Did you know that the construction and scaffolding industries are currently experiencing a skills shortage? With 3 out of 10 British-born construction workers over the age of 50 (and nearing retirement), the demand for new workers is on the rise.
Whether you’re a school leaver or simply wanting a career change, we’re going to look at the role of a scaffolder, and the different ways that you can enter the industry.
Your day-to-day duties might include:
- Unloading scaffolding equipment on site.
- Putting up scaffolding poles and attaching them to horizontal tubes.
- Fixing the scaffolding to the buildings or structures.
- Laying scaffold boards for workers to walk on, as well as putting up/taking down safety netting and edge protection systems.
- Supervising and/or taking part in the creation of different types of platforms. This could range from simple scaffolding to complex structures such as suspended scaffolding and temporary roofs.
Salaries can vary greatly, with a lot of it depending on the location, the scaffolder’s experience and the amount of overtime worked. Usually, newly-trained scaffolders can expect to earn somewhere between £19,000 to £25,000 per year, with trained and experienced workers expecting between £25,000 and £40,000. If you’re a senior scaffolder, you could earn somewhere around £40,000 to £50,000.
How to Enter the Industry
If you’re a school leaver and not sure what part of the construction industry you want to get into, then a college course could be a great choice. You could complete a Level 1 or Level 2 Construction Certificate, which would teach you some of the skills needed to work in the industry.
Usually, you’ll need:
- Level 1: two or fewer GCSEs at grades 3 to 1 (D-G)
- Level 2: two or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A*-D)
If you’re a school leaver and pretty set on becoming a scaffolder, then getting trained through a scaffolder immediate apprenticeship could be ideal for you.
These apprenticeships usually take around 18 months to complete, and involve a mixture of on-the-job training and college studies.
You’ll usually need some GCSEs to complete an apprenticeship, including English and Maths.
An alternative to college and apprenticeship training is to simply join a company as a trainee scaffolder or a scaffolding labourer. By doing this, you could acquire your qualifications on the job.
Typically, employers would look for GCSEs in English and Maths. They might also value qualifications in design and technology, although these won’t usually be essential requirements.
If you want to train or work on a construction site, you will need to have a Construction Industry Scaffolders Record Scheme (CISRS). Make sure to apply for one before you undertake any on-site training.
George Roberts Can Help You Get Started
We hope this guide has been helpful if you’re thinking of becoming a scaffolder in the near future!
If you’re already in the industry but just starting out, take a look at our list of essential scaffolding tools. And if you’re in need of safety equipment such as harnesses and helmets, then make sure to check out our online shop.