Constructing new qualifications for the built environment in Wales

Monday 12 Nov 2018

Qualifications in building services and construction are being redesigned in Wales to make them fit for the future.

A simplified set of nine new qualifications will be rolled out from September 2021 following a review that showed the current raft of qualifications were often too complicated and inflexible. 

“We spent 15 months looking at the current crop of qualifications in this important industry, talking to employers, educators and learners about their suitability and what they would like to see changed,” said Qualifications Wales Associate Director Cassy Taylor. 

“The new qualifications will reflect the knowledge, skills and agility employers say they need from their workforce to meet the challenges of the 21st Century.” 

Along with a new GCSE and A level, there will be new Foundation, Progression and Apprenticeship qualifications for both building services and construction. They will be designed to offer a clear route from further education into apprenticeships. 

Most of these new qualifications will be available for first teaching in September 2021, with the A level available for the first time in September 2022. 

“We are working closely with the industry to shape the new set of qualifications, simplifying the current offering as well as introducing a broader range of skills,” said Cassy Taylor. “We’ll also make sure that the new qualifications are portable and recognised across the UK, so there are no barriers for people seeking employment outside Wales.” 

Gareth Williams, the Construction Industry’s Training Board standards and qualifications policy manager in Wales, welcomed the move. 

CITB, along with key stakeholders in Building Services, is very pleased to be playing an active part in the development of the new qualifications,” he said. 

“They should provide a better opportunity for learners to make a more informed choice regarding possible apprenticeship routes and professional occupations in the industry, as well as providing the industry with a more active role in learning. 

Construction and the built environment is one of the top employment sectors in Wales. It’s estimated that there are 13,000 CBE companies employing more than 130,000 people and contributing 6.5% to the country’s economy. 

“We’re now seeking a single or a combination of awarding bodies to deliver these qualifications for us,” said Cassy.