Apprenticeships in Bricklaying

Intermediate Bricklayer (Level 2), Advanced Bricklayer (Level 3)

Where to begin……………………
If you want to be an apprentice in Bricklaying and don’t yet have an employer, contact our apprenticeship recruitment team; 01228 822798 or email Deborah Macleod at

If you already have an employer, or are an employer, contact our apprentice recruitment team; 01228 822708 or email Oli Matthews at

The construction industry is the driving force behind the UK economy, employing three million people and contributing 6.4% of GDP. Not only that, the construction industry is central to delivering the homes, schools, hospitals, energy and transport infrastructure for our society demands. A career in the construction industry is like no other and bricklaying is a core function within the construction industry, particularly the house building sector. The Government has a target to build significantly more new homes over the coming years and therefore the demand for bricklayers has never been higher.

Bricklayers lay bricks, blocks and other types of building components in mortar to construct and repair walls, foundations, partitions, arches and other structures e.g. chimney stacks. They might also refurbish brickwork and masonry on restoration projects. The range of sites and projects that bricklayers will work on include large commercial developments, new builds in housing, alterations, extensions and restorations. A bricklayer may work one-on-one or on larger jobs, where their bricklaying group (gang) may focus on a particular section of a building, alongside other bricklaying gangs as well as other trades.

Reference: A0043SC
Duration: 24-30 months (Level 2), 12-18 months (Level 3)
Course Dates: Ongoing
Type: Part Time (Day Release)
Tutor: Kris McShane

Course Content

  • Determine quality and quantities of building materials, including mix ratios of mortar and concrete.
  • Adhere to relevant health and safety legislation, codes of practice and apply safe working practices, including when working at heights. Ensure the safe use of ‘disc cutters’ and power cutters.
  • Select appropriate tools, equipment and materials (e.g. trowel, levels, brick ties, DPC, insulation, mixers and lintels etc) for use when setting out and erecting masonry walling, whilst maintaining a clean working environment.
  • Interpret drawings and specifications, measuring the work area and setting out first level courses of bricks to a plan, including bonds for openings and the damp course. Mix mortar by hand, or with a mechanical mixer. Lay bricks to set dimensions and apply mortar with a trowel to completion. Shape and trim bricks/blocks using hammers, chisels and power tools. Use laser levels, spirit levels, optical levels and string lines to check that courses are straight, horizontally and vertically and laid to a gauge. Ensure thermal qualities, airtightness and ventilation are maintained. Repair and renew masonry structures and remove waste materials.
  • Set out and build brickwork, including simple radial arches, surrounding battered brickwork, common decorative features such as over sailing courses and simple corbels for reinforcement.
  • Other brickwork will include block laying or cavity walling, to include openings, brick inspection chambers, joint finishes, set out a square, set out to a gauge rod and/or profiles.
  • Select materials and resources to be able to set out and lay concrete, drainage and other substructure materials.

What will you learn?

  • Health and safety hazards, current regulations and legislation including COSHH/risk assessments and understanding the importance of method statements. Codes of practice and safe working practices, including asbestos awareness and the correct use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Different communication methods, such as how to communicate in a clear, articulate and appropriate manner and adapt your communication style to different situations.
  • Different eras, types of construction methods, insulation considerations, sustainability, facilities management, fire, moisture and air protection. You will also learn about fireplaces, chimneys, damp proof courses and the use of brick ties, as well as have an awareness of the location of trees and services and their impact on foundation types.
  • The importance and consideration of energy efficiency within buildings, such as thermal qualities, airtightness and ventilation.
  • The types of materials and bonds and their uses and value. Cost awareness and environmental considerations/waste awareness e.g. concrete and drainage, surface water management and recycling.
  • Modern methods of construction, rapid build technology, alternative block, masonry, steel and timber based cladding systems.
  • Set out and build brickwork, including complex arches and surrounding brickwork, curved on plans, concave and convex brickwork and battered brickwork. You will also learn complex decorative features, obtuse/acute angle quoins and reinforced brickwork
  • Select resources to set out and build fireplaces and chimneys using materials such as hearths, plinths, flue liners, chimney pots and other modern methods. 
  • The principles of high quality customer service, such as establishing the needs of others (colleagues, customers and other stakeholders). To respect the working environment including customers’ properties, impact on other trades and the project. To gain and maintain a valued reputation in industry with clients, colleagues and external representatives, such as suppliers and manufacturers.

End Point Assessment (Takes place at the end of the apprenticeship):

  • Practical exam
  • Multiple-choice questionnaire
  • Professional discussion on knowledge and behaviours

Entry Requirements

  • An aptitude for practical work and an eye for detail
  • A courteous and enthusiastic attitude
  • A dedicated, cautious and considerate character
  • GCSE maths and English at grade C, 9 to 4, or Functional Skills Level 2 (or a willingness to work towards)

Please note that you must complete the previous level before progressing on to Level 3

Possible Job Roles

Qualified Bricklayer, Site Foreman, Estimator, Contracts Manager.


ILM Leadership & Management, IOSH

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