The construction industry is uniquely structured. It comprises hundreds of different trades and job titles, which fall over a pretty wide variation in terms of overall job “types” – electrical engineering and all electrotechnical work, for example; or demolition; or heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Finding work in construction is made easier because the whole thing has been tied together with the NVQ and SVQ schemes, which provide an almost industry wide framework for measuring competence and progress.
When you are looking for a job in the construction industry it’s as well to bear this framework in mind. While there are some trades that do not have a full NVQ or SVQ measure, the majority do – and that means that you can start a pathway to a career in the construction industry yourself, by enrolling to study Construction NVQ or SVQ Level 1 in your chosen trade.
What about Work in the Construction Industry That Does Not Require Hands on Experience?
Not all trades and positions in the construction industry require you to have experience with machinery, or to have acquired a particular skill (such as joinery or bricklaying). Some managerial and supervisory positions are occupied by people who have no manual or hands on training. As a manager in the construction industry it would be your job to oversee paperwork, organisation, hiring and firing and overall company strategy issues. While experience in the field is always useful for getting a grounding in the industry, managerial positions are filled by graduates with management qualifications as well as by experienced site workers.
For your qualifications to apply to the construction industry you need to translate them into the NVQ and SVQ language. In the interim, you’ll apply for a Red Graduate CSCS Card, which can be replaced with a Black Managerial Card once you have completed the qualifications, and the health, safety & environment test, that the black card requires.
Do I Need Qualifications to Become an Apprentice?
Apprenticeship is one of the most common ways to start work in the construction industry. Most skilled jobs in construction can’t be taught without hands on experience and the apprentice position is designed to deliver that experience under the care of a master practitioner.
You don’t need a qualification to start out as an apprentice. You will need to study an NVQ or SVQ to Level 1 in your chosen trade while you are an apprentice, though. The Level 1 NVQ or SVQ will entitle you to apply for the correct CSCS Card to start working on sites as your apprenticeship progresses into a career path.
Can an Employment Agency Help Me Find Work in the Construction Industry?
There are dedicated job agencies for the construction industry. Enrolling in specialty agencies of this kind will help you tap into the construction industry job market. You will still need qualifications though. With over 80% of UK building sites refusing to employ any person without a valid CSCS Card, you’ll need at the very least to have passed a Basic CSCS Test, and to have achieved a Green CSCS Card. Make sure that you take the right training steps at the start of your job search and you’ll find the trade position you are looking for.