The unskilled labour sector makes up a large chunk of Australia’s workforce. But what exactly is it, and what does this type of work entail?
Working as an unskilled labourer only requires general construction training and obtaining of a white card. The responsibilities range from moving materials across construction sites to following the directions of skilled labourers to build structures. It is physically demanding but rewarding work.
Let’s talk more about working as an unskilled labourer.
Expectations of working as an unskilled labourer
An unskilled labourer doesn’t need to have specialised skills for a specific area of construction or have a qualification focusing on one area. These are the labourers that we often associate with the term ‘tradie’. Unskilled labourers are also considered general labourers because they complete the general tasks on construction sites and assist skilled labourers.
The training to become an unskilled labourer is general construction training. Combine the completion of this training with a white card and you can work as an unskilled labourer anywhere in Australia!
When working as an unskilled labourer, you can expect to be given a range of tasks across a worksite. You will be asked to move lots of materials back and forth, set up scaffolding on the worksites, and clean your tools and machinery.
Unskilled labourers are the major workforce on construction sites that follow the direction of skilled labourers and supervisors. Almost any task that doesn’t require a specialised skill will be completed by unskilled labourers on construction sites.
Being an unskilled labourer doesn’t mean that you can’t end up specialising in a certain area. Lots of labourers work as unskilled labourers while they train to become skilled labourers. This can involve apprenticeships and work under qualified skilled labourers.
You will be expected to follow plans, problem solve and assist skilled labourers on sites.
Construction is a teamwork industry, and every labourer is important to the construction process. Remember, without unskilled labourers, building a construction workforce would be very difficult!
Type of work and opportunities for unskilled labourers
Working as an unskilled labourer encompasses lots of job opportunities because you don’t require specialised qualifications. The wide variety of jobs available is what makes labouring so popular with locals and, sometimes, even tourists! Some easily acquired unskilled labour positions include cleaners, fruit pickers, factory processors, parking lot attendants and work in fast-food.
Manual labour is usually involved in some way. This could be packaging, assembling or operating equipment. General requirements include:
- Being physically strong (such as being able to lift at least 10kg).
- Having the ability to follow instructions.
- Be willing to conduct work outdoors.
- Work as part of a team.
You aren’t limited to the jobs mentioned above if you’re an unskilled labourer. The opportunities for unskilled labourers in the construction industry are endless! If you complete your general construction training, you can connect with a labour recruitment agency to find many unskilled labour work opportunities. From there, you can build your worksite experience and gain an idea of all the other positions involved with construction work. You might decide you are happy working as an unskilled labourer, or you might find inspiration for another labour pathway to follow. This can lead to training to become a skilled labourer or to working your way up to a management rank.
Coming from Australian construction workers, it’s said the abilities to advance your career in construction when beginning as an unskilled labourer are endless.
The good things to expect when working as an unskilled labourer
There are a number of upsides to undertaking unskilled labour work in Australia. Here we have narrowed them down to three main starter points:
Change your work pace with unskilled labour work
Feeling stuck in your current job? There may be an opportunity waiting for you in the unskilled workforce. You’ll learn new things (maybe even a completely new industry), and many jobs offer room for career growth. As we mentioned, there are always opportunities to advance your construction career and follow all kinds of directions as an unskilled labourer. It’s like a clean slate to build a new career!
Unskilled labourers are sought after
The unskilled labour force is a huge one, stretching across many industries. Employers are always looking for unskilled workers, so you’re bound to find work somewhere. We mentioned connecting with labour recruitment agencies. This is one of the best things an unskilled labourer can do! Employers approach labour recruitment agencies to hire unskilled labourers to build their workforces all the time.
The work for unskilled labourers is straightforward
It is subjective to say, but many consider unskilled labour work ‘easy’ in terms of how straightforward it can be. You are given directions to follow, and a plan to guide you. You have skilled labourers working with you to instruct your jobs. This leaves most of the physical and straightforward work to you, and the challenging problem-solving to the specialised workers.
The downsides to working as an unskilled labourer
As with most things, working as an unskilled labourer may come with some downsides:
The stigma around unskilled labour work
Some people look down on unskilled labour as there is no need for specific education, but don’t let this turn you away. Unskilled labourers are highly sought after, and without them, society would come to a standstill quickly. All labour is valued, no matter what you do! Skilled labourers can’t make a workforce big enough to complete construction projects. Without unskilled labourers, the whole construction side of the construction industry would become unbalanced.
The pay for unskilled labourers is lower
Because unskilled labour work doesn’t require specialised qualifications, the pay tends to be lower compared to other skilled workers. But this isn’t to say that the pay isn’t good. All labourers get paid well to an extent. Plus, working on major projects or during holiday seasons can earn unskilled labourers a great salary.
There is lots of competition amongst unskilled labour job seekers
Unskilled labourers are in high demand, but this can still cause a lot of competition between applicants. There are lots of jobs and lots of workers, but not always enough positions that will guarantee you a spot on projects you really want. Around 44% of the global workforce is unskilled or low-skilled. This means you have to be willing to work on any project offered to you as an unskilled labourer to keep getting more job offers. Otherwise, the turnover will be quick, and a new set of unskilled labourers could swoop up your spot.
While this could be intimidating, remember the opportunities available for expanding your career in construction. Plus, if you connect with recruitment agencies such as Rednax Recruitment and prove your reliability, you will struggle to not have work opportunities. So, if you have completed your general construction training and want to work as an unskilled labourer, contact our recruitment team today! We also have skilled labour work including carpenter work in Brisbane.