Building Labourer

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Richard Turner is a general labourer on the building site. Materials are constantly being delivered, diggers are moving topsoil, rubbish is being removed and large numbers of craftspeople are working on different jobs across the site. Keeping the site tidy is a major job for Richard.

What does the job of building labourer involve?

I am a general support person on the site – helping out where needed. I need to keep the site manager informed of possible materials shortages so that stocks can be reordered. We are constantly tidying up the site, organising the materials as they are delivered and making sure the site is as uncluttered as possible – we need to minimise any potential health and safety hazards.

Do you get any training?

All workers on construction sites get regular training in health and safety. We are all fully aware of the potential dangers that lurk on a building or construction site and the ways we can all help to reduce them.

What do you like best about your job?

I like the variation and working outdoors. I am constantly moving about the site meeting people and discussing problems and how I can help to fix them. It could be moving supplies nearer to their work such as maintaining stocks close at hand to where the bricklayers are operating.

What skills and qualities are needed?

You have to be prepared to work hard and you have to enjoy manual work. Also, there is a variety of tasks you get involved with which is useful if you are planning to undertake training to specialise in a particular building skill.

Richard's route to his job as a Building Labourer

  • Applied directly to a construction company.

Richard's Labourer tips

  • Always be on time. Timekeeping is very important on a building site.
  • Be alert and aware of what is going on.
  • Ensure that you are self-motivated.

Building Labourer related jobs

  • Production worker
  • Warehouse worker
  • Assembler: light industry

Wages of a Labourer

  • Building labourers are often self-employed or work on contract for a building contractor or local authority with minimum starting salaries of around £215 a week.
  • However, this can be boosted considerably according to demand, bonuses and overtime.
  • The Building and Allied Trades Joint Industrial Council (BATJIC) agrees minimum wage rates annually – currently around £7.50 an hour.

Getting a job as a Building Labourer

  • There are plenty of opportunities in building and construction for young people who have left school without qualifications and are prepared to work hard.
  • The Modern Apprenticeship (Skillseekers in Scotland) system allows employers to select their own recruits and, whilst they may prefer applicants with some GCSE qualifications, there is nothing to prevent them from selecting young people who don't have them.
  • However, employers must be convinced that you are committed and can cope with the college work.

Modified: 16 June 2013

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