Skills for Work National 4
Construction Crafts (Construction Academy)

An entry level introduction to the key construction trades.


Why take this course?

This course is aimed at pupils who are interested in working in the construction industry, and recognises that many will not have the experience or the knowledge of the different trades to be able to make an informed choice about which area they would like to specialise in when it comes to work or Modern Apprenticeships. Because of this, the course involves a number of short units that pupils can try out and have a go at developing their skills across a range of trades. The skills developed will allow you to consider undertaking additional training/qualifications when you leave school, or consider suitable employment via a Modern Apprenticeship programme.

During the course you will:

  • Develop technical knowledge, skills and understanding associated with a range of craft skills in construction;
  • Develop an awareness of health and safety issues in construction;
  • Be encouraged to develop a positive attitude to environmental issues;
  • Develop and learn to apply practical, technical and communication skills as a basis for future learning and progression;
  • Develop employment skills which can assist with finding a job in the future.

What you will experience

Teaching will take the form of practical, hands-on activities within a workshop environment, combined with classroom-based theory lessons. Most classes will take place in a workshop at your school or at the College’s Fraserburgh or Aberdeen Altens Campuses. The course is made up of eight units: five mandatory and three chosen by the College. The mandatory units are:

  • Employability Skills
  • Half Brick Walling
  • Bench Joinery
  • Decorative Painting Techniques
  • Plumbing

The optional units are (if time allows all four units will be completed):

  • Practical Copper Pipework
  • Brickwork Techniques
  • Carpentry and Joinery Techniques
  • Decorative Finishing Using Water-borne Paints.

Throughout the course you will be offered an opportunity to review and identify how your skills are developing. You will be expected to demonstrate:

  • An interest in the Construction industry;
  • Good time keeping skills;
  • A willingness and commitment to learning;
  • A knowledge of appropriate dress, in particular Personal Protective Equipment (PPE);
  • Planning and preparation skills;
  • An ability to establish/maintain good working relationships with others;
  • Problem solving skills.

To achieve the full qualification you must attend regularly and successfully complete all units. Assessment is based on a range of practical activities in real or simulated workplace settings. Assessors will observe as you carry out tasks, and you will also complete a self-review and folio. The course will show on your final SQA certificate as a National 4 qualification.

lecturer working with students in a workshop

Key facts

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements for this course.

What you will need

You will be required to wear the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) clothing, including safety boots, boiler suit and safety glasses.

For all construction and engineering courses it is necessary to wear PPEYou are not allowed into the workshops without PPE and will be returned to school and marked absent if you arrive without it.

What you need to know

Anything else?

Please note that this course will also require you to undertake Work Experience on a Monday and Wednesday afternoon.

Whilst you are taking part in the course you will be required to:

  • Wear the appropriate clothing (PPE);
  • Be ready to start your class at the given time;
  • Adhere to the School Pupils Code of Commitment.

Next steps


At North East Scotland College

Upon successful completion of this course, you could consider Modern Apprenticeship opportunities or may be able to progress to the following full-time course at North East Scotland College:

At University

Those with the qualifications to do so may choose to apply for further study at university level.


On successful completion of this course, you may choose to pursue entry-level employment opportunities in the construction industry, or employment opportunities as an apprentice.

The following infographic provides information on current and projected employment trends in this sector, within Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire. Follow the link on the infographic to view a larger image.

For more information about job opportunities, salaries and employment rates in this industry, visit the Career Coach website.

Infographic detailing current and projected employment trends in this sector, within Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire


Please note that courses are subject to minimum viability levels. In the event of insufficient numbers of applications, courses may be withdrawn from the programme. Certain courses are arranged with schools working in a consortium arrangement – in such cases, pupils from consortium schools will be given priority in the allocation of places.