Time flies, half the year is over already. So what is happening at the GB Construction Training Centre? Over the past months we have been extremely busy, from the delivering the New Zealand Electrical Licensing Programme, Australian Offshore Technical Skills Record assessments, and ECS testing.

The end of June saw us with one of our biggest group of students coming through the doors to make the move to New Zealand and with the examination just completed the feedback that was received is positive.

The reason behind the positive feedback is due to the way we deliver the study content, with our new study guide book and online content. Our method allows a better interaction with the people on the course, with the questions, answers and videos we provide.

In the coming weeks we plan to launch more UK based training and certification. The latest course that we will be offering is the City and Guilds 2377 In-service Portable Appliance Testing (read more below), so please keep an eye on our website and facebook page for further details.

Kind regards,

Michael Szpakolski

New Zealand's Calling all Electricians!

australian pubs in london for tradies

Great Britain Construction Training are the only place in the UK where you can become licensed and registered before you arrive in New Zealand.

We can assist you in gaining the NZ Electrician Registration and Licence, as well as preparing you for work in New Zealand before you leave the UK. We facilitate the required steps taking the stress and inconvenience out of this timely process, avoiding you weeks of potential complications. Here’s how you can take the fast track to work in New Zealand!

GBCT have two more intakes in 2017 for the Electrical Licensing Programme (October and November) with limited spots available. Enroll today: http://shop.gbconstructiontraining.com/New-Zealand-Electrical-Assessment-Programme-NZ-EAP.htm

High Achiever David talks to us at GBCT about our Electrical Licensing Training: https://youtu.be/u2EjVVHrFVI

Check out all of our testimonials and reviews.

UK Start Up Packs

If you have been thinking about moving to the UK, now is the time to do it! We'll help you get started! Use our unique Start Up Packs to help you to use your trade to travel.

Our UK Start Up Packs help Electricians, Carpenters, Welders, Plumbers and Construction Workers get site ready in the UK asap!

Get yours today: http://www.shop.gbconstructiontraining.com/UK-Start-Up-Packs_c14.htm

View a comprehensive list of items and services included in this Start Up Pack.

Chris from Australia, talks with Michael of GB Construction Training about the ECS & 17th Edition courses which are included in the UK Electrical Start Up Pack.

Introducing PAT Testing

GB Construction Training bringing the City & Guilds PAT (Portable Appliance Training) Testing to our Isleworth training centre.

Given that every commercial electrical appliance requires PAT testing, the courses will be a very useful qualification and addition to the skill-set of any practicing electrical professional. Undergoing PAT testing training will prove invaluable. Contact us to register your interest in our upcoming PAT testing courses and exams.

One in three Great Britain construction firms employ migrant workers, citing skills and availability as top reasons

The large-scale, GB-wide research, by CITB, IFF Research and the Institute of Employment Research at Warwick University, is the first to bring together the views of construction firms, employment agencies and migrant workers. Researchers conducted over 600 interviews to provide a detailed and up-to-date picture of the role migrant workers play in the construction industry.

  • Half of London construction firms heavily reliant on migrant workers.
  • 2 in 5 employment agencies expect staff shortages due to Brexit.
  • Half of firms with migrant labour expect impact from potential migrant caps. Key concern is retaining existing migrant workforce.
  • The research found that three-quarters of migrant workers surveyed expect to be working in the UK in 12 months’ time, with only 1 in 20 expecting to move abroad, and over half expecting to work in the UK until retirement.
  • Over a third of employers who employ staff from outside the UK say they do so because there are not enough skilled applicants from the UK, rather than for cheaper labour. The issue is magnified in London where one in two employers say they are ‘very dependent’ on migrant workers.

'Environmental' joins H&S Assessment name

In the future if you see reference to the ECS 'Health, Safety and Environmental Assessment' - don't worry, it's the same Health & Safety Assessment that has been operated by the ECS for years.

By taking a simple step to include this in the name, it's clearer to see that environmental issues have been taken into consideration.

So wherever you see reference to Health, Safety & Environmental, this is the same assessment as previously, with the same revision book and exemptions.

If you have any queries regarding our assessments or need assistance please email us info@gb-ct.org or contact us via our website.

The GB Construction Training Team

GB Construction Training News: Christmas Special NZ Electrical Licensing - now £1195! Important centre holiday dates.

We’ve made it to December with Christmas and the holiday season is just around the corner! Our December NZ Electrical Assessment is already well underway, with a full class but we have spots available for our 2017 intakes, and we have a Christmas special just for you Electricians!

In this month’s newsletter, we cover the following:

  • Christmas Special - NZ Electrical Licensing Programme
  • Important GBCT Centre Holiday Dates
  • Industry News

Our Exclusive Christmas Special: New Zealand Electrical Licensing Programme

Enrol in our February 2017 NZ Electrical Licensing Programme and pay only a total of £1195!

This limited time special is only available for one week, so grab your spot now and receive your study materials before our delivery cut off dates for 2016 (see centre holiday dates below).

Listen to Flip on why he chose GB Construction Training to complete the NZ Electrical Licensing Programme.

Aside from our Christmas Special, we’ve also opened up the 2017 dates with monthly intakes available now to kick start your New Year!

Need more information? Visit our website, or contact our friendly team: info@gb-ct.org phone +44 (0) 20 8847 3718

Important GB Construction Training Centre Holiday Dates

After a busy year that was 2016, we’ll be closing the centre over the Christmas and New Year period.

Our final assessments date for 2016 is the 21st December and we will be back open from the 16th January 2017.

We still have all our normal services and assessments available until the 21st December, however please note that if you are purchasing any Start Up Packs or service/product that requires study material, there will be no deliveries from the 18th December - 11th January.

Industry News

AM2 from January 1st 2017

The UK Industry Assessment of Occupational Competence (AM2) provided by National Electrotechnical Training, is for apprentices, adult trainees or upskilling workers who seek to gain industry recognised qualified status; raising overall safety and skill levels and ensuring that candidates from various routes have the skills employers need.

The purpose of the AM2 is to ensure all qualifying installation electricians achieve a single standard that has been agreed by the employers in the industry as meeting their expectations from newly qualified personnel. The content, structure and marking of the assessment is designed to produce evidence that a candidate has gained all the relevant safety critical competencies during their training process.

Accordingly, the AM2 provides a reliable and trusted independent assessment of safe, high quality standards for the electrical installation industry and is highly valued by employers, who regard it as proof of competence for an electrician.

If you have any questions about the AM2 please contact us: info@gb-ct.org

We wish you a happy holiday season and look forwarding to seeing you again in 2017!

GBCT New Zealand Electrical Assessment

Introducting the New Zealand Plumbers Licensing Study Guide

Study from home – become a registered and licensed New Zealand Plumber!

Are you a qualified/experienced plumber wanting the Kiwi experience?

Great Britain Construction Training can assist, and are proud to be able to offer the NZ Plumbers Licensing Study Guide for internationally qualified and experienced Plumbers looking to achieve registration and licencing for NZ.

New Zealand Plumbers Licensing Study Guide

If you wish to work as a plumber in New Zealand you must be registered and hold a current practicing license or alternatively some other exemption issued by the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board (“the Board”).

New Zealand Plumbers Licensing Study Guide full price; £695.00

Cost includes the following:

  • A streamlined pathway to your career in New Zealand.
  • Level 4 NZQA assistance and submission of documentation.
  • PGDB ‘pre-registration application for an overseas qualified tradesperson’ assistance and submission.
  • Home study online with interactive software including animations, videos, quizzes and practice exams with tutor.
  • GBCT are able to offer you the security that your CV and qualifications will be seen by the right employers in New Zealand first!

What is the outlook for plumbing jobs in New Zealand?

Hear Plumbing Gasfitters & Drainlayers Board Chief Executive Martin Sawyers on the New Zealand building industry, its strong labour market and the financial advantages of getting your New Zealand Plumbing Licence.

For further information or to grab your Study Guide now visit our website

Why Use a Migration Agent?

A Registered Migration Agent can take the stress out of your Australian visa application.

Let’s be honest, migrating to Australia on a skilled visa can be a pretty complex affair.

When you’re knee-deep in paperwork and struggling to understand whether you meet the Department of Immigration’s strict criteria, your dream of sitting on the beach with a cold stubby can seem a million miles away.


Before you throw the towel in on your Aussie ambitions, it’s always worth seeking a helping hand.

GB Construction Training can assist with your trade recognition and licencing, but when it comes to the visa application itself, you may find that enlisting the help of a Registered Migration Agent is the way forward.

Are Agents Essential?

Nope. It’s not essential to use a Registered Migration Agent, but many visa applicants do.

In fact, according to statistics from the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA), 84% of employer-sponsored applicants lodge their application with professional assistance.

There are a few reasons for this, but the main one is that by using an OMARA-registered Agent, you can be pretty sure your application will be right first time. Registered Migration Agents lodge dozens of visas every year. They understand the ins and outs of the process and can prevent costly mistakes that could jeopardise any future applications that you make.

Upping sticks and moving to the other side of the world is stressful enough without worrying about red tape, migration policy changes and complicated application forms. With someone guiding you, overseeing every last detail and ensuring that you stand the best possible chance of success - you can relax.

It’s better to get things right on the first go, rather than risk your future in Australia (and your bank balance) with a botched application. Having said this though, using an Agent to manage your application will cost money, so make sure you’re fully aware of the professional costs involved before signing up.

However, if you’re confident of successfully managing your own application then there’s nothing to stop you from lodging it yourself. It’s entirely your decision.

Choosing an Agent

Your Migration Agent should be registered with OMARA. You can check this by visiting OMARA’s website. OMARA is the Australian Government’s Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority and Agents are bound by a strict code of conduct. You can download a copy of the Code of Conduct for Registered Migration Agents by visiting the OMARA website.

You should also ask your Agent what their success rate is and how much experience they have in managing cases similar to yours.

Another factor to consider when choosing a Migration Agent is their online reviews. You can read independent reviews on the Migration Agent Review website. It’s also advisable to visit your Migration Agent’s Facebook page and other social media channels. It can provide a good indication as to how active and responsive they are.

You could also ask your Agent to put you in touch with referees if necessary. It’s important that you’re happy with your potential Agent before you sign on the dotted line, so don’t be afraid to fire plenty of questions at them!

As with most things in life, the quality of a Migration Agent is usually reflected in their price. If someone is offering to manage your case for a fraction of the normal cost then alarm bells should be ringing. Use a reputable company that charges a fair price and you won’t go far wrong.

By Joylene Hay
Director, True Blue Migration Services

True Blue Migration Services

After trades jobs in the UK? Intrepid tradies enjoy your adventure - but tread with care!

Off to the UK? Read on for some tips on transitioning from the Aussie workplace to the UK construction landscape. We’ll also navigate the nuances of the thriving metropolis of London, since it’s a popular destination of choice for travelling tradies.

find trades jobs in UK

It has long been a tradition that young Aussies head off overseas to explore the thrills of European travel after finishing their trade apprenticeship.

Travel brings valuable hands-on life experience, the promise of new opportunities and the chance to broaden your work horizons.

Most young tradies take up the European 2 year Tier 5 working holidaymaker visa (Youth Mobility Scheme) if they’re aged 18-30, with the majority basing themselves in the UK due in part to the strong historical ties with Australia and New Zealand. This allows an ease of assimilation, good proximity to Europe and the benefits of the strong currency. Young tradies then take the opportunity to travel throughout Europe, and why wouldn’t you?

Hitting the job site in the UK

Working in the UK - the gateway to Europe - helps to fund such nomadic experiences and that is where having a trade has huge advantages. When searching for UK trades jobs however, those advantages also come with responsibility and also risk.

Construction is a global game, however it is played very differently in other countries, those differences need to be respected and understood to avoid potential hazards or hardship while on you’re on your working holiday.

One of these differences is the ‘Self Employed’ status that 4.5 million UK construction workers operate under.

The large majority of working holidaymakers to the UK also register as self-employed within the construction industry at the request of contractors and employment agencies and with this comes the requirement to understand exactly what that status means.

trades licencing in UK

Going it alone

Self-employment in the UK construction industry is a double-edged-sword, and is not the same as in Australia or New Zealand.

There are many scenarios, however one example is: under ‘self-employment’ you do not need to give 4 weeks’ notice when you want to go traveling which is a big positive.

On the other hand the contractor doesn’t need to give notice that work is running out which is a stark negative. Also you are not entitled to sick leave or holiday pay, but on the flip side you get a slightly higher hourly rate and can claim all your expenses, food, clothes, travel, tools, partial rent etc. Working for yourself does lend itself to the nature of working and traveling over a 2 year period however it does come with its flexibility.

This is one of many differences between the industries like deregulation of trade licensing and construction industry tax scenarios which can all be discussed with your trusted downunder travel or training provier such as GB Construction Training. Deregulation of trade licensing means there is no government regulation that requires the use of a licence.

Tools of the trade - are they universal?

UK construction sites operate on 110v. While you will find that some site sheds and lunch areas have 240v, the site itself will have stepdown transformers throughout the project.

Also the UK has a different power outlet configuration and therefore any plug-in equipment from Australia or New Zealand is not usable on two fronts. Chargers are used in the site sheds where 240v is available, if someone wanted to bring their heavy 240v battery operated drills to the UK and then use an adapter they would need it tested and tagged by a qualified person. A big effort for a relatively cheap item in the UK.

Hand tools are mostly generic so it is advised that you pack some hand tools that are useful to your trade although having said that, tools in the UK are much cheaper than in Australia and New Zealand. We suggest not go overboard as you usually only have a 20kg-30kg of luggage allowance on an international flight.

People have shipped over tools in the past and that is an option however they can take several months to arrive. It seems cost effective at first as companies offer a door to door service, however when the tools arrive in London they will be held at Customs and import tax will be payable before they will release it to your chosen UK address - so be wary of that.

We can link you with the right company to supply you with the basic equipment you need to start work and you can build your kit over time. Most companies supply equipment outside hand tools, you are not running your own company unlike in Australia.

uk trades tools

How much will you earn using your trade to travel?

Having a trade allows you to earn more money than working behind a bar for example. Depending on the trade you hold and the status of your role, the average wage across the industry is £32,888 per annum compared to the average bar job across the UK being £11,324

Using your trade in the UK rather than opting for a general job will allow you to travel further.

As mentioned earlier it is not as straightforward as just showing up in the UK and starting work, it’s advised that you seek a pathway that makes it as quick, stress free and affordable as possible to be site ready, that is why we have created our trademarked Start Up Packs specifically for a range of different tradies. These help with wiring codes of practice for electricians for example, and more broadly, health and safety assessments for compliance with UK regulations, they also include an oyster card and so much more.

Using these, your Australian qualification is recognised and you can train in the gap between industries. They cover deregulation of licensing laws, understanding self employment and insurance requirements that come with that. You’re also supplied with a range of opportunities through extended network contractors and recruitment agencies.

uk construction cards

Be site aware and safety savvy

If you are thinking of taking a working holiday once you have qualified, or in the near future, please do your due diligence. Educate yourself about the dangers of working abroad in your trade, stay safe and enjoy the tantalising adventures that await!

Harden up!

Dreading the weather? It’s been given a bad rap and it’s not as soggy as you’re lead to believe, well when compared to much of the United Kingdom. At the end of the day it’s polar opposite from Australia, however you know what to expect. Sure it can get pretty gray and the sun goes down early in the winter but the pub scene more than makes up for it for thirsty tradies at the end of a long day.

Europe Awaits!

It is true to say that working abroad in your trade can lead to great things.

moving to uk from australia

Move over work, onto pleasure

When you go to England you just can’t miss its capital London. When you venture off to the UK, it’s a must visit city. Whether you want to frequent a quintessential pub, ride the tube or visit the popular tourist haunts, London has it going on. This city is a buzzing multicultural tapestry where boredom is almost unheard off. The city nicknamed ‘The Old Smoke’ isn’t always easy to navigate when you’re a freshie.

London Must-sees!

Everyone will have a differing opinion on what you can’t miss out on during your first visit, but before you start in the construction workplace, you’re best to familiarise yourself with the tourist sites, as your family back home will expect you to report on these. Let’s just rattle them off: Big Ben, The London Eye, Trafalgar Square, Tower Bridge, The Shard, Tower of London, The Gherkin, Hyde Park, Horse Guards Parade, Covent Garden. There are plenty more however there are many guides that will show you the ropes.

Save your pennies and travel on a shoestring

London sure isn’t cheap, the Aussie dollar doesn’t convert to much either, so yes the rumours hold water. Comparatively (compared to Sydney for example) expect to pay a third more for everything. Tips aren’t as essential in London as they would be in some countries, however it’s common to tip, so do it and be a good sort if it’s expected - 10% is a rough guideline.

Transport can be twice as much as it is in Aussie. Do you know you can save money by getting an Oyster card (included in our UK Start Up Packs). Also download the City Mapper app to make life easier. If your destination is indeed London (as there’s lots of construction work available there) get to know a bit of travel etiquette.

uk jobs for australians moving to London

A different pace and culture - get used to it!

If you want to cruise on an escalator, make sure you stand on the right side. People race around London and will be zipping past you on the left so remember this to avoid any elbow shoves or hassles! We mentioned the tube earlier, and it won’t surprise you to know that it's a throbbing mecca of people on a mission!

Peak times such as rush hour in the morning anywhere from 7am-10am and 4pm-7pm and they can be a squeeze. They fill to capacity quickly and it won’t be a comfortable ride back. Don’t take it personally! People aren’t exactly besties on the tube. It may seem a bit cold but people are busy thinking about work, what’s for dinner, in deep contemplation or staring at their smart phones.

We love the nightlife

australian pubs in london for tradies

There are so many pubs in London, and don’t feel guilty for frequenting them every day, it’s standard practice. Often, people stay at home on Friday nights though, which isn’t exactly common place when you’re from the great Southern land.

London pubs are likely to be your second home. We suggest you try the mushy peas, and English fish n’ chips - even if just to say you’ve tried them. If you get homesick, there are many Aussie pubs scattered about. If you love your DJ’s and you prefer to party til the wee hours London has an amazing array of thriving clubs - the size of them will stagger you. Enjoy!

Be part of the footy frenzy

Us tradies are usually sports fiends and they’re no different in the UK. Soccer, well Football, reigns supreme as the sport of choice so be sure to attend a big name game - you probably haven’t experienced any other atmosphere like it!

Enjoy your Gap Year

Tradies thrive on a different lifestyle and London is the place to be. It’s a great place to build on your career and there’s so much to do in your down time.

Get your UK Start Up Pack today and get licensed to safely work on the UK job site!

Get work ready more quickly with our Tradie Start Up Packs, more info here.

Bon voyage - stay safe, work hard and play hard!

New Zealand Electrical Licence

Are you a sparky destined for New Zealand but confused about training options?

It’s great to have some choices when taking your career abroad, however if you’re an New Zealand bound electrician moving from the UK - should you do a NZ Electrical Competency Programme or the New Zealand Electrical Assessment?
Read on and you could save a lot of money, and grief!

We’re hearing you and understand the confusion, both training options have their merits however if you pick the wrong course for your needs, you could end up in New Zealand jobless and waiting a vast amount time twiddling your thumbs for the necessary training to commence.

New Zealand Competency Programme vs New Zealand Electrical Assessment

The New Zealand Competency Programme best suits those in the United Kingdom or Europe, that have previously held a New Zealand Electrical Practicing Licence and wish to return to New Zealand to work as a registered and licenced electrician. If you have an Australian licence, your application is processed in accordance with the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act (TTMRA).

We wouldn’t recommend you tread down the NZCP pathway if you’re a UK registered electrician living in the UK and want to move to NZ for work, it’s the slow complicated approach and we have a way of getting you there faster and more easily!

The New Zealand Competency Programme (NZCP) can only get you so far..

The NZCP, or NZEP (as advertised elsewhere) only gives you the minimum requirements to apply for a work visa. What do you do once you’re in New Zealand? You’ll still be without your EWRB New Zealand Electrical Practicing Licence!

You’ll still have to complete the NZ Electricity Regulations course and exam (only held two months of each year), complete the practical assessment requirements (time is ticking...) and apply for registration and a practising licence - remember you still won’t be in the workforce yet!

How long will this process take? What if you don’t pass and need to resit at a later date that’s out of your control? Can you afford to wait around in NZ without employment?

How can the NZ Electrical Licence Assessment get you job ready before you leave the UK?

What if there’s an easier and quicker pathway for you to get to NZ?

The NZ Electrical Assessment is a more intensive training option that gets you licenced before you leave the UK. You can complete the whole process and have your New Zealand Practising Licence in your hand before you leave Heathrow via the New Zealand Electrical Assessment from Great Britain Construction Training!

Become a magnet to NZ employers - Great Britain Construction Training can get you to NZ quickly and inexpensively!

Outside of New Zealand, Great Britain Construction Training is the only organisation that provides the full New Zealand Electrical Licence training in the UK. A bonus of this option is that you can study the New Zealand content at your own pace and complete the assessment in the UK.

Conveniently new intakes start every month and you can opt to receive your EWRB licence before you leave the UK. You also become more attractive to potential New Zealand electrical employers which is a huge drawcard of our training.

GBCT can assist you with the best job offers using their specialist New Zealand recruitment partner - so it’s a win-win for everyone. By being EWRB registered you can expedite the migration process and complete the New Zealand Electrical Assessment within the UK. This not only saves you money on downtime, but also potential hassles and complications when you get to New Zealand.

Surely you don’t still need convincing?! You can hear from some of our graduates who have paved the way before you on YouTube. Be a smart spark and get a head start.

It’s a no-brainer so book now - New Zealand is calling..spots are very limited so Register for your New Zealand Electrical Licence today, see you on the other side!