York College

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Industry Insights

Carpenters and joiners

Up to £29,000

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Construction and building trades supervisors

Up to £33,000

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Why Joinery?

Practical carpentry and joinery skills are in high demand. If you want a career in the joinery trade then this apprenticeship is for you. The Wood Occupations Apprenticeship offers a combination of qualifications that will equip you with the skills and knowledge you need to work as a Joiner in the construction industry. Carpenters and Joiners prepare and put into place most wooden parts of buildings – from floorboards and roof trusses to expertly-crafted windows and doors. There are 2 pathways available with this Apprenticeship:

Site Carpenter - will normally work on a building site preparing and fixing building components, from the initial erection of a new building, through to the installation of all necessary fixtures and fittings, as well as a range of repair and maintenance activities.

Architectural (Bench) Joiner - will normally be employed in a workshop producing timber based building components and other architectural products, such as doors, windows, units and staircases etc.

Qualification and Level

Apprentices must achieve a Level 2 National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) to demonstrate competency in their chosen pathway as follows:

NVQ Level 2 Diploma in Wood Occupations – Site Carpentry

NVQ Level 2 Diploma in Wood Occupations – Architectural (Bench) Joinery

What Will be Studied?

You will be required to learn and demonstrate the skills, knowledge and behaviours required to work within this trade as follows:

Both pathways include

Health and Safety knowledge and practices

Move, handle and store resources, such as materials and timber components, complying with relevant legislation & guidance

Understand how to calculate quantity, length, area and wastage of resources

Working effectively: undertake the work in a reliable and productive manner

Site Carpentry Pathway will include:

Carry out a range of job tasks including measuring, marking out, fitting, cutting, splicing, finishing, positioning and securing

Erect inclined roofs with gables, joists, roof coverings and roof components

Use, maintain and store hand tools, power tools and associated equipment

Understand how to form specific joints required for site carpentry work, such as mitres, butt and halving joints

Understand how to work safely at height and use access equipment correctly

Architectural (Bench) Joiner will include:

Produce setting out details for the manufacture of doors, windows and opening lights, units and stairs

Mark out timber from setting out details for the manufacture of doors, windows and opening lights, units and/or fitments and staircases.

Create, fit and assemble components to manufacture doors, windows with opening lights, units and/or fitments and staircases

Understand the technical principles of architectural joinery and how they are applied in routine tasks, such as, setting out and producing cutting lists, marking out from setting out details and producing cutting lists, fitting and assembling routine products.

Understand how to form and proportion joints associated with architectural joinery work, such as mortice and tenon, dovetail and comb joints.

What is the Entry Criteria?

To start the course you must be employed in a relevant role for a minimum of 30 hours per week.

Candidates should have four GCSE’s or equivalent at Grade D/3 or higher to include Maths and English. Any candidate without Maths and English at Grade C/4 will be required to pass English and Mathematics Functional Skills Level 1 qualifications and aspire to achieve English and Mathematics Functional Skills Level 2 qualifications before they can be put forward for the end point assessment of this apprenticeship.

Method of Delivery

Apprentices attend College on block release (approximately one week per month) and work for their employer the rest of the time.

Practical assessment will take place both during and at the end of the apprenticeship, with completion being dependent on successful achievement of the qualification elements and the endorsement of the employer after a professional discussion, with the apprentice and training provider.

The Diploma is assessed using both practical and written tests and must be passed prior to end point assessment.

The Functional Skills element is delivered on block release and is assessed through on-line tests.


2 years.

What Next?

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

The achievement of this standard will meet the requirements of the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) ‘Skilled Worker’ standard, which is widely accepted in the sector as a ‘licence to operate’ in a skilled construction trade.

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