Apprenticeships & Traineeships

Bricklayer Apprenticeship, Level 2

Course overview

Bricklaying is a core function within the construction sector, particularly the house building sector. The Government has a target to build signiflcantly 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.

Core knowledge, skills and behaviour requirements:


Preparation of materials: Determine quality and quantities of building material including mix ratios of mortar and concrete.

Safe working: Adhere to relevant health and safety legislation, codes of practice and apply safe working practices, including when working at heights.

Working area: Select appropriate tools, equipment and materials for use when setting out and erecting masonry walling.

Masonry structures: Interpret drawings and specifications. Measure the work area and set out level first courses of bricks to a plan, including bonds for openings and the damp course.

Using different levels: Use of laser levels, spirit levels, optical levels and string lines to check that courses are straight, horizontally and vertically, and laid to a gauge.
Radial and battered brickwork: Set out and build brickwork, including simple arches and surrounding brickwork.

Feature and reinforced brickwork: Set out and build brickwork, including common decorative features such as oversailing courses and simple corbels.

Other brickwork: Block laying. Cavity walling to include openings, brick inspection chambers, joint finishes, set out a square, set out to a gauge rod and/or profiles.

Building technology: Select materials and resources to be able to set out and lay concrete, drainage and other substructure materials.


Health and safety: Health and safety hazards, current regulations and legislation including COSHH/risk assessments and understanding the importance of method statements.

Customer service: The principles of high quality customer service. Establishing the needs of others (colleagues, customers and other stakeholders).

Communication: Different communication methods. How to communicate in a clear, articulate and appropriate manner.

Buildings: Different eras, types of construction methods, insulation considerations, sustainability, facilities management, fire, moisture and air protection.

Energy efficiency: The importance and considerations of thermal qualities, airtightness and ventilation to buildings.

Materials: Types of materials, their uses and their value.

Alternative construction techniques: Modern methods of construction, rapid build technology, alternative block, masonry, steel and timber based cladding systems.

Radial and battered brickwork: Set out and build brickwork, including complex arches and surrounding brickwork, curved on plan, concave and convex brickwork and battered brickwork.

Feature and reinforced brickwork: Set out and build brickwork, including complex decorative features, obtuse/acute angle quoins and reinforced brickwork.

Fireplaces and chimneys: Select materials and resources required to set out and build flreplaces and chimneys using materials such as hearths, plinths, flue liners, chimney pots and other modern methods.


Positive and mature attitude: Conscientious, punctual, enthusiastic, reliable and professional including appearance.

Quality focused: Be reliable, productive, efficient and quality focused in work and in personal standards to current industrial standards.

Effective communication: Oral (including listening), written, body language and presentation.
Self-motivated learner: Identify personal development needs and take action to meet those needs.

Entry requirements

English and maths GCSEs graded 3 or above.

How will I be assessed?

Knowledge Test (30% weighting):
40 Question, 60-minute multiple choice exam consisting of 30 Knowledge & 10 Scenario-based Questions. Minimum of 6 Questions will be on Health & Safety with 2 Scenario-based questions.

Oral Questioning – underpinned by portfolio (10% weighting):
The oral questioning session will last for 35 minutes, during this time the apprentice must use their portfolio to support their answers that demonstrate how they have achieved the knowledge, skills and behaviours.

Skills Test (60% weighting):
2-day (12 hour) assessment.
All Skills tests will feature the following elements: interpreting information; annotation of diagrams; planning and organising work (including materials and other resources); setting out/marking out as appropriate; tool skills; producing work to specification in accordance with building requirements; working to deadlines; and working safely.

An example of what an apprentice would be required to do in a Skills test is:
Build a small section of cavity wall, forming an opening, bridging the opening with a small return and a T-junction to form a solid wall that will require an applied finish to the mortar joints.

The Skills test is designed with an assumption that a competent bricklayer of this level will be able to handle 25 bricks per hour or 10-12 blocks per hour.

The Apprentice will be asked a series of questions during the skills test to check competency and they may ask to follow up questions where clarification or additional information is required.