How to kickstart your career in construction

June 14, 2022

The beauty of the construction industry is that there's no real 'way' to get into it as there are so many trades and career paths to choose from – it really is about finding the right fit for your interests and lifestyle.

In our latest blog post, we've put together some information and top tips on the main routes into the industry to help you figure out the right option for you.

First, the construction industry is often skill-based as opposed to qualification. It is worth reading through the below to see if they match your skillset:

  • Excellent communication
  • Self-management
  • Problem-solving mindset
  • Building and engineering knowledge
  • Time management and organisation
  • Leading others - Influencing skills
  • Understanding instructions and willingness to learn
  • Making decisions
  • The ability to work well with others
  • Good punctuality and reliability
  • Strength and endurance 
  • Dexterity and hand-eye coordination 
  • Attention to detail
  • Adaptability and flexibility
  • Commercial awareness 

There's then the topic of CSCS (Construction Skills Certification Scheme) cards and which one is essential. 

CSCS cards are the primary evidence used across the construction industry to allow workers on building sites. While not strictly required by law, most construction sites in the UK require workers to hold a card relevant to their discipline and level of seniority. 

Red – Temporary cards are issued to those enrolled on an NVQ, apprenticeship, or who have experience in the role without the formal qualifications.

Green - Labour, health and safety, site safety plus or safe to sit operative test

Blue – Also known as skilled worker cards. Those who have completed a level 2 NVQ, or a valid apprenticeship, in their discipline.

Gold – Cards for those with supervisor responsibilities or performing an advanced craft role. These cards require a level 3 NVQ or equivalent to have been completed. 

Black – For managers. These cards require an appropriate level 5, 6 or 7 NVQ to have been completed.

CPCS Card Red - Trained operator card, valid for two years after NVQ blue card

To apply for a CSCS card, click here: 

So, you've got the skills and obtained your CSCS card; how do you look to land your perfect role?

We recommend enrolling with a recruitment agency that specialises in construction recruitment, such as Elliot Scott Group. Here are our top tips for ensuring the recruitment firm is right for you:

1. Vacancies

Always check out the available roles on their website first! If you don’t see any available roles, give them a call as it may mean that they’re such experts within this field, all their vacancies have been filled.

2. Where to apply for roles

Most reputable recruitment firms will allow you to apply for a role on their website. If they only go through third-party companies, it's not the end of the world, but it certainly shows they're looking for mass applicants and may not be as likely to provide a personalised and tailored service to suit your skillset.

3. Candidate reviews

Take a look on Google, Glassdoor or social media and check out whether the firm has received any reviews lately. Previous positive reviews are more likely to result in a positive experience for your job search.

Now that we've given you our insight into kickstarting your career in the construction industry, why not register today? Send your CV to the team via, and one of our experienced consultants will talk through the new steps.

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