Labourer job description

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Labourers are usually employed in the construction industry to perform physical, manual work that includes digging trenches, laying foundations, building walls, fitting windows, plastering and carpentry duties. Much of the work takes place outside and, as such, is dictated by weather and lighting conditions, which often means an early start and an early finish
Owing to the nature of the work, it is essential that labourers have a good level of physical fitness. It is also important that they have basic numeracy and literacy skills, as measurements for weight, mass, temperature and pressure often need to be taken. An understanding of technical plans and drawings is also necessary
Most workers in this field learn their trade on the job, although there are several relevant courses that can provide preparation for the industry, including Edexcel first diploma in construction, City & Guilds basic skills in construction, and the intermediate and advanced construction award. Most labourers start on £6 an hour and, rather than receiving a set salary, are paid only for the work that is available on the day, so take-home pay is very much dependent on the weather and the current demand for work.


Labourers are responsible for doing manual work requiring high physical fitness and strength to construct structures or buildings. They perform physical and manual work including laying foundations, fitting windows, clearing sites, building walls, digging trenches, etc. They team up with other professionals such as architects, plumbers and electricians in order to construct houses including different building systems.

Labourers usually perform many of the following tasks:
• Ordering equipment for construction processes.
• Performing calculations.
• Digging trenches for drains.
• Layering concrete for foundations.
• Maintaining work records.


• Having awareness of safety and health issues.
• Being able to follow verbal and written instructions.
• Being physically fit.
• Having practical skills.
• Being able to work at heights.
• Having knowledge of materials and building methods.
• Being able to work with a team.
• Having good interpersonal abilities.
• Having good communication skills.
• Being able to use computerised equipment.


Most people working as a Labourer learn their skills and knowledge through apprenticeship schemes, including GCSE´s in English, Math, Technology, and Design. Most employers require previous work experience, so it is recommended to have experience in other projects before application for a new job. This area also has college courses including City & Guilds Basic Skills in Construction award, Intermediate and Advanced Construction Award, and Edexcel First Diploma in Construction.

There are on-the-job training schemes that provide NVQ qualifications in Construction and Civil Engineering Services at levels 1 and 2. Other options available are drainage construction, excavation holes and trenches, laying kerbs and channels, and concreting.

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Labourer Jobs

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