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Now this is a bit of a wide-ranging question because what it doesn’t address is what your ambitions are for your professional advancement. It also gets a bit complicated because so many qualifications aren’t “NVQ” but have an NVQ Equivalence”! From where we are coming in construction, these “equivalencies” include Bachelor’s Degrees and CSCS Cards above a certain level, along with the entry courses for professional bodies such as the CIOB.

For those who don’t know…an NVQ 5 is equivalent to a Bachelor’s Degree and an NVQ 7 to a Master’s Degree.NVQ 1 to 4 are, in principle, what you will probably already have done as a part of trade skill development so, what we’ll have a discussion about is the NVQ 5. We’ll also assume that you are either already in construction management or want to move there from working with the tools.

To get an NVQ in Construction Management you’ll have to complete a Course. These, unfortunately, will set you back a fair few £££’s and take up some of your days or evenings.

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Now don’t be put off by that! I can tell you from personal experience that, if you have worked in construction for a few years, very little, perhaps even nothing about the Course will be new and strange to you! You’ll walk it! In fact, if it was anything like the Course I did 25 years-ago, there’ll be things you know more about than the Lecturer! Being an inquisitive soul he, of course, will pick your brains to add to his own understanding!

So, if you want to move into Construction Management, go for the NVQ! Having that will greatly improve your attractiveness for jobs you apply for. Shows them that you aren’t just a der-brain with ambitions beyond your abilities! There may be 1,000 applicants for a job in today’s economic climate. You need to do everything in your power to get short-listed for that interview!

What? You’re already in Construction management but haven’t an NVQ? Well, in that case it is a fair guess that you got promoted internally by the company you were already employed by. Bet you didn’t get much of a salary increase when that happened, did you? Okay, get one now and haggle yourself more money!

“They will realise that with your NVQ you are far more attractive to other outfits so could walk off and leave them in it!”

Now for the sneaky bit! Whether you are working with the tools still, or in the ranks of Construction management, pester your employer and get them to pay for your NVQ Course! They are usually willing to do that for a couple of reasons. Firstly it works out a lot cheaper for them because it is a tax-deductible expenditure, which it probably isn’t for you. Secondly, they realise that you are ambitious and, if they don’t play along, they could well end up losing you once you have your NVQ!

If it comes to the crunch and you are out of work and have to pay for it yourself – like I had to – look on the bright side! Having it will help you get your next job! Not only that, the increased wage it will bring in for you will see the cost of the Course paid for in next to no time!

“The difference it made to me, getting my job with Construction Management qualifications, was from the £8.05/hour when my job dried up on me which went up £225 a day when I got back to work!”

Go for your NVQ in Construction management!