A critical examination is made of the ways in which UK construction skills training contributes to and diverges from the dynamic of European developments. In identifying aspects increasingly shared by different countries, the paper is intended to help in the formulation of a common training policy. These aspects include: (i) comprehensive training systems covering all aspects of construction work on site and subsumed under broad skill groupings, with the `traditional trades' assuming a `universal' character and labourers becoming a residual category; (ii) three locations for learning - the college, the site and the training workshop - with increasing prominence being given to workshops and trainee sites; (ii) a modular training system with broad-based foundation followed by gradual specialization; (iv) social partnership between employers and employees in the regulation of training, the maintenance of skill standards, and the administering of the industrial levy; (v) training and skill categories linked to wage grades, so providing an incentive to training and further training, and recognized additionally through certification; (vi) training for life, with greater emphasis on adult and further training; and (vii) equality of access to training and employment in construction to open up this largely white male preserve. The UK construction training system is out of step with many of these developments, being employer-led, largely confined to the traditional trades and dominated by qualifications broken into narrow task-related units. Nevertheless, a framework still exists which, if built on, would bring the UK training system into line with European developments.