Monthly Archives: July 2011

Train4TradeSkills Weekend Catch-Up: 25-31 July

In case you missed what’s going on during the week, Train4TradeSkills introduces the WeekendCatch-Up, which will have all of the best stories from our blogs (and a few others) and the latest plumbing, electrician and construction industry news from the last week.

Here’s the top three stories of the week:

1) What effect has the London 2012 Olympics had on the UK construction industry?

As the work on the 2012 London Olympics nears completion, on budget and on schedule, Train4TradeSkills News examines the effect the Olympics has had on the construction industry in what is very challenging times. We look at how many jobs the project has created, to what the future holds for contractors, and whether they can get involved in projects like the 2016 Olympics in Rio and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. READ MORE>>


2) Construction Industry bounces back with positive Q2 results

After a disappointing set of results in the first quarter of 2011, the construction industry has bounced back and had a promising second quarter.After a disappointing set of results in the first quarter of 2011, the construction industry has bounced back and had a promising second quarter, with growth of 0.5%. READ MORE>>


3) From Train4TradeSkills Radio, Steve talks about his plumbing business

Steve Hills is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills.Tom Jinks from T4TS Radio spoke to Steve to find out how he was getting on with his training, how he set up his own plumbing business and the practical experience he was getting outside his course. READ MORE>>

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The Best Bits from Train4TradeSkills Daily: 29 July

Featuring the best bits and all the latest news from our Twitter pages, the Train4TradeSkills Daily has all the latest news, analysis and job news for plumbers, electricians and anyone in the construction industry.

If you are on Twitter, you can follow Train4TradeSkills on and see the daily paper at

Here’s the latest edition of Train4TradeSkills Daily:

Train4TradeSkills Bright Sparks: Nick’s blog about his electrician course: July 2011

Nick Sims is training to become an electrician with Train4TradeSkills and is one of our Bright Sparks bloggers. You can read all of Nick’s blogs on here or follow him on Twitter at

Here’s Nick’s latest blog:

Well it’s been a busy month again, the time just goes by. A month ago from today I asked my girlfriend to be my fiancée and she said yes, and we are both very happy together, engaged. We plan to have a long engagement as there is no rush to get married, it just makes our relationship stronger and that’s the way we both like it.

So now I’ve got workbook 3 from T4TS, and that’s great, except I should have really been doing, or have done my practical weeks 3 and 4. I phoned the centre and talked to Barry, he said to carry on with the workbook and phone the training centre to get dates for my weeks 3 and 4.

I now have the dates, which pleased to get as they run together, one week after the other. They did offer me a date in October to do week 3 but not sure when I could have got week 4’s date. My dates have now been confirmed as week 3, 5th of December and week 4 on the 12th of December. This gives me a nice bit of time to save up for the accommodation, and also to go over my previous TMA’s from the past year, to gen up and secure my knowledge in readiness for the practicals in December.

The venue for me will be Southampton which is great because there is a B&B that I stayed at last time that wasn’t far away, and the landlady was really nice and easy to talk to, and the fried breaky in the morning is second to none, apart from my partners fry up, of course!!

I’m also glad to have got these dates because when I did weeks 1 and 2 there was a guy there that had done all 32 modules, but hadn’t attended any practical weeks!! This was his unfortunate downfall, as most of the knowledge he had gained was lost because of the length of time, and not having attended at the right times, I don’t think it was his fault but then I don’t think he understood what was required as you progress through the course.

Till next time.


Train4TradeSkills Radio: Stuart talks about his plumbing course and work experience

Stuart Bagnall is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills. Tom Jinks from T4TS Radio spoke to Stuart to find out how he was getting on with his training:

You can listen to Stuart’s interview on the Train4TradeSkills Radio Blog at or download to iTunes from the AudioBoo app at


NICEIC and ECA join forces to debate future for electricians

The NICEIC (National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting) and the Electrical Contractors Association (ECA) have worked together to produce 2021 Vision: The Future of the Electrical Contracting Industry.

This major piece of research is designed to provide a long term vision of the position the industry is likely to be in 10 years from now. It is also the first tangible results of talks to see how the two organisations can work together to provide unity and leadership for the industry.

Emma McCarthy, CEO of the NICEIC and Steve Bratt, CEO of the ECA made the decision to jointly fund 2021 Vision as they felt it was important to provide long term guidance for the industry at a time when many contractors are recovering from the recession and concentrating on short term survival. 2021 Vision enables the electrical contractor to see past the short term and prepare for the next stage of their development.

A survey of 1,000 members of the ECA and registrants to the NICEIC forms the basis of the research. The survey found that there are many perceived threats to the industry but also many opportunities.

The research findings are inextricably linked to the UK’s sustainable future. As the UK strives to achieve ambitious targets for carbon reduction, the electrical industry finds itself in a leading position to take advantage of the opportunities that the drive for carbon reduction brings. Those contractors who are willing to develop and learn new skills will grow and thrive.

The key opportunities set out in 2021 Vision are:

• The Green Deal leading to 500,000 homes a year being upgraded – 96% see this as an opportunity

• SMART meters in every home – 95% see this as an opportunity

• More apprenticeships – 95% see this as an opportunity

• Development of new products to enable sustainable new build and renovation of existing properties – 96% see this as an opportunity

• More training for small businesses in new technology and skills – 97% see this as an opportunity

The drive for sustainability in all areas of UK life will change the shape of the wider construction industry as well as the electrical contracting industry. The shift away from new build to refurbishment and renovation, the use of more sophisticated, integrated systems and the need, which has been recognised by the Government, for training to ensure that trades have the skills to help the UK work towards the sustainable vision.

2021 Vision also identifies a range of threats to the electrical contracting industry; these must be tackled head on by the industry as a whole. The biggest threats as seen by the contractors surveyed are:

• Lower skilled workforce doing work currently done by tradespersons – 98% see this as a threat

• More components in new build manufactured off-site, reducing amount of skilled craftsmen on site – 79% see this as a threat

• More competitive industry – 61% see this as a threat

• Cross-over of trades requiring multi-skilling – 60% see this as a threat

• Changing Government policy – 51% see this as a threat

Emma McCarthy, CEO of the NICEIC concludes;

“2021 Vision is a unique and interesting view of what our industry will look like in 10 years time, funded and facilitated by NICEIC and ECA and entirely for the benefit of the electrical contractor. The challenge now is to take this information and apply it to day to day working life – we look forward to helping electrical contractors do this.”

[Source: ECA Website – ]

What do you think of this news? Are you an electrician/training to be an electrician – what are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments section below or on the Train4TradeSkills Facebook and Twitter pages.

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Steve talks about his plumbing business

Steve Hills is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills. Tom Jinks from T4TS Radio spoke to Steve to find out how he was getting on with his training:

You can listen to Steve’s interview on the Train4TradeSkills Radio Blog at or download to iTunes from the AudioBoo app at

Make sure you visit Steve’s plumbing website at

Train4TradeSkills News: Construction industry bounces back with positive Q2 results

After a disappointing set of results in the first quarter of 2011, the construction industry has bounced back and had a promising second quarter.

The UK construction sector recorded a growth of 0.5% in the second quarter of 2011, which shows that the industry is recovering from a bad end to 2010 and early 2011, as freezing temperatures affected construction activity over the winter months.

The construction industry actually outshone other sectors, as the industry performed well compared to the rest of the economy.

The Chief Executive of the Construction Products Association, Michael Ankers said about the figures:

“Growth in private sector construction has finally begun to recover and although public sector construction output remains stronger than we had anticipated it is clear that the impact of the public sector spending cuts is still to be felt and is forecast to cause sharp falls later this year.”

That’s the thing, as we can’t bask in good news for once, as these figures don’t take into consideration the government’s spending cuts, which will be shown in the next set of figures for Q3 and Q4.

The spending cuts are expected to hit the public sector hard, which means the UK construction industry needs the private sector to step up if it wants to continue its growth in 2011, with the hope that big projects like the Green Deal can stimulate the industry.

Michael Ankers sums the spending cuts up, saying:

“These public sector cuts will begin to hit the construction industry in the second half of the year. With the continuing economic uncertainty and falling consumer and business confidence, we are forecasting that construction output this year will be slightly lower than in 2010.

But there are some positive areas to focus on, with Mr Ankers saying:

“Construction work is also very much focused in the South East and particularly Greater London where there are major projects such as the Olympics, Crossrail and a number of major commercial developments.”

This is evident by the large number of new projects going ahead in London, and an office boom in the capital, as construction work on Olympics projects reach completion. It has been well documented that the construction industry is struggling at the moment, as we are in the midst of a recession, and won’t really start to improve until 2013/14, but at least these signs are encouraging for 2011.

What do you think? What do you expect the construction industry to be like in the next year? Let us know what you think by commenting below:

G15 to try and raise £2bn to build thousands of new homes in London

London’s largest housing group is joining forces with the government to raise £2 billion to build thousands of new homes in the capital over the next few years.

The G15 group, which consists of the 15 largest housebuilders and landlords in London, wants to raise £2 billion of private finance to go alongside the £350 million the government are putting in to build affordable homes.

That £2 billion worth of funding could lead to 13,000 new affordable homes being built in London between now and 2015. It is estimated that 6 out of 10 homes in the capital will be built by the G15 over the next few years, which includes companies like the Horizon Group, Notting Hill housing and the L&Q Group.

If the G15 manage to raise the £2 billion in private finance, it would serve as a big boost to the construction industry in London, as the 13,000 new homes would likely create new jobs for contractors in the city.

What do you think about this news? Let us know by commenting below or on the Train4TradeSkills Facebook and Twitter pages.


Train4TradeSkills Radio: Phillip talks about his plumbing course

Phillip Magrath is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills. Tom Jinks from T4TS Radio spoke to Phillip to find out how he was getting on with his training:

You can listen to Phillip’s interview on the Train4TradeSkills Radio Blog at or download to iTunes from the AudioBoo app at

George Clarke to tackle empty homes in new Channel 4 show

TV Architect George Clarke is launching a campaign to sort of the problems of empty homes in the UK, with a new TV show.

The TV presenter, who is best known for fronting Channel 4’s Restoration Man, is set to investigate Britain’s empty homes crisis in a new Channel 4 show.

In the show, George will investigate the government’s housing plans and whether empty homes can be used to solve the housing crisis. George will then lobby the government to act. George said in a statement:

“The empty homes problem across Britain is something I’ve been passionate about for many years and I’m delighted that Channel 4 has decided to commission such a ground-breaking programme.”

The show is set to be aired on Channel 4 later this year, and as of yet, has no title.

George Clarke is an ambassador for Shelter, the charity that seeks to eradicate homelessness and bad housing.

The government itself is trying to get rid of empty homes and are encouraging people to renovate them and bring them back into use. Communities Minister Andrew Stunell said back in January that 300,000 homes in the UK needed to be put back into use and cash incentives could be used to encourage people to renovate them.

We’ll have more information about George Clarke’s new TV show nearer to when it airs on Channel 4.

[Source: Building Design]