2021 has been quite the year, and we’re both grateful and proud of what we have achieved over the last twelve months.
From radio appearances and workshop refurbishments to new courses and magazine features, here’s what we’ve been up to.
The industry is changing slowly but surely – and sometimes dramatically and suddenly. From pledges to be carbon-free in a couple of decades to the introduction of the heat pump grant, a lot has happened in a year. And it’s our job to keep up with it.
At the beginning of 2021, we launched our Going Green Guide. Covering essential topics and news in the heating industry, we wanted to provide people with a place to find easily-understood information and updates.
Thousands of people have read articles from our Going Green Guide this year, and we’re looking forward to seeing what happens next year.
We’ve also updated our gas and electric training courses in response to the ever-changing heating industry.
With more drivers opting for electric or hybrid vehicles, the demand for EV Charging Points has increased. But, to meet the demand, electricians need to be suitably trained and qualified. So, we’ve added the EV Charging Point qualification to our NVQ Level 3 Electrical Training Course – and it’s available as a standalone course for existing electricians!
Our gas course is the one that’s had the most extensive makeover. Previously training engineers for domestic gas work, the course now includes:
- Central Heating Design
- Water Regulations
- Heat Efficiency
- Unvented Hot Water Systems
- Low-Temperature Heating Design & Heat Pumps
In providing training in these different areas, our trainees will be suitably experienced and qualified to undertake a broader range of heating work – providing them with a future-proof career path. Again, while these qualifications are part of our full ACS Domestic Gas & Renewables Training Course, they’re also available as standalone courses for existing engineers.
You may think that Spotify is where it’s at these days, but radio is still going strong, and we were lucky enough to be invited on air! After reading our Cowboy Customers blog post, Fix Radio (the only UK radio station aimed exclusively at tradespeople) got in touch with us and invited us onto The Clive Holland Show.
We spoke to Clive about the warning signs of cowboy customers and what to do when you’re working for one. It was a great experience, and we hope to work with them again.
Over the last twelve months, our team has worked hard behind the scenes to refresh workshops and classrooms and create new spaces.
Our first project of 2021 was renovating one of our Birmingham gas workshops. We stripped the workshop back, rebuilt it and installed new appliances. We’ve since updated workshops in Manchester and Wembley and have just finished working on Birmingham’s renewables hub.
Options Skills Recruitment
In the summer of 2020, we launched our in-house recruitment team, and they’ve gone from strength to strength ever since. As per NVQ Level 3 Electrical training guidelines, students must complete paid on-site work to complete their portfolios. If you work in the trades, you’ll know it can be pretty challenging to get that first foot in the door in the industry, but our recruitment team have made it a whole lot easier.
Building relationships with companies and individuals across the UK, 90% of our electrical students start work within a month of completing the first stage of their training. A huge achievement and fantastic news for our students, recruitment team and Options Skills as a whole.
My Options Skills & Options Skills Hub
We’re always looking for ways to improve our training and make it a seamless experience for our students. So, 2021 saw us launch not only my.options skills but the Options Skills Hub also.
My.options-skills is a custom-built platform on which students can complete their portfolio easily, send questions to our support team and access exclusive content to assist them in training and beyond.
The Options Skills Hub is a little different. The private Facebook group provides students with a place to network, share their accomplishments and ask questions. For the Options Skills team, it offers a line of communication that’s accessible, a place to share news and updates and share exclusive job opportunities for students.
As well as plenty of new articles and news on the Options Skills blog, you’ll also find us in several trade magazines.
- Electrical Trade Magazine – Hiring For Cultural Fit – How Can You Get It Right?
- Pew Wholesales – The Importance Of Cultural Fit When Hiring
- Electrical Wholesaler – Could You Help To Mentor A Trainee?
- Professional Electrician – Are You Meant To Be A Mentor?
- Electrical Engineering – Could You Guide A Trainee?
- Electrical Trade Magazine – Growing Your Career
- Electronic Specifier – Could You Help To Develop An Electrical Trainee?
- Electrical Review – Putting The Spark Back Into Your Electrical Career
- Electrical Contracting News – Developing Your Career Potential
- Pro Installer – How Can You Advance Your Career In Electrics?
- Electrical Engineering – How To Develop Your Electrical Career
- Installer – How To Drive Your Electrical Career Forward
- Electrical Review – How To Advance Your Career In The Electrical Trade
Reviews are a hugely important part of any business. They allow us to know what we’re doing well and areas we could improve in. But, they also help others look into trades training. People look to reviews to find out more from those who’ve done the courses themselves. Reading reviews allows people to make informed decisions and choose the best provider.
Throughout 2021, we’ve gained hundreds of reviews from our students and businesses we’ve worked with and boast a score of 4.6/5 or higher across our different review platforms. It means a massive amount to us, and we want to thank each and every person who took the time to leave us a review!
Looking to 2022 At Options Skills
We appreciate everyone who has helped make this year a wonderful one for Options Skills and our students.
Our aim has been and always will be to provide students with the best training possible, helpful resources and plenty of support, and we’re looking forward to seeing what 2022 has to offer!
We have plenty already planned to take our training to the next level, and we can’t wait to share it with you all.