Construction is the UK’s largest industry, employing more than two million people. In the Solent region alone there are nearly 8,000 companies offering 60,500 jobs and 7,000 apprenticeships.

The opportunities are fantastic, with the average annual wage in the industry now at £42,500 – matching the banking, insurance and finance sector!

Despite that, there’s a severe skills shortage which is hitting the construction industry, at a time when Portsmouth and the Solent is home to lots of exciting new developments, including the £600 million city deal, the £100 million Dunsbury Hill Farm project and the £100 million flood defence system.

At Highbury College we have a tradition of producing a skilled workforce from our purpose-designed construction training centre at Northarbour, the largest and best-equipped in the Solent area, and we’re proud of our close links with employers.

Now we’re taking that a major step further by establishing the area’s first Centre of Excellence in Construction, Energy & Sustainable Technologies. It’s becoming even more industry-based – resulting in still greater work experience, apprenticeship and job opportunities for our students.

The college is also the lead provider for courses in Construction & the Built Environment and Construction Site Management.

Open to all (subject to interview,) we train Construction Technologists like Molly Rapson, who studied Wall & Floor tiling at our Northarbour Centre before embarking on a BTEC Level 3 in Construction & the Built Environment at our Highbury campus.

This qualification will give Molly lots of choices, making her eminently employable and also able to go on to do an HNC/HND, a CIOB Certificate in Construction Site Management or a degree. She hopes to go into quantity surveying or estimating.

The BTEC Level 3 is a part-time, work-related qualification. The HNC/HND courses are day release and the CIOB Certificate is a two-year course of evening classes.

As a result, you could find yourself working in exciting sectors of construction such as:

  • Building Construction, residential and non-residential
  • Architecture, the design side of construction
  • Planning and project control
  • Surveying, measuring the land, buildings and any external work as well as setting out
  • Civil and structural engineering on projects such as dams, reservoirs and harbours, motorways, tunnels, airports, roads and railways
  • Building services engineering, including heating, lighting, waste disposal, lift systems, escalators, intelligent boiler systems, automatic window-opening systems and fire alarms
  • Highways engineers, setting out, monitoring, constructing and maintaining the UK’s road network
  • Facilities and estate management overseeing the care and maintenance of a large commercial building, such as a college or university

Salaries for technicians start at around £14,000 and can exceed £40,000 a year. *

* Figures are from the National Careers Service and intended as a guideline only

Article Details

  • Date 13/05/2016