LOTR follow up: Kane found a job as a steel fixer ⦁ LOTR跟進: Kane 分享喺英國點樣搵扎鐵嘅工作

Family of four enjoying Christmas

Kane Chiang has been in the UK for a few months since he arrived on LOTR (leave outside the rules) with his family in August 2020. Since mid October he has been working as a steel fixer. He’s surprised that demand for construction workers in the UK is fairly stable despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

You can read about his arrival here.


How is the steel fixing industry in the UK? ⦁ 英國嘅紮鐵行業係點樣㗎

Back home, I worked in a small company that focuses on steel fixing. I had to do everything, from office tasks to the physical work – so I thought I’d start from the bottom and get a steel fixing job in the UK. I have worked as a steel fixer at 2 construction sites so far. My first job lasted two days, and the current one will last around 1 month.

Steel fixing is not as big an industry in the UK compared with Hong Kong. Many sites here are for building brick houses, so they only need steel fixing at the start of the project, whereas in Hong Kong most projects are for skyscraper construction.

The sites are generally quite muddy in the UK as it rains a lot. I have seen workers showing up in the morning for work, complaining about the mud and leaving the job immediately. I asked one of them who left: Aren’t you worried about not finding another job? He said he can easily get another one.

The mud, by the way, is nothing compared with the mice and cockroaches I see on sites back in Hong Kong.

One of the sites Kane worked on

How do you get qualified and what’s your pay? ⦁ 係英國點考牌,同埋人工有幾多

To work at a site, you need a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card. I applied for the most basic one – the green CSCS card.

To apply for the green CSCS card, I signed up for an online course. The price varies between providers, and I paid less than £100 for mine. After finishing this course, you need to:

  1. Pass an online Level 1 Qualification exam, then you get a certificate (your course typical includes the exam)
  2. Book a CITB test at a test centre – this is a face-to-face exam (£21)

Once you passed these 2 exams, you can apply for a CSCS card (£36).

I am happy with a green card so far, because even if I spend more money to qualify for the blue card (the next level) my pay is the same. I am earning £20/hour.

As a steel worker, typically you work 8 hours on a weekday. On Saturdays you work 4 hours only, but get paid twice as much per hour.

Don’t worry about getting qualification in Hong Kong. Do it when you get here.

Was it easy to find work? ⦁ 搵工易唔易

After I applied for my CSCS card, I searched for “steel fixer” jobs online and sent less than 10 applications. A few of them called back within the same day, and I started working a day after.

The companies who wanted me to work for them are recruitment agents. I have gotten work via two recruiters so far. They tell me of where the work is, and if I am interested I show up at the site and do the job. 



Is your pay affected by not having a National Insurance number?  ⦁ 冇 NI 會唔會扣咗你薪金

I cannot get a national insurance (NI) number because many Jobcentres are closed due to COVID-19.

Because the UK classifies me as self employed, I need to apply for a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number. And to get a UTR number, I need an NI number. This is where I get stuck.

With the work I am doing, I am being contracted under the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS). I get taxed at 20% once my UTR number is verified by the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). Now, I am without a UTR number, so the recruitment agencies keep 30% of my pay. Once I get my UTR, I get the 10% back at the end of the financial year, I believe.

I get paid every Friday by the recruiter, rather than by the construction sites.

Are your two boys happy in the UK? ⦁ 你兩個仔喺英國開唔開心

My elder son is struggling with the English but he is still having fun. The teacher from his first school gave him extra lessons and books to teach him English words. He had a good friend in class, and they communicated with body language when he couldn’t express himself.

I said first school, because my elder son just got accepted by the school his younger brother is attending. We are so pleased they are going to the same school and can help each other!

Parent and children lying on the grass
The green green grass of home

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41 thoughts on “LOTR follow up: Kane found a job as a steel fixer ⦁ LOTR跟進: Kane 分享喺英國點樣搵扎鐵嘅工作

  1. Vicki

    I want more details

    1. 港女 Kong Girl

      Let us know what you want to find out!

      1. AR chan

        請問Kane已經做左一段時間紮鐵,可以分享下依段時間的開工日足夠嗎?

        1. 港女 Kong Girl

          我哋都同佢跟進咗。佢喺UK做咗嘢大約半年到,開工日足夠。佢話呢邊嘅需求其實一直都好穩定,而且夏天嘅時候有啲工可能會比多少少人工,可能因為熱,不過都要留意開工時間有可能因應減短。佢而家每日工作大約九個半鐘頭。

  2. Kit

    你好啊👋我想問吓有冇多啲關於係英國做扎鐵嘅資訊,請問Kane喺英國邊度工作
    我自己本身都係做扎鐵,打算去蘇格蘭
    如果喺香港有紮鐵牌過到去認可嗎?
    謝謝

    1. 港女 Kong Girl

      佢係喺Surrey呢邊返工嘅。蘇格蘭嗰邊,我諗最好都係上網查吓,你試吓呢個網頁搵吓蘇格蘭咁多唔多扎鐵工? (https://www.indeed.co.uk/Steel-Fixer-jobs) 香港個牌過到嚟英國係唔認可㗎,除非你大學個學位係同呢方面有關,咁就另一回事。最好都係學Kane咁樣,嚟到呢邊報online課程,然後考呢邊嘅試。

      1. Kit

        唔該晒

        1. Sam

          你好呀多謝你嘅分享
          我都有上網查過英國嘅一啲紮鐵工作
          英國咁大有啲工要去到好遠嘅地方

          咁係咪佢會包你食宿㗎

          1. 港女 Kong Girl

            食宿係應該唔包㗎,而你係可以向請你嘅agent 要求揀一啲近啲嘅地盤?

  3. Tin

    May I know more details?
    1. 如果本身做緊紮鐵,
    喺香港使唔使要有乜嘢牌先?
    2. 香港有紮鐵中工牌, 嗰邊認可嗎?

    1. 港女 Kong Girl

      你好呀!香港要唔要牌,呢個我真係唔知🙇‍♀️。但係如果喺香港你有紮鐵中工牌,英國呢邊係唔承認嘅。所以都要嚟到英國報網上課程,然後考呢邊嘅試,攞英國嘅認可。

    2. TIN

      Thanks a lot

  4. Quin

    想問英國有冇釘板工種?謝謝!

    1. 港女 Kong Girl

      因為英國唔似香港咁多高樓大廈,釘板喺英國嚟講好狹窄,你搵到嘅工可能會比扎鐵更少。Kane提議你可以搵木匠嘅工作 carpenter 。木匠喺英國做嘢嘅範疇都幾廣, Kane話佢哋都會做香港釘板做嘅嘢。你可以考慮喺呢度嘗試做木匠,然後一邊做一邊學。加油!

  5. Hung

    請問對比香港,喺英國做紥鐵辛唔辛苦? Thanks!

    1. 港女 Kong Girl

      我哋聽唔係咁難,因為呢邊天氣好啲,冇咁熱,同埋地盤冇咁污糟,加上冇人係你背後成日望住你做得快唔快。

  6. Wong Arthur

    如果年紀過六十可以做嗎?

    1. 港女 Kong Girl

      呢邊有好多人65歲左右退休,所以60歲,只要你自己體力係得嘅,應該都可以。

  7. Kuen

    謝謝您~
    睇左有啲安心

    1. 港女 Kong Girl

      加油!

  8. Vicki Wong

    我老公現在係香港做緊紮鐵,超過10年經驗,計劃明年會到英國,他都想做返老本行,想問英國做紮鐵開工情況是否足夠,會唔會成日無工開或開工不足?還有我老公英文程度一般,想問Kane平時工作時怎樣與工友溝通?而考CSCS咭基本試同埋CITB 試難唔難考?感謝回覆!!

    1. 港女 Kong Girl

      暫時聽Kane講,冇試過有開工不足嘅情況出現。有時recruitment agent俾佢嘅工程可能遠啲,佢就會要求近啲嘅地方。Kane平時同佢嘅工友都係用英文溝通,佢有同我提過好多人都係東歐人,英文其實都唔係咁好,而Office嘅同事先係英國人。考試方面,佢冇同我提過特別難嘅地方。

  9. Emily

    你LOTR出年2月到期,驚唔驚批唔切BNO visa?

    1. 港女 Kong Girl

      佢自己就唔係太擔心,因為佢都打算BNO Visa一開始有就會馬上申請。

  10. Kit

    請問有冇CSCS同CITB網址提供?
    Thx

    1. 港女 Kong Girl

      CSCS: https://www.cscs.uk.com/
      CITB: https://www.citb.co.uk/

      🙂

  11. GracePoon

    我想問下如果係HK無任何紮鐵工作經驗,可以係UK 讀完以上既COURSE之後入行嗎?THX

    1. 港女 Kong Girl

      可以,因為冇任何工作經驗,你報讀嘅course可能會貴啲。我哋做research嘅時候,見到有啲course幾百磅去到幾千磅都有,你要自己揀一揀。網上面有好多選擇。

  12. Tin

    請問如果英文溝通較差會唔會影響到開工唔足?另外網上課程同考試係咪一定要英文叻先pass到呢?

    1. 港女 Kong Girl

      英文溝通唔好,你可能會聽唔明佢哋講乜嘢。網上課程嘅話,可以根據你自己嘅時間而去讀,所以你會有時間去查字典,然後學某啲生字。另外我哋知道喺英國做扎鐵都需要識睇圖,所以留意番。

      1. Tin

        謝謝你!
        睇圖反而無問題呢,但我先生英文聽讀都好一般,因為呢個原因先生一直唔敢行呢步,好希望可以令佢跳出comfort zone😔

        1. 港女 Kong Girl

          我哋連廣東話咁難嘅語言都能夠學到,我相信你先生俾少少時間同耐性一定得架。加油啊!

  13. wang wang

    再問:
    1) 地盤是不是日薪??
    2) 出CASH 定入戶口??
    3) 紮鐵/bricklayer worker 定木工易d 有工做?? 想做裝修 c fu , 但點入行??

    1. 港女 Kong Girl

      1. 冇錯係日薪
      2. 入戶口,唔會出現金
      3. 聽落去木工多範疇啲,會學多啲野,紮鐵來講對英國算狹窄,特別係你由零開始。係英國全部都係要報讀course先,或者可以考慮apprenticeship,但係我哋呢邊冇經驗唔知道會係點。(https://www.instituteforapprenticeships.org/apprenticeship-standards/?)

  14. wang wang

    仲有, 因為冇任何工作經驗,仲系幾十碎大叔由0 開始, 一定報讀course先, 頭果幾個月一定食積蓄, 只是唸點樣可以快D有工作, THX!!

  15. wang wang

    thx so much

  16. Sam

    多謝你嘅回覆
    我有睇過一啲關於英國集團嘅短片
    佢哋唔係用香港嗰隻勾仔嚟做嘅,係攞個鉗
    同埋啲鐵嘅粗幼擺放都有啲唔同圖紙扎鐵機都應該係會唔同的
    你老公都能夠一一克服真係犀利
    祝你哋順利幸福
    如果你先生有時間,真係好想去能夠分享下,在英國集團的情況,多謝多謝

  17. Sam

    打錯字,喺英國扎鐵的情況

  18. BARRY

    如果有人開個群就好了我都想去英國紮鐵

    1. 港女 Kong Girl

      If you want to get in touch with him email us – hello [at] yinggoidim.com

  19. barry

    好呀謝謝

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