Fencing Basic Operative Labourer

Agriculture worker

Basic Operatives work outdoors as part of a fencing team, carrying out manual tasks and helping to support qualified fence installers.

The fencing industry incorporates several main areas of work:

  • Boundary fencing covering post and rail, livestock, post and panel
  • Vehicle restraint covering urban and motorways
  • Sound proof barriers
  • Parapets and bridges
  • Security fencing, prisons and wild animals
  • Electric fencing and gates.

There are around 3,150 fencing businesses throughout the UK employing 27,000 people.

Job opportunities can be in urban and rural areas.

Working Conditions

Fencing businesses can operate seven days a week, so employees often work flexible hours based around the jobs that need completing. In larger businesses, they are likely to work on a rota system with other members of staff. This will include early mornings, evenings and weekends. 

There may be opportunities for both full-time and temporary work. 

Basic Operatives need to be comfortable working outside, as that’s where they spend most of their time. They may also need to collect materials or equipment and make deliveries, so usually need a full driving licence.

Basic Operatives are often employed by large construction groups working on major building projects. These can be motorway, road or rail network companies, landscaping or fencing companies in agriculture

Many fencing contractors work over a wide area so need to travel away from home.

Anyone working on a construction site, including Basic Operatives, will need to hold the FISS (Fencing Industry Skills Scheme) CSCS (Construction Skills Card Scheme) card.



Salaries vary with experience, qualifications and between companies, but here's a guide to what you can expect.

Starting salary:


Ending Salary:



Getting started

What experienced workers can do


  • Maintain health and safety
  • Be able to use tools and equipment
  • Be able to place and fix fencing parts
  • Receive and handle fencing materials on site
  • Be able to maintain working relationships.

Personal qualities you should have

  • Good communication skills
  • Able to use initiative
  • Able to work on own or in a team.

Next steps

From a Basic Operative you may be able to progress with further training to a Fencing Installer with a large contracting businesses.  You will need additional FISS CSCS cards.

Industry links

Association of Fencing Industries

My world of work

National Farmers Union Scotland

Scotland’s Farm Advisory Service

Scottish Machinery Rings

Scottish Tenant Farmers Association

Scottish Association of Young Farmers Clubs