Working on a Building Site – What Do You Need?
There is a range of things that you need to get started working on a building site. Some of these include the right attitudes, qualifications and experience. Furthermore, it includes things such as the right safety equipment and health and safety training. This article will inform you of everything you need to start your career on a building site.
Particular Behaviour Traits and Attitudes Towards Work
In order to be able to work on a building site, you need to have a particular attitude to work.
One example is patience. Projects take months or years to complete which means that working on a construction site can be a long process. Without patience, you will be unlikely to enjoy the working environment.
The next behaviour trait that would be ideal for those who work on building sites is resilience. This is because it is not unlikely for something to take longer than expected or to take a few tries to get right. It is also not uncommon for errors to occur on a construction site which may mean parts of the project have to be re-done. Due to the unpredictability of the environment, resilience is a key trait that you would do well to have.
Resilence is also important for workers with long hours. Construction jobs often work from early morning to when it gets dark and this can be very tiresome.
Furthermore, a building site needs to run with excellent organisation. A lack of organisation could lead to severe mistakes which could either cause injury or result in a claim against the construction company. Construction workers need to turn up on time and have a clear plan of their tasks for the day. Doing tasks in the wrong order could also be disastrous.
Building Site Qualifications
In order to get a job position that involves working on a building site, you will need various qualifications. The qualification you need is dependent on the job position you hold.
If you are a labourer, which is one of the most common starting job roles for anyone wanting to enter construction, then you will need some labouring qualifications.
Some labourers enter the industry by doing an apprenticeship, whilst others go to college. There are not a huge amount of necessary qualifications to be a labourer but qualifications such as a Level 1 and Level 2 Certificate in Construction Skills and Operations.
Although many jobs do not have explicit requirements, they are much more likely to hire those who have experience.
There are also lots of bricklaying courses out there for those who would like to get involved in constructing buildings and houses.
Site Manager or Supervisor
For those roles which involve supervising the site operations or controlling the daily routines on-site, they require higher levels of qualifications.
To become a site supervisor you could take the CIOB Level 3 Diploma in Site Supervisory course. This will give you the skills to ensure that everyone on site abides by health and safety regulations, to measure the accuracy of the works, and organise and control operations.
If you wanted to be a site manager and have the highest level of responsibility for all of the site team, then the Level 4 Diploma in Site Management or the NVQ Level 6 in Site Management are some of the best qualifications to obtain.
Building Site Health and Safety Training
Alongside academic qualifications that are needed to work on a building site, you also need health and safety training. This ensures that you are competent working on-site and will not cause dangers to yourself or to those around you. Construction companies most commonly expect their workers to have completed the Health, Safety and Environment Test offered by CITB. Companies with workers who have passed the H, S & E test gives them the peace of mind that they will be safe on site.
There is a different test for the type of job position that you hold. These are either the Operatives, Specialist and Managers and Professionals tests. The test costs £22 and will give you the health and safety skills needed to obtain a CSCS card.
The CSCS Card
In the UK, the CSCS card is highly important to obtain before working on a building site. Many companies will require all workers to hold one. The CSCS is the Construction Skills Certification Scheme. In order to get a card, you must pass the CITB health and safety test mentioned above and some other qualifications. For example, for the Black Manager card, you need to hold an NVQ Level 6 in Construction Site Management. For the Green CSCS Card for those that are labourers, the additional qualifications they need are mainly additional health and safety qualifications.
The CSCS card shows that they have proven qualifications and skills which will reduce the chances of workers making mistakes on site. Therefore, if you are thinking about starting your career on a building site, it would be advantageous for you to get your CSCS card. This is likely to increase your chances of getting a job.
Following on from all of the other requirements that are needed to work on a building site, one of the most important is experience. If you are to have any chance of beginning a job on-site you will need to have experience under your belt. It is not feasible to step onto a construction site and start your duties if you have never done it before. Yes, you may have a general idea of how things are done but having real experience is essential. Firstly, this ensures that you will not make mistakes on site which can be detrimental for a construction site if it leads to claims. Secondly, it ensures that you are aware of the dangers of a construction site and will not end up injuring yourself.
In addition, it is clear that without experience you would not be hired onto a building site.
So, the question is, how do you gain this experience?
There is a range of different options:
One option is joining an apprenticeship. This means that you can learn lots of new skills whilst you are working. Further, you will get paid for your time learning, although this will be less than you would as a full employee. There are many apprenticeship schemes in the UK. One of which is the National Apprenticeship Service. This was developed in the UK to allow individuals to find apprenticeships and to increase the ways in which individuals can learn skills and enter a professional industry.
Another way to gain experience is by taking a course that has a vocational focus. This type of learning involves fewer academics and more active working and learning. This could allow you to gain experience whilst you are in school to then start working on a building site straight away. Many employers like to employ those who have gained experience of what it is like to work on a building site when they are still studying.
Helping Out a Friend or Family Member
You can even obtain experience by offering to help out a friend or family member with their construction project. Many construction workers have been known to start out by helping them with their house build project or renovation. Although this will not provide them with the experience needed to work on a building site straight away, it will give them some basic skills and could allow them to enter the industry as a beginner.
This article has discussed the different requirements to start working on a building site. This includes the various attitudes towards work and the natural behaviour traits of those who excel in a site environment. Furthermore, it includes the technical qualifications that are needed to ensure that the required skills are met. In addition, we discussed the need for health and safety qualifications and the potential to obtain a CSCS card. Finally, we discussed the need for experience and the options for obtaining it.
The College of Contract Management offers a range of qualifications that can prepare you for working on a building site or can improve your skills to progress through the construction industry. If you would like any help, feel free to contact us and we can suggest some of the most suitable training courses for you.
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