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Rave Reviews For Able Skills

One of our former plumbing courses trainees has been kind enough to leave us a glowing review on Qype. Take a look to see what he has has to say about training with Able Skills.Having decided in 2009 to retrain, I looked around the internet at various training centres and chose Able Skills. I turned up unannounced one day, as invited to do so on their website, and met Gary, owner of Able Skills, who showed me round the subjects I had expressed interest in gaining skills in.I found him very helpful and he talked me through various courses, before leaving me me with a brochure and directions to their other site (which teaches carpentry, amongst other things) about 5 minutes away which I also wanted to visit.Both Gary and the instructors I spoke with were friendly and willing to spend time talking about the courses and the centre which they were clearly passionate about; they outlined the knowledge and skills I would gain without any pressure to sign up on the spot. I went away and a couple of days later decided to enrol on a City & Guilds level 2 plumbing studies course, followed by a week of short regulation courses, then gas training.As this was a course that had specific start dates, and that was just over 5 weeks in the future, I decided, since I was not working at the time, to fill that 5 weeks with a C & G multi-skill course, which gives you the basic skills (and a qualification) in 3 disciplines, I chose plastering, carpentry and bricklaying.When I arrived to begin my plastering module, we all went through the obligatory Health & Safety induction, then very swiftly moved on to practical tasks, straight in at the deep end, which is great as you don't want to spend too much time studying how to do something, you want to get stuck in. My instructor Brian clearly had a wealth of experience and was very patient with me as I had no prior experience and much of it was ending up on the floor!He and Spencer, the other highly-experienced plastering instructor who took over seamlessly when Brian unfortunately could not continue through ill health, both clearly found it very amusing that a lot of the muck was ending up on the floor and in my dreadlocks, but were very encouraging and persevered with me until by the end of the 3 weeks I was producing work which I would be happy to charge for, let alone pay for.Now able to render and to skim walls and ceilings, I moved on to carpentry, where there were 4 instructors, Bill, Paul, Blake and Mark. More H & S induction of course, all the instructors drill this into you as the centre is extremely safety oriented.I was able at any time to ask any of them for guidance and help and since they all taught the whole breadth of my course at various times, they were always able and willing to help; even though Mark was actually teaching kitchen-fitting to students in a different section of the workshop at the time, he still took the time to teach me how to correctly use a routing machine as he passed by me. I found it very useful that so many instructors were on hand as each had slightly different ways of doing things which led, I felt, to a greater insight.Simon took me next for bricklaying, more H & S relating to the hazards of working with these materials, and again, by the end of the first day, I had produced my first wall, and even had some photo evidence to prove it.Evidently highly skilled and experienced, and with a great sense of humour (although by the end I was sure I'd heard a couple of his jokes once or twice before!), by the end of the 2 weeks Simon (and Paul from carpentry, who was also an extremely competent bricklayer) had imparted the skills required for me to amass an impressive portfolio of evidence in what was a challenging and rewarding subject.For my plumbing course, my instructor was Toby. The class size was 16, which made it a little warm in the classroom when we covered the dozen or so chapters of theory (including, yes, health & safety) but in the workshop, the group was fairly spread out and settled down into various sub-groups of varying ability.I found Toby, and Jim, the other plumbing instructor, to be excellent teachers, and their knowledge and patience ensured that I, and a couple of others who struggled with one or two elements, got up to speed by the end of the 8 weeks. In fact, apart from three students who dropped out in the early stages for personal reasons, and another who clearly never put in any home study, everyone passed within the time allotted.Roy took me for the week of short courses (Unvented, Water Regs, Energy Efficiency, Solar Thermal) and the 3 weeks of gas training). Roy is clearly someone who has been there, seen it, done it, and had many anecdotes which illustrated why certain regulations are there and why things must be done a certain way.His unique manner of teaching kept us all interested during what was a very intensive four weeks of class-based theory and everybody passed with the required 100% mark. Ian, the other gas instructor, was also very helpful, and like all the instructors at Able Skills, could be