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Trade Skills 4U Campaign Increases Number of Women Entering Electrical Trade

Posted by Elaine Hammond on 29th May 2018

women in electrical

Here at Trade Skills 4U, we are keen to promote the electrical industry as an inclusive career for everyone from all backgrounds. However, there’s always room for improvement, and it’s still an industry that isn’t gender proportional, with only roughly 1 in every 1,000 electrical contractors a woman.

Overcoming the challenges of working in a male dominated electrical sector

It’s also fair to say that for many years the electrical sector has suffered from a poor reputation with its ‘blokey bloke’ attitude on site from wolf-whistling at any woman that happened to pass by, coupled with the notion that women couldn’t possibly do the physical work of their male counterparts. However, it’s encouraging to know that attitudes are finally changing in the construction industry and more and more women are now entering the sector.

Employers are also now recognising that women can make a real contribution to their workforce and are far more aware of their legal responsibilities regarding equality at work thus ensuring that unacceptable behaviour is no longer tolerated on site.

Lets hear it for the girls!

We are proud to report that since November last year the number of female students training with us has risen from 1.4% to a very respectful 3.7%. We can attribute this to being at the forefront of promoting opportunities for women to enter the trade and also to our involvement in a campaign with electrical wholesalers QVS Direct as part of their Women in Electrical campaign. The campaign aims to encourage more women to train in the electrical industry as well as help those who are already there.

At Trade Skills 4U not only do we encourage female students to train with us, we also currently employ 3 female tutors who deliver courses to both new entrants and experienced electricians at our centres nationwide.

Women in Electrical campaign

One of our electrical tutors, Liliane Branca, was interviewed as part of the campaign, showing that there are many different roles available within the electrical industry if you don’t like the thought of being an electrician in the traditional sense.

Speaking about her own role in the industry training new recruits, Liliane said: “I felt like I needed a complete career change. I was working in social services but I wanted a job with less emotional involvement. It was a huge gamble but it really paid off. I got a job on a site and then went to college twice a week in the evening for three years while working. When recession hit the construction industry hard, I started teaching electrical installation and now I teach full time.”

When asked what advice she would give to other women considering the electrical industry as a career, Liliane replied: “I think it’s essential for women, and men to be honest, to remember that we can do anything. The most important thing to remember is that if you want to do something, don’t let anything get in your way. Just go for it and put everything into it. If you do that, you’ll succeed whether you’re a man or a woman.”

You can read Liliane’s full interview here and if you would like to read some case studies of women who have trained here at Trade Skills 4U, we have interviews with graduate electrical engineers Noemi Willenboeckel and Kelly Vincent of Kelly Electrics.

As well as Liliane’s interview, there are a whole host of other interviews with electricians, business owners, and industry bodies, all giving their advice and thoughts on how the industry can make itself more inclusive.

Two other interviewees from the campaign, Coleen Everitt of Alto Electrical and Natasha Clark-Withers of Get Her Trade, recognise that there is a high demand specifically for female electricians.

Natasha commented: “From the research we have done, there is a massive demand for tradeswomen, and we need to encourage women to join the industry to cope with the demand.”

As to why there is such a need, Coleen said: “I think a big part of it is a safety and trust angle. I’m easy to talk to and people like that. Many people may be more comfortable having a woman in their house rather than a man.’”

What about the physical side of the job?

People come in all shapes and sizes and when thinking of entering the electrical sector some women worry that if they are too small they might struggle with the physical side of things. However, that can actually be an advantage as electricians often need to fit into small and crowded spaces, and a small frame will allow you to get to places that a larger frame would struggle to get to.

You will also find that there is some heavy lifting, although generally only up to fifty pounds or so, which is less than in other trades. But you will find that you'll get fitter with experience and time.

If you’re interested in electrical training of any kind, use our course finder to what courses we have available. Alternatively please call one of our friendly Course Advisers on 0800 856 4448.

Categories: electrician training, female electricians, women in construction

Case Study Kenny Whittle

Posted by Michaela Elcoat on 24th May 2018


Course: 2365 Level 2 & 3

1. What did you do before you started training to be an electrician?

Before training at Trade Skills 4U, I worked in asset management. 

2. What was your reason for training?

I chose to train as an electrician because I had grown tired with working in an office environment and travelling to the same place of work day after day. I wanted abit more variety.

3. Why did you choose the electrical field?

Before becoming an asset manager, I worked in a factory producing vehicle wiring harnesses, thus, electrical work was the obvious choice. Also, working as an electrician would allow me to work in different locations and earn good money at the sme time so it met my needs.

4. Are you working as an electrician whilst studying?

I started working as an electrician 2 months into my level 2 course, for a company that maintains the electrical systems in a newspaper printers whilst also taking on various other contracts.The 2365 course allowed me to come into the industry and prove useful to the team on day one. I also noticed that as I progressed through the course, I could continue to take on more responsibility and tasks.

5. What do you enjoy most about the course? 

As a fan of science, particularly physics, I enjoyed learning about the theory behind electricity and how to carry out cable calculations.

6. Are you struggling with any of the topics?

So far, I haven't struggled with any of the topics or modules.

7. How would you describe the facilities at TS4U?

TS4U facilities are excellent. At no point did the group lose out due to facilities not being adequate.

8. Do you have any plans to gain more electrical qualifications?

I will use TS4U in the near future to get my inspection and testing certificate. Doing the course, and it being so diverse has made me realise how much I enjoy the theoretical and designing side of the industry. So I am contemplating further qualifications in that field.

9. What advice would you give to others thinking of taking the 2365?

Just sign up and change your life for the better. The course is over before you know it and then you are away. I am disappointed with myself I didn't do it sooner.

10. What are your plans for the future?

I will spend a few years on the tools as was my initial reason for starting the course, but eventually I would like to go into designing installations and perhaps teaching later on.

Categories: qualifications, case study, trade, electrician

New Yorkshire Facility Opens with Great Success!

Posted by Michaela Elcoat on 11th May 2018

On Wednesday 9th May, we officially opened our brand new Yorkshire facility on Hawthorne Park, East Leeds. The event opened with an inspirational speech from CEO Carl Bennett, who spoke about his journey to forming Trade Skills 4U in 2005 and the reasons he did so at the age of 40. Carl continued to speak about the positive impacts electrical training courses can have on people’s lives and the excellent company values we possess.

After Carl finished his speech, we heard from Leeds City Councillor Mohammed Rafique the Executive Member for Employment, Enterprise and Opportunity. Mohammed gave a warm welcome to the new centre, and stated how excited he was to introduce us to the city and regional area. He went on to mention the rate and speed Yorkshire is growing and how there is a great need for electricians and fellow tradesman in the area. He also said these newly skilled people will contribute greatly to the region.

Councillor Rafique finished by thanking us for investing in the city and said that he is looking forward to hearing about the progress students make at the centre going forward.


Click below to watch the video:



Once the speeches had finished, guests were invited to explore the centre and speak with tutors and staff about the various courses available. Others ventured outside to watch the Tesla car do its dance! Or have a go on the power tools supplied by Hitachi. Quest electrical wholesalers were also in attendance to speak to those who needed any advice. 

Inside the building there was a chance to win a KT63 by completing the giant Buzz-wire in the fastest time. The quickest time we recorded was an incredibly fast 35 seconds by Haider Nawaz, so a tester will be on its way to him soon! 

Throughout the afternoon there were various seminars and interactive sessions taking place that our guests were welcome to join. These included an 18th Edition Preview, Electric Vehicle charging seminar hosted by Rolec and an interactive practical and Interactive Science session. 

We are extremely happy that the day ran very smoothly and hope that our guests enjoyed the activities on offer and free food supplied by KK Catering Ltd. We’d like to give a massive thank you to everyone who attended and we hope to see you back in the centre very soon. We’re very excited for the new courses to begin on the 14th May 2018 and wish all prospective students the very best.

If you would like to visit the centre for a tour or to and speak to a tutor please contact us on: 0800 856 4448 alternatively, if you are interested in booking a course, please Click here for a full list of courses on offer at the new Yorkshire facility.

Categories: training, yorkshire, leeds, electrician

What is a cable safe zone?

Posted by Elaine Hammond on 10th May 2018

Prysmian the UK’s largest cable manufacturer with over 100 years of experience, recently asked our tutor Mark Longley MIET to write an article on what a cable safe zone is.

Mark has worked in the electrical installation sector for just short of 30 years as an apprentice, an electrician, a maintenance electrician and an educator. He has taught everyone from apprentices through to practicing electricians wishing to improve their knowledge. While working in education he has had the honour of working as a consultant and e-learning presentor for City & Guilds, including the e-learning educators Learning Lounge.

Marks article explains that a cable safe zone, simply put, is a space in which a cable can be installed in such a position that it is not liable to be damaged by impact, abrasion or penetration.

Current Wiring Regulations

The current wiring regulations sections 522.6.201 and 522.6.202 give more exacting guidance on exactly how cables should be installed to avoid damage and potential harm to the installer and/or resident.

Cable safe zone installations in ceilings and floors

522.6.201 of the wiring regulations state that a cable installed under a floor or above a ceiling shall be run in such a position that it is not liable to be damaged by contact with the floor or ceiling or their fixings. Taking this into account a cable passing through a joist within a floor or ceiling construction, or through a ceiling support (eg. under floorboards), shall be installed at least 50mm measured vertically from the top, or bottom, as appropriate of the joist or batten, or incorporate an earthed metallic covering which complies with the requirements of these Regulations for a protective conductor of the circuit concerned, such as armoured low voltage power cable, Afumex LSX™ or mineral insulated cables.

Cable safe zone installations in walls

For walls, the ruling is slightly different. The wiring regulations state here that a cable installed in a wall or partition - at a depth of less than 50 mm from a surface of the wall or partition - has to either

i. be installed in a zone within 150 mm from the top of the wall or partition, or within 150 mm of an angle formed by two adjoining walls, or partitions. Furthermore, where the cable is connected to a point accessory, or switchgear on any surface of the wall or partition, the cable may be installed in a zone either horizontally or vertically, to the point accessory or switchgear. Keeping the safe zone close to the accessory will help act as a clear indicator for homeowners and others as to where potential cables may be located. Where the location of the accessory, point or switchgear can be determined from the reverse side, a zone formed on one side of a wall of 100mm thickness or less, or partition of 100mm thickness or less extends to the reverse side, alternatively

ii. needs to comply with regulation 522.6.204. The aforementioned regulation relates to a cable incorporating an earthed metallic covering, such as Prysmian LSX.

Walls are the most common place that homeowners and other tradespeople will encounter the risk of cable penetration by drills etc. This risk should be greatly reduced when the cables are installed within the regulations outlined above.

Protecting your cable installations

522.6.203 states Irrespective of its buried depth, a cable that is concealed in a wall or a partition, where either the internal construction includes metallic parts (such as dryline partitions) other than metallic fixings such as nails, screws etc need to be provided with additional protection. The protection should come in the form of an RCD having the characteristics specified in Regulation 415.1.1 or comply with regulation 522.6.204, which again relates to a cable incorporating an earthed metallic covering.

For more information on cable safe zones, or to get a copy of the wiring regulations to ensure best practice, please click here.

The new 18th Edition of the wiring regulations is due to be published this July with changes coming into effect in January 2019.

If you are interested in an electrical training course, please visit our Course Finder page or speak to one of our friendly course advisors on 01293 529777.

Categories: electricians, cables, safe zones

Legendary rugby players to attend launch of new electrical training company in Yorkshire

Posted by Elaine Hammond on 2nd May 2018

We are extremely excited to announce that a number of Leeds Rhinos and Warrington Wolves rugby legends will be making a special appearance at the opening of our brand new state-of-the-art training facility in Leeds on the 9 May 2018.

Both clubs have an impressive track record, with the Leeds Rhinos being eight times Super League Champions and the Warrington Wolves being Champion Cup winners 2009, 2010 and 2012 and League Leaders Shield winners in 2011 and 2016.

Carl Bennett, CEO and his family are big lovers of Rugby League and not only do we at Trade Skills 4U sponsor Wolves player Chris Hill we also sponsors Culcheth Eagles Under 9’s. Carl's wife Tracey is a coach for the Warrington Wolves Foundation Under 9’s team.

A bit of fun!

To help celebrate the opening of our new facility we thought it would be fun to run a competition whereby the Leeds Rhinos compete against the Warrington Wolves in a giant Buzz-wire game challenge to see who can get the furthest in the quickest time. I’m sure the players will take this very seriously and will want to prove who has the steadiest hands!

New state-of-the-art centre

Established in 2005, Trade Skills 4U has been training 3,000 students a year from across the country for over 13 years, firstly in Gatwick and more recently Warrington and can boast that we have some of the highest pass rates in the UK.

We are now extremely pleased to be opening a new state-of-the-art centre in Yorkshire just east of Leeds, situated just off the M1 and A1. This means customers based in, Leeds, Sheffield, Hull, Scunthorpe, Harrogate and the surrounding areas can easily access the centre.  As with all our centres the Leeds facility will house advanced training classrooms built to the highest specifications all equipped with the latest technology.

The centre will officially open with an introduction from CEO Carl Bennett, followed by a talk from Leeds Councillor Mohammed Rafique, Executive Member for Employment, Enterprise and Opportunity, who will speak about skills in the region. 

The day will also include tours of the centre, free burgers and refreshments together with free interactive practical and science sessions, an 18th Edition preview seminar and a presentation on electrical vehicle charging. To find out more or to register for the free taster sessions, please visit our Leeds Launch page.

Carl Bennett said: “We are extremely excited to be opening this new centre. A lot of research was conducted in the area to ensure that this is the perfect location to run our courses from. We look forward to meeting those who are interested in entering the electrical trade, or experienced electricians joining us for the opening to see first-hand what we have on offer.”

For more information on the courses offered at the Leeds facility please click here. Alternatively please speak to one of our Course Advisers on 0800 856 4448 who will be happy to help you.

Categories: open day, new training centre, leeds training