New centre case study - Teach A Trade

10 May 2021

One of Teach A Trade's trainees

We spoke to Harry Wilkinson, Director of Teach A Trade, a brand new training centre based in Telford, Shropshire, delivering LCL Awards gas qualifications, including the Managed Learning Programme (MLP) for new entrants to the sector.

Having spent ten years running his own plumbing and heating business, Harry felt like a change and wanted to address what he sees as a growing problem for the building services sector:

“For a long time people have been talking about the imminent skills gap facing construction. I think it’s more serious than that. The Government’s pledge to build 300,000 new homes a year by 2025 and the fact that we’ve already lost around 45% of our foreign workforce due to BREXIT means that what was a skills gap is fast becoming a chasm.”

Building your future

Harry trained at a private training centre himself, so he knows what it’s like to be pushed through gas training in a relatively short timeframe. He’s keen to offer his learners more, opting for an eight-week, rather than five-week initial training period to cement new skills and help his candidates feel more confident as they move onto the portfolio section of their training.

The new centre is impressive. As well as the necessary classrooms, there is a series of purpose-built training bays, so that learners get lots of hands-on experience:

“Too many centres rush through the initial part of the course and leave their candidates feeling short-changed at the end. It’s a serious business training to be a gas installer and I believe a more thorough grounding makes a better engineer.

“Most of our candidates for the MLP are career changers so they need time to assimilate what is, quite literally, a new profession. We’ve laid out lots of practical training space at Teach A Trade, so that as they’re learning, everyone gets as much real-life experience as possible.”

Backing from LCL Awards

Harry decided to opt for LCL Awards as his certification body and has been really pleased with the support they’ve given him in setting up the MLP and other gas courses.

“LCL Awards’ Managed Learning Programme is very comprehensive. Once learners have completed their initial training, we send them off to build a portfolio, to record their practical skills. They work alongside a mentor for around three months – the thought being that they’ll have the chance to complete around 30 jobs in this time - and really build their confidence. After that, they come back to us for a week to sit their final assessment. If they pass that, they are ready to register with Gas Safe and find a job.”

Plans for the future

Harry has ambitious plans for Teach A Trade and a team of dedicated trainers and assessors to help him deliver. Having now got the gas side of the business set up with an MLP and ACS reassessment, Harry is keen to develop his relationship with LCL Awards, by extending what he has to offer:

“I wanted to set up a training centre where we could offer lots of courses under one roof. Soon we’ll be able to offer plumbing courses, as well as electrical qualifications - all certified by LCL Awards. 

"We plan to dedicate a large section of the centre to renewables training. I’m really excited about this as I believe renewables are the future and there will be lots of engineers out there looking to up-skill to renewable technologies.

Find out more

If you’d like to have a look at what Teach A Trade has to offer, please go to their website, where you’ll find an interesting time-lapse film that shows the construction of Harry’s new centre in under ninety seconds.

If you’d like to talk to LCL Awards and discuss their qualifications and certification process, please get in touch by clicking here.