Construction and the Built Environment

A ground-breaking change to qualifications for people planning to work in the construction and built environment sector in Wales is being introduced.

In the biggest shake-up for a generation, a complex market with hundreds of existing qualifications is being simplified by a new suite of qualifications that will help reshape education and training for the industry in Wales.

The new qualifications will offer learners better progression routes into employment. Assessment will be streamlined and robust, making sure that young people have the skills and knowledge they need to get ahead in their careers.

The move follows Qualifications Wales’ sector review, titled Building the Future, which reviewed the current range of qualifications involving learning providers and employers, both large and small.

Contracts have been awarded to a consortium of City & Guilds and EAL, both experienced awarding bodies in the sector, who are working with Qualifications Wales to design and deliver post-16 Foundation, Core and Progression qualifications, as well as  qualifications for use on apprenticeship frameworks. Their website, Skills for Wales, contains all the latest information on the development of the new qualifications.

The new qualifications are being developed to meet the changing needs of the industry for the modern era. They will enable workers to demonstrate the occupational knowledge, understanding and skills required by industry, as well as exploring the diversity of the built environment in Wales and the way that the sector continues to change and develop.

The post-16 qualifications include overarching Foundation and Core qualifications in Construction and Building Services Engineering, Progression qualifications in Building Services Engineering or Construction, and trade-specific qualifications for use on apprenticeship frameworks. The Foundation, Core and Progression qualifications will be available from September 2021 while the Level 3 apprenticeship qualifications will be introduced in September 2022.

The introduction of these innovative new qualifications has been welcomed by employers as providing learners with a broader knowledge of the industry as a whole. Sector specialists have already contributed to the development of the new qualifications and continue to support the development and implementation process phases.

In addition to the Foundation, Core, Progression and apprenticeship qualifications, WJEC has also developed new GCSE Built Environment and GCE AS/A level Built Environment qualifications for first teaching from September 2021, and September 2022, respectively.

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