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Construction, Planning and the Built Environment

If you’ve ever watched a show like Grand Designs, you’ll know how much work goes into creating a single house. From the architect’s first scribblings to the final lick of paint on the cupboard doors, countless skilled tasks are required.

Now imagine the work that goes into making and maintaining every building in the country, from ancient castles to 21st-century skyscrapers, and you have some idea of the size and scope of the Construction, Planning and Built Environment sector.

An Apprenticeship in this sector could teach you one of the many trades that make our buildings work – from electrical engineering and plumbing to maintaining heating systems and gas networks. Or you might get involved on the planning side – looking at the environmental and social impact of new developments, for example.

Skilled staff are always in demand in this sector, and many job opportunities are set to be created over the next few years. Hundreds of thousands of new homes need to be built, the 2012 Olympics are fast approaching, and millions of existing buildings need to be made more energy-efficient to reduce carbon emissions.

Practical skills are important in this sector, and many roles require physical work. But there’s a demand for creative talents too in jobs like stone masonry, carpentry or even making the sets for plays and films. Being organised and self-motivated can help you get ahead, too – about a third of the people who work in the sector run their own business.