From house building, to commercial, to infrastructure and off-site manufacture, there are so many roles within the field of construction to choose from. The question for many budding construction workers out there, is how to get into the industry. With many apprenticeships on offer, as well as various qualifications to earn, finding the right route for you can be challenging.
Before choosing between apprenticeships and studying at college, it would be useful to gain some form of work experience in various jobs that you are interested in. By doing this, you can gage a better idea as to what job you want, and therefore make a better-informed choice as to which apprenticeship to take or which subjects to study. Many employers offer work experience through school schemes, but if this isn’t possible, try reaching out to employers through word of mouth. Ask friends and family if they know of any relevant places of work that may take you on as work experience. Additionally, you could always try contacting employers via email or phone and ask if they would consider giving you some work experience.
If you want to be paid as you learn and have a strong idea as to what role you want within construction, an apprenticeship could be perfect for you. The pay is generally lower than what you would earn after training. However, you will be given experience and qualifications that will aid you in finding your dream job upon completion of your apprenticeship.
If you aren’t lucky enough to already have an employer that wants to hire you as an apprentice, there various ways of finding one. Searching the internet often leads to many finds of people wanting to take someone on to train. If an internet search hasn’t been lucky for you, try your local college. Colleges, apprenticeship managing agencies and specialist providers offer ways to help you find a company. Additionally, try the old-fashioned way of finding work: newspapers. Newspapers and other local jobs pages often show opportunities posted by local companies reaching out to find potential apprentices. Moreover, get active and email your CV and a covering letter to various construction businesses online, and ask people you know if they’ve heard of any relevant openings.
If you’d rather learn from academia and want to study at a school or college, you need to consider what course is right for you. When choosing the course that you want to embark on, think about how you study best, i.e. coursework or exams, full-time or part-time. A great thing about studying the career at a college is that, by being tactful with your subject choices , you can develop various skills in different fields. For example, choosing to study English, Maths and Science, as well as Design and Technology and Business Studies, keeps your options open by studying a wide range of skills.
Before deciding on the subjects that you want to study, it would be wise to do your research on these subjects. Talk to people already working in a job related to the subject you’re thinking of studying, check online with regards to what employers look for in future staff, and speak to the teachers of those subjects.
Whilst a smaller market within construction than schools and colleges, the value of university work to contractors totaled £1.8 billion in 2014. For example, The University of Salford, one of the UK’s leading centres for construction education, boasts a construction course that allows you to progress in the industry. The University pledges that ‘The course is aligned with the requirements of construction-related roles and provides training in the technical and practical elements to satisfy industry and employer needs.’ The course can be completed in 8 months on a full-time basis, or 20 months on a part-time basis. The university also offers post-graduate education courses in the field.
The main two ways to get into work in the industry of construction are apprenticeships and college education. Choosing between the two ultimately depends on how you learn best. If you are more hands-on and learn through doing, apprenticeships may be better for you. If you learn through studying, then perhaps college is the more appropriate choice. Try talking to people that have been through the processes of apprenticeships, schools, colleges and universities, to better understand which path is right for you.
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