Groundworkers are members of construction staff who prepare a site prior to building. Their main duties include removing sewage, redirecting waterways by flow or pumping, concreting the proposed site, and laying both kerbs and flagstones. It is perhaps one of the most important initial jobs that a site experiences, but what does it take to be hired for groundworking jobs? We will review what is needed.

Required qualifications for groundworker jobs.

Groundworkers can either accept their posts by becoming fully qualified or by proving their experience through time served with existing contractors, construction companies, or other recognised and registered trades. They may also be apprentice trained through an approved college or university, or take extension courses such as the Groundworking NVQ or equivalent City and Guilds qualifications.

It is almost always necessary for groundworkers to provide references. For those without suitable construction references, they will be able to use a valid CSCS or CPCS skills card in their place. While these sorts of skills cards are necessary for most sites, some workers may be permitted on site at the contractor's liability and personal discretion by holding a temporary General Operative Green Card, which is issued directly by the site foreman.

Machine tickets are also usually thought of as advantageous. This is because groundworkers may complete work necessary for the site that does not directly relate to the building's foundation, like creating roads or pathways for personnel. Moving waste is also usually required, so those with machine tickets could take advantage of dumpers or telehandlers as required. Those with 360 Excavator tickets are in particularly high demand at the present time.

Required tools.

Groundworkers will usually have to supply their own tools and PPE. In addition to safety boots, a high visibility vest, and safety hat, groundworkers will usually supply their own shovels, lump hammers, and an assortment of basic hand tools as required to lay the foundation and complete other tasks.

Soft skills.

Groundworkers require basic numeracy to deal with construction tasks and the nature of their role, but they also must be confident and decisive in their own work. It is also a physically demanding role, so high levels of physical fitness are required for safe functioning on the site.

Communication skills are sometimes required, as groundworkers can be required to work both in a team and on their own. They will also need to be alert to present dangers on the site, so as to tell their teammates of impending risks or to keep themselves healthy while on the job.

Employment prospects for groundworkers. 

Ground-workers enjoy favourable working prospects with construction vacancies being widely available nationwide. They will usually be employed on a contractual basis for full-time projects that can range up to 40 hours a week and will usually see wages between £10 and £12 per hour. There is currently a high demand for construction personnel in north-eastern parts of England and some parts of southern Scotland.