Have you ever admired the way a professional tiler creates a layer of perfectly lined-up tiles that disguises even the lumpiest walls, or the way a decorator applies a flawless coat of paint to fiddly window frames without getting any on the glass? At the same time, you have probably experienced a sharp intake of breath when he or she presented their invoice. A good, well-qualified and experienced decorator or tiler can earn a decent living and is always in demand, whatever the economic climate.

There is nothing stopping you from being that skilled tradesperson. You can easily retrain, learning a whole range of impressive and valuable skills in order to start a fresh career. There are plenty of training centres providing tiling courses and decorating courses all over the UK, offering a wide range of options. You can gain City and Guilds or NVQ qualifications within a few weeks; the rest is up to you.

Taking a course may cost money, but most people find that the investment pays off in many different ways. For a start, you can get advice on how to set yourself up in your new trade. You are likely to meet people in the decorating and construction industry who may be able to help you get a job. Most importantly, a qualification acts as proof of your abilities and skills, so that potential employers and customers can see at a glance, what standard you have achieved. So what is stopping you? Get retraining.