A new organisation has been set up to help trainee plumbers, electricians and renewable energy installers get their qualifications for jobs.
Trades for Life was founded in response to adult learners who start retraining as tradespeople but have been unable to get jobs because they lack the NVQ level 2 qualification.
The qualification requires practical work to be assessed but adult learners struggle because many training providers do not guarantee the opportunity to get hands-on experience.
Trades for Life has been set up to help students - mainly mature students - complete the final part of their NVQ in just three weeks.
Director Jo Marriott said: "We're at a real turning point in the economy where there's an opportunity to get Britain working again, particularly in the construction sector where output has risen in the first quarter of 2014. But sadly there is a 'sleeping army' of tradesmen out there, on the cusp of being ready to work but missing the final tick in the box.
"If we can give them the shot in the arm they need we have the opportunity to breathe new life into the construction sector and ensure the UK has a fully qualified workforce, poised to spring into action."
Trades for Life will also provide support for students once they have completed their qualifications. This includes help with setting up their own businesses, networking, and workshops on topics such as tax returns or new regulations.
The organisation was set up this summer, and has partnered with training provider ERR Limited to provide support to all of its students. It has helped around 35 learners complete their qualifications so far, by giving them hands-on experience at The Grange development in Dunstable, where their work has been assessed.