Routes in to Industry
Most house builders run schemes that help you get into your chosen area. The schemes are based on your location and experience, and focus on your progression. An apprenticeship lets you get qualifications while earning a salary and gaining experience.
If you live in England, are over 16 and are not in full-time education, an apprenticeship could be perfect for you. From things like bricklaying, joinery and surveying to accountancy, sustainability and planning, each apprenticeship usually takes from 1 to 4 years to complete.
The key benefits are:
- Earning a salary
- Training in the skills that house builders want
- Excellent progression opportunities
- Increased future earning potential – apprentices enjoy marked salary increases when they complete their training
- Better long term salary prospects – according to official statistics, those with an Advanced Apprenticeship earn around £117,000 more than those without, over the course of their career
- Learning at a pace suited to the individual with the support of a mentor
- Paid holiday
Graduate training schemes can differ in format and length, and allow you to experience both your role and our industry. Employers set minimum requirements to qualify for entry, such as a certain number of UCAS points, a specific minimum degree grading, and sometimes relevant industry experience through voluntary work placements.
With a huge amount of apprenticeships and graduate schemes to choose from, why not find out more through our House Builder Directory.
University technical colleges (UTCs) are government-funded schools that offer 14–18 year olds a different learning approach to traditional schools. These colleges don’t charge student fees and aim to teach students technical and scientific subjects, educating the house builders of the future.
UTCs do this by integrating technical, practical and academic learning, creating an environment where students can thrive and develop their skills. UTC students benefit from access to:
- The latest research, industry experts and specialist facilities
- Real-life employer projects that stretch their technical skills and creative thinking
- Teaching and mentoring from specialists who currently work in industry
There are already many UTCs across the country. So, if you're interested in a career in house building, both Buckinghamshire University Technical College and West Midlands Construction UTC are perfectly suited.
To view the whole list of UTCs, visit: http://www.utcolleges.org/utcs/
If you are re-entering the house building industry, you will need to obtain a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card or a Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) card for plant and machinery operators before starting work onsite. These cards are often requested as proof of occupational competence and health & safety awareness.
For a handy guide on how to get your CSCS card, see the video below.
You can book your Health, Safety and Environment test online, or by calling the information and booking line on 0344 994 4488. This test costs £17.50.
Once you have passed and know which card you need to apply for, you should complete and return the application form with the necessary documents.
If you have a minimum of five years’ experience and do not need any further training, you may wish to take the Experienced Worker Practical Assessment (EWPA). This combines key criteria of the NVQ with work-based evidence and an employer endorsement into one practical assessment that must be completed within a specified time.
Many adults will find they have transferable skills from another industry that can be applied in the construction sector.
Some examples of sectors that might complement the craft sector include:
- Land based industries – e.g. landscaping and agriculture
- Armed Forces
- Stage/Theatre construction
Some transferable skills may relate to specific aspects of other sectors. For example, an adult who has been working as a rigger in the entertainment industry may have developed the knowledge, skills and experience that could transfer well into scaffolding.
With the increasing popularity of off-site manufacturing in construction, companies are also employing staff from the manufacturing sector. This includes skilled and semi-skilled operatives, maintenance, design and production engineering, supply chain, team and production leaders and a range of commercial and administrative roles.
Routes into the industry
Find out more about the different ways you can start your career in house building.
Career progression chart
Want to get to the top? Find out how with our handy career progression chart for an apprentice.