investment Manager.

Beth Houghton, Head of Impact Fund at Palatine Private Equity, said: “We are delighted to support the management team of Trade Skills 4U with their exciting and impactful expansion plans, and look forward to working with them to build on their success to date and explore a number of growth opportunities.

“Trade Skills 4U typifies the type of company that we are looking to invest in through our new Impact Fund. Namely a growing business with a strong and passionate management team, that looks to make a positive and meaningful social impact.”






Why choose us

We’ve already helped thousands of people gain the knowledge, expertise and qualifications to develop successful careers in the electrical and renewable energy industry, and look forward to having the opportunity to help you too.

To keep up-to-date with future developments please make sure you check our blog posts going forward. In the meantime, if you are interested in an electrical training course, please visit our course-finder page or call a course advisor on 01293 529777.


Categories: ethical investment fund, palatine private equity

Giovanni Asiedu - Case Study

Posted by Elaine Hammond on 23rd August 2017

Giovanni Asiedu

Name: Giovanni Asiedu

Courses taken: City and Guilds 2365 level 2 and 3 full diploma, City & Guilds 2393 Part P

Outcome: Working in industry

We caught up with Giovanni Asiedu, following his training with Trade Skills 4U to find out how he was getting on, and are delighted to hear that he was able to start work sub-contracting and working on commercial sites just one week after completing his course and is now working his way towards being a fully qualified electrician.

What did you do before your electrical training?

Before training to become an electrician, I worked in retail for many years. After a while it felt like I was going nowhere and I wasn’t doing anything to develop myself.

Why did you decide to train as an electrician?

I didn’t want to continue working in a job where I became comfortable in an environment that didn’t challenge me, so I started looking for work that was more technical. I wanted to do something that tested my abilities, and decided to go for a complete career change. I have always wanted to learn a trade and to have the ability and knowledge to physically carry out a skill, no matter the situation I was in, or where in the world I went.

Why did you decide to take the C&G 2356 L2 & 3?

I had no previous experience, skills or qualifications to get started in the electrical trade, and there weren’t a lot of opportunities available to gain the work experience I needed.

I thought it would be a struggle to get on the job training at an entry level and most places that offered apprenticeships had age restrictions, and to even start as an electricians mate I would need some foundation of theory, practical knowledge or experience.

I knew I had to start from the very beginning, so I looked online for courses that could help me get up and running. It wasn’t long before I was directed to the Trade Skills 4U website. The site had a clear explanation of what the C&G 2365 Level 2 & 3 was, in comparison to the other electrical courses offered. It stated it would be the best course for a beginner looking to get into the electrical trade, and on completing the course I would be employable.

And that’s exactly what I was able to do. I completed my Level 2 & 3 and had the qualifications to apply for work and start working as an electrician the next week.

What are your plans now?

Having completed the C&G 2365 course I set out to continue learning and adding to the knowledge and experience I had gained, and applying all of this to my current working environment in order to work towards an NVQ and AM2 as soon as possible.

What was your training experience like with Trade Skills 4U?

For me, learning the theory from scratch was one of the most difficult parts of the course. However, I had an amazing teacher, who was so patient and determined and taught me to understand so that I found a way to make it stick.

I went from not having a clue the first few times I heard a subject, to passing all my exams with merits or distinctions the first time, and later on in the course even being able to attempt and then complete detailed coursework at home.

What is the best experience you have had so far in your new career?

Since gaining my qualifications I have been sub-contracting and working on commercial sites; including new builds and refurbishments of schools.

At first I was nervous, and work seemed daunting outside of the Trade Skills 4U centre, however taking on everything I learnt and working alongside experienced electricians I have been able to put together my new-found knowledge and practical experience in many challenging situations.

Since then, I have been confident and capable enough to work alone and complete 1st and 2nd fix work in large areas and rooms of schools.

How would you describe the facilities and training at Trade Skills 4U?

The facilities at the Crawley Centre offered specific working areas that allowed me to gain vital practical experience that helped me understand what it would be like working in the electrical trade. From working at heights setting up towers to putting up a fuse board and wiring circuits in steel conduit, and even testing 3 phase boards and fault finding on different rigs. All of this mixed in with intense theory lessons helped me reach the level of understanding I have, and use today.

Finally, do you have any advice for others wanting to train as an electrician?

I was very lucky to have been part of a great class and to have had a dedicated and patient teacher. There was a range of experience and learning levels, some had years of experience and others, like myself, had none. My best advice would be to take in as much as you can during your time training as you can learn a lot from what different people and their experiences can bring to the time shared. And of course you have an experienced and well informed group of teachers, who themselves have their own experiences you can learn from. You don’t want to regret not asking those around you for help with how or what helped them already.

It’s because of the people and teachers I met during my time training that I was able to gain such an understanding of what it is to be, and work as an electrician before I even started as one. It is these tips and lessons I have learnt that I will keep with me going forward in my new career.


We would like to thank Giovanni for sharing his story and offering his words of advice to anyone thinking of becoming an electrician. We wish Giovanni the very best of luck for the future and hope he continues to have a successful career as an electrician.

If you are interested in an electrical training course, please visit our Course Finder page.

Categories: qualifications, employment, case study, electrician

Upgrading our energy system and battery technology announcements

Posted by Elaine Hammond on 9th August 2017

The government recently unveiled plans for a more flexible energy system and £246m of funding for battery research. This will have a major impact on the way we generate and consume electricity, manage our electricity networks and use transport. The government’s aim is to ensure that a smarter grid will help keep energy bills low for consumers.

Upgrading our energy system

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Ofgem have recently set out plans to upgrade our energy systems by putting consumers in control. The plan will deliver a smarter more flexible energy system by removing barriers to smart technology, reducing costs for consumers giving households and businesses greater control over their energy use.

The ‘Upgrading our energy system report’ explains how the UK energy system is changing and how it can ensure economic benefits for households and businesses. Currently over a quarter of the UK’s electricity is being generated through renewable energy such as solar and wind with most of it located close to our homes and businesses.

New technologies that help store and manage energy are emerging and these changes will provide a great opportunity to create new jobs and business opportunities.

New smart technologies like smart meters and appliances that can be controlled by your mobile phone, together with other improvements to manage the energy system will help the country save up to £40bn on the UK’s energy costs over decades to come.

Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said: “Upgrading our energy system to make sure it is fit for the future is a key part of our Industrial Strategy. A smarter energy system will create opportunities to reduce energy costs, increase productivity and put UK businesses in a leading position to export smart energy technology and services to the rest of the world".

Investments in battery technology

With the growing popularity of electric cars it is estimated that 50% of vehicles produced by 2030 will be either electric or plug-in hybrid electric and it is likely that future generations will be using vehicles with batteries as their primary source of energy.

The Business and Energy Secretary, Greg Clark, recently announced that the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund will invest £246 million into battery technology. This investment will go towards ensuring that the UK leads the way in the design, development and manufacture of electric batteries and is likely to have particular benefits in the automotive sector and renewable energy.

Known as the ‘Faraday Challenge’ this 4-year investment will form part of the governments Industrial Strategy to deliver a co-ordinated programme of competitions that aims to boost both the research and development of expertise in battery technology.

These competitions will be divided into 3 streams; research, innovation and scale-up, all designed to drive the UK’s world-leading research into market-ready technology to ensure economic success for the UK. An overarching Faraday Challenge Advisory Board will be established to oversee the challenge, chaired by Professor Richard Parry-Jones, a senior engineering leader.

The three competition streams are:

Research: To support world class research and training in battery materials, technologies and manufacturing processes, the Government has opened a £45m competition, led by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), to bring the best minds and facilities together to create a virtual Battery Institute. The successful consortium of universities will be responsible for undertaking research looking to address the key industrial challenges in this area.

Innovation: The most promising research completed by the Institute will be moved closer to the market through collaborative research and development competitions, led by Innovate UK. The initial competitions will build on the best of current world-leading science already happening in the UK and helping make the technology more accessible for UK businesses.

Scale-up: To further develop the real-world use and application of battery technology the Government has opened a competition, led by the Advanced Propulsion Centre, to identify the best proposition for a new state-of-the-art open access National Battery Manufacturing Development facility.

Electric Vehicle Charging Point

With the recent announcement banning the sale of new diesel and petrol cars in the UK from 2040 amid concerns that rising levels of nitrogen oxide pose a major risk to public health, the government has made a commitment to a clean air plan, which they say is needed because of the unnecessary and avoidable impact that poor air quality is having on people’s health. It is said that the air pollution outside and inside the home causes at least 40,000 premature deaths a year.

The recent Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill will allow the Government to require the installation of charge points for electric vehicles at motorway service areas and large fuel retailers. This is great news for electric vehicle owners as many more garages across the UK will have to provide forecourt charging facilities.

This in turn, is great news for electricians, as it will allow them to train as an electric vehicle charging point installer offering them an additional income stream.

If you are interested in becoming an Electric Vehicle Charging Point Installer, Trade Skills 4U offers the C&G 2919-01 Electric Car/Vehicle Charging Point Installer Course, which can be booked on-line using our course page, alternatively if you would like to speak to a course adviser please call 01293 529777 or 0800 856448.

Categories: electric vehicles, battery technology, energy system, smart systems

Gate Safe Register Hits 1,000

Posted by Elaine Hammond on 2nd August 2017

August 2017: Nearly seven years since Gate Safe became the first organisation to initiate a campaign for improved standards in automated gate safety, the charity marked another important milestone, as it celebrated hitting 1,000 installers on its acclaimed national register of Gate Safe Aware Installers - which currently features 459 companies.

The training session at Trade Skills 4 U – the UK’s no 1 provider of electrical training which regularly hosts Gate Safe Aware training – was attended by 17 delegates, including 4 from Acctive Systems, signifying 1,000 trained Gate Safe Aware installers in the UK.

In recognition of this important anniversary, Acctive Systems was provided with a year’s supply of Gate Safe MOT stickers, Gate Safe Aware van stickers and high-vis Gate Safe Aware Installer vests.

Richard Jackson, founder of Gate Safe commented, “When we first launched our IOSH (Institution of Occupational Safety & Health) accredited training programme, our intention was always to establish a national register of installers who had undergone the necessary training to enable them to understand the requirements to deliver a safe and compliant automated gate.  The training has been especially developed with the installer in mind, the course is easy to understand and not over-complicated by technical jargon; it has a strong practical emphasis and does not put too much pressure on the smaller company, both in terms of financial outlay and time spent out of the business.  With such a broad (and consistently growing) spread of installers across the UK, the Gate Safe brand continues to grow both in terms of stature (Gate Safe has been commended by the HSE, is officially supported by 12 credible opinion former bodies and is the leading authority on automated gate safety) and reach.”

If you would like to find out more about this course please click here Electric Gate Safety Awareness Course

Categories: gate safe, gate safe installers

Do I need to join a domestic installer scheme?

Posted by Elaine Hammond on 2nd August 2017

Post updated 10/01/2019

This is a question we are often asked, however we believe before you make this decision you need to ask yourself what type of domestic electrical work you want to do once qualified and does that work require you to be part of a scheme.

To help you make a decision we have put together a summary of what a Domestic Installer Scheme is and how to become part of one.

What is a Domestic Installer Scheme

Domestic Installer schemes are designed to ensure that any electrical installations are carried out in accordance with the current Building Regulations.

Our advice is that once you have completed your electrical training and gained your qualifications, you will need to decide what type of domestic electrical work you will be undertaking, and decide whether it is financially viable for you to join a Government Approved Installer Scheme (sometimes known as Part P schemes).

Currently under Approved Document Part P electricians are permitted to do a lot of work without the need to notify Building Control, however, it is important to understand the type of jobs that require you to notify Building Control, these include;

Replacing new circuit board/consumer units

Installing a completely new circuit

Alteration or addition in special locations to an existing circuit (bathroom within zones)

If you decide that joining an approved installer scheme is right for you there are a few to choose from such as NICEIC, ELECSA and STROMA. However, it’s worth checking out what the scheme provider requirements are before you go ahead, as these are different for each provider.

Save money and time

You don’t have to join a scheme, but if you don’t you will need to notify building control every time to do work that is notifiable. This will mean more work as well as added costs (usually around £150 per job). That’s fine if you are not doing very much notifiable work but if you do more than 3 notifiable jobs per year it often makes financial sense to join a scheme, plus there is a host of other benefits such as support, using their logo on your marketing materials and a huge time saving too.

If you want to secure your own private business, or work as a sub-contractor you will need to be able to sign off your own work. By joining an approved installer scheme you will be able to sign off notifiable work and certify that it meets current regulations. This means that you won’t have to contact Building Control directly each time you complete a notifiable piece of work, or be supervised by another electrician to sign off your work. This can only be good news for you, as you will not only save time waiting for building control to turn up, but you will also save money that you would have had to pay out to another electrician.








Customer confidence

By belonging to a Part P scheme you/your business will be added to a central electrician’s register. This will mean that local customers will be able to find you with confidence that you are working to the current Building and Wiring Regulations and safety standards for domestic dwellings.

How much will it cost to join?

The annual membership fees for Domestic Installers vary by scheme providers and range from £255 to £445 + VAT (with discounts available for payment by annual DD). The fee usually includes one year’s membership, an initial on-line assessment plus the cost of an on-site practical assessment. The assessment is designed to ensure that you are a competent person and typically the type of on-site assessment will include two new circuits or work that has been carried out in the last 12 months.

Save £50 with NICEIC and ELECSA

When you train with us not only do you benefit from the exceptional training and state-of-the-art facilities, you will also benefit from a £50 discount when you join either the NICEIC or ELECSA (both part of Certsure) domestic installer schemes.

If you are interested in training as an domestic electrical installer we have a number of courses available to choose from. Please visit our course finder page to find out more.

Categories: niceic, elecsa, domestic installer scheme, stroma