Overview of the role

Working on rural and urban roads to repair damaged surfaces.

Details of standard

Highways Maintenance Skilled Operatives work for a variety of companies within the private sector (Utilities Companies, such as Electric, Gas and Water firms) and the public sector (Local Authorities, County Councils and Highways England).

Highways Maintenance Skilled Operatives will work on rural and urban roads (not including motorways) to repair damaged surfaces, using hand and power tools and pedestrian plant machinery. They work as part of a team carrying out the repairs and individually, when preparing the area for repair. Skilled Operatives must also be able to interpret and work to drawings and specifications when carrying out repairs to the highway. This work, using hand or power tools, could include repairs to potholes, replacement and reinstatement of pavements and kerbs, installing street ironworks and laying new surfaces, to ensure roads and pathways are suitable for driving of vehicles or pedestrians to walk safely on. They also use equipment to locate buried water, gas or sewer lines, and once identified excavate by hand around the line to stop any damage and disruption to services. The Skilled Operative will prepare, set up and work within Temporary Traffic Management on rural and urban roads, which allows for the movement and flow of traffic and pedestrian restrictions.

A Highways Maintenance Skilled Operative will undertake reactive and planned rural and urban roads maintenance and repair. They will work outside in all weathers and may be required to work at all times of the day and night at various locations. Working on rural and urban roads maintenance and repair can be dangerous so operatives need plenty of common sense and a high level of safety awareness, together with a disciplined and responsible approach whilst working with others. Understanding health and safety and environmental control will be essential to ensure safe working on rural and urban roads.


Apprentices without Level 1 in English and maths will need to achieve this level and take the test for level 2 English and maths prior to taking the end-point assessment.

For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement the apprenticeships English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3 and British Sign Language qualification are an alternative to English qualifications for whom this is their primary language.