True sense of hard work

True sense of hard work

Marble laying requires teamwork, strength, and some design instinct

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Cheung Kit-lung is taking all the right steps towards a smooth career.
Cheung Kit-lung is taking all the right steps towards a smooth career.
Photo: Edmond So/SCMP
Cheung Kit-lung is currently taking the marble-laying course offered by the Construction Industry Council (CIC).

The use of marble in interior and furniture design has become increasingly popular with the emergence of marble products from the mainland. Now, marble laying is one of the most sought-after positions in the construction sector.

Getting started:

The CIC course focuses on basic skills, such as marble cutting, grinding and assembling; paving marble walls and floors; and marble maintenance. Students also learn marble-laying theory.

Graduates of the course are required to take the intermediate trade test before they start working as an apprentice.

Moving up:

An apprentice with four years' work experience, who has passed the trade test, can become a craftsman.

The main fields in marble laying include marble cutting and polishing, which usually takes place in marble factories, and installation and maintenance of marble.

As a craftsman gains experience, he will specialise in one of these areas.

With more experience, marble layers can become foremen, monitoring the work of others during construction projects.

Where to apply:

Marble factories, contractors, interior design companies.

Rewards and benefits:

Workers who have passed the intermediate trade test earn about HK$400 per day. Those with certificate of trade test qualifications can earn about HK$900 per day.

A day in the life:

Marble workers usually work in pairs; marble is quite heavy, so more than one person is required to lift it.

Those working at construction sites usually report to their supervisors at 8.30am and finish work at 5.30pm.

On construction sites, marble may be used to decorate an outer wall or an interior wall, so craftsmen need to work both outdoors and indoors.

Jargon

Cutter: The device used for cutting marble to various shapes and sizes. The blade is usually made from steel.

Marble glue: This is used to secure a piece of marble in place after a craftsman installs it.

Portable angle grinder: The device used for polishing marble.

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