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Construction and the Built Environment

Ways in

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Architecture, Surveying and Planning

  • Entry is possible usually at technician and degree levels - with the exception of the job of home inspector which has no set academic entry requirements for training.
  • Although there are no set academic entry requirements to start training as a home inspector, applicants with advanced or degree level qualifications and /or experience are likely to be at an advantage and be able to cope with studying for the Diploma in home inspection. Training must be through an accredited course provider and is a combination of training courses, the development of a portfolio of practical experience, written reports on home inspections and an external exam. Length of training will depend on the background and knowledge of the candidate.
  • For jobs at technician level, such as architectural technicians and surveying technicians, young people can either start through a technician Apprenticeship, or study for an HNC/HND or a degree before starting work. A range of construction-related subjects may be acceptable, but architectural design, architectural technology, quantity surveying practice, valuation, spatial data management or town planning, as appropriate, are the most relevant.
  • To become a qualified architect it is necessary to complete a degree at a school of architecture, followed by experience in an architect's office.
  • .Entrants to town planning usually have a degree or postgraduate qualification in planning accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI).

Building Services

  • Entry is possible usually at technician and degree levels - with the exception of the jobs of cavity wall insulation technician and thermal insulation engineers which have no set academic entry requirements for training.
  • The usual entry qualification for a building services engineer is an accredited degree in a relevant subject, such as building services engineering, environmental engineering, building design engineering or architectural engineering. An alternative route for young people is to train as a building services trainee engineer (sometimes called a technician engineer). There is an Advanced Apprenticeship for building services engineering technicians.
  • For cavity wall insulation technicians there are no set academic qualifications are required for entry. GCSEs (A-E) in English and maths are an advantage, as cavity wall insulation technicians need to be able to calculate quantities and keep written records. It may be possible to do an Apprenticeship. Adult entry is very common. Trainees work with experienced cavity wall insulation technicians and may be required to attend short classroom courses run by manufacturers.
  • Heating and ventilation engineer. Entry may be by a degree, accredited by the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE), or training to become an engineering technician through a BTEC national certificate or diploma, or through an Apprenticeship as a craftsperson or operator, and working towards relevant NVQs at Levels 2 to 3.
  • There are no specific academic requirements needed to become a thermal insulation engineer, though some companies may ask for four GCSEs (A*-C), including maths, English and a science. Apprenticeships are available through the Insulation and Environmental Training Agency (IETA). The Apprenticeship leads to an NVQ Level 2 in thermal insulation, a technical certificate and key skills certificates.
  • The most usual way to train as a refrigeration engineer is through an Apprenticeship. Entry requirements for Apprenticeships vary, but some employers may ask for four GCSEs (A-C) in subjects such as maths, physics, English, and design and technology.

Civil and Structural Engineering

  •  Accredited degree programmes form the required educational base for becoming a professionally qualified civil or structural engineer. Minimum qualifications are generally two A levels including maths and five subjects at GCSE (A*-C) or equivalent.
  • It may also be possible to start as a trainee technician with four GCSE's (A*-C) via an Apprenticeship scheme. Engineering qualifications not accredited with the ICE can be 'topped up' with further learning. The Diploma in engineering or the Diploma in construction and the built environment may be relevant.

General Construction

  • Entry is possible at all levels. While some vacancies, for example Apprenticeships, are open to people who have few formal qualifications, but who can demonstrate a keenness to learn and a reasonable level of literacy and numeracy, other roles require more qualifications, for example technician level vacancies.  Some management level jobs may require a degree or equivalent qualification.
  • Team working, practical and problem-solving skills are vital. It is also important to like working outdoors in all weathers, be physically fit and be comfortable working at heights when needed.
  • Apprenticeships are a common route into the construction industry - particularly for skilled based jobs at craft and technician level.
  • Training at operative level is usually on the job, working with more experienced operatives, but new entrants also receive more formal training in health and safety. Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) cards are used in the construction industry to demonstrate that the card holder has been trained in health and safety and is competent in a particular occupation, or is working towards becoming competent.



For more information about the courses on offer locally for 14-19 year olds why visit your local area prospectus? -

For courses in higher education check out the UCAS site

For Apprenticeships see the vacancies on the National Apprenticeship website

You can also ring the Barnsley Connexions Centre for information on local Apprenticeships on 01226 205686

Want to find out more about the range of employability skills asked for by employers?