A labourer is a person who does manual work within the construction field. Employed for work with road paving, commercial buildings, tunnels and bridges, labourers are reliable, skilled and have strong core characteristics to enable them to perform critical construction jobs.
Main duties include:
- Performing general maintenance of construction equipment and vehicles
- Performing set up and clean up tasks at the job site
- Climbing to heights and conducting work with proper safety restraints
- Directing traffic near building sites
- Maintaining tools and equipment
- Constructing roads and paths
- Erecting scaffolding
- Driving fork lifts
- Lift heavy loads and navigate construction job site terrain
- Digging pits, trenches and foundations in preparation for job site construction
- Providing labour as needed for a speciality crew
Skills and attributes desirable:
- The ability to follow written and spoken instructions
- Excellent team working skills
- Comfortable working at height
- Basic numeracy and literacy skills
- Good physical condition
- Familiar with construction industry safety standards and procedures
- Capable of working with minimal oversight but willing to follow directions closely
Qualifications and experience needed:
There are no set entry requirements, but having relevant experience is preferable, and good GCSEs in English and Maths will prove valuable on a construction site. There are college courses that can be undertaken before starting work as a labourer, such as a BTEC in Construction or a City & Guilds Basic Skills in Construction. It is possible to get into labour work through an apprenticeship, and learn and earn at the same time.
Many labourers build up technical experience and gradually progress to foremen or site managers. You might want to look into a speciality, if there is a part of construction that interests you the most, such as plastering or joinery. You could also consider taking further qualifications such as an NVQ in order to progress up to construction management or plant operator status.