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Job Photographs

  • A man, wearing a blue boiler suit, is standing on a production line.

    General assistants work in all types of factory. This assistant is sorting car bumpers in a car factory.

  • A man is standing in a factory.  He is using a machine.

    This assistant is working in a textile factory.

  • A man is sitting at a desk, using a computer.

    Computers are used in all kinds of factories.

  • Three people, wearing blue boiler suits, are standing on a production line.  They are working on car body frames.

    Taking parts to the assembly line.

  • General Assistant - Factory

Factory Worker

Introduction

General assistants carry out a range of duties in factories. Tasks might include moving goods, cleaning up, and loading and unloading vehicles.

Also known as

  • Factory Assistant

Video: - Angie: General Assistant - Factory

Work Activities

As a Factory Worker, you will carry out a range of tasks that help the factory to run smoothly. For example, you collect and distribute raw materials to Machine Operators. This could involve the use of fork-lift trucks and hand-operated trolleys.

You might also carry out cleaning duties. You'll also clean the machines and equipment if necessary.

Other duties include helping to load and unload raw materials and finished products. This could mean working outside in all weather conditions.

You are usually expected to help out when and where you are needed. This might mean you have to do lots of different tasks and work in every part of the factory.

Your work could involve using machinery too. This might include wood or metal working.

Being able to read, write and speak Welsh may be an advantage when you’re looking for work in Wales.

Personal Qualities and Skills

To become a Factory Worker, you should:

  • be flexible and willing to do lots of different things
  • enjoy practical work
  • be willing to do repetitive tasks
  • have good people skills

Good health and fitness are important. Some jobs are physically demanding and involve heavy lifting and carrying. In some factories, you may need to work up ladders.

Pay and Opportunities

Pay

The pay rates given below are approximate.

  • Starting: £16,000 - £17,500
  • With experience: £18,500 - £21,500
  • Senior Factory Workers earn £23,500 - £26,500

Hours of work

Factory Workers work 39 hours a week, which may include early starts, late finishes, shift work and work at weekends and on public holidays. Overtime is sometimes available and, depending on the industry, there may be opportunities for part-time and casual or seasonal work.

Where could I work?

Employers are factory operators across a wide range of manufacturing industries. Job titles vary, therefore it is important to check all factory vacancy information carefully, as the work is often combined with other operative duties.

Opportunities for Factory Workers occur in factories in towns and cities throughout the UK.

Where are vacancies advertised?

Vacancies are advertised on all the major job boards, on Find a Job and at Jobcentre Plus.

Entry Routes and Training

Entry routes

You don't need any qualifications to become a Factory Worker.

Training

Training is usually on-the-job with supervision from an experienced member of staff.

Some companies run an induction course for new employees, which might last for a few hours or a few days. There can be formal training courses for some aspects of the work, such as operating lifting equipment.

Progression

Progression could be to supervisory positions and then on to Factory Manager.

Work Experience

Previous experience gained in the manufacturing industry, such as in assembly or packing work would be really useful for this career.

Qualifications

You do not usually need qualifications to enter this work.

Adult Opportunities

Age limits

It is illegal for any organisation to set age limits for entry to employment, education or training, unless they can show there is a real need to have these limits.

Skills/experience

Applicants with skills gained in the manufacturing industry, such as in assembly or packing work, have an advantage.

Previous experience of practical or technical work using your hands is useful.

Further Information

National Skills Academy for Food & Drink

Sector Skills Council for the food and drinks industry

Email: info@nsafd.co.uk

Website: www.improveltd.co.uk

Tasty Careers

Food and drink careers

Email: info@tastycareers.org.uk

Website: tastycareers.org.uk

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