In the biggest shake-up for a generation, a complex market with hundreds of existing qualifications is being simplified by eight new qualifications that will help reshape education and training for the industry in Wales.

The new qualifications will offer learners better progression routes into employment. Assessment will be streamlined and robust, making sure that young people have the skills and knowledge they need to get ahead in their careers.

The move follows Qualifications Wales’ sector review, titled Building the Future, which reviewed the current range of qualifications involving learning providers and employers, both large and small.

Contracts have been awarded to a consortium of City & Guilds and EAL, both experienced awarding bodies in the sector, who are working with Qualifications Wales to design and deliver post-16 Foundation, Progression and Apprenticeship qualifications. Their website, Skills for Wales, contains all the latest information on the development of the new qualifications.

The new qualifications are being developed to meet the changing needs of the industry for the modern era. They will enable workers to understand the role of new technologies in the sector, but will also give them the ability to maintain and repair the traditional buildings and structures we have in Wales.

The post-16 qualifications include an overarching Foundation qualification in Construction and the Built Environment, and Progression and Apprenticeship qualifications in Building Services Engineering and Construction. These will be available for first teaching from September 2021.

The introduction of these innovative new qualifications has been welcomed by employers as providing learners with a broader knowledge of the industry as a whole. Sector specialists have already contributed to the development of the new qualifications and will continue to support the development process.

In addition to the Foundation, Progression and Apprenticeship qualifications, WJEC has also developed a new GCSE in the Built Environment for first teaching from September 2021, and is developing an AS and A level in the Built Environment, which will be available for first teaching from September 2022.