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Building degrees on the up as university applications fall
Construction launches £1 million fund to help budding builders get into the industry

UCAS application data has shown applications to built environment courses are up in 2006.

ConstructionSkills, the Sector Skills Council for the construction industry, has found that applications to combined architecture, building and planning courses are up 50.1%, civil engineering has seen a 2.2% rise, architecture courses 0.7% while building courses are up 0.5%. The increase in those wanting to do construction and built environment course comes as overall applications are 3.4% down year-on-year.

The figures, issued by UCAS, show a general rise in vocational courses: with nursing up 15.4%, social work 7.4% and teaching 0.7%.

Ruth Cass, a ConstructionSkills spokesperson comments: “We believe that these numbers reflect a positive change in young peoples’ perceptions of the more ‘vocational’ degree qualifications generally – and about our industry more specifically.

“With the rise in tuition fees for students going into higher education, we believe that more students are taking their post-degree employability into account in their course choice.

“Construction is an industry that has a host of opportunities for professional and technically qualified people: we want 23,500 more people in such roles each year between now and 2008. Our industry has opportunities as 117,500 new positions will be created by planned and new projects.”

In order to help those applying for courses in the industry, ConstructionSkills has launched a £1 million grant scheme for undergraduates to ensure that they continue to apply in large numbers.

The scheme, Inspire Scholarships, offers 120 students up to £9,000 to help fund their studies. The programme will also provide scholars with on-site experience with top employers, as well as the possibility of a permanent job after graduation. More information about the scheme is available at

In addition to funding, the construction employers that have contributed to the scheme – which include Amex Group, Balfour Beatty, Mowlem and Persimmon – have committed to offering 10 week summer placements. In addition, they may offer placements during students’ sandwich years and the possibility of employment post-graduation.

The £9,000 packages have been launched to ensure that the rise in applications to these courses is maintained. If you are a student applying to study a construction-related degree this October, you’d be mad not to apply for an Inspire Scholarship.

Click for a career in construction

18 year olds leaving school to start university in October 2006 can apply for an Inspire Scholarship online at

The launch of the Inspire Scholarships scheme coincides with the start of ConstructionSkills’ 2006 Positive Image campaign, which aims to present a positive image of construction as a career to young people. Further information on careers in construction and the built environment can be found at

For more information, please read the full press release

Skills Update
Read & Register online
Image of construction
Construction Industry Council
CITB Northern Ireland

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