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Pathways into construction for young people

Pathways into construction for young people

by constructaquote - 14 August 2020


Although the pandemic has changed the way school and college results have been graded this year, the pressure on students is undoubtedly just as high. At that age, your grades feel like the most important thing in the world as you believe without them you’ll never end up on a successful career path.

However, there are many avenues into the construction industry that are not always affected by the grades we get at school or college. Here we explore the options available for school and college leavers looking to forge a career in the construction industry.


Traineeships are a great way of getting a career in construction off the ground, helping the trainee build the skills needed to secure an apprenticeship or a job. A traineeship is open to people aged 16 – 24 (or 16 -18 in Wales) who have no qualifications above GCSEs, and have little or no previous experience. Once completed the trainee could then be interviewed for an apprenticeship or, if the company isn’t taking on apprenticeships at that time, they will at least gain a professional reference. Although they won’t earn a wage, the skills and experience gained will support the trainee in finding opportunities to join the field.


Combine practical and academic learning whilst gaining on the job experience with a construction apprenticeship. There are 100s of construction apprenticeships available from bricklayers to architects and once completed, the apprentice is awarded an industry specific qualification and may be offered a full time position. An apprentice can enter at whatever level is right for them and can continue up to higher or degree level, where they will have received the equivalent to a university degree – whilst gaining on the job experience and avoiding tuition fees.

Work Experience

Work experience is particularly useful for students as it helps them develop the necessary skills and prepare them for the world of work. They’ll generally be given a chance to shadow skilled professionals and assist them with day-to-day tasks. Work experience is usually unpaid, but many construction employers see previous work experience as essential so for those planning to enter the industry, a work placement is a great idea.

T Levels

A new qualification that will be offered in England from September, T Level is a two year course that gains the equivalent of three A levels. T Levels in design, surveying and planning for construction will be available this year, with building service engineering and onsite construction being added in 2021. The course is designed to arm learners with specific skills and industry experience to make them more employable or set them up for higher level education. The course involves a technical qualification, an industry placement and a minimum standard in Maths and English.


Many colleges offer courses that are linked to construction and the built environment, such as bricklaying and joinery, however students may also be required to also attend additional training relating to their field. Colleges also offer courses which could help students move into other areas of the construction sector such as administration, law, or IT. Students can apply for college straight from school or in later life, and from there can continue studying into higher education or look for work. College offers an opportunity to develop the relevant skills and gain industry approved qualifications. However, it should be noted that is a good idea to gain work experience alongside college courses as many employees see this as essential.


There are lots of different degrees that are linked to construction and the built environment including engineering and surveying. However, students can also study in areas such as finance or accounting and move into the industry that way. Students can start university at any stage, providing they have the relevant qualifications needed. Each year covers a range of compulsory topics and some specialised modules that students can pick which are tailored to the area they are looking to move into. Once completed, they can look to apply for a graduate scheme which offers hands-on training and professional development to give them a fast track into the industry.

Whether starting as an apprentice and entering at degree level, there are many pathways into the construction industry. By learning a trade, students can gain skills for life that will makes it easier to go self-employed – and of course when they do, constructaquote.com will be here to ensure they are fully covered with the most suitable, value for money Tradesman Insurance!