Research all the subjects you're thinking of taking by:
Speaking to people already working in construction jobs
Speaking to teachers
Checking online for information about what employers want
Useful qualifications for a career in construction
Working out the differences between further education, higher education, apprenticeships and degree level courses can be overwhelming! Here's a breakdown of what these courses mean:
GCSE - this qualification is in a specific subject undertaken by students normally between 14-16, and is normally the pre-cursor to completing an A-level. The Scottish equivalent of this is a Standard Grade.
A-level - this is normally done after completing GCSEs, and is in a specific subject typically done by students aged 16-18. Students would normally choose 3/4 subjects to study. The Scottish equivalent is the Higher.
BTEC - this is a vocational qualification that can be taken in England and Wales. It can also be taken by anyone over the age of 14.
HND - this stands for Higher National Diploma and is a work-related course that you would take at higher or further education colleges. This is normally the equivalent to two years at university.
HNC - this stands for Higher National Certificate and is the level below a HND. A HNC is a work-related qualification and is the same as the first year of a university course.
NVQ - this means a National Vocational Qualification. This is a work-based qualification that combines learning and practical working.
Apprenticeships - this qualification means that you follow someone's example who is trained in their role and learn all the skills and knowledge you need for that particular role.
Degree level course - you would usually complete this course whilst at university over the course of three to four years. Depending on the subject, these courses combine coursework, exams and practical learning also. It is possible to study your degree part time and in your private time.
Help with costs
There are usually some costs for the course you want to study including course fees, travel costs, equipment, tools, and licences.
There are multiple ways to obtian financial support for your studies:
Some organisations like the Prince's Trust may be able to help young people with the costs of some qualifications.