The College of West Anglia

The building industry is everywhere you go: housing, shopping centres, places of work, roads and bridges, hospitals and schools. From 'painting and decorating' plastered walls to installing 'plumbing', to the 'carpentry, joinery' and 'brickwork' that helped build them, there are a huge range of areas available in the building industry. There are careers in designing buildings, costing buildings, managing construction work and calculating their structures.

The college offers a huge range of courses to help you take your first steps into the industry, ranging from the hands-on trades through to technical aspects. Please select a subject area below to learn more and listen to what some of our students have to say about their courses.


Some of the best local architecture displays the high skill levels required of a bricklayer - just take a look at the buildings on the Crescent and North Brink in Wisbech and the Library in King’s Lynn. Today’s housing developments rely very heavily on the skills of a bricklayer. Skilled and experienced staff support the college’s full-time and apprenticeship routes which develop the talent required to be a successful craftsman in today’s construction industry.

Carpentry and Joinery

Have a look around the room you are in. Who put the door and skirting board on? Who put the staircase in? What about that fully fitted kitchen? These are all jobs that will have been completed by fully trained carpenters and joiners. The college has excellent facilities and experienced staff who provide professional training, skills and understanding to enable you to be successful in this vocation. Full-time and apprenticeship routes are available and there is a high demand for skilled carpenters in the job market.


Whilst we need skilled construction trades to actually construct our buildings, somebody has to design them, work out how much they will cost, ensure they are structurally safe and manage the construction process.

Painting and Decorating

Everybody takes great pride in their home and the finishing touches to any construction development are provided by a painter and decorator. Without decorators, our buildings would not be as pleasing and comfortable as we demand. Our courses provide you with the skills to transform rooms from shabby environments into the dream homes we all want to live in. Extensive workshop facilities and skilled staff will make sure you develop the skills required for today’s industry. Both full-time and apprenticeship routes are available.


Without skilled plumbers, our lives would be much less comfortable. Plumbing installations provide the facilities to keep us clean and warm. A plumber has the skills and knowledge to install and maintain essential domestic and industrial systems: bathrooms, boilers, air conditioning and now, more commonly, green 'renewable' technologies, such as air source heat pumps and solar panels. Our courses provide traditional plumbing skills, as well as those required for the new technologies. These industry-led courses have first class workshops and highly experienced staff who are continuously updated with the latest industry and technological developments.

Success Story

John Carey


John works as a self-employed builder and comes into college one day a week to study towards a Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Construction. He decided to study at the College of West Anglia as he wanted a change in career but wanted to work towards a qualification that would enhance his existing skills and knowledge.

John said: “Studying at CWA is very interesting and challenging, the facilities are very modern and the teaching staff are extremely helpful. The knowledge and experience I have gained at college has given me more confidence at work and I would recommend the college to anyone. Being an older student, it had been a number of years since I had completed any studies, however the transition was not too daunting and everybody was well catered for by college staff. My experience has given me more confidence in every day working, and I have made some good friends that I hope to stay in contact with long after we have finished at college."