What is a construction apprenticeship?

Your route to a rewarding career in the construction industry.

Realise your potential

Apprenticeships are a form of education that combine practical on-the job-training with studying. Your employer will give you tasks to perform and a training provider will equip you with the skills to perform those tasks. You’ll earn a salary during for the duration of the scheme and at the end of the course, will have earned a nationally certified qualification.

As an apprentice you’ll:

  • be an employee earning a wage and getting holiday pay

  • work alongside experienced staff

  • gain job-specific skills

  • get time for training and study related to your role (at least 20% of your normal working hours).

How a construction apprenticeship works

Apprentices allow you to gain job-specific skills and a formal qualification whilst still earning a wage. During a construction apprenticeship, you’ll be employed full-time (usually between 30-40 hours per week), which includes time spent with experienced staff and your training provider, carrying out practical and academic learning. Typically, this takes 18-24 months to complete and involve studying one day per week, or block release.

Once you start your apprenticeship, you will be taken through an induction programme that will guide you through your training and the contents of the programme.

Apprenticeships often include:

  • on-the-job coaching and learning

  • off-the-job learning

  • employer induction and training

  • online learning and support

  • workbooks

  • projects

  • mentoring and line management support

  • regular workplace reviews

  • specific training for individuals.

Should I do an apprenticeship or go to college/university?

There are benefits to completing a degree, going to college or undertaking an apprenticeship. Employers hold all routes in high regard.

Construction-related college or university courses often focus on theoretical study, but many include practical experience. If you complete an apprenticeship, your qualification will be equivalent to going to college or university (dependent on the level you complete), but you’ll have gained much more hands-on experience.


  • each level takes 18-24 months to complete

  • start your career straight out of school

  • time split between your employer and a training provider

  • focus is on learning hands-on skills relating to a specific job role

  • earn as you learn, with no tuition fees.


  • takes 2 years to complete

  • time spent in classes supported by practical lessons

  • fully funded up to age of 18

  • you won't be employed at the end of your course and will need to find a job in the industry.


  • full-time degrees take 3 - 4 years to complete

  • you can apply for higher-level jobs after graduation

  • time spent in lectures or on individual study

  • focus is on academic study, although many construction-related degrees offer a year in industry

  • you’ll pay tuition fees of up to £9,520 per year.

Apprenticeship courses

Start your career in construction today with a construction site supervision, bricklaying or groundworker apprenticeship.

View all courses