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Prepare for an exciting career in construction and building trades. Specialist trades include electrical, plumbing, carpentry and joinery, and brickwork.

About our construction programmes

Get out from behind a desk and work on varied construction projects, finishing each day with results you can see and touch. The sector is well paying and there are opportunities to progress from an apprenticeship to self-employed trade specialist, or a project-manager role in a multi-national company.

Whether your skills and interests would match with being a carpenter, plumber, electrician, site foreman or surveyor, our teachers have years of experience within construction and will share with you the knowledge and expertise you need to succeed.

What’s more, our students get to work on employer-led projects which reflect the real life challenges construction companies face every day. Previous employer-led projects our students have taken part in include:

  • Skanska, a design, building and engineering company, set a project to design a new roundabout junction. Teams made designs for the a junction in Harwell that would accommodate increased traffic and the needs of pedestrians.
  • Creating a pre-tender package for a new science-park development in partnership with mentors from Beard Construction, an award-winning construction company. The project involved fact-finding visits to the real-life development site, currently under construction.

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What is a career pathway?

Education takes time and money. By giving you a clear view of what qualifications you need to get the job and the salary that you want, we take the stress out of learning.

Our career pathway maps show you the entry requirements for each qualification and how long they take to achieve. With each new qualification, you have the option to continue studying at the next level or explore your employment options with a guide to the jobs and salaries you can expect at that stage. Each step of the way, our career advisors are there to help you make the right choice for you.

By focusing on your future employability and opportunities, we hope to inspire in you the drive to succeed and make the most of your investment in education. 95% of students that completed a course with us progressed directly into employment or onto higher-level learning such as a higher-level course, apprenticeship or university study.*
*AL destination data for 16-19 year olds

While the right qualifications can get you a job interview, it’s the attributes that we teach alongside your chosen programme that will get you the job. Click here to find out more about our Attributes and Learning Philosophy.


Our aim is to equip you to be successful in the job market,

whether you are heading for a job straight after your time at

college, plan to take a university-level programme first or are

already working in a part-time job.

What could my future job look like? 

Here are some examples of the tasks that you may be carrying out:

  • Carpenter: design and create wooden structures such as window frames, doors and built in cupboards, to use in homes and offices.
  • Plumber: install water systems to ensure customers have access to safe drinking water and heating systems in a secure and hygienic manner.
  • Electrician: carry out electrical repairs and installation of electrical facilities in a safe manner, including lighting and security.
  • Site foreman: supervise a team of constructive workers so they can work in a secure and organised manner.
  • Architect: design and develop very detailed drawings that will decide the specification to which a building is erected. 

The construction industry

The construction industry employs around three million people, which is 8% of the UK workforce, and career options are diverse. Having gained your qualification, you could progress into roles in construction management, site supervision or become a technician.

From plumbers and electricians to quantity surveyors and site managers, the construction industry offers a wealth of career opportunities which require a variety of different skills and abilities.

If you tend to prefer more technical or mathematical exercises, careers within architecture and quantity surveying could be perfect for you. If you are looking for a more hands-on or labour intensive role, a site manager or building trades position may be more your cup of tea.

Industry partnerships

We work with local businesses to design our programmes so that you leave Activate Learning with the exact skills that employers are looking for. Businesses include:

  • Beard
  • Skanska
  • Peter Brett (now part of Stantec)
  • Laing O'Rourke

Furthermore, work placements give you practical experience and insight into potential careers within this sector.