Jobs and Careers Autumn 2017 - 198

GRADUATES IN CONSTRUCTION

the equivalent Scottish vocational
qualifications (SVQs). These show you
have the skills to do the job in line with
national occupational standards, and
are gained while you work. They're
assessed via a portfolio of your work or
you may be observed by an assessor.
NVQs do not have to be completed
in a specified amount of time - within
reason. There are no age limits either
and no special entry requirements,
but they are only an option if you're
employed in a suitable position.
If you're not, progression awards,
certificates, diplomas and other
vocational awards can help you learn
the knowledge and skills that you
would need to impress employers or
take an NVQ. These are assessed via
assignments, practical tests, written
exams or online multiple choice tests.

EXPERIENCE COUNTS

To land a job, you will need to
demonstrate to an employer that you
have true passion for and a genuine
interest in the industry. This is where
work experience comes in. Not only
does it look good on your CV, it also
gives you invaluable real-world
understanding - knowing how sites
and projects run is very important. It
also gives you the chance to see if this
is what you want to do as a career.
To find work experience in the
construction industry, get in touch
with large companies, consultancies,

to transfer skills from any degree to
forge a career in construction.
Higher national certificates (HNCs),
higher national diplomas (HNDs) and
degrees can be studied full-time at
university or part-time while you're
in a construction-related role. In
England, they can form part of a higher
or degree apprenticeship. Wales and
Scotland have similar qualifications.
Roles available to graduates include:
Quantity surveyor - works out how much
a building will cost to construct and is in
charge of keeping a close eye on finances
Sustainability specialist - concerned

with environmental impacts and the
longevity of any sustainability schemes
across the lifespan of a project
Site supervisor/technician - looks after
the technical, organising and supervising
side of projects, from new housing to
multimillion-pound roads and railways
Environmental adviser - ensures
construction projects comply with
environmental regulations and targets
Risk manager - identifies and assesses
possible threats to the workforce and
the company. Puts plans in place for if
and when problems arise, and decides
how to avoid any future problems

small local firms and everything in
between. Make sure you take every
opportunity you're given, even if it's
only a few days' labouring on a local
building site - it all counts.
Having some real-life experience and
examples to draw on will help you to
stand out when it comes to interviews.
Work experience is also a great way to
determine if there are any particular
specialisms you find more interesting
than others - so view the placement as
a personal vetting process, too.
And don't think that just because
you're studying towards a formal
qualification you don't need work
experience. If you're currently enrolled
on a built environment degree, for
example, then work experience is
important; if you're studying for an
unrelated degree, it's imperative.
And remember: a stint as an intern
could end up landing you a full-time,
paid job with that company. So start
researching and applying for those
positions as early as possible.

FIND OUT MORE
Construction Industry Training Board
citb.co.uk
Go Contruct
goconstruct.org
National Careers Service
nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk
Prospects
prospects.ac.uk

Words: Trish Lesslie. Photography: Shutterstock

There's a whole range of jobs open to
graduates, whether or not you have a
related degree such as construction
management. If you have a degree that's
not directly related to the construction
industry, you may need to take a
construction conversion course and gain
work experience, but some areas of the
business won't require you to do this.
Construction companies are often
looking to hire people with marketing
or business development degrees, for
example, and IT or digital experts. The
volume of design and management roles
in the industry also allows graduates

1 9 8 /// J O B S & C A R E E R S

196 J&C JC17 Construction jw2.indd 198

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http://citb.co.uk http://www.goconstruct.org http://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk http://prospects.ac.uk

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