General construction apprenticeship course

Duration: 2 years
Structure: 30 weeks training, second year employer-based work experience
LocationNCC Norfolk, Birmingham and Scotland and your workplace
: See How to apply below
Funding: See Funding below

This apprenticeship course is for people who want to gain an academic qualification in general construction, while gaining professional experience.

You'll learn about building methods and materials, including how to set out for groundworks (including kerb-laying and paving as well as drainage, laying and testing).

You’ll also learn about concrete from the testing of fresh concrete to laying and finishing. 

Course content

The course includes practical training in following:

  • Installing drainage and service ducts
  • Basic concreting
  • Erecting and dismantling a basic working platform
  • Setting out
  • Block paving
  • Kerbing
  • Steelfixing
  • Formwork
  • Excavation support.

You'll learn all of the basic skills and knowledge including:

  • Interpreting information
  • Estimating resources
  • Basic building methods
  • Building elements.

You’ll also gain competence in:

  • Mathematics
  • English
  • Employment responsibilities and rights
  • Health and safety
  • Drug and alcohol awareness
  • Mobile towers
  • Safe use of ladders
  • Manual handling
  • Safe use of small tools and equipment.

Teaching and assessment

Year 1:

  • 30 weeks (10 at college, 10 at on-site placement, 10 at college)

Year 2:

  • Employer-based work experience with assessment for the Level 2 NVQ in Construction Operations, carried out by the NCC

You will learn through classroom-based theory and simulated site activities, and you'll have individual tutorials and progress reviews.  You will be assessed via:

  • Written and practical assessments (mapped to Diploma and NVQ Diploma competence levels)
  • A site visit (by an assessor)
  • A synoptic practical test
  • An assessment (delivered via a test at the end of each unit)
  • On-line multiple-choice assessment test at the end of the training course.

Qualifications you gain

  • Level 2 Construction Diploma in Construction Operations
  • Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Construction Operations
  • Level 1 Functional Skills
  • Personal Learning and Thinking Skills
  • City and Guilds 6156 Street Works Units 1 and 2

Entry requirements


No formal requirements, but it’s useful to have GCSE grades A*-C in English, maths and technology.

To help us assess your suitability for the course, you'll need to:

  • complete a skills learning exercise and possibly attend the college for further tests.


  • Physical fitness
  • Teamwork
  • A head for heights
  • Practical skills.


You will be paid while you learn.


The following CITB grants are available for employers to fund their apprentices on this course:

If you applied for your aprenticeship through the Skills Funding Agency, only applicants aged between 16 and18 who have not been placed on a training scheme before are guaranteed full funding.

How to apply

Call 0300 456 5037 for course dates and how to apply. 

After this course

You can be assessed for higher NVQs at the National Construction College. We provide details to all trainees.