Frequently Asked Questions

Most common questions are answered below

Before your course...

You are more than welcome to visit or book a free Taster Session with us. We will be pleased to show you around and answer any questions you have. Plea se just contact us first to arrange a time. You will be able to speak to instructors themselves and we promise yo u will not be subjected to any pushy sales techniques!
Most of our courses are suitable for complete beginners and you can see the entry level on each of our course pages. You will need to have previous experience working in your chosen field before you complete an NVQ/SVQ.
No - we have no age requirements and you are never 'too old' to start something new!
No we are a private training centre and not government funded. However, we are similar to colleges in that we are approved by national awarding bodies to deliver their qualifications which means you can be assured you are receiving the required high standards of teaching
Yes it can, and many tradesmen will have started at a very young age. On a college course you would typically be working as an apprentice and be released to complete college work on certain days. Most adult learners simply cannot afford to spend years at college with little income but still need access to training and education. Our courses are a great alternative if you want to retrain or develop your existing skills with minimum disruption to your life. We offer various courses for all different levels of experience, including courses not available in colleges.
Yes you can use your SDS Individual Learning Account on all of our courses. Please email us your Account Number to get the ball rolling. ILA cannot be used as a course deposit.
Sometimes funding is available depending on your circumstances. The types of funding available often change so please contact us for more information. We don't currently have any 'pay later' options but can be flexible with course dates and split our longer courses into smaller more manageable sections.
The only cost is the course fee which also includes VAT. There are no hidden costs. We supply all the tools and materials you need to complete the course.
Please see our How to Book page for details.
You can split the course into smaller sections to fit around other commitments or to spread the cost. Just contact us to discuss the best way of managing this for you.
Our courses run all year round and we have start dates every month. We don't publish a 'timetable' as such because we aim to be flexible with start dates. Please contact us to find out what start dates are available. There is no minimum notice period for starting a course and sometimes we can accommodate last minute bookings. However, our courses do book up quickly so if you have a preferred date we recommend booking ahead.
Not at the moment. However, we may offer these in the future so please contact us and we will keep you updated.
We don't have accommodation on site but can help you find good value accommodation close to our centre and often at preferential rates. If you are staying in Edinburgh we can also give you information about local amenities and entertainment. Edinburgh is a beautiful city with many attractions and bustling night life. There is something for everyone in Scotland’s capital city and home of the famous fringe festival. Our course training centre is only a short bus ride or walk from the city centre.

After your course...

If you have completed a qualification (e.g. City&Guilds) we will apply for your certificate and then post it out to you once we have received it.
This will usually take a couple of weeks but can sometimes take longer, for example, for bigger qualifications. If you need the certificate urgently we can often email a PDF version of this before the hard copy is available, just let us know.
Our training does not end when your course is complete! You can return for free advice, re-attend lectures and attend our specialist training days. We are proud to have built a Trades Training community and have established long-term relationships with many of our students. We will always be pleased to see you. Along with the technical training we can also teach you the skills needed to start your own business, including marketing your business, pricing and quoting for work, keeping and organising your paperwork. On completion you will receive a Training Manual and access to our helpline for support at anytime. We offer continued support through our help line. You will also be welcome to pop in at any time for advice or simply to talk through a job.
You can earn a very good salary in all of the trades we teach. Exactly how much will depend on various factors including the exact type of work you do, whether you are employed or have your own business, your own ability and experience. Just like any other career! As a guide, the National Careers Service has published the following salary scales: Wall and floor Tiler £17,000 to £38,000 Plumber £18,000 – £40,000 Plasterer £14,000 - £30,000
Please see our page on Qualifications for more detailed information about this.
We can provide business start up training and will also be happy to put you in touch with employers where possible. We provide unlimited after course support and can help with business plans and CVs. However, we cannot guarantee anybody a job. Many of our students obtain jobs or become self-employed and so can you, but this will involve some effort on your part along wth our support.

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