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Tue May 11 2021

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Vocational qualifications bring pay rise

31 Jul 17 An analysis by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has found that attaining vocational qualifications (VQ) can mean a salary hike of up to 25% for construction workers.

The CITB’s Achievers and Leavers report shows that each vocational qualification (VQ) level achieved results in higher pay, on average.

The report looks at three related issues – the value of vocational qualifications, the destinations of learners that have gone through further education and the reasons for workers leaving the construction sector early.

It reveals that too many are leaving construction earlier than expected, and without realising the full potential of a career in the sector.

The report shows that a Level 2 VQ is worth more than £2,200 across five years in increased wages (or nearly £37 a month), moving up to Level 3 is worth a further £3,500, and gaining a Level 4 is worth £12,600 over five years, typically.    

When compared with those without formal qualifications, someone with a Level 2 VQ earns 13% more, Level 3 16% more and those with a Level 4 see a 25% boost in earnings on average.

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However, the report also shows one in three learners left the industry after completing an FE course, despite nine out of 10 expecting to remain in the industry when asked 6 months earlier.

Some three out of five learners cited a lack of work experience as the main reason for not securing work in construction. On the employer side, one in three felt new entrants were poorly prepared for working in the sector.

CITB director of policy Steve Radley said: “It is particularly pleasing to see the clear benefits of VQs to construction employees. Training shouldn’t stop at entry level, and it is fundamentally true that the more you learn the more you can earn.

“However, the research also reveals that as an industry we are struggling to keep a significant proportion of learners in the sector and that they need to receive better careers advice and work experience.”

The full report is available at

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