I recently had two clients with similar problems. Both were faced with redundancy and wanted to get qualifications to help them find a job.
They googled ‘Plumbing’ and sent e-mails to companies that advertised training courses.
They both separately received visits from a salesman who said how they could become qualified plumbers.
The training company did not take just anyone but each of the clients had been assessed as exceptional candidates and there was just one place left on the course. If they did not sign up today they would miss this valuable chance. Help was offered in arranging a loan to finance the studies. Both signed up.
Client A became suspicious after a few weeks because he was not getting good quality teaching. He wanted to end the course and get a refund. He was struggling to repay the bank loan.
Client B persevered with the studies for three years and paid £3700 although she was suspicious of the standard of the coursework and marking. She found her certificate was not an industry recognised qualification and was no good to her. She had managed to pay her bank loan but wanted a refund.
The Scottish and Northern Ireland Plumbing Federation state the minimum qualification for a plumber in Scotland is an SVQ3 which is done in the workplace and takes at least 4 years. City and Guilds Technical Certificates do not allow a person to register as a plumber. Work place training is required.
We offered advice about getting a refund but felt it would be difficult. I believe there is a move to involve Trading Standards because of the irresponsible marketing of the courses. The clue is in the high pressure salesmanship. If you want to improve your skills we have an excellent local resource at Perth College. They will help you with finding a suitable course, be clear about the cost and not put you under any pressure. The Citizen’s Advice Bureau is at 7 Atholl Crescent. Drop in is 10am-12 noon, Monday to Friday or phone 01738 450581 for an appointment in the afternoon. 01738 450580 is the Advice Line. Everything is confidential, even the fact that you visited the bureau. There is also a web-site run by the CAB. Adviceguide.org.uk covers many topics and is easy to use.