A general labourer’s duties vary from job to job, and day to day. One day, you might be cleaning or prepping a job site while the next you’ll be using a forklift or a blowtorch. The next week, you might be doing lawn work while the next you might be moving boxes all day. That being said, general labourers have many wide-ranging skills that help them meet their employer’s ever-evolving needs and demands.
Typically, you need to be 18 years of age to become a general labourer, but there are no minimum education requirements. In addition, general labourers should have a vast collection of skills to excel in their profession. Specializes skills may also offer greater opportunities.
Here are the top ten general labourer skills that are in demand right now:
1. Physical Strength
General labour can be very physical, which is why strength and stamina are critical general laborer skills to have. General labourers should be able to lift, carry, and move heavy items and complete a range of physical tasks as required, such as cleaning. Hand-eye coordination is another physical competency that helps general labourers succeed on site.
2. Project Coordination
It pays to have previous experience coordinating crews, projects, equipment, and materials. Having this skill on your resume will help you catch the eye of recruiters and employers, who are looking for responsible and organized general labourers to help manage tasks and people on site. In fact, this general labourer skill could qualify you for a supervisory or managerial position.
3. Math Skills
There tends to be more math required in construction and similar industries than in other fields. That’s why it’s critical for general labourers to have above-grade math skills. For example, they may need to be able to do basic math or advanced algebra to calculate how much of a given material is required or to provide exact measurements.
4. Technical Knowledge
Technical knowledge is becoming more essential today as more and more tools and machinery become computerized. General labourers should be able to safely and confidently use a range of tools and machines, and have the building and mechanical knowledge to complete various jobs.
Often, general labourers will attend apprenticeships or training courses to increase their technical knowledge and land more lucrative job opportunities.
5. Communication Skills
General labourers need to be able to both understand information and communicate it to others in order to excel on job sites. This applies to both verbal and written communication skills. General labourers need to be able to follow written documentation and translate the directions into action.
Communication becomes even more essential when you’re in a supervisory role and may need to communicate concerns, questions, procedures, and decisions with a crew.
6. Willingness to Learn
Because the duties of a general labourer can vary widely, those in the profession need to be open to new learning opportunities and be able to learn quickly on the job when unfamiliar tasks and scenarios are presented to them.
Further, technology is constantly changing, with new software, machinery, tools, and apps being implemented on a regular basis. General labourers need to be comfortable enough with technology to learn how the new programs work and how to take advantage of all its features to maximize their value.
7. Critical Thinking Skills
Being able to assess a situation, understanding why something isn’t working, and finding a solution to the problem requires critical thinking skills. Being able to reason through problems and think up innovative solutions can bring immense value to a jobsite since it can reduce project delays and costs. When you’re part of the solution, you’re a more valuable worker in the eyes of an employer.
8. Organizational Skills
Organization might not seem like an essential skill for general labour, but you’d be surprised how much value employers place on this competency. That’s because an organized general labourer brings many benefits to a jobsite, ensuring work is completed on time and on budget without the wasting of resources.
Most general labourers do not work alone. They typically work in crews, which can include other general labourers, tradesmen in a variety of other professions, supervisors, and project managers. A professional general labourer knows how to work well with others and puts an emphasis on teamwork.
Employers seek out teamwork skills because they often indicate better communication, improved morale on site, and better construction all around.
All jobsites are run on tight deadlines and budgets. Site supervisors cannot afford to deal with late employees who delay the day’s work. Whether you’re playing a critical role in a production line or prepping a jobsite before tradespeople can start working, the ability to show up on time becomes a critical skill.
These are core competencies employers look for when hiring general labourers. Honing these skills now will help you increase your job opportunities and become a more valuable member of a team at work.