Monthly Archives: October 2011

Train4TradeSkills Students give you advice on how to get jobs and work placements – Part 6

Are you training to be a plumber or electrician with Train4TradeSkills and want to get some practical experience outside of your course?

Train4TradeSkills Radio has spoken to a number of students who are working in the industry alongside their training and gaining valuable experience.

These students offer their advice and tips of how they managed to get work placements and jobs, so you can follow in their footsteps.


Dave Hawke

“I’ve been running my own property maintenance business for the last 5 or 6 years. I’ve just got a contract now to fit a bathroom, kitchen and a toilet as it goes. But I just turn my hand to just about anything and everything.”

Tell us a bit about your business then – how do you get your customers?

“I rely totally on word of mouth, I don’t advertise. I literally go by word of mouth because I find that’s the best way. If you’re recommended, then people will know you’re pretty good.

I’m a member of a church and I’ve built it through the church. I’ve found by doing work for people there, they all know people and I’ve networked from that and spread to other churches.

If you’re setting up your own business you need to be determined, you’ve got to have pretty thick skin and you’ve got to be prepared for knockbacks, putting in long hours and doing quotes and not hearing back. It’s not easy, you don’t just say I’m going to start a business and then off you go, It can be a long hard road but the rewards are great so it’s quite a rewarding career to get into.”


Mark Holloway

“I’m doing some plumbing, working for someone. I’ve been doing it for about 3, 4 months. I’ve been doing all sorts of work. The person I work for is not just a plumber, he’s an electrician, he does plastering, all building work – so a bit of everything.

It’s actually my girlfriend’s dad that I work for – It’s paid work as well. The work definitely helps with the practical side as it gives you a lot more experience and makes you quicker at doing everything.”


Mark Gilder

“I am working for a plumbing and heating engineer, who has been running a business for 26 years now, so well established. I signed up to study and what I did is to get myself on various building sites just doing labouring work to make contacts and it paid off for me. I got a contact and it resulted in a job.

I’m doing everything from repairing taps and radiators through to new boiler and central heating installations. Some of it he trusts me now to go ahead and do on my own, and the more technical elements of it, the gas and the boilers, he obviously does that side of the work.

I’ve been with my employer for just over a year and through various discussions he’s looking to retire in 4-5 years time and he’s looking for me to take the business forward. So I’ve rather landed on my feet really. I’ll stay with my employer and eventually take over his business. I’ll effectively be self-employed but running an established business.”


Sean Whitmore

“I’m a general builder, so I’m in the building industry and I just want to further my career. I’ve run my own business for the last 10-15 years and mainly do extensions. I cover most parts of the building industry – plastering, bricklaying, concreting, tiling – so I cover quite a big range.

I’ve grown my business basically from a base of people who I’ve worked for before. You do a good job at the right price, you’re name gets around and you try and keep up a high standard – word of mouth normally is the best way.”


Chris Summerfield

“I’ve got a paid job with a plumbing company, who teach me a bit of everything. They are starting to get me to work on boilers, do a lot of bathrooms. I go to commercial properties and sort out their plumbing problems ie. Their toilet not flushing properly and basic jobs like that. And then you could be on-site for a week and do different bits of plumbing.”

Tell us how you went about getting that job then?

“I just spotted one of the vans driving around and I just rang on the off-chance and they said they would keep my name and number. They called back about a month later and said are you still looking for some plumbing work – so I’m on an initial three-month trial.”

You can listen all the full interviews from Sean, Chris, Mark H, Dave and Mark G at  – where you can download to iTunes and your smartphones (iPhone and Android) if you have one.



Train4TradeSkills News: David Cameron on “all-out mission” to boost building

The Prime Minister has launched an “all-out mission” to boost the economy and open up a series of major infrastructure projects.

David Cameron wrote in the Financial Times that he is focused on updating the UK’s infrastructure and launching new projects, which will in turn create new jobs and rebuild the economy.

The Prime Minister wrote:

“Our focus is on updating our infrastructure. In terms of future productivity, this infrastructure deficit is as serious as our budget deficit. Getting construction projects off the ground is critical.”

Cameron’s speech coincided with the news that two power plants (in Ferrybridge and Thorpe Marsh) have been given the green light, which will create an estimated 1,000 jobs.

The PM’s quest to improve infrastructure comes at a good time, as the second round of cash from the Regional Growth Fund has just been unveiled.

The £950 million injection of cash from the government will allow many building and regeneration schemes to go ahead and companies like JCB, Keepmoat Homes and Pochin Developments are some of the building firms benefiting from the government money.

The cash is expected to create around 201,000 jobs in the UK will go alongside private investment to boost stalled projects.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:

“This targeted support for businesses across the country allows them to expand and create jobs. It unlocks private sector investment – with at least £5 put in for every £1 of public money.

The first pot of Regional Growth Fund money is already making a difference across the country – helping to rebalance our economy so that every region and sector benefits.”


Train4TradeSkills Radio: Kamel talks about her T4TS Plumbing Course

Kamel Tiwari is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills. Tom Jinks from T4TS Radio spoke to Kamel to find out how she was getting on with her training:

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

Train4TradeSkills Radio reaches the Big 100

Train4TradeSkills Radio, the student radio service from Train4TradeSkills for trainee plumbers and electricians, has just recorded it’s 100th show.

This week, our interview with electrical student Chris Mew marked our 100th show, which is impressive since we only began the show in February 2011.

Train4TradeSkills Radio speaks to T4TS students when they are on their practical training at the training centres in Worcester and Southampton, to find out what the students think of their course and how they are getting on.

On Train4TradeSkills Radio we’ve spoken to policemen, chefs, drugs counsellors, teachers, builders, forklift drivers, Cadbury’s workers and soldiers, all of whom are changing career and training as plumbers and electricians with Train4TradeSkills.

You can listen to Train4TradeSkills Radio and the first 100 radio shows hosted by Tom Jinks together with more student stories at the following places:

AudioBoo: where you can download to iTunes –

The Train4TradeSkills Radio

Listen to our live stream on

Read all the student interviews on Train4TradeSkills News at and read/download them on Scribd at

Train4TradeSkills students: have you listened to T4TS Radio? What do you think of it – has it helped you with your studies? Let us know and comment in the box below:

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Chris Mew talks about training to be an electrician with T4TS

Chris Mew is training to become an electrician with Train4TradeSkills. Tom Jinks from T4TS Radio spoke to Chris to find out how he was getting on with his training:

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

The Best Bits from Train4TradeSkills Daily: 28 October

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



Train4TradeSkills Radio: Raja talks about his T4TS Course and training as an electrician in the UK and Pakistan

Raja Iqbal is training to become an electrician with Train4TradeSkills. Tom Jinks from T4TS Radio spoke to Raja to find out how he was getting on with his training:

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

Train4TradeSkills News: Are Plumbers really “too busy” to get paid?

A new survey has revealed that over half of plumbers have not collected payment from a customer after completing a job for them.

The new report, commissioned by payment company quotetopay, revealed that 52% of plumbers have not collected a payment from a customer… because they are too busy.

As well as apparently being too busy to get paid, 42% of plumbers asked has not even sent an invoice to the customer.

This is surprising, particularly as we are in such difficult economic times and it is rare to not chase payment for work that you have done.

The research was conducted at the PHEX show in Manchester this year and was all to research a new application, that allows tradespeople to send quotes and invoices for jobs straight to customers’ mobile phones.

Malcolm Rosier, the founder of the quotetopay service, said:

” Nowadays householders like to pay for things with their credit and debit cards and cheques and cash can seem old fashioned to them. Using quotetopay means that tradesmen will never forget to send an invoice or collect a payment again. “

As plumbers – what do you think about this? Are plumbers really too busy to collect payment for work? Let us know what you think and comment below:

[Source: HVP Magazine]

Train4TradeSkills News: CIPHE urge plumbers to help out homeowners

With the rising cost of energy prices and the expectation of a freezing cold winter ahead of us, it’s expected to be an expensive time for homeowners over the next few months.

That’s why the CIPHE have said that it’s up to plumbers to help customers cope with the rising cost of fuel and advise them what to do.

The CIPHE, or the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering as it’s properly known, says it is imperative for plumbers and heating engineers to advise homeowners how to reduce their energy bills.

Even if they can help homeowners save a small amount of money this winter, then this would be a good service. If plumbers can share their knowledge and expertise, it can only be a good thing.

Kevin Wellman, the acting chief executive of the CIPHE, says:

“The rise in energy prices has added £200 to the average cost of running a home and with another cold winter on the horizon, it’s very important to address the issue of energy saving.

“Plumbers and heating engineers have a lot of expertise in these matters and even simple jobs like explaining how people can adjust their thermostats effectively could really help.”

I believe plumbers have an obligation to help as many people as possible and we’ll be saving them money in the long term and bringing us closer to our environmental targets.”

As plumbers, what do you think about this? Is it up to plumbers to advise homeowners on energy bills? Let us know what you think and comment below:


Train4TradeSkills Radio: Dave talks about his T4TS plumbing course and property business

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

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