Monthly Archives: December 2010

Train4TradeSkills wishes everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy new Year!

That’s it for the Train4TradeSkills Blog for 2010. We wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and will be back on 4th January with more news, blogs and opinion from the trades and construction industry.


Merry Xmas!


New homes for Nottingham as £50m scheme goes full-steam ahead

The £50m Stonebridge Park regeneration scheme is going ahead and will see more homes and more jobs come to Nottingham.

The scheme has finally received the all-clear after a £5.6 million cash injection by the Homes and Communities Agency and has been described as one of Nottingham’s biggest achievements in the last decade by Council leader John Collins.

Stonebridge Park is a rundown area of Nottingham with 500 homes in dire need of repair and bad connectivity. The regeneration scheme will see 258 new homes built, which will all be eco-friendly and meet targets for Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes. Work will start immediately on 95 of the homes, which is the first phase of the plans.

Nottingham Council’s Portfolio holder for Housing Delivery Dave Liversidge says that, “the investment will help to renew and reinvigorate the area and will be a hive of activity for some time, creating more choice for residents and a sustainable neighbourhood.

As this scheme involves the construction of hundreds of new homes, this means that new jobs for plumbers, electricians and gas engineers will be created in Nottingham and the surrounding areas. The fact that the Stonebridge Park scheme will rejuvenate a rundown area and build new sustainable and eco-friendly homes is a bonus as well.

What do you think about these plans in Nottingham?

Wolves to expand Molineux stadium and create new construction jobs

They may be struggling in the Premiership, but Wolverhampton Wanderers have announced that they will be spending big after receiving planning permission to expand their Molineux stadium.

CN Plus report that developers Signet Planning are to develop the Stan Cullis stand at Molineux and increase the stadium’s capacity from its current 29,000 to 37,000.

The work will see the Stan Cullis stand, which is named after a former player and manager of Wolves, who died in 2011, receive better seating and improved viewing, as well as a new museum built. The east and south stands at Molineux will also get redeveloped and see 45 new executive boxes and increase the stadium capacity by a further 5,000.

Work on the stadium is set to begin in May 2011, as soon as the Premiership season finishes, and will take about a year to complete. The plans may hinder on whether Wolves can consilidate their Premiership status this season, but they will create construction jobs in the Wolverhampton area.

And it’s not just Wolves that are expanding their stadium and boosting the construction industry. Everton announced last month that they were expanding their Goodison Park stadium and Macclesfield have confirmed that they are to start building a new stadium next year, which will create new jobs in the area.

Train4TradeSkills Bright Sparks – Nick tells us what he’s been up to on his course

Nick Sims is training to become an electrician with Train4TradeSkills and every week he tells us what he’s been up to on his course.

Welcome to my second blog of many to come.

This week I’ve ordered a book on exam success and I’ve been reading it very quickly, because I’m not due to read this yet, but it’s good to get some kind of inside knowledge as to what’s expected in later exams to come. The questions are the main thing that I’m looking at really, and trying to understand them.

My Mum and Dad have a few jobs for me to do at their home, so I’m in the process of designing the circuits and making sure that I can do them. One is to connect a light switch through two rooms so one switches out the other; I did a rig for that to make sure that I could connect it up properly. Another is switched a couple of fuse connection unit’s round so that they are sockets for the fridge, dishwasher and washing machine.

I haven’t got round to using the Smartscreen website this week as I decided to do a bit more revising with the books instead. Oh just in case I’ve not mentioned it, your T4TS centre number and password to access the site.

I’ve been working on my website, which includes a link to some pictures on the website that show my handy work.

That’s it for this week,


You can find out what Nick is up to by visiting his website or you can follow him on Twitter

“Space race” of supermarkets set to transform construction industry

Many businesses have been victims of the recession, but it seems like supermarkets are impervious to it. New research has found that at least one of the big four supermarkets gets planning permission every working day of the year, and a race is on to see which supermarket becomes top dog.

The Guardian report that a BBC Panorama special, which is set to hit our screens tonight, has found that at least 577 new supermarkets from the big four, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Asda, have been approved over the last two years, and a new supermarket is being granted planning permission every working day in Britain.

Retail analyst Dave McCarthy of Evolution Securities has said that the rapid pace of openings of new supermarkets has created a “space race” between the big four companies to see who can open the most supermarkets and expand their empire quickest. Tesco is currently dominating the market, with research indicating that they have had 392 stores approved since 2008. Sainsbury’s are in second place with 111, with Morrisons and Asda lagging behind with 41 and 33 new stores respectively.

The influx of new supermarkets in the UK is creating new jobs all over the country. Most of the new stores will be built in London (110 of them), followed by Birmingham and Glasgow, which will see 15 new stores built by 2013. 12 new supermarkets will be built in Leicester, and 11 have been approved in Leeds and Bristol for the next few years.

The positive news is that these new supermarkets will create new jobs for those in the construction industry, for plumbers, electricians and gas engineers. As the likes of Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons are expanding at such a fast rate, then more jobs will continue to be created all over the United Kingdom.

What do you think about the rise of supermarkets in the UK – is it a good thing?

Snow and constant sub-zero temperatures doing wonders for plumbers

The snow and the freezing weather has caused chaos all over the country, and wrecked plans for millions of people, particularly those wanting to escape the UK over the festive period. But the sheer amount of frozen pipes and broken boilers make this a lucrative time for plumbers in the UK.

Plumbing firms are in their element right now with the increased workload that has come their way because of the sub-zero temperatures. Take Pimlico Plumbers for instance, as their founder Charlie Mullins said in his blog that they broke their record of 440 jobs in one day last week and have had one of the best months on record so far due to the weather.

Calling a plumber is one way to fix those frozen pipes and broken boilers, but home insurance giants AXA are recommending that homeowners should carry out some simple DIY tasks in order to save some money this Christmas.

The sub-zero temperatures have led to double the amount of house insurance claims this month, with 65% of AXA’s new claims being snow-related.

To prevent these problems, you can either call a plumber or go down the DIY route. Insulating pipes and repairing dripping taps and water tanks will help prevent freezing and any blockages. AXA also recommend that you should keep your central heating on low during the winter (which is easier said than done at the moment).

Has the snow and the freezing weather led to more plumbing work for you?

Train4TradeSkills Bright Sparks – Nick blogs for us about his course

Nick Sims is studying to be an electrician with Train4TradeSkills. Beginning his training in September 2009, Nick has completed 12 TMA’s. In the first of a series of weekly blogs, Nick tells us how he is finding his T4TS course and what he has been up to…

“Welcome to my first blog of many to come.

Well this week I’ve done a little studying on the module 13 and planning to just plough through this module to the TMA at the end and then my next Tutorial book will arrive, which I’m looking forward to.

I’ve been logging onto , which is a good place to go to check out previous exam papers, practice and learn what is required for the 17th edition exam. I need to check that out a little more often than I already do, so the next blog will be a bit more on that also.

I’m thrilled that I’m now on the road to getting qualified and I’m just waiting for my Part P Defined Scope Certificate (which can take a couple of months) to come through now.

I haven’t made a test rig for a while so I might start to design one next week. I use a wardrobe panel to mount things on. I already have made a couple of rigs before and I’ll be uploading those pictures soon on my website.”

I have started a new website for my portfolio, which includes other websites that most DIY’ers and Electricians will want to visit for their electrical needs, like T4TS, Screwfix, ABB, Crabtree and Wylex.

To find out what Nick is up by visiting his website or you can follow him on Twitter

Super Hans: “Plumbing is just water lego”

If any of you watch Channel 4’s Peep Show, then you will be familiar with Super Hans. And now he’s talking about plumbing.

Offering to fix Mark’s (David Mitchell) boiler, Hans says:

“ Anyone can do Plumbing. Plumbing’s just f*****g lego, Water Lego.”

To see the full clip go to 4od at  It’s the first episode of Series 7 and about 13 minutes in.

What do you think of Super Hans’ comments?

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Canning Town gets a facelift with £180 million makeover

CANNING Town is set to be the recipient of a major £180 million regeneration scheme, which will see hundreds of new homes built and create more jobs in the area.

CN Plus report that Sisk are leading the plans, which begin with the £47.9 million rebuilding of Rathbone Market. Four buildings will be constructed, which consist of 271 new apartments and new offices and retail units. The work is expected to be completed in 2012.

Sisk, who are Ireland’s biggest contractor with a turnover of $1 billion, have stated that they will be encouraging subcontractors to hire local tradespeople and plan to offer on-site training and employment for local residents in the Canning Town and surrounding areas. This has been confirmed by Sisk’s Director of Major Projects Nigel Warnes, who said:

“Our approach is to work with the community for the community, using local labour and to help train a new generation of skill for the sector.”

The Canning Town area is currently undergoing a huge £1.7 billion regeneration project, which includes building 8000 new homes, redeveloping the town centre, building community facilities and improving local schools. The work will ensure that new jobs in the construction industry and for plumbing, electrical and gas contractors in Canning Town and the whole of east London.

Sisk have also won a £40 million contract to build 133 new luxury apartments on London’s Park Lane, which are expected to be completed by April 2011.

FC United stadium gets green light and will create new jobs

FC United fans

FC United of Manchester are set to get their own football stadium after plans were approved by Manchester Council.

The good news is that the stadium will create new construction jobs for the people of Manchester. The bad news is that the stadium is being designed by an American company, which is ironic seeing as the reason the club was set up was because of the influence of the Glazer family.

FC United of Manchester are set to build a new £3.5 million, 5,000 capacity stadium at Ten Acres Lane in the Newton Heath area of Manchester, where the original Manchester United began. The project will also include a new sports hall, clubhouse and five-a-side football pitches.

The new stadium has received planning permission from Manchester Council and will create new construction, plumbing, electrical and gas jobs in the city. The stadium is being designed and managed by global construction company AECOM.

Old Trafford, not FC United's new stadium

The ironic thing about this stadium is that it is being ran by an American company, as AECOM are based in Los Angeles. Seeing as the whole reason FC United exists is because they hated the idea of foreign ownership and control, it’s ironic that they are letting an American company build and design their stadium.

FC United was formed in 2005 by Manchester United fans in protest of the Glazer family and the takeover of the club. The “Red Rebels” are currently sharing facilities with Bury FC at Gigg Lane, but crowds of 6000 fans and an appearance in the second round of the FA Cup has boosted their profile.

What do you think about FC United’s new stadium?