Skip to main content

Craft Operative, multi-skilled joiner & bricklayer

Job Purpose

Job Title: Craft Operative

Advertised Salary: £26,904 with salary progression + benefits

Location: Remote, with regular travel across our regional networks required. See our canal network here: (

Available opportunities: x1 joiner based at Worksop Yard (Worksop, S80 3EZ); x1 bricklayer based at Norton Yard (Long Buckby NN6 7PE).

The Canal & River Trust is one of the UK's largest charities, we maintain 2,000 miles of historic canals, rivers, docks and reservoirs, along with museums, archives and the country's third largest collection of protected historic buildings - preserving them for future generations. Our waterways are exciting, vibrant places to work.

We are looking for a two Craft Operatives (x1 joiner, x1 carpenter) to join our East Midlands t eam.

As a Craft Operative for our waterway you will play an important role applying to help us improve, maintain, and preserve our wonderful network for our customers to enjoy today and into the future. This will involve undertaking the, refurbishment or repair of canal infrastructure including locks / bridges/ aqueducts / towpaths and associated equipment, working efficiently to defined safety /environmental and heritage standards at all times.

The post holders will be required to work an annualised hour's system which includes working a rota'd system including statutory holidays and weekends. Our Craft Operatives look after specific stretches of our regional waterways, however the team are naturally called upon to support work in other areas as required, so you need to have your own transport and valid UK driving licence.

Location & coverage

Based in at either Worksop Yard (Worksop, S80 3EZ) or Norton Yard (Long Buckby NN6 7PE), these roles will require regular travel across the East Midlands region, supporting other regions when required. This will include the parts of the Trent & Mersey & Grand Union canal network.

Knowledge, Skills/Qualifications & Experience

As a Craft Operative for our waterway you will play an important role improving, maintaining and preserving our wonderful waterway network for our customers to enjoy by efficiently maintaining our locks and other assets along the local network in line with safety requirements and heritage standards.

Responding to business needs, you will enhance the reputation of the network and support Canal & River Trust's aims to improve safety; protecting the heritage and integrity of the inland waterway network.

Our Craft Operatives perform a unique role; fitting new lock gates as they are replaced, refurbishing or repairing existing lock gates and associated equipment, to ensure it is working efficiently & to defined standards. You will be working with specialist teams and experts in their field as our multi-disciplinary teams work together to improve our waterways and ensure our 200 year old assets can be enjoyed for years to come.

Key responsibilities:

  • Working outside, carry out maintenance and repairs works to the waterway infrastructure to ensure network availability is maximised. Repairs will often involve sensitive heritage or environment solutions which the role will be expected to be familiar with. In some instances, the operative will be expected to complete repairs to the highest standard utilising relevant skills and experience.
  • Use carpentry expertise to undertake the manufacture & refurbishment within a timely manner, in accordance with defined standards and agreed programmes.
  • Operate a variety of machinery, plant, tools and other equipment in accordance with Canal & River Trust's safety standards and where appropriate support in-house maintenance.
  • Undertake general housekeeping of personal equipment, workshop equipment and workspace ensuring all are maintained to defined standards.
  • Timely response to customers' queries and requirements, including responding to emergencies.
  • Ensure all equipment (PPE, plant, materials etc) is appropriate for the task.
  • Assist with the measurement of locks and lock gates in order to identify correct lock gate measurements for manufacture - you will be working alongside an experienced team of specialists to learn this heritage skill.
  • Understand and interpret technical drawings to translate into production.
  • Work alongside and supervise volunteers to ensure the Trust has sufficient resources to be sustainable, whilst ensuring the satisfaction of the volunteers is high.
  • Operate regionally displaying the appropriate flexibility needed to deliver the nationally prioritised works programme. This will occasionally involve travelling further distances to undertake repair work.

About you

Operative skills are a minimum requirement. Whilst it is also important that you can turn your hand to other skills which will be taught along the way, an understanding of, and high level of competence in certain disciplines are necessary. You may have a background in the building trade, or from a specialist carpentry background, where measuring, cutting and building is all second nature to you.


  • Apprenticeship or equivalent qualification (or experience) e.g. City & Guilds Level II, NVQ Level II
  • Experience handling plant/equipment in group A eg chainsaw, hand power tools, fork lift truck.
  • Experience of working within relevant discipline eg Joinery, Carpentry, Bricklaying.
  • Experience of reading technical drawings.
  • Full Valid UK Driving Licence - you will need to be able to respond across the region and get to where the team need you.

To Apply: click on the "Apply for this job" button and follow the process - complete the application form & upload current CV

If you have any questions about the role please contact

We reserve the right to close this vacancy early if we receive sufficient suitable applications for the role. Therefore, if you are interested, please submit your application as early as possible.

What We Offer

All our Craft Operatives step up their salary through a salary progression plan. Starting at £26,904 .

Further to salary offered, the Canal & River Trust offers a competitive contributory DC Pension scheme arrangement, great holiday entitlement (increasing with years of service) and numerous other employee benefits, including several salary sacrifice benefits, all of which can be found here ( These include:

  • Competitive contributory DC Pension scheme arrangement, where we will double your contribution to a maximum of 10%.
  • 25 days paid holiday (plus paid Bank Holidays), increasing to 30 days after 5 years.
  • Annual £200 personal learning & growth award to spend on any learning related activity.
  • Free access to specialist counselling on a range of issues, e.g. health, financial, well-being and domestic matters.
  • Access to a range of employee benefits including store discounts, boating holiday discounts and holiday purchase scheme.
  • 2 days paid volunteering leave per annum, allowing you to volunteer for a local community project etc.
  • Free fishing facilities across our canal network.

At the Trust we care passionately for our waterways, and as importantly, for those who look after and use them. We strongly believe that a diverse workforce brings with it a diversity of ideas, thinking and ways of working which enhances what we do as a Trust. We are striving to represent the diverse communities that we are a part of and welcome applicants from across all sectors of the community.

All candidates will be treated on the basis of their merits, skills and abilities and solely by being assessed against the requirements for the job.

When you join the Canal & River Trust you become a member of an engaged team working to preserve our heritage for future generations. Come and share your passion and knowledge with a team that makes a difference to millions of people every day.

Find out more about us on our website:]]>

Craft Operative, multi-skilled joiner & bricklayer

Long Eaton, Nottingham, UK

Published on 13/04/2024

Share this job now