Construction Ground Work Skills (Listowel)

This all-new 22 week full-time training course is designed to provide the construction industry with personnel who have the knowledge, skills and competencies to undertake a range of construction ground work tasks.  It’s a good starting point if you are thinking of pursuing a career as a skilled construction operative or if you are contemplating an apprenticeship in one of the construction trades.

You will gain the knowledge, skills and competence to construct concrete slabs and paths and to lay kerbs, flags and paviors under various conditions.

Participans will get the opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills required to work safely on construction sites without posing a risk to themselves or others. They will practice safe manual handling techniques and use the correct operating procedures for small plant and machinery.

  • They will learn how to:
  • Lay, fix and join a range of kerbs, flags and paviors.
  • Mix concrete using a diesel concrete mixer.
  • Transport, place, compact and finish concrete using hand and power floats and trowels.
  • Plan and achieve realistic work goals.
  • Demonstrate a broad range of occupational competencies in a real work environment.

This updated course will now include skill sampling in brick and block laying and plastering techniques.

On successful completion of the course you will achieve a QQI Level 4 Special Purpose Award in Construction Ground Work Skills and will be eligible to seek employment as a construction operative.

The course modules are:

  • Induction – State the role of the Education and Training Board and the planned outcomes and conditions attached to the course, identify individual learning techniques and styles, describe and apply good safety, health and welfare practices, conform to the rules of the training location, state the basic principles involved in environmental issues, outline the emergency evacuation procedures and explain the meaning of equal opportunities.


  • Safety and Manual Handling – List the various duties performed by construction operatives and other construction site personnel. Observe all construction site safety procedures and accident prevention measures including safe practice in the operation of small plant and equipment. State the statutory regulations relating to the manual handling of loads. Explain the anatomy and physiology of the spine as it applies to manual handling. Use correct techniques to lift, set down, push and pull a load.


  • Safepass – Work on construction sites without being a danger to yourself or others. Promote a safety culture by understanding your duties and responsibilities at work, including accident reporting and emergency procedures, working safely at heights, safe working procedures in excavations and confined spaces, safety precautions when working with electricity and underground and overhead services, use of personal protective equipment, safety rules when using vehicles and mobile plant, correct lifting and carrying techniques, proper health and hygiene practices, and safe use of hand-held equipment, tools and machinery.


  • Occupational First Aid – Provide and co-ordinate workplace first aid in compliance with the requirements of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007. Describe the role and responsibilities of the occupational first aider, assess patients, deal with respiratory emergencies, act as a cardiac first responder using both CPR and AED, and deal with different types of injuries, altered levels of consciousness, musculoskeletal injuries, burns, scalds, chemicals, poisonings and electric shocks.


  • Mounting of Abrasive Wheels – State the scope of the Safety in Industry (Abrasive Wheels) Regulations 1982. Use the proper methods to mount abrasive wheels. State the hazards arising from and the precautions to be observed when using abrasive wheels. State the methods used to identify the type, speed and function of different types of abrasive wheels. State the methods of storing, handling and transporting abrasive wheels. Inspect and test abrasive wheels for damage. State the functions of the flanges, washers, brushes and nuts etc. used in mounting abrasive wheels and carry out the correct assembly of all components in accordance with manufacturers guidelines. Correctly adjust, dress and balance abrasive wheels.


  • Kerb, Flag and Pavior Laying – Discuss health and safety hazards associated with laying kerbs, flags, and paviors. State and demonstrate the correct techniques for lifting, handling and transporting them. Identify and explain the use of tools, materials and equipment associated with laying them. Working from drawings, prepare the ground work, lay and set paving flags, concrete kerbs and paviors to given datum levels for a range of patterns and uses. Working from drawings, calculate areas, volumes and material quantities required to kerb, flag and pave specified areas.


  • Concreting – Discuss the relevant safety precautions to be taken when mixing, transporting and placing concrete. Prepare areas for concreting to include form work, footings and hard core bases. List and describe the purpose of the constituents of a concrete mix and explain the factors affecting its workability, curing and final strength. Mix and place concrete for steel moulds and timber form work to include safe and efficient use of plant and equipment for mixing, compacting, vibrating and screeding. Mix and place concrete for ground floor slabs to include screeding, vibrating, floating and finishing. Demonstrate the process for laying concrete paths to include preparatory work, colour applications and types of finishes.  Calculate volumes of concrete for various applications.


  • Career Planning – Plan and achieve realistic work goals. Outline the factors which underpin and influence the labour market and affect local job opportunities, identify the basic rights and responsibilities of employees and employers, identify and explore personal strengths, talents, goals and values linked to employment opportunities, conduct a job search, i.e. source and pursue potential employment opportunities, compose a letter of application, CV and application form and prepare for job interviews.


  • Mobile Elevated Platforms – Use safe work practices to set up, operate and shut down plant or machinery for lifting and transferring loads using Mobile Elevating Work Platforms.


  • In-Company Training – Work independently, while under general supervision, in a company or specific vocational context related to construction skills and carry out vocationally related construction tasks over a period of time. List the personal, work related and transferable skills acquired on the training programme which were practised and further developed on in-company training.

This is a practice based course. It offers a rich learning experience by combining periods of instructor led tuition with periods of supervised work practice that gives participants the time to acquire and perfect the variety and standard of skills required by industry.  The training methods include instructions, presentations, demonstrations, supervised practice, simulated work environment, and giving and receiving feedback.  Participants are required to actively participate in the learning process.  They must complete a number of practical tasks and assignments throughout the course.  A number of methods are used to assess the participants’ progress and for certification purposes. These include project work and theory exams.


  • Reached the statutory school leaving age.
  • Junior Certificate or equivalent level of education.
  • Demonstrate an interest in working in construction.
  • Good hand-arm co-ordination.
  • Good verbal English language skills.
  • Ability to measure and calculate materials.
  • Willing and able to work outdoors and at heights.
  • Reasonable level of physical fitness.

The demand for skilled construction operatives, apprentices and craftspersons is increasing with the continued growth in the construction sector.  The Construction Industry Federation estimates the sector has the potential to generate an additional 112,000 jobs in the 3 years leading up 2020.  Graduates from this course will seek entry level positons with construction companies where they will receive further on-the-job training and gain experience to become highly skilled construction operatives.  Many companies also offer apprenticeships in trades of Carpentry & Joinery, Brick & Stone Laying, and Plastering.