Scaffolding Apprenticeship – Building Your Career

Written by Calvin Bowers

When thinking of entering the building trade, there are a great many options available to you. You may wish to look into roofing, bricklaying or some other aspect of the industry. An essential component of the construction industry is scaffolding as much of the work can’t proceed until this has been done safely. A scaffolding apprenticeship can be extremely rewarding and can lead to a lucrative career upon successful completion. 

There is only one apprenticeship standard for scaffolding and this will cover everything that you need to know about this exciting apprenticeship opportunity. It’s worth reading up on who can start an apprenticeship to ensure that you meet the qualifying criteria before going through the process for applying for an apprenticeship. There are many reasons to start an apprenticeship and there is no right or wrong reason to want to take one on. 

One of the reasons that many people cite is that they want to be able to earn as they learn and an apprenticeship is one of the best ways to do this. Unlike most traditional educational routes, apprenticeships will pay you for 100% of the time that you spend on them. The 20% of the time that you spend studying for the academic part of the qualification in off-the-job training will pay you the same as the other 80% of the apprenticeship which takes place via on-the-job training. 

The ability to earn as you learn makes apprenticeships a very attractive option to many who may not have been the most academic at school and feel that they are better at working with their hands. The construction industry welcomes many young people who feel like this and who are young school leavers every year, so you should be able to fit right in with like-minded people. 

Scaffolding Apprenticeship – What Will You Learn?

There are many things to learn in a scaffolding apprenticeship but one of the most vital is safety. The safety of yourself, the safety of your team and the safety of the general public all matter and must be given all due consideration when you are planning how to erect scaffolding. 

Safety for Yourself and Others

You will be expected to read and absorb all of the information on this during the off-the-job training aspect of your course before being allowed to actually start to assemble scaffolding in any kind of hands-on way. 

It is obviously tempting to just jump in and get on with the practical things but just like any good scaffolding, it needs to be built on a solid foundation. In this case, the solid foundation is your knowledge and understanding of the subject. If you are not prepared to put the reading and effort in at this stage you shouldn’t be doing a scaffolding apprenticeship as you are not mature enough for the responsibility that comes with it. 

Ways to Assemble Scaffolding

You will learn how to assemble many different types of scaffolding and will be taught to do so in different weather conditions and using various materials. You will be taught the important ways that different materials and components connect to each other in order to make strong and stable structures that are able to support human weight. 

This is a key component of the scaffolding apprenticeship and you will be given hands-on experience with all the connecting pieces so that you can both practise and improve your skills. You will be shown all of the necessary techniques and be allowed to use the tools that you will be working with on the scaffold. 

As well as learning how to build the scaffolding, you must be able to negotiate it safely and securely and this is a skill in and of itself. Being able to climb scaffolding safely is a key safety requirement and if you are yet to figure out how to do this in a safe manner it may impact the rest of your apprenticeship.

Scaffolding Apprenticeship – What Should I do Next?

Take the time to read up on what a Scaffolder Apprenticeship entails and make sure that you are prepared to learn all of the things specified in the apprenticeship standard for this. The apprenticeship standards have been put in place to ensure that every apprentice who undertakes a particular apprenticeship leaves having achieved a particular set of skills and experiences. 

This is a standardisation of what a scaffolder needs to be able to learn and it is an assurance for any future employer that someone who completed the apprenticeship successfully will have the skills that they need. 

What Kind of Companies Will I Work With?

Scaffolding is used by many different companies from small independent sub-contractor companies to large-scale construction ones and it is therefore impossible to say what kind of company you will end up apprenticing with. The beauty of apprenticeships is that you can easily seek out the type of companies that you want to work with and apply for apprenticeships with them. 

Leaving an Apprenticeship

It is important that you find the right apprenticeship for you. If you are unhappy in the apprenticeship for whatever reason, it is possible to leave an apprenticeship, just like any other job. You will have had to sign an apprenticeship commitment statement but this is not entirely binding and if you have a good reason for wanting to leave then you can. Many people don’t realise that this is possible and persevere when they are unhappy but you don’t have to. 

Applying for a Scaffolding Apprenticeship

Once you have decided that a scaffolding apprenticeship is definitely for you, it is time to peruse targeted apprenticeship jobs boards. These should help you to find something suitable in the area where you live so that you can begin the next steps on your apprenticeship journey. It may be worth thinking about how to improve the quality of your CV prior to applying. It may also be a good idea to do some work on your covering letter skills

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Last Updated: Monday November 28 2022
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