Employers place a strong emphasis on essential skills in the workplace. Essential skills are used in nearly every occupation, and are seen as 'building blocks' because people build on them to learn all other skills.
Each profile contains a list of example tasks that illustrate how each of the 9 essential skill is generally performed by the majority of workers in an occupation. The estimated complexity levels for each task, between 1 (basic) and 5 (advanced), may vary based on the requirements of the workplace.
Concrete finishers smooth and finish freshly poured concrete, apply curing or surface treatments, and install, maintain and restore various masonry structures, such as foundations, floors, ceilings, sidewalks, roads, patios and high-rise buildings.
Working with Others
Concrete finishers coordinate and integrate job tasks teams with other finishers and labourers to complete jobs rapidly. They also coordinate job tasks with drivers, surveyors and other tradespeople on work sites.
Concrete finishers typically learn on the job. They watch members of their work units demonstrate new finishing techniques and they discuss concrete finishing and workplace safety with them. They may read product labels and forms to learn the handling and use of new products to treat and cure concrete. They may occasionally take health and safety workshops and trade skills training provided by their employers.
All essential skills are affected by the introduction of technology in the workplace. Concrete finishers' ability to adapt to new technologies is strongly related to their skill levels across the essential skills, including reading, writing, thinking and communication skills. Technologies are transforming the ways in which workers obtain, process and communicate information, and the types of skills needed to perform in their jobs. For concrete finishers in particular, the use of technology, such as billing software, is becoming more prevalent, especially for those who are self-employed. For example, they may use bookkeeping, billing and accounting software to input and track sales, produce invoices and estimates and print reports, such as income and expenses statements; or they may use communication software to exchange emails with clients, suppliers and co-workers. Digital technologies also provide these workers with tools, such as cellular telephones, that increase opportunities for verbal interaction and improve workplace safety. For example, workers working independently in remote locations can access clients, supervisors and medical assistance using their cellular telephones.
Technology in the workplace further affects the complexity of tasks related to the essential skills required for this occupation. Workers need the skills to use increasingly complex and specialized software applications. At the same time, software and hardware developers are improving ease of use for workers through touch-screen technology, built-in self-help tutorials and more user-friendly software applications. Workers can complete documents, such as work orders, with speed and accuracy using software applications that input data automatically. Hand-held devices and Web-based applications can also be used to calculate costs, material requirements, conversions, volumes and rates. For instance, they may use computer-controlled layout equipment, such as total stations and smart levels, to determine the location, slope and angles of foundations and precast concrete panels.