Occupational profile - bricklaying

Information on apprenticeships in the construction crafts (bricklaying) industry, including what’s involved; skills and knowledge needed and progression routes for apprentices

About bricklaying

Bricklaying involves carrying out skilled work primarily on a construction site:

  • to given specifications
  • setting out basic structures
  • building brick and block walling
  • laying domestic drainage
  • placing and finishing concrete
  • rendering surfaces. 

Bricklayers lay bricks, blocks and other types of building components in mortar to construct and repair walls, foundations, partitions, arches and other structures, such as 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.

This apprenticeship involves completing mandatory and optional units.

Core occupational standard

Bricklaying skills and knowledge requirements

On completion of this apprenticeship, bricklayers will have acquired occupational skills and knowledge to be able to:

  • Understand the technical principles of bricklaying and how these are applied to prepare and carry out a range of job tasks such as identifying the materials and resources required including levels, lines, profiles, tape measures, pegs, bricks, blocks, mortars, frames, insulation, damp-proof barriers, lintels, fixings and ties
  • measure and mark out the work area to specification
  • set out and build walls to specification
  • erect corner profiles
  • determine brick and block bonds
  • form joint finishes and openings for doors and windows
  • position damp proof barriers, ties, insulation and lintels
  • mix mortar
  • know how to use, maintain and store hand tools, power tools and associated equipment
  • understand why, when and how health and safety control equipment should be used when undertaking site work (such as  personal protective equipment (PPE) and respiratory protective equipment (RPE)
  • understand how to work safely at height and use access equipment correctly

Progression

Progression from this level 3 apprenticeship is expected to be in an occupational work supervision role such as team leader, charge hand or higher.

National occupational standards (NOS)

Every framework must be underpinned by national occupational standards (NOS) which will indicate the standards of performance individuals must achieve when carrying out functions in the workplace, together with specifications of the underpinning knowledge and understanding.

Behaviours may be detailed within or alongside the NOS.

Core NOS

Unique registration  number (URN)

Title of the occupational standard

VR40

Erect masonry structures

VR41

Set out to form masonry structures

VR42

Erect masonry cladding

Available NOS

Unique registration  number (URN)

Title of the occupational standard

VR49

Erect masonry to form architectural and decorative structures

VR209

Confirm work activities and resources for the work

VR210

Develop and maintain good working relationships

VR211

Confirm the occupational method of work

VR641

Conform to general workplace health, safety and welfare

VR44

Erect thin joint masonry structures

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