Groundworker Apprenticeships

Groundworkers are the first trade onto a construction and civil engineering site and a Groundworker will work closely with supervisors and engineers in interpreting design specifications to prepare the site ready for the structural building works to take place. They continue their work throughout the construction phase, working with all on-site construction trades, such as bricklayers and plant operatives, up to and including the final completion activities of the project.

Their work includes setting out and preparing the sub-surfaces ready for the structural work to begin, installing drainage systems, concreting, constructing roads and pathways and carrying out the finished hard landscaping. Groundworkers are able to transfer between heavy construction and civil engineering sites as well as house building, commercial building and general building sites. A Groundworker will work for all types of construction companies from small subcontractors to large main contractors.

 

Course Info
How to Apply
Knowledge - What will I learn?

Groundworkers have the knowledge and understanding of:

  • the principles of health, safety, welfare and environmentally responsible work practices and how they must be applied in relation to the work, self and to others including understanding the principles of risk assessments
  • Basic awareness of environmental and health hazards e.g. Japanese knotweed, asbestos. How to identify contaminated ground conditions and the procedures for working safely on it.
  • Basic principles of Building Information Modelling(BIM), drawings, method statements, manufacturers’ information, work schedules and specifications
  • technology including key factors and systems of work appropriate to different work environments and industry sectors (e.g. civil engineering, private residential, commercial)
  • the differences between modern and traditional construction methods and the physical and environmental factors when undertaking construction work and their potential impacts
  • the techniques to handle and move loads manually and with mechanical aids including guiding the movement of articulated vehicles, plant and machinery using hand signals, hand signalling equipment and verbal/electronic communication equipment and storing resources safely and securely
  • why, when and how health and safety control equipment should be used when undertaking groundworks (e.g. personal protective equipment (PPE))
  • the principles and methods of working within confined space work
  • erecting and dismantling access/working platforms
  • establishing work area protection
  • locating and excavating to expose buried utility services
  • providing temporary works including excavation support
  • the basic principles of internal/external drainage and ducting systems
  • measuring, marking, cutting and installing geo membranes to stabilise soil
  • gauging, mixing, placing, compacting and finishing mortars and concrete by hand and by mixer
  • reinstating excavations and ground surface finishes including installing street ironworks
Skills - What will I learn?

A Groundworker can:

  • work safely and securely in compliance with given information, organisational policies and procedures, and current health, safety and welfare legislation including following the procedures for working in contaminated ground.
  • conform with productive working practices and completing the work in accordance with the programme of work
  • Interpret and follow verbal and written work instructions from supervisors and site managers
  • access, interpret and use drawings and specifications
  • select the required resources including tools and fixtures
  • move, handle and store resources complying with relevant legislation & guidance
  • use and maintain power tools and equipment (including;. compactor plates, boning rods, portable power tools, levels, straight edges, lines, pins and laser equipment)
  • gauge and mix mortars and concrete by hand and by mixer
  • select and use basic setting out equipment including tape measures, levels, straight edges, lines and pins, boning rods and laser equipment under guidance of the supervisor
  • install, maintain and remove temporary protection and safety arrangements for the work area relating to barriers and temporary structures, including protection, safety notices and safety lighting
  • install and test basic drainage and ducting
  • measure, mark, cut and install geo-membranes to stabilise soil for re-instatement and excavations
  • transport and place, then compact and finish concrete to slabs/bases, footing oversights, paths, form slab edgings including positioning reinforcement and kerbs
  • set out and lay flags, paviours and edging to paths, driveways and other areas
  • install ironworks relating to access covers and frames, and gully grates and frames including preparatory brickwork
  • locate and excavate to expose buried utility services using electronic location instruments.
  • provide and remove temporary works including shallow excavation support (up to 1.2 metres)
  • form and reinstate excavations and surfaces to sub-grades, sub-bases and road bases,
  • prepare to, then direct and guide the movement of vehicles, plant or machinery
Qualifications

Qualifications

  • Individuals without Level 1 English and maths will need to achieve this level and take the test for Level 2 English and maths prior to taking the End Point Assessment.
  • For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship English and maths minimum requirement is Entry level 3 and British Sign Language qualifications are an alternative to English qualifications for who this is their primary.
Entry Requirements

There are no formal qualification requirements however candidates should have a strong interest in the area. You will need to be dedicated and committed to your study and be responsible for your own learning. Students on this course are required to be employed in a suitable work placement with a building company.

Adult learners who have previously worked in construction e.g. as a labourer can also undertake this apprenticeship.

What can I do next?

There is not a level 3 Diploma or an advanced apprenticeship for construction operations as requirements of the occupational area are covered at this level. However, after gaining work experience there are opportunities to progress into plant operations related to construction operations and also occupational work supervision, management or technical support areas.

Attendance

How often do I have to attend college?

College attendance will be required over the duration of the course and will be determined post-application.

Information for Employers

Core Behaviours for a Groundworker are:

  • Effective communication – oral, written, electronic, listening, body language and presentation.
  • Customer service – develop customer relationships; build customer confidence; meet expectations and contribute to the development of an ongoing relationship with the organisation
  • Respect – apply equality, diversity and inclusion in dealing with others.
  • Team work – work effectively and safely with others under minimum supervision.
  • Independent working – take responsibility for safe completion of your own work.
  • Logical thinking – use clear and valid reasoning when making decisions to undertake the work instructions and when problem solving
  • Working effectively – undertake the work in a reliable, safe and productive manner.
  • Time management – use own time effectively to complete the work instructions to schedule and always arrive at, and be ready to work on time
  • Adaptability – be able to adjust to changes to the work instructions, be able to identify when specialist advice may be needed and when to advise of the need to change work instructions.
  • Risk Management – be able to resist pressures to follow unsafe working practices

The Application window for joint applications for full-time courses and apprenticeships starting in September 2023 will open on Monday 3rd October at 12pm.

What if I don’t have an employer?

If you do not have a contract offer of employment from an employer in place then there a number of options still available to you:

Apply for a live Apprenticeship Vacancy

We have apprenticeship vacancies available throughout the year in a variety of industries.

View our live vacancies

Join Our Talent Pool

All you have to do is complete and submit our Talent Pool application form, attend a pre-screening assessment/interview and be available when contacted. We will then send your details along with your profile to employers looking for an apprentice, inform you if you are selected and send your guidance to prepare you for interview.

Join our Talent Pool

Access to Apprenticeships - 6 month Functional Skills and Employability programme

Access to Apprenticeships – 6 month Functional Skills and Employability programme

This course is aimed at any prospective student who wishes to progress onto an apprenticeship, but does not meet the relevant entry criteria for a course, or needs to develop the necessary work based learning skills.

Maths and English can often be seen as a barrier to success on an apprenticeship, and this programme will see students working in a supportive environment to achieve Functional Skills to a level 2 standard (GCSE 4 equivalent).

Students must have a requirement to achieve English/maths at Level 2 and will work towards achieving a Functional skill in either/both English and maths. Applicants who have already achieved a 4(C) GCSE grade in both subjects will not be accepted onto the course.

Access to Apprenticeships – Find out more

Walk-in Enrolments

We are still accepting late enrolments across most of our subject areas for both school leavers and adult learners.

What are my options?

Haven’t enrolled on a course yet? Studying somewhere else but not sure the course is for you? Studying with us but looking to swap courses?

Not a problem! Walk-in enrolments and advice about changing courses is available at both our Braintree and Colchester campuses.

If you are unsure about any of the above and would like to speak to our apprenticeships team directly then please contact us using the below:

01206 712043 – Applicant Enquiries or email:

ci.apprenticeships@colchester.ac.uk

Groundworker Apprenticeship
Course Outline: Ideal for individuals who work as an operative in the construction sector, laying drainage, kerbs, channels and pavements.

Starting employment as an apprentice can occur throughout the year however the start-date for attending college for training, where required, might vary depending on the type of apprenticeship and will be communicated post-employment and sign-up.

LevelLevel 2
LocationColchester
DurationTypically 18 months to complete
Campus / Adult Skills CentreColchester Campus
Apprenticeship Funding Band (Levy paying employers)£9,000
Employer Contribution Fee (Non-levy paying employers)£450

What will this cost my Business?

Non-levy paying employers will need to contribute 5% of the maximum funding band as published by the Skills Funding Agency for the delivery of training and assessment for their apprenticeship. Levy paying employers will pay the full cost of the agreed funding band using their Digital Apprenticeship account.

Apprenticeship Funding Bands

Apprenticeship Funding Bands
Employers with less than 50 employees who are recruiting an apprentice aged 16-18 years old will not be required to pay the contribution fee. Any associated cost to the individual will be made clear at the interview.

Disclaimer

All fees, prices and funding information shown on this page are for courses starting in the 2022-23 academic year unless stated otherwise, and are correct at the time of entering/printing information, however these may be subject to change due to factors outside of our control. The College cannot accept legal or financial liability as a result of any such changes.

Courses fees are generally not confirmed for September until June / July due to the above factors.

The course information describes programmes offered by Colchester Institute. The College takes all reasonable steps to provide courses as described, but cannot guarantee provision. The information is for guidance and does not form any part of a contract.

The College reserves the right to update and amend information as and when necessary. Colchester Institute will do its best to provide the courses shown, but may have to modify or withdraw a course depending on customer demand and other factors.