With an increasing number of 2-3 day unregulated locksmithing courses being advertised across the country, we advise wannabe locksmiths to carefully consider which training courses they sign up for amid concerns over the increased number of complaints the association is hearing about privately run courses.
We are warning those looking to enter into the locksmithing profession to be wary of courses that promise an ‘easy career’ with an unlimited customer base and a £60,000 salary after just 2-3 days of training. As a truly not-for-profit trade association we fear such courses are being run purely for profit and often give unrealistic expectations of the locksmithing profession, without providing adequate training to enable students to earn a living as a locksmith.
We have seen a steep increase in aspiring locksmiths reporting inferior, unprofessional training over the past couple of years and a surge in reports from members having to rectify issues caused by poorly trained individuals. Some students are even setting themselves up as trainers despite having never worked as practicing locksmiths themselves. The concern has led to the association taking measures to help develop a nationally recognised locksmithing qualification.
It is hoped that a national qualification and formal apprenticeship framework will help legitimise the locksmithing profession, provide would-be locksmiths with appropriate training, stop unqualified individuals setting themselves up as trainers and offering consumer reassurance against the 6,500 unregulated locksmiths estimated to be operating within the UK.
One of the reasons the MLA has invested so much time and money into developing a nationally recognised qualification for the locksmithing industry is because of the increase in the number of unregulated and inferior courses being offered to would-be locksmiths. Although locksmithing can be a rewarding career, it takes hard work and long hours so a lot of dedication is needed and it certainly isn’t the kind of “get rich quick” scheme as intimated by some training providers. In some areas of the UK the market is already overcrowded so an increase in unskilled people trading as locksmiths is only further denting the reputation of the profession and causing concern to legitimate, skilled locksmiths.
Of course some private training will be run by experienced and knowledgeable locksmiths who genuinely want to teach best practice to new people, but sadly, a lot more seem to be money making schemes that place little regard to the training they are giving and whether students leave the course with the ability to carry out basic locksmithing skills.
MLA members have also found a high proportion of courses encouraging students to buy expensive tools and products from training providers or commercial ‘guest speakers’ that they may not necessarily need or use, which is further denting the reputation of the profession and placing genuine would-be locksmiths in a difficult position. Locksmiths need different tools depending on what type of work they’re planning to do and even where they operate geographically so there should be no emphasis on purchasing tools when undertaking locksmith training. It also has to be said that a number of tools can actually be built by locksmiths themselves.
As an association we are also highly concerned by the intentions of those who enrol on these courses and the lack of background checks carried out on would-be students by some trainers, after all what better training is there for burglars than a quick course that provides access to the skills and tools needed to enter people’s homes undetected?
There are hundreds of two to three day locksmithing courses advertised online and many more being advertised in local papers and shops across the country. With no current way of benchmarking this training, the MLA advises aspiring locksmiths to be vigilant and carry out thorough research into whether locksmithing is the right path for them and if so what a locksmith training course is actually offering them before they sign up.
We are on track to launch a national qualification for the locksmithing profession alongside skills body Skills for Security. This will allow for an element of regulation, whereby awarding bodies will require training providers to meet minimum criteria such as appropriate premises and experience. We believe this will help raise the standard of the range of training courses available and address the issue of people attending one course and setting themselves up as trainers soon after.
For more career advice on becoming a locksmith see please our Top 10 Tips – Locksmith Career Guide
Latest posts by Steffan George (see all)
- The MLA address issue of lock snapping after incorrect advice provided on ITV programme - November 1, 2013
- Hall of Shame – Examples of Poor / Bad Locksmith Work - August 27, 2013
- Interview with a Locksmith – Mr Locks Locksmiths - August 20, 2013
- Interview with a Locksmith – Alexandra Locksmiths Ltd - June 17, 2013
- Guide To Finding a MLA Locksmith Local and Near To Me - June 12, 2013