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High hopes for new construction qualification

news

9th October 2018

There are high hopes for UK construction as a new A-level alternative is developed in a bid to draw people into the industry.

The level 3 diploma in professional construction practice, created by construction firm ISG and exam board WJEC, is endorsed by the Chartered Institute of Building. It’s worth a maximum of 56 UCAS points, which is the same as an A-Level.

Modules on the course include introduction to building information modelling (BIM), the use of drones, laser scanning technology, and artificial intelligence and virtual reality in the built environment. There will also be a tech focus on the course which aims to show the appeal of a career in construction.

After it launched on 11th September, ISG said the course wants “to help to change the conversation around construction for educators, parents and pupils”. The company hope that the diploma will add an early gateway into the profession for students who may have never considered a construction career otherwise.

ISG chief executive Paul Cossell said: “The problem we have as an industry is that a third of our workforce is now over 50 years old and we are not doing enough to educate and expose young people to the amazing opportunities that exist in this vitally important industry that delivers the infrastructure, hospitals, schools and homes that support our very existence.

“The PCP qualification is our response to engaging the brightest and most talented young people at an earlier age, with a Level 3 qualification that can sit alongside and complement existing STEM [science, technology engineering & maths] subjects. Students are given the confidence to explore contemporary construction practice and earn transferable UCAS points, which is an essential element as this unlocks the barriers that some may feel towards specialisation at an early age.

"This is the real game-changer – a qualification that accurately reflects our industry, but doesn’t negatively penalise those who are interested but ultimately find that it is not for them in the long term.”

The diploma’s first partner and sponsor is Neath Port Talbot College in Wales, who will be working with ISG to deliver the PCP qualification to its first students in September 2019.

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