The construction industry is one of the biggest in the country, employing around 2.5 million people. With a variety of ongoing construction projects, the industry needs people with a wide range of skills to carry out the work.
Why should I consider construction?
Unlike the traditional perception of the construction industry, the sector today is inclusive and can offer a wealth of employment opportunities to those interested.
Having industry experience is not always necessary when changing to a career in construction.
Individuals from all backgrounds can join this exciting and expanding sector. New construction projects take place all the time, providing a range of employment opportunities.
So what are you waiting for? Why not start building your career in construction?
Earn while you learn
You can start a career in construction at any time and an apprenticeship is one way to kick-start this new career choice. A big benefit to undertaking an apprenticeship is that it allows you to earn while you learn. National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) and Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) often form part of an apprenticeship programme.
Depending on the type of apprenticeship you do, you can gain basic knowledge and qualifications through to senior management-level skills. Contrary to popular belief, although the arrangements for funding are different for different age groups, there is no upper age limit to becoming an apprentice.
What if my degree isn't related to the construction industry?
If you already have a degree which is not directly related to the construction industry, you may need to gain some relevant work experience or complete a construction conversion course. Your employer may allow you to study a relevant qualification on a part-time basis while you are in your new construction role.
How will my skills help me?
There are several fields of work within the construction industry which are easily accessible for those with the relevant skills and experience. In fact, your existing skills and professional experience may be transferrable or even in-demand for some of these roles.
Something in common
Construction companies need people with marketing, business development or IT experience. If you have a business and management background, you’ll be familiar with business development, team building and setting goals. All these skills are equally important to the building industry and a move to construction can lead to a variety of rewarding job roles.
Technical and engineering skills, such as expertise in computer-aided design (CAD) or experience with plans and drawings are also sought after.
Similarly, everyday skills can equally impress prospective employers. Just like any other industry, construction requires people with a range of employability skills. From excellent communication skills to the ability to meet tight deadlines, many of these life skills can give you the edge when applying for a role in construction.
"I followed my instincts and they led me to doing something I enjoy everyday"Kelly Mellowship Learning & Development Officer
Can I switch from my sector into construction?
Changing to a career in construction can be more straightforward if you have experience in a similar sector. From health and safety expertise to working under pressure, if you have project management experience or trade and machinery skills, you’ll be a good fit for construction.
Likewise, a move from engineering to construction is one of the easiest. Both industries deal with programmes like CAD, building information modelling (BIM), site safety and interpreting plans. This means you're likely to have a lot of the skills needed for similar roles in the industry, and able to understand what is required easily.
The discipline and teamwork of the military is also a great match with construction. Ex-service personnel can apply their technical or leadership skills to a wide range of industry roles. If you acheived an apprenticeship during your time in the military, this qualification can be easily applied to the construction industry.
Find out more
Upskilling for construction
Read more about how you can upskill and what skills are most in demand in the industry
Discover how your current skills could be transferred into a role in the construction industry
Explore what skills employers are looking for in construction roles and how you can develop them