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Painting & Decorating16-19th January 2023


I thought the course was really good, and Richard is a cracking tutor: not only is he very good at what he does, and he explains it very clearly, he also has the patience of a saint! I am not the most practical person in the world, but I got exactly what I wanted out of the course. So I’d be very grateful if you would pass on my thanks please. And of course also to Tradeability.




Tracey Marshall

To Janice and Lee,


Firstly, can I just thank you both for laying on this course but can I just say how beneficial it’s been in gaining the qualification. Having seen other plasterers and doing small jobs myself I thought it would be easy and I was doing everything right, Turns out I only knew how to do the mix and nothing else. This is the stepping stone I needed in setting me on the right path to start my venture in having/running my own plastering company.


The standard of instruction was second to none but also set at the right level across the board. I’m not saying I’m the best plasterer but feel in time my confidence will grow now I have completed the course. I’m already looking at the next course for tiling and more.


Feel free to have this on your review online and I am already recommending this to all my civilian/military friends.


Thanks again.





WO2 G Wilmott 


 received September 2020
Jordan completed all our Trade-Courses in 2019
Good morning trade ability 
It has been almost a year now since I attend your course and I'd like to give you and update on how I have used your qualifications.  
So after passing I started part time trading whilst having a full time job  on a farm. The first few months there was a steep learning curve with invoicing and quoting etc but it was great experinces. Winter hit and so did covid so pretty much closed down trading to focuse on survival thought covid. 2 mo ths ago I switched jobs and now I use every thing you taught me on a daily basis. Norwich county council child services made a new position in there company as a handy man lucky I got the job. The position had never existed before so i had to grass routes it and support it with my tools until we found jobs that where the most common. I currently over see repairs in 12 semi-indipendent homes (16-17 yrold) and 18 residential homes (6-16yrs old). The biggest gripe I have is contractors skipping corners and putting plasters on arterial bleeds. 
I've not only used the skills in work but also at home where I complete refitted my bath room. My burner got condemned by the sweep this month so I'm taking the opportunity to take all the upgrades done over the years and return my living room back to original standards with lime plaster, but don't worry a freind next door is a meditation builder (green man company) so he's advising the best way to do it all.
Also whilst in lock down I helped out around the area as alot of people didn't have much money to go that far so as long as they could get materials i did some vital repairs ( home improvements) for a crate of bear or skill exchange. 
Hope every thing is going well on your end and I just want to say thank you for the support when leaving the service :) 
Kind regards 
Jordan Shrubb

Steve Harrison August 2020

Trade-ability is great for all levels with excellent training at a pace all can manage. Leigh and janice help you with all your needs and really make you feel welcome. Don’t think about it just do it you will not regret it!

Andy Tagg Feb 2020
Just finished the week-long tiling course which was excellent in every respect. I had some previous experience but learned about all the things I had been doing wrong. My key takeaways: brickwork effect works really well, stick to ceramic tiles if you can and grout is your friend ?
The facilities are excellent and the tuition is top notch.
Thanks Leigh and Janice, see you next week for bricklaying.

David Branton June 2019


Having just completed the week-long course in plumbing. I have learnt things things that I doubt I would of learnt in a month from other course providers. I highly recommend trade ability and I am already planning my next course

Androulla Kokkinou November 2018
Androulla Completed our Week tiling course to compliment the PLumbing NVQ L2 course she had started at college, while doing this course she decided to complete our Weekend plumbing course.

Just wanted to say a massive thank you for everything! Giving me the opportunity to get hands on and I’ve learnt a hell of a lot! 
I’d like you to thank Paul for me as well! He’s helped me massive amounts and helped me understand everything and answered all my questions. 

Thanks again! 

Anthony Kelly November 2018

I did a 7 week course as part of resettlement for leaving the army, learnt so much and gained confidence to be able to tackle jobs at home where previously i wouldn't have. highly recommend to anyone about to leave the forces.

Sarah Chaudhary October 2018
Just wanted to let you know how much we got out of the week with Tony. We learned absolutely loads. I’m off into the garden now to start planning my first project!
Thanks Sarah 

Lee Foster September 2018

I completed the BTEC level 3 in Construction and the Build Enviroment a couple of weeks ago consisting of Block Paving, Plumbing, Plastering, Brick laying and Tiling. The course it's self was laid of perfectly and the Instructor Lee was always on hand to help and answer any questions I had. The course and Lee gave me the confidence and know how to tackle anything I came up against once I completed the course. Since then I've taken on several jobs for customers with great outcomes and with several more booked in for the next few weeks. would highly recommend this course to anybody who just wants to do it for them self or anybody wanting to make a career in this industry.

Gary Lambert  April 2018

Just finished the plastering course over 2 weekends.... 10 days ago I couldn't plaster... I would now tackle any room at home and be confident of getting a good result. Thanks to Lee

Benjamin Lee

I undertook the 4 day bricklaying course spread over two weekends. It was a great introduction to bricklaying and gave me the chance to build my confidence in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. I would recommend this to anyone who is contemplating having a go at a few brickwork projects around the house and garden.

Blaine McBride forwarded me this on 15.09.16

He attended our Tiling Course in March 2016.


Since being on the tiling course at trade ability I have completed numerous jobs which help signicifcantly with me being a qualified plumber as now when doing a bathroom i don’t need to wait on a tiler coming in ,from being on the course it has most defiantly gave me the confidence to carry out this work and the results are brilliant. For anyone in a trade and wanting to learn different skills i would defiantly recommend getting in touch with trade ability.






Alyn Paul Coward reviewed Trade-Ability5 star

Leigh Sanders is an exceptional tutor who instills confidence in his pupils. If you want to learn the skills of the trades on offer for your own benefit or to start working for yourself then Trade-Ability is highly recommended!

I have my first plumbing task tomorrow in fact - replacing a kitchen mixer tap for my sister-in-law. It's a start!


Carl Bacon


Really enjoyed my course on plumbing and have learnt so much in a short time leigh is a great trainer and has filled me ...with confidence to carry out necessary fixes and installs can't give the team at tradeability enough thanks a really friendly place to learn a new trade 19/02/16

Hi Leigh and Janice

Having just finished the above course (painting & Decorating) I thought I would give you some feed back.
Only two negative comments:
1. The building could do with a bit more heat in the cold temperatures. It was very cold early part of the week and not easy to stand and listen with chattering teeth.
2. I was disappointed that it wasn't possible to 'cut in' around glass when painting a door or window frame. Yes Richard explained it very well but it would have been beneficial for me to actually do it. A door with glass panel or small window frame with glass would have been useful.
On the positive side you have a very good set up, all the tools available that's needed, all the equipment etc etc.
Richard was excellent I thought. A first class communicator, he explained everything very carefully and patiently to the group and then took the time to also provide 'one to one' where ever and when ever he could. Prior to the course I had never wall papered in my life but after Richards tuition I could quite easily paper a room (assuming it's not too tricky of course !!) throughout the week he got peppered with questions from all of us but answered each one in the same calm manner always with time and patience.....I was very impressed with him. 
I will probably return to do the plumbing course as it sounds very good but.........not in the winter months !!!!!!!!!!!
All the very best
Kind regards and best wishes
Gordon Simmonite
Dated: 21/2/2016


Gary Butler completed our Tiling course at the end of November 2015. He forwarded us pictures of three jobs he completed before attending our Plastering  course on the 4th of January 2016. Shows what is possible after attending our courses. See his other pictures on our Tiling page.

Lisa completed our Weekend course on the 14th of June 2015

I would like to say a huge thank you to Lee and the team. I really enjoyed the Plastering course. I have to say it was a little daunting on day one being a women, but I was made to feel very welcome and at ease from the moment I arrived. Additionally I was treated exactly the same as everyone else on the course, fulfilling all areas needed for the job.
I am so pleased with the new skill I have learnt and have to say the training went above and beyond what I could have hoped for. I had absolutely no experience of plastering before the course but now feel more than confident to get stuck in. 
Lee clearly has masses of experience and gave us so many great tips and advice, answering what must have felt like endless questions. 
Thank you again, 

23rd January 2015 

Just wanted to send a quick e-mail after completion of my plastering course today. 
I really would like you to pass on my thanks to Lee. The  delivery and content of the five day course was excellent       

 and  conducted in a professional way. I found that nothing was 

to much trouble and no question was treated with nothing more than respect.                           I will certainly be booking myself onto future courses because of the high level of training

delivered throughout this course by Lee.  
  My thanks to you, trade ability and especially to Lee, really enjoyable course in the very best surroundings to learn new skills.


Wayne Fantom.

Hi Janice, I did one of your bricklaying courses in November, I'v just finished building a wall in my garden (it's not taken me since November! It's taken about 10 days)
Thanks for the course it was great and really helped me to pick up new skills and reinforce the basics I knew.
Regards Tom Shaw

Nigel Mee attended our Plastering course 14-18th July 2014.
Just finished the plastering and dry-lining course Btec level 2 today.
As someone who is not a natural DIY person I went on the first day thinking I was probably going to be surrounded by people who were doing that sort of thing all the time. Believe me I was so worried.

However,  within in minutes of being on the course Leigh put us all at ease. He was very good at explaining all the techniques needed to plaster and render and fit new dry-lining walls/ceilings.  He was even better at passing on tips on how to get the best finish. I finished the week being more than confident of my ability to plaster. I never felt stupid and by the end of the first day I could two coat skim a wall to a level that I would have been happy to have in my home
I would recommend Trade-ability to to anyone who wanted to get or improve their skills on plastering.
They also do other similar courses and after this last week I am looking at another with the team. 
If you had told me last week that I will be able to plaster in just 4 days I'd have laughed in your face!
Thanks to Trade-ability how wrong was I!!
Thanks again Leigh

Bathroom re-fit by M Drury Tiling who completed our Weekend Tiling course some 3 years ago.
I thought I would send a quick email to thank you for your tiling training. In February last year  I completed your tiling course with John (I'm sure that was his name, sorry I am no good with names). Since then I had been doing odd tiling jobs for friends and family. 
Towards the end of last year I took the plunge and decided to create my own business and go self employed, work started appearing just from recommendations as I had done no advertising and everything was going well. 
At the end of January I got approached by a kitchen and bathroom fitting company with a job offer of being a tiler for them as they like my work. I decided to go and have a meeting and see what the job had to offer. The company not only wanted me to tile for them but they are going to train me in full kitchen and bathroom fitting i.e fitting worktops cupboards/units and basic plumbing. I have accepted the job and i start in April.
Once again i would like to thank the company for the training offered as its because of you guys i am where i am.
Thanks again,
Michael Drury
P.S if you would like to look at some of my work i have recently set up a Facebook page
I have spent all day yesterday and today changing a radiator, chasing a leak for ages, all sorted now. I have even got my water pump to my shower fixed, a small fuse inside was gone!  
Great course learnt a lot thanks very much! Steve
November 2013


Dear Leigh and Janice,


As I come towards the end of my resettlement period with Trade-Ability, I believe it would be timely to express my sincere thanks for the training I have received over the past few months. The learning environment has been outstanding and my knowledge of the various building trades has increased beyond measure, all of which I know will be of immense Value in the years ahead. Moreover, of equal or perhaps even greater significance, I will always look back on the friendly and understanding atmosphere at Trade-Ability as having been hugely beneficial in my transition from the relative security of over 35 years' service in the RAF to a new life as a civilian; I am deeply indebted to you both.


Looking ahead, I am sure you will continue to receive many inquiries about the training you offer, and I more than willing to strongly recommend all of the Trade-Ability courses to any prospective users, both those leaving the Armed Forces or civilians, and I wish you every success as you take the business forward into the future.


Yours sincerely,


Nick Firby


A former museum worker has swapped preservation for renovation by setting up a painter and decorator business.

Liz Shutler has started a new career as a painter and decorator. (180913JT4-48)

From an Advertisement In The Newark Advertiser October 2013:


Liz Shutler, 46, used to work as a collections and learning officer at Millgate Museum, Newark, before taking voluntary redundancy when it closed and using the money to start her own business. 
After doing a trade course at Trade-Ability, Balderton, her business is now booming. 
Liz,decided on the career change because she had an interest in art and design. 
“I have always done my own decorating,” she said.  “However, it is something that many people want doing for them because they are perhaps a bit frightened of doing it themselves. 
“I put adverts out and got cards printed. It has been very busy.”
  Liz said she was pleased to be her own boss and following a vocation that was traditionally male-dominated.
  “There are a few women doing the job, but I think people do find it a bit of a novelty,” she said.  “People sometimes feel a bit more comfortable with a woman in the house.  “I thought most of my work might come from single ladies or older people, but it has been a real mixture.  “It is good to be doing something for yourself, and something where you can see the result. It has definitely made me more physically fit as well.  “As long as I am getting work I will keep doing it.”

Alyn Coward Competed courses in August 2012


I have just completed courses in plastering and tiling at Trade-Ability and I cannot praise them enough. The structure of these courses were perfect for my needs. When initially researching possible courses some time ago, it seemed as though some involved hours of study on the chemical composition of cement/plaster etc which is fine I guess but not really necessary. What drew me to Trade-Ability was the fact that they were pretty much completely practical, ‘hands-on’ courses.


Leigh’s teaching was quite superb. Despite having zero experience of plastering and feeling rather daunted on the first day, I never felt out of my depth and was quite surprised of the quality of my work even after the first day! The tiling course was a bit different as I have done some tiling previously, but the ‘tips of the trade’ Leigh passed on are worth their weight in gold. I now know where I’ve been going wrong with my grouting in the past, and have learnt a multitude of uses of a damp sponge!
I can’t wait to get cracking on my house and others’ soon so I will definitely be taking up the offer of the benefits of Leigh’s trade discount.
Thanks again for two fabulous weeks.

Tim Steer  attended our courses in November 2011


Well its been a year since my 3 courses with you guys and just to let you know everything went brilliantly. I completed on that bungalow I was trying to buy on the 23rd December, put my new skills to use in January, renovated it in 9 weeks, accepted an offer on it 7 weeks later and it completed 24th June. 6 months beginning to end! £3000 refurb costs, did all the work myself and made £42500 profit. You guys saved me a fortune. Each course paid itself back 10 times over.



David Mottram, RAF, Attended our 5 Day Bricklaying, Plumbing and Plastering course in September 2012

It has now been just over a week since I completed the last of the 3 courses I did with you, and I wish to take this opportunity to say how much I enjoyed the courses and the excellent level of instruction. Previously I only had minimal experience with Bricklaying and non with Plastering and Plumbing. I now feel more than confident to tackle almost any job that came my way in any of these disciplines. This confident approach is about to be put into practice as I am Plastering the internal walls of a conservatory which will also involve the removal and re-fitting of a wet radiator!

Gary Woodbridge, attended our weekend Plumbing course in March 2012

I have already repaired a leak at my rental house and am on my

third kitchen rip out which include first fix plumbing. I also have

another 3 rip outs scheduled one with a radiator move as well.

With my initial 3 jobs the course has already paid for itself

so everything else now is profit!

Thank You........


Dave Hanging finishing paper
Dave Barnes Completed his course Over January & February 2013
'As part of my resettlement from the RAF (after 30 years service), I decided to undertake the "Level 3 Multi skilled Package" that Trade-Ability offer (carrying out Plumbing, Plastering, Bricklaying, Tiling and Painting & Decorating along side a Business start up course) using an ELC; with a view to being more proficient/confident on my own DIY projects, and also to give me the grounding to set up a business as a local 'Handyman'.
The courses taught me new skills, improved on existing skills and definitely gave me the confidence to tackle problems which otherwise I would have possibly called in a tradesman.
The business has only been running for the last 3 weeks, however I have already been given 4 jobs from a local letting agent, 2 jobs from a local retirement  home (with the intent being, that they will be using me as their main handyman) and 2 private jobs.
I can thoroughly recommend the courses, as Leigh and his instructors do a first-rate job.  In addition to the course, they are happy to offer additional advice, are willing to allow you to experiment to enable you to gain the most from the course, and generally go that 'extra-mile' to ensure you come away satisfied and confident in your abilities.'
Dave Barnes
Lincs Handyman Services

Adam Wilson, RAF, attended Plumbing Febuary 2012

"I walked in with very limited knowledge of Plumbing systems and I am now diagnosing friends plumbing problems. Loads of practical hands on experience and extremely useful theory".


Celia Botham, Head Teacher, attended a Weekend Tiling course October 2011

"Short course at weekend fitted in with work commitments"

Would recomend Trade-Ability because "clear instructions and ongoing help enabled me to learn a new skill, friendly and supportive ethos, patient instructor was very approachable, and able to work at your own pace."


Stephen Crowson, Self employed Landscaper, attended Bricklaying December 2011

"Just come along and surprise yourself with what you can actually achieve in such a short time."

Al Davidson,  October 2011Royal Navy
Many thanks for the last 3 weeks, I have really enjoyed the courses. Your friendly and relaxed approach to the course made a warm welcome to the whole experience. I also really enjoyed janice's cakes (shame I didn't get any fruit cake but I understand), they went down well with all them cups of tea. I hope things go well in the future for Trade-Abilty, as Iwould expect.  Once again, many many thanks for your courses. All the best.  


Linda Bramar Organisation & Administration Manager

attended Weekend Tiling October 2011.

"Hands on training at its best! very easy going atmosphere. First class trainers. Women should not be afraid. Learn from your mistakes while training. Instructor answers any questions and steers you in the right direction.  Keep up the good work!! I will be back! look out bricklaying here I come."


Will Price - Plumber- attended Plastering May 2011 
Chose Trade-Ability as it was local and well priced 
"I would recommend Trade-Ability because it is very well taught, you learn very quickly and really achieve something. I've learn't a masive amount in 4 days i've been on the course and am massively confident in my plastering ability."


Nathan Rose- an Electrician from Nottingham attended Plastering & Tiling Nov 2010 
When asked if he would recommend Trade-Ability "Yes , Very good instructor, shocked by the quality of my plastering after just 4 days. Freindly / Helpful
good environment & small group is a huge benefit. I'm confident I can go out and start plastering as a career. 


Lee Hall- Army - attended Bricklaying, Plastering, Block Paving, May 2011 
Found out about Trade-Ability through word of mouth
Chose Trade-Ability as it "offered the right pitch of skills sought" Would recommend courses "due to informal training, gives a good base knowledge, lots of hands on, well run with small groups, so focus is very much on the students and Leigh gives direction frequently as required."


Pete Morris, November 2011 RAF Digby
Just wanted to take a minute to thank you for the courses.  I've had a brilliant  time and really learnt loads which is primarily down to you Leigh, being a fantastic instructor with loads of patience and encouragement to push us to have a go. If time permits with regards to my future work committments, I would love to come back again and have a bash at something else, but until then I wish you all the best for the future and be sure I will have no hesitation in recommending you to anyone else.

Kirsty Westle - Mother - attended Plumbing and Tiling course Sept 2010 
"affordable price, location to me" " I would definately recommend to anyone, especially ladies! Very patient, straight forward explanations.-loved it!!- learnt loads. 

Andy Robinson

Just a quick e-mail to say how much I have enjoyed the Plastering, Tiling, Bricklaying & Plumbing courses which I have undertaken with Trade-Ability over the past few months as part of my resettlement package/grant, before I retire from the RAF early next year. 
All the courses were conducted in a friendly environment and were well taught by the Instructors (Leigh, John, Ray & Alan) who took the time to explain trade practices and pass on many very helpful tricks of the trade; which was exactly what I was after to give me the confidence, level of knowledge and skills to undertake the many basic / DIY refurbishment and improvement jobs I intend to undertake in my own house (and garden), over the next 6-months. 


Peter Hainsworth, October 2011 Station Warrant Officer, RAF Coningsby
I chose 3 courses, plastering, plumbing and bricklaying, at Trade Ability as part of my resettlement based upon word of mouth and checking out the website. The fact that the courses were local and great value for money helped me confirm that this was the company I wanted to use. Day one of all of the courses was spent with a bit of Admin and then straight into hands-on practical exercises. Mainly working in teams of 2 the small course sizes enabled the instructors (Leigh or John) to keep an eye on everyones progress no matter how slow or fast that person progressed. By the end of day 3 we were all well on our way to getting to grips with the basics of the task at hand and had covered all the main areas of that particular specialisation. Day 4 was spent putting all that knowledge into final projects with the instructors filling in the last bits and pieces of knowledge we would need when out there all alone. They answered any questions anyone had and provided advice on areas we had not specifically covered. All in all these courses gave me the confidence and skills to attack any jobs around the house and to even offer assistance to other friends and neighbours should they need it. I would, and have, recommended Trade Ability to anyone looking to enhance their practical skills for around the home or small business.

Wing Commander John Hallwood RAF 

As part of my resettlement from the RAF I attended the courses in plumbing, bricklaying and plastering provided by Mr Leigh Sanders of Trade-Ability. My intention was to hone my plumbing skills and, more significantly, learn how to lay bricks and plaster to an acceptable DIY standard. The courses more than achieved those goals. Indeed the high standard of the instruction was evidenced by the fact that the courses were attended by a substantial number of students that were already accomplished as artisans in other trades and who were there to add to their portfolio of marketable skills. I was particularly impressed by the patience of the instructors and their ability to draw out the best in all the students despite us all developing at widely varied rates. 
Overall I was very impressed with the facilities, the standard of all the courses and the reasonable cost. I now feel more than competent to do work in all 3 disciplines not only for myself but also for other people on a small-scale commercial basis. I whole-heartedly recommend Trade-Ability. 

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