Article: Construction - Craft Work

Summary

This article covers the following jobs:

  • Bricklayer
  • Building Operative
  • Carpenter/Joiner
  • Cavity Wall Insulation Technician
  • Ceiling Fixer
  • Construction Plant Operator
  • Crane Operator
  • Damp-proofer
  • Demolition Operative
  • Fence Erector
  • Floor Layer
  • Glazier
  • Heating and Ventilating Fitter
  • Painter and Decorator
  • Plasterer
  • Plumber
  • Roofer
  • Scaffolder
  • Steeplejack
  • Stonemason
  • Wall and Floor Tiler
  • Window Fitter.

Video: - Various: Construction - Craft Work

What do craft jobs involve?

Construction involves working on new buildings or structures, or repairing and restoring existing ones. Buildings and structures include:

  • houses
  • shops
  • offices
  • bridges
  • roads.

Construction work is carried out in stages and workers usually specialise in one area such as bricklaying, ceiling fixing or glazing. For a number of jobs, many types of material are used and considerable skill is needed to combine or select them to meet requirements.

For most jobs, a variety of tools, machinery and equipment is used. For example, a carpenter/joiner will use tools such as hammers, saws, planes, chisels, electric drills and cutting machinery.

Work from drawings, instruction sheets and measurements is usually necessary and workers have to make sure that their work is accurate and meets design requirements. They may also need to make calculations.

Work may be in a workshop or on-site and workers are responsible for keeping the site or workshop tidy and for looking after tools and equipment. Working conditions can be dirty and dusty as well as cold and damp, especially if outdoors.

Health and safety is important in this type of work and clothing such as protective footwear, safety helmets, facemasks, goggles, ear protectors, gloves and overalls are worn.

What skills will I need?

All craft jobs in the construction industry require physical fitness, strength and stamina as the work can involve bending, stretching, lifting and carrying. Most jobs involve working at heights on scaffolding or climbing ladders, so you need to have a head for heights.

You need to be able to understand instructions and carry them out accurately and efficiently. The ability to work both alone and in a team is also important.

If you choose to work in construction, you need good practical skills and need to be able to work with your hands. For many jobs, you need simple mathematical skills to plan and make measurements.

Some jobs might not be suitable for people who suffer from skin conditions, such as eczema, or breathing complaints, such as asthma.

The ability to drive is useful and may be required for some jobs.

Where can I gain employment?

In the construction industry, you can be either self-employed or employed by private companies, contractors, local authorities or small enterprises. For some outdoor jobs, more work tends to be available in the summer.

How do I enter the industry?

Intermediate Level Apprenticeships are the usual route into these careers. Entry to an apprenticeship scheme will usually involve a selection test.

There are also various relevant qualifications available from organisations like City & Guilds and Edexcel. These courses may be in a more general subject area, such as construction.

What qualifications will I need?

Entry requirements vary. You do not always need educational qualifications to enter the careers listed.

For Intermediate Level Apprenticeships, you may have to sit an aptitude test involving maths, and problem solving. You might also have to sit a literacy test.

To enter a City & Guilds or Edexcel level 2 course in construction, you'll usually need at least:

  • 4 GCSEs at grades D to G.

However, individual centres may have different entry requirements. You may be able to get on to one of the courses without any qualifications.

Further Information

CITB-ConstructionSkills

Skills for the construction industry

Address: Bircham Newton, Kings Lynn, Norfolk PE31 6RH

Website: www.cskills.org

Construction Industry Training Board (CITB)

Address: Blue Court, Church Lane, Kings Langley, Hertfordshire WD4 8JP

Tel: 01923 260000

Email: ecitb@ecitb.org.uk

Website: careers.ecitb.org.uk

National Heritage Training Group (NHTG)

Address: Carthusian Court, 12 Carthusian Street, London EC1M 6EZ

Tel: 01342 326171

Email: rayrobertson@nhtgskills.org

Website: www.nhtg.org.uk

CITB NI

Northern Ireland Enquiries

Address: Nutts Corner Training Centre, 17 Dundrod Road, Crumlin, County Antrim BT29 4SR

Tel: 028 9082 5466

Email: info@citbcsni.org.uk

Website: www.citbcsni.org.uk

Construction Employers Federation (CEF)

Irish enquiries

Address: 143 Malone Road, Belfast BT9 6SU

Tel: 028 9087 7143

Email: mail@cefni.co.uk

Website: www.cefni.co.uk

Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS)

Address: Bircham Newton, Kings Lynn, Norfolk PE31 6RH

Tel: 0844 5768777

Website: www.cscs.uk.com

bConstructive

Publisher: CITB-ConstructionSkills

Tel: 0344 994 4010

Email: myapprenticeship@citb.co.uk

Website: www.bconstructive.co.uk

Institute of Carpenters (IOC)

Address: 32 High Street, Wendover, Buckinghamshire HP22 6EA

Tel: 0844 8797696

Email: info@instituteofcarpenters.com

Website: www.instituteofcarpenters.com

SummitSkills

Skills for building services engineering sector

Address: Vega House, Opal Drive, Fox Milne, Milton Keynes MK15 0DF

Tel: 01908 303960

Email: enquiries@summitskills.org.uk

Website: www.summitskills.org.uk

Institute of Roofing (IOR)

Address: Roofing House, 31 Worship Street, London EC2A 2DX

Tel: 020 7448 3858

Email: info@instituteofroofing.org

Website: www.instituteofroofing.org

The Tile Association (TTA)

Address: Forum Court, 83 Copers Cope Road, Beckenham, Kent BR3 1NR

Tel: 020 8663 0946

Email: info@tiles.org.uk

Website: www.tiles.org.uk

Scottish and Northern Ireland Joint Industry Board for the Plumbing Industry (SNIJIB)

Scottish and Northern Ireland Enquiries

Address: Bellevue House, 22 Hopetoun Street, Edinburgh EH7 4GH

Tel: 0131 5560600

Email: info@snijib.org

Website: www.snijib.org

Northern Ireland Master Plumbers' Association

Northern Ireland Enquiries

Address: 38 Hill Street, Belfast BT1 2LB

Tel: 028 9032 1731

Steeplejack and Lightning Protection Training Group (SLPTG)

Address: 105 St Peter's Street, St Albans, Hertfordshire AL1 3EJ

Tel: 01727 896081

Email: info@slptraininggroup.org.uk

Website: www.slptraininggroup.org.uk

Stone Federation Great Britain

Address: Channel Business Centre, Ingles Manor, Castle Hill Avenue, Folkestone, Kent CT20 2RD

Tel: 01303 856123

Email: enquiries@stonefed.org.uk

Website: www.stonefed.org.uk

Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE)

Address: 64 Station Lane, Hornchurch, Essex RM12 6NB

Tel: 01708 472791

Email: info@ciphe.org.uk

Website: www.ciphe.org.uk

Scottish and Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers' Federation (SNIPEF)

Scottish enquiries

Address: Bellevue House, 22 Hopetoun Street, Edinburgh EH7 4GH

Tel: 0131 5560600

Email: info@snipef.org

Website: www.becomeaplumber.com

Scottish Building Apprenticeship and Training Council (SBATC)

Scottish enquiries

Address: Crichton House, 4 Crichtons Close, Holyrood, Edinburgh EH8 8DT

Tel: 0131 5568866

Email: registrar@sbatc.co.uk

Website: www.sbatc.co.uk

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