York College

Why Stonemasonry?

The UK construction industry makes a vital contribution to the economy. However, there is a skills shortage in the industry and this work-based course ensures that staff needs meet national standards. Stonemasonry is a specialist craft and as a Stonemason, you would use your skills to carve architectural features, cut and shape blocks, or lay and fit stonework into place on construction projects. As a banker mason you would follow design instructions to carve and shape stone, and give it a textured or polished finish (known as dressing), using hand and power tools.

Qualification and Level

Intermediate Apprenticeship (Level 2) or Advanced Apprenticeship (Level 3) in Stonemasonry. Most candidates start on an Intermediate Apprenticeship and progress to the Advanced Level although the level may be determined by the role in the workplace and previous qualifications.

What will be studied?

Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Stonemasonry (site based units)

Mandatory Units:

  • Conforming to general health, safety and welfare in the workplace
  • Conforming to productive working practices in the workplace
  • Moving, handling and storing resources in the workplace
  • Producing standard stonemasonry components in the workplace
  • Producing standard templates and moulds in the workplace

Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Stonemasonry (site based units)

Mandatory Units:

  • Conforming to general health, safety and welfare in the workplace
  • Confirming work activities and resources for an occupational work area in the workplace
  • Developing and maintaining good occupational working relationships in the workplace
  • Confirming the occupational method of work in the workplace
  • Producing complex stonemasonry components in the workplace
  • Producing complex templates and moulds in the workplace

There are two pathways available

Banker – this is carving and shaping stone

Fixer – this is erecting and fixing stone in place

Additional Study

  • Functional Skills in Maths and English
  • Employee Rights & Responsibilities
  • Abrasive Wheels

Are there any entry criteria?

To start the course you must be employed in a relevant role for a minimum of 30 hours per week. In addition for an Intermediate Apprenticeship (Level 2) you will have a minimum of 3 GCSE’s at Grade D or above to include English and Maths. You must have completed the Intermediate Apprenticeship (Level 2) prior to starting the Advanced Apprenticeship (Level 3).

Method of Delivery

Apprentices attend College on block release (2 weeks per term approximately) depending on timetable and work for their employer the rest of the time.

How is the qualification assessed?

For the NVQ you will build up a portfolio, which is a collection of examples or evidence of your work that demonstrates your skills and ability, including a work diary, photos, statements from your employer and colleagues and examples of completed tasks. Assessment consists of practical tasks, observations, oral questioning, written questions, assignments, projects and written tests.

The Diploma is assessed using both practical and written tests.

The Functional Skills are assessed through on-line tests.


The Intermediate Apprenticeship takes two years to complete.

The Advanced Apprenticeship takes one year to complete.

What next?

Many learners progress from Apprenticeship to Advanced Apprenticeship. There is then the opportunity to progress to higher-level courses such as the National Certificate or National Diploma in Construction.

York College, graded Outstanding by OFSTED in December 2013, is ideally placed to support both Apprentices and businesses to successfully engage with and benefit from Apprenticeships.

To find out more about how to become an Apprentice or how to recruit an Apprentice into your business please contact York College Business Development Unit:- Tel: 01904 770368 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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