Construction is one of Australia’s largest and fastest-growing industries. With a high demand for new workers, it’s a great time to join the field. Fresh workers have described the time as a new construction worker as worth it. So, what should you expect as a new construction employee?
A new construction employee will experience many exciting opportunities to learn new skills. They will be given plenty of basic jobs to prove their willingness to help others. There are long days with early mornings, that test and build fitness. Expect challenging and good times on a range of sites.
Here’s everything to know about starting a career in construction.
Life as a new construction employee
There are many things to expect when starting a career as a new construction employee. The first thing to prepare for is the hard work you are going to put in. Jobs in construction are not easy, most requiring lots of physical effort. The bonus of starting out younger is that your fitness hasn’t reached its peak level yet. So, while you will experience long days that strain your muscles, you will only continue to build on your strength. Pair this with a good diet and your fitness levels will increase majorly.
Let’s break up the other aspects of life as a new construction employee.
Workers new to construction are pushed more
As a newer employee, you might find that you are pushed more than other workers. It’s important to prove your dedication to the job and willingness to learn. You will be given most of the tasks that those who have been there longer don’t want to do. This includes cleaning, fetching tools, and carrying materials around. But remember a lot of this is a test. If you don’t show you’re willing to do these tasks, you won’t be asked to take on anything bigger.
If you show that you are happy to do whatever other workers need, you are going to learn a lot more.
Every day is different as a new construction worker
As a new construction employee, every day is different because you will be constantly learning and shown new things. This is exciting because you are getting to complete tasks for the first time. For example, one day you might learn to build a wall, the next you’re learning how to install sliding doors. Then you have part of the knowledge to build a house! There are so many opportunities to build on your skills which can make every workday exciting.
New construction workers can have very early mornings
New construction employees also need to be prepared for early mornings. There may be days where you need to be at a construction site by 5 am, before other workers. This could be because materials are being delivered and, as a newer worker, you are tasked with the earliest jobs. But you could have the chance to finish by 3 pm, leaving you the afternoon to relax or socialise.
The best thing you can do before joining the construction industry is learn everything you can about your job and preparation for work. Read on to build up your new construction worker knowledge.
Requirements for working on a construction site
Before you can start work on a construction site, you need to have met all of the appropriate requirements. This includes obtaining a white card and other necessary construction tickets that relate to the work you will be completing. Most of these cards can be gained by completing short courses through an RTO.
You will need to check that your cards are all valid. Talk to your employer to make sure that you have the right ones. Also, make sure you have completed all of your onboarding paperwork and provided the employer with your details. You will also need valid identification.
If you have completed all the correct training and provided your details, you should be able to start work on a construction site.
Learn about construction labour hire as a new construction employee
As a new construction employee, it’s a great idea to get involved with a labour hire company. You can send in expressions of interest to work as a general labourer or a skilled labourer. The company receive this application and will interview you, getting to know you as a worker. Sometimes they will provide extra training to prepare you for the worksite. Then employers approach labour hire companies looking to hire labourers.
Depending on the project, you can be offered a short or long-term position with one of these employers. Labour hire companies connect you, as a labourer, with a range of different contractors.
The major challenges in construction
Before officially starting out as a new construction employee, you should consider the challenges in the construction industry. This will help you prepare for your work and building your construction career.
Skills and labour shortages
It is a great time to start a career in construction because there is a high demand for construction workers. Globally, there is approximately a 58% skill shortage that is affecting the construction industry. This means that there are struggles with finding enough workers with the right skills to get jobs done. The result of this labour shortage is that current workers are being assigned multiple projects in a short space of time. Some construction projects are being put on halt so that workers can help out at bigger sites. But, by joining the industry now, you are becoming part of the resolution!
Projects can go over budget and over time
Large construction projects often take longer than the scheduled time. This is because of unexpected delays and problems that occur along the way. You also have to consider the unpredictable weather that can cause sites to be shut down for days.
Construction projects can often also go over the budget for various reasons. To try and avoid this, lots of problem-solving has to occur between labourers and designers. Be prepared to constantly be looking for ways to be efficient in your resources.
Ensuring the safety of workers
There has been a 62% decrease in work-related fatalities, but the construction industry is still one of the highest-ranking risky workplaces. Given the machinery, materials and nature of the work, ensuring worker safety is a whole new level. This is one of the hardest aspects of the construction industry. But there are ways to lower your risk levels. Undertake quality skills and safety training. You can complete courses regarding high-risk worksites, constricted worksites, and more. There are constant opportunities to build your construction safety knowledge.
Practice worksite safety properly, always keeping in mind the potential risks and hazards surrounding you. Be smart in how you work, protecting yourself and others from harm. Being across all of your safety knowledge is the biggest preparation a new construction employee can have. So, get on it!
Hopefully, we have been able to shed some light on what to expect and know as a new construction employee. If you are looking to connect with a labour hire company, reach out to our Canberra Labour Hire team. Are you wondering if a career in construction is good? We have the answer to that and much more in our Canberra Labour Hire blog. Check out some more of our construction and work advice articles.