Construction is a multi-billion pound industry that deals with developing the underlying structure of anything from a housing estate to the monumental Crossrail project. Over 8 per cent of the UK’s workforce is employed in construction (that’s nearly two million people).

Apprenticeships are a recognised and valued route of entry into construction. Traditional and specialist apprenticeships cover a range of occupations, from groundworks and plant maintenance to civil engineering and joinery. No matter where you start your career, if you have the determination and are ready to work hard, there will be plenty of scope to move up the career ladder. It’s also worth noting that in the construction industry, more than 35 per cent of people are their own boss and run their own company.

There’s lots to choose from: if you’re the sort who enjoys physical work, you could help lay the foundations of a 20-storey building; build scaffolding around a famous landmark due for restoration; plaster the interior of an office building; or maintain a heavy plant. Those with a flair for organisation could help make sure projects run on time and within budget; liaise with suppliers; or assist a civil engineer with design plans – there are many places to put your creative skills to the test.

With a construction apprenticeship, you could be working on various sites in your region and beyond – there are also plenty of opportunities to work abroad, as many of the largest construction companies operate around the world. Whatever profession you decide to pursue, you can count on the fact that your work will be used and admired by people for years to come. And there’s always going to be a need for people to build and develop.

Surveying is a diverse profession that covers a wide range of disciplines related to assessing the condition of a property and managing the development of land. Two new surveying apprenticeships have been launched this year, giving opportunities to train right up to Level 6 and qualify as a Chartered Surveyor.

Women at work

Construction isn’t just for the boys – almost 200,000 women work in the industry, accounting for 11.6 per cent of those working in design and management roles. In fact, women have been working in construction since the Middle Ages.

At a glance

  • Over two million people are employed in the construction industry
  • It is estimated that over 220,000 construction jobs will be created in the next five years
  • Areas of construction growth include energy-related programmes, housing and infrastructure
  • Completing an apprenticeship is one of the most popular ways to get into a construction career
Industry figures taken from


  • Be physically fit
  • Be familiar with construction terms, tools, methods and materials
  • Have excellent practical skills
  • Be comfortable working at heights
  • Understand health and safety issues
  • Be able to work as part of a team
  • Be able to follow written and verbal instructions

Useful contacts

CITB – Industry Training Board for the construction industry

The Building Futures Group – Representing the property, housing, cleaning, facilities management and parking sectors in the UK

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors

For careers in construction visit

Apprenticeships in Construction

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