Groundworks Apprenticeship – Digging for Victory

Written by Calvin Bowers

There is a lot of interest in apprenticeships that are a way into the construction industry and a groundworks apprenticeship is no exception. This is the apprenticeship standard to aim for if you would like to have a career operating heavy plant machinery and digging equipment. If you have always been fascinated with it and would like to turn it into a career, this is the fastest and safest way to go about it. 

What does a Groundworks Apprenticeship Involve? 

An apprenticeship in groundworks will give an understanding of all of the safety precautions needed to operate heavy plant machinery such as JCBs and digging machinery that are used during construction projects. You will receive hands-on training in driving and operating these vehicles and will be expected to understand concepts such as soil mechanics and how different types of soil moves in various weather conditions. 

There are a great many benefits to taking part in an apprenticeship and you should read the reasons to start an apprenticeship as well as who can start an apprenticeship to get yourself up to speed on this important information. 

As with all modern apprenticeship standards, you will be given the chance to earn as you learn and you will spend 80% of your time in on-the-job training and the other 20% in off-the-job training, learning the theory side that you need in order to be successful in this field of work. 

The off-the-job training will take place in a local educational institution such as a college or it may be done remotely instead from the comfort of your own home. No matter which of the options is used, you will be paid at least the apprenticeship minimum wage while you are undertaking either on-the-job or off-the-job training. 

Many companies pay more than the bare minimum but it is a level that you won’t be asked to work for less than. Earning while you learn is an excellent perk and one that marks an apprenticeship out as one of the best options for advancing your career prospects while earning money from worthwhile work in your chosen field.

This is an excellent opportunity to develop a close working relationship with your mentor and team as the chances are that the reason they have an apprenticeship for you is that they are looking to train you up to fill a job role at the end of it. 

A very large proportion of apprentices end up working for the company they apprenticed with once they have successfully completed their apprenticeship and you are unlikely to be the exception to this, especially at a time when there is a large skills gap in the UK. As such, it is an easy way to get your first job in the construction industry and to stack up some relevant experience and contacts that you can call upon in the future. Completing a groundworks apprenticeship will stand you in very good stead for the future and set you up for success either in this specific construction niche or an adjacent one in the future.  

You will most likely be working with a building and construction contracting company or perhaps a local authority and you will be working on clearing the ground prior to the installation of foundations and other similar tasks. 

Which Groundworking Apprenticeships Are Available? 

Groundworker Apprenticeship – Level 2

The Groundworker Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship normally lasts around 18 months, not including the End Point Assessment. As a groundworker, you will be one of the first workers on-site at a new building site. Along with your colleagues, you will be interpreting design specifications and extrapolating them from what is on paper into the real world. 

A level 2 intermediate apprenticeship is the easiest to gain access to as the entry requirements are lower than some of the other types of apprenticeship. The academic achievement is equivalent to an NVQ or a BTEC upon successful completion of the apprenticeship. 

You will be expected to demonstrate knowledge of all of the relevant safety regulations and to be the link point between heavy construction and civil engineering professionals for the duration of the project. The work tends to be labour-intensive and is mostly outdoor so is best suited to people with a good level of both upper and lower body-strength.  

Your duties will include preparing the sub surface and drainage works before the structural work can begin, as well as continuing on-site with the bricklayers and other construction professionals while the project progresses. You will be expected to work on house building, commercial building and general building sites and your responsibilities will begin to build up based on the amount of experience that you have accrued. 

Am I Suited for a Groundworks Apprenticeship?

These apprenticeships deal with the early stages of fairly substantial construction works in both the public and private sectors and it is important that you come to the role with a mature attitude and a keen awareness of the responsibilities that you have for public safety. 

It is perfectly fine to have a laugh and to get on well with your colleagues, but ultimately, there are times when you will need to act with maturity and conviction when it comes to rules and regulations and ensuring the proper protocols are followed for health and safety. 

This is for the benefit of both yourself and your team and if you are able to do this, you should be able to build a rewarding career for yourself in this field.

You will need to be physically strong and good at working with your hands in order to get the most from this apprenticeship.   

Apply for a Groundworks Apprenticeship Today

If you are interested in pursuing a career in groundworks, you should consider looking at our dedicated apprenticeship jobs board to find suitable apprenticeships in your area. 

If you need some help with writing your CV or your covering letter, you can use our apprentice resources pages to find what you need, and you can also use it to look into finding help in your area

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Last Updated: Tuesday January 24 2023
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