The construction industry is one of the most exciting and lucrative industries in the UK. In terms of work that is available, there are a wide range of opportunities. And each type of role requires their own unique set of skills.
If you're willing to put in the effort and show you have a great work ethic, then you can get places in this industry.
As there are so many career paths in this industry, the aim of this article is to show you what skilled labour careers are available to you.
Being a construction labourer is an entry-level position in this industry. There are very little entry requirements for this role but you would need a CSCS card
in order to work on a building site.
The best thing about this position is that you will be a doing a range of tasks like:
• groundworking – digging shallow trenches for foundations and drains.
• formworking – setting and dismantling the shuttering that allows the concrete to set.
• steel fixing – shaping and fixing steel bars to reinforce concrete structures.
• steel piling – using steel sheets to create temporary retaining walls for excavation work.
• concreting – applying and smoothing concrete for foundations, beams and floors.
• road working – laying kerbs, pavements and concrete surfaces for roads.
Since you'll doing a range of tasks, you will get an opportunity to explore the following specialisms so you can progress:
As a bricklayer, you'll be building and repairing walls. As well as building chimney stacks, tunnel linings and decorative stoneworks. Being a bricklayer is not just about putting bricks on top of each other and mixing mortar.
Bricklayers are responsible for measuring out the work area and setting down the first layer of bricks. They also have to shape the bricks with either a chisel, hammer or an appropriate power tool. But more importantly, they need to ensure that the rows of bricks are kept straight by regularly checking with either a spirit level or plumb lines.
Carpentry and joinery are involved in building wooden structures. To distinguish the difference between a carpenter and a joiner: a joiner usually makes the timber product in a workshop (like frames and panels) and the carpenter uses the elements the joiners make to construct building elements on site.
Carpentry is not only useful on a construction site, they are also used in arts and crafts as well.
Roofers are responsible for re-slating and tiling roofs, fitting skylight windows and replacing and fitting sheeting and cladding.
Being a roofer is physically demanding and you will be working with heights and on scaffolding. However, if you enjoy being physically active, then being a roofer might be the perfect fit for you.
Plasterers help to prepare walls and ceilings for decorating and finishing. They ensure the walls are smoothed and evened out. Some plasterers also work with fibrous plastering material to mould different shapes and designs as per requirements.
Fibrous plaster is mainly used to make distinguish features on walls and ceiling rose.
Being stonemason involves sculpting into stones for construction projects. You need to have an eye for creativity and know how to follow designs and instructions. And you need to have patience too.
Stonemasons are involved in repairing old buildings and monuments and even carving and repairing statues or memorial headstones. You'll mainly be working with a range of materials including limestone, slate, sandstone, marble and granite.
Stonemasonry, like carpentry, can be expanded in to arts and crafts too.
There's Always Scope for Progression
With each of these professions, there is scope for career progression. You can become either a manager or a supervisor. Or you can even go on to become a trainer.
To get into these fields, there are two routes. The first route is to get a qualification. The second route involves becoming a mate (an assistant) to an experienced professional who will give you hands-on experience.
The second route is more ideal but it is crucial that you're able to build contacts within the trade. And the best way to do that is to network and attend any organised conferences that represent the profession.
Thanks for reading. Are there any skilled labour professions in the construction industry that I have left out? If you do know of any, feel free to to let us know in the comments section below.
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