Caretakers are responsible for the care and upkeep of
buildings and their grounds. They make sure facilities are
working properly and that heating and lighting are on at
appropriate times. Caretakers may also supervise
cleaning staff and check that refuse is collected. Duties
will vary depending on the specific job.
Increasingly, local authorities employ mobile caretakers, who provide a service to a number of different sites.
Some have a security role, making sure that windows are closed and doors locked when the building is not in use, and checking the premises to guard against vandalism or break-ins. Caretakers may also unlock buildings in the morning and lock up at the end of the day.
Maintenance tasks can involve gardening and doing minor repairs, such as mending broken windows and carrying out minor repairs to paintwork and plumbing. In the case of major faults or breakdowns caretakers would call in specialist help, such as plumbers or electricians. Other duties could include arranging chairs and tables for meetings and clearing away afterwards. Caretakers may also order fuel, new equipment and furniture, take bookings and sort mail.
Caretakers generally work a 37-hour week, which may
include early mornings, evenings and weekends. Others
work longer hours and have 24-hour on-call duties.
The work can be both indoors and outdoors. Mobile caretakers work from specially equipped vans.
Some bending and lifting is usually involved, and the work may include climbing stairs or ladders.
As a caretaker you will need:
There are opportunities in all areas throughout the UK.
Employers include local authorities, industry, churches,
private clubs, housing associations and companies.
Caretakers work in a variety of buildings such as schools, colleges, office blocks, factories, leisure complexes or in residential areas such as blocks of flats or small housing estates. Large schools and office blocks may employ several caretakers.
Promotion prospects are limited. However, in a large building there may be opportunities to become a supervisor.
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