Blog Archives

Stephen’s Train4TradeSkills Blog: 13 June

Stephen Marlor is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills and is one of our student bloggers. Instead of his usual weekly blog, Stephen appeared on T4TS Radio last week to talk about his course and how it was going.

You can listen to Stephen’s story at and download to iTunes and your iPhone or Android phone via AudioBoo at

For more of Stephen’s posts about his Train4TradeSkills course, be sure to check out his blog at

Here’s the interview in full:


Stephen’s Train4TradeSkills Blog: 6 June

Stephen Marlor is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills. If you are a regular reader of Stephen’s blog, you will know that he blogs about his plumbing course every week. You can read other posts by Stephen on his blog at

On Wednesday, I met a website developer who is designing my new website, which will be linked to my blog. I’m creating a website because I want people to see how well I have progressed throughout the course, and it will include pictures of my work as well. The designer has said it will look really professional when finished.

I’ve approached a number of schools in the Rhyl area in Wales, to see if the children can design a logo for my new website. The prize for the best logo will be £15 for the winner, £10 for second place and £5 for third, and the best logo will be chosen just before the website goes live.

The course is going well, I’m feeling confident about it and I’ve just bought a filing cabinet to put all my books in. I’ve been speaking to my tutors – Barry, Richard and Corina, and they have been very encouraging and helpful, and I appreciate their help.

I’m also looking for more plumbing work experience. I’ve applied to Denbighshire County Council, Conwy Council and have been looking in the Yellow Pages to see what’s available. I’ve put in some calls and am just waiting to hear back. I have also applied to Clwyd Alyn council, who operate a housing organisation, and I’m just waiting to hear back from them.

Like this post? Then you can read other posts by Stephen about what he’s up to on his plumbing course on his blog at or follow Stephen on Twitter

Cliff talks plumbing regs, his workshop and pipe bending offers in latest blog

Cliff Raw is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills and is one of the students who blog about their course. You can read other posts by Cliff on his blog (and look at an exclusive offer for T4TS students on equipment) at

Here’s Cliff’s latest blog:

Another week’s gone by and its holiday time again, fortunately I have finished Section 2 Part A so am waiting now for Section 2 Part B to arrive in the post. Unfortunately I didn’t get TMA 24 in until Friday so I will have to wait until after the bank holiday for my results from that assignment and to apply for weeks 3 and 4 practical training. My certificate of achievement Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999 and card arrived this week and I have had it framed and it has pride of place on my office (cellar) wall it looks a little lonely at the moment but there will soon be more certs to keep it company. That will be another task after spring bank holiday to contact my local water undertaker (Yorkshire Water) to join the Approved Plumber/Contractor Scheme.


Last week I said I would write about modules 23 & 24, so let’s take a look at module 23 Owner’s leadership & Delegation Skills.

I think it’s important here to know what sort of person you are as this affects the way we interact with others, whether you intend to work alone or as part of a bigger business with employee’s you will have to deal with people on a daily basis and need to develop good leadership skills if only to instil feelings of confidence in your competence from customers and others that you deal with.

Now onto module 24: Tools & Setting Up A Workshop.

It is extremely important to work with the correct tools and they should be kept in tip top condition to ensure safe usage and protect against accidental damage to fixtures and fittings. We all probably have an assortment of tools already and an even bigger list of tools that we want, this for me is an ongoing procurement process, it is my belief that you can’t skimp when purchasing tools, as high quality tools will give you a much longer life span. I am quite fortunate having come from a joinery background I already have a large selection of hand and power tools so it is the more specialist tools that I am constantly saving money to purchase them.

That’s about it for another week except to mention if you need hand pipe benders please read my article on British Pipe Bending Equipment thanks for reading.

 You can read other posts by Cliff at and follow him on Twitter at

Stephen’s Train4TradeSkills Blog: 31 May

Stephen Marlor is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills. If you are a regular reader of Stephen’s blog, you will know all about how he blogs every week about how his training is going.

If you want to read other posts by Stephen, go to his blog at

 I’ve been looking at Unit 25 this week, taking it step by step and little by little. I’m expecting to finish it by next Tuesday and have been talking to the tutors, who have been helping me out. I would like to thank Barry, Richard and Corina for their help.

The work in the house has been signed off and the work went really well. We’ve got a new bathroom, shower, kitchen and a complete rewire. We’ve also got a new sure stop switch, which turns all the water off in the house and is much better than the old stopcock system.

We’ve also got a new heat detector and a smoke alarm, which can be tested every week and has sorted out the fault completely to comply with the new guidelines by the Welsh Assembly government.

 Like this blog? You can read other posts by Stephen on his blog at and follow him on Twitter at

Train4TradeSkills Weekend Catch Up: 23-29 May

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 this week’s Weekend Catch Up for you:

Train4TradeSkills Nick Electrician1) The Best Bits from the Train4TradeSkills Student Bloggers

MONDAY: Stephen’s Train4TradeSkills Blog: 23 May –

TUESDAY: Nick talks about setting up his own electrical business –

WEDNESDAY: After his practical training, Cliff updates us all about his plumbing course in latest blog –

2) Are UK firms set to enjoy Rio construction party?

FRIDAY: UK contractors to win work in Brazil for 2016 Olympics? –

3) Construction job frenzy in Liverpool and Swansea

THURSDAY: Swansea Council doing their bit to create construction jobs and apprenticeships –

WEDNESDAY: Liverpool Uni to get £600m overhaul –

4) The Best Bits from Train4TradeSkills Radio

TUESDAY: Listen to Ken talk to T4TS Radio about his plumbing course –

THURSDAY: Plumbing student Pete talks about his plumbing work experience and tells you how to go about arranging work placements –

5) Random News Section: what’s going on in construction this week?

MONDAY: Nick Clegg unveils his political masterpiece  – the Green Investment Bank –

FRIDAY: Anglo-French relations heat up as plans for new £217 million Channel tunnel electricity plans unveiled –

T4TS SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS – Never miss a story from Train4TradeSkills News!

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After his practical training, Cliff updates us all about his plumbing course in latest blog

Cliff Raw is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills and is one of our student bloggers. After completing his first two weeks of practical training (read Cliff’s excellent two-part diary of his training here), Cliff updates us all about how his course is going.

You can read Cliff’s blog at and read all of his other posts, as well as some photos from his course. You can also follow Cliff on Twitter at

Here’s Cliff’s latest blog:

Well its been a busy week with me feeling very enthused after my two week practical training in Featherstone. I am straight back into my books and have completed modules 20-22.

• Increasing Sales

• Financial & Legal Considerations

• Networking

So let’s take a look at each in turn – starting with increasing sales. We all know that a business doesn’t just happen and that the amount of blood, sweat and tears that it takes to make a successful business is endless, so knowing what your strengths and weaknesses are is paramount so we can learn and develop successful strategies to turn ourselves into confident and successful businesses.

Understanding the market you’re about to enter and having realistic idea of the market share and competition in an ever changing market. Obviously pouring endless amounts of money into advertising may not give you the desired result and could leave you out of pocket so careful consideration is the key here.

Financial & legal considerations. This is a very important part of pre-business thinking because if you get it wrong, “let’s not go there”. I can’t stress enough the importance of this module and the need to take good legal advice before venturing out into your business life.

My advice is to get the best accountant and legal representation you can afford and keeping accurate books yourself. As a practical exercise I am doing this now even though I don’t intend to start my own business just yet. Good office practises is a must and it’s better to get a good understanding of the use of spreadsheets, databases and word processing now rather than struggle when the time comes to start your business as time will be at a premium then.

And finally: Networking. This is not the most obvious of subjects as the whole idea of networking is somewhat vague. So what is networking ? Consider how many people you have already met during your lifetime, they are your ready-made network team. No matter how busy you find yourself it is important to make time for friends and family, they are your best advocates then there are the people outside that circle that you have daily contact with ie: your newsagent or the person you talk to wile walking your dog in fact anyone is a potential member of your network team so the way you present yourself to the outside world should be considered, Always be polite and professional and never be dismissive you could be let work pass you by!

It’s also worth considering joining a local networking group in your area even if it means giving up even more of your time the rewards of such an endeavour are excellent.

That’s me done for another week thanks for reading I’ll be back next week to talk about modules 23 and 24

• Owner’s leadership and delegation skills

• Tools and setting up a workshop

If you like this blog and want to read more posts by Cliff, check out his blog at

Train4TradeSkills Bright Sparks: Daniel tells us how his electrical course is going

Daniel Miller is training to become an electrician with Train4TradeSkills and is one of our Bright Sparks bloggers.

In his last blog post, Daniel was talking about balancing his T4TS course with his job at a newsagents and how his training was going. Here’s Daniel’s latest blog:

I’ve finally finished Module 9, I did get stuck a bit with some of it, but after a lot of reading and talking to my tutor Barry on the T4ts hotline, I understand it a lot more.

I also managed to speak to Tony Cable from the Sparks website, who was most helpful. He mentioned a website called the Learning Lounge for electricians, which he said was worth a visit, and has offered me a free trial, so i will be checking that out as well.

So it’s back to the books for me, and going over previous modules and the activities I will be expected to do. I also paid a visit to the T4TS radio station to listen to some of the students and found out how they were getting on. All of them agreed the practical was the best part, so I’m looking forward to that when my time arrives.

Stephen’s talks T4TS, Welsh politics and virtual reality in latest blog

It may be a day late (blame all the bank holiday’s for that) but here is Stephen Marlor’s latest blog about his plumbing course.

If you want to find out a bit more information about Stephen and read some of his other blog posts, go to  or follow him on Twitter at

Here’s Stephen’s latest blog:

You will be glad to hear that everything is fine.

I’m leafleting again for Plaid Cymru and were doing well Vale Of Clwyd , we have a good chance I think this time around.

My house is near enough done, all I’ve got left is the tiling which is being done tonight and more woodwork in the bathroom and kitchen, apart from that it has gone very smoothly.

I’ve done all my scenarios so I’m looking at concentrating on unit 25 and I do it in sections so I can understand it a lot better. If I need any help I always contact my Tutors and they give me all the help I need.

This weekend I will be leafleting and doing more campaigning.

And I would like to wish all the Tutors and Bloggers A Happy Easter!

In Welsh it is Said like this – Pasg Hapus!!

Until Next Time,


Train4TradeSkills Bright Sparks: Nick talks electrical assignments, new circuits and 3D modelling in latest blog

Train4TradeSkills Nick ElectricianIf you are a regular reader of Nick’s blog, you will know that he is training to become an electrician with Train4TradeSkills. Nick blogs about what is going on with his course and here’s his latest blog:

If you are a fan of Nick’s blog, you can always follow him on Twitter at

Well I’ve been doing a fair bit of revising this week – which sometimes seems to carry on and on. I’ve got the result back from TMA15, not a bad one, but I still felt I could have done better. I got 80%, my lowest yet.

I got caught out on an ‘all of the above’ answer and a few misreading or misunderstandings on my part. This next section of the workbook seems quite lengthy before I submit another TMA.

In my spare time I’ve made a traffic light circuit on a breadboard with LED’s, it helped me occupy my mind and concentrate on something else, but I won’t be using it in any of my electrical circuit projects. I did it just for a bit fun really, I used couple of old IC’s and LED’s that I’ve had for years. I got the circuit diagram from a website that is listed in the workbook in module 16, from quickly flipping through some of the pages to see what’s next for this module.

I still haven’t heard from the Gas Engineers yet, but I’m having an annual boiler/gas check next Tuesday so I’ll ask again then when they arrive.

I’ve done some more 3D modelling and almost completed enough to start making up some circuits in 3DSMax. When I’ve done a circuit I’ll post a picture here so you can see the result of what I’ve done.

Till next time,


Train4TradeSkills Weekend Catch Up: 11-17 April

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

1) The Best Bits from the Train4TradeSkills Student Bloggers

TUESDAY: Stephen talks Train4TradeSkills, fault finding problems and how his home renovations are going – 

WEDNESDAY: Cliff talks £5 cellars, bad formulas and plumbing training in latest blog –

2) Unemployment in the UK decreases?

THURSDAY: UK Unemployment drops, but more needs to be done to get young people into work –

TUESDAY: Wates celebrate big profits by hiring 300 new construction staff – 

3) We go celebrity crazy with most famous plumbers and sparks:

FRIDAY: The Top 10 Most Famous Electricians EVER! –

POST OF THE WEEK: The Top 10 Most Famous Plumbers EVER! – 

4) The Best Bits from T4TS Radio:

TUESDAY: Rob talks to T4TS Radio about swapping being a postie for a sparkie –

THURSDAY: Steve talks to T4TS about his electrical training –

Train4TradeSkills Blog Google Solar Power5) Random News Section – what’s going on in construction this week?

TUESDAY: What does a search engine and solar power have in common? Google invest in world’s largest solar farm –

FRIDAY: DIY goes terribly wrong as boiler installation cuts off gas supply of homes in Stoke –


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