Parents & guardians

Where to start?

So let’s start by asking some key questions, as there are a number of things your child needs to think about:

  • What industry do I want to enter?
  • What are my education options?
  • Can I work and continue with my education at the same time?
  • What type of work do I want to do?
  • What are the costs involved?
  • What are my long term career ambitions?

The following information should help you and your child decide what opportunity is right for them.

Our industry and Balfour Beatty as a company

The engineering and construction industry is one of the biggest industries in the UK, responsible for 7% of GDP and employing around 10% of the working population (over two million people).  

One of the great things about our industry is that it is rare for senior managers to enter it from other industries, so wherever someone starts they have the opportunity to develop and progress within the industry.

Balfour Beatty is a leading international infrastructure group. For more than 100 years we have created and cared for the vital assets that enable societies and economies to grow: road and rail; airports, seaports, tunnels and bridges; health and education facilities.

Our headquarters are in London and we are a FTSE 250 constituent with a market capitalisation of £1.95bn. 

We invest in lots of training and skills development so that our people can develop and progress with us. We are dedicated to provide opportunities for people at differing educational levels. So much so, we are proud to say that:

  • We recruit over 100 apprentices resulting in over 450 under training
  • Worldwide we recruit over 500 graduates and 100 specifically recruited for the UK (mainly in civil engineering, environmental and business studies) 
  • We sponsored 40 ‘Get into’ programmes to provide training and work experience to the long term unemployed in Construction, Engineering, Highways Maintenance, and Facilities Management.

Read more about some of our people, and the experiences they have had and the skills they have gained whilst working for Balfour Beatty:

Meet our people

Education options

Today there are lots of benefits of staying in full-time education, and lots of different options of combining education whilst gaining valuable work experience, with a mix of academic and on-the-job training. Balfour Beatty can provide great opportunities for your child’s first venture into the world of work, whilst enabling them to achieve a nationally recognised qualification along the way.

A quick guide to the different qualification levels

Historically the UK had a range of well-known national qualifications but there was no clear structure to show how they equated when compared to each other. 

The frameworks across the UK are:

  • Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) in England and Northern Ireland
  • Credit and Quali?cations Framework for Wales (CQFW) in Wales
  • The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF).  

The above Frameworks were introduced to group all qualifications into a structure to allow comparison.  All qualifications in these frameworks are accredited (officially recognised) and start from entry level right up to level 8. This was to give parity between academic and voca-tional qualifications.  

Academic qualifications measure what someone knows and vocational qualifications measure what someone can do in the workplace. Typically, academic qualifications are taught in the classroom and are assessed using exams, assignments and presentations. Vocational qualifications are taught in the classroom/workshops and in the workplace and are assessed using observation, portfolios and management recommendations.

Our apprentice, undergraduate and graduate schemes use a combination of both academic and vocational qualifications and the combination of being able to both know about a job and be able to demonstrate it in the workplace are essential.

The table below shows the equivalencies at the different levels (please note that in England slightly different definitions are used than in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland):

LevelApprenticeshipEquivalent academic qualificationEquivalent vocational qualification
1 N/A GCSE D-G Entry Level
2 Intermediate Apprenticeship GCSE A*-C NVQ2
3 Advanced Apprenticeship A-Level, B-TEC NVQ3
4 Higher Apprenticeship Higher National Certificate NVQ4
5 Higher Apprenticeship Higher National Certificate, Foundation Degree NVQ5
6 Higher Apprenticeship Bachelor's Degree NVQ6
7 Higher Apprenticeship Master's Degree NVQ7
8 N/A PhD N/A

School leavers

Historically the UK had a range of well-known national qualifications but there was no clear structure to show how they equated when compared to each other. Recently THE Qualifications and Curriculum Framework (QCF) was introduced that grouped all qualifications into a structure to allow comparison. All qualifications in these frameworks are accredited (officially recognised) and start from entry level right up to level 8.

One of the things that the QCF achieves is to give parity between academic and vocational qualifications. Academic qualifications measure what someone knows and vocational qualifications measure what someone can do in the workplace.

Typically, academic qualifications are taught in the classroom and assessed using exams, assignments and presentations. Vocational qualifications are taught in the class-room/workshops and in the workplace and assessed using observation, portfolios and management recommendations.

Our training schemes use a combination of both academic and vocational qualifications and the combination of being able to both know about a job and be able to demonstrate it in the workplace are essential.

An Apprenticeship must contain both academic and vocational qualifications.

The table below shows the equivalencies at the different levels (in England slightly different definitions are used in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland):

LevelTypical academic qualificationTypical vocational qualificationApprenticeship
1 GCSE D-G Entry Level N/A
2 GCSE A*-C NVQ2 Intermediate Apprenticeship
3 A-Level, B-TEC NVQ3 Advanced Apprenticeship
4 Higher National Certificate NVQ4 Higher Apprenticeship
5 Higher National Certificate, Foundation Degree NVQ5 Higher Apprenticeship
6 Bachelor's Degree NVQ6 Higher Apprenticeship
7 Master's Degree NVQ7 Higher Apprenticeship
8 PhD N/A N/A

The frameworks across the UK are:

  • Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) in England and Northern Ireland 
  • Credit and Qualifications Framework for Wales (CQFW) in Wales 
  • The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF).

Supporting undergraduates

If your child is an undergraduate and still undecided on a career path, or wants to gain work related experience during a vacation, we can offer the exposure and experience to take a huge step forward in their career. Plus impress us and they could even end up with a job of-fer after they graduate.

Visit our Undergraduate pages for more information 

Graduates

Each year we recruit over 500 graduates worldwide, with over 100 graduates specifically recruited for the UK. We have a structured graduate training programme which aims to ease your child’s transition into the world of work and give them the skills and depth of experience to become a leader of the future. Don’t just take our word for it, this year in the UK we were rated by our graduates in The Job Crowd as one of the Top 10 Construction and Engineering Companies for Graduates to Work For. Plus we are ranked in the Times Top 100 Graduate Employers and The Guardian Top 300 Graduate Employers.

In the UK, we typically look for graduates from a mixture of different disciplines as part of our two main graduate programmes: technical and business graduate schemes.

  • Technical Graduate Scheme: focuses on a breadth of capabilities and depth of technical expertise in such areas as Building/Construction Management, Engineering (Civil, Electrical, Mechanical, Building Services), Quantity Surveying / Commercial Management, Health & Safety, Transport Planning and Environmental.
  • Business Graduate Scheme: offers a breath of general management and support function expertise in areas such as HR, IT, Marketing, General Management and Finance.

Visit our Graduate pages for more information

Further advice?

England  https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk

Scotland - www.myworldofwork.co.uk

Wales - www.careerswales.com

Northern Ireland - www.careersserviceni.com

Isle of Man - www.gov.im/careers

Channel Islands - www.careers.gg (Guernsey) www.gov.je/careers (Jersey)