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York College


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

Entry requirements

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


The Intermediate Apprenticeship takes two years to complete.
The Advanced Apprenticeship takes one year to complete.

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

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.

What will I study?

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 three pathways available:
Banker – this is carving and shaping stone
Fixer – this is erecting and fixing stone in place
Memorial – this is making and erecting memorial stones

Additional study

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

How will I be 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 online tests.

The Functional Skills are assessed through online tests.

What could it lead to?

Many students progress from the 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.

Stonemasonry Apprenticeship success rates are 30.1% above National Average of 69.9%
Level 2 success is 31.5% above National Average of 68.5%
Level 3 success is 18.4% above National Average of 81.6%

York College, graded Outstanding by OFSTED, 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.

Sam Turner-webII

Sam Turner

Sam came to York College straight from school to study a Level 2 course in Stonemasonry.
Whilst on the course he saw an advert for an apprenticeship position at York Minster with The Dean and Chapter of York, with encouragement from his tutor he decided to apply.

Says Sam: “The interview at York Minster was made up of questions and I showed them my portfolio of work I had built up whilst at College. I really think having already done a year at College helped me gain my place. I have enjoyed my time at York College, the atmosphere is great. I am also pleased with the level of support and learning that the tutors have given me.”

Once Sam’s apprenticeship at the Minster began he started the Level 3 course at College.
“The apprenticeship is great and the range of skills I am able to try is varied. Everyone at the Minster is always there to help me and once my apprenticeship has finished I will have the opportunity to study a Cathedral Workshop Fellowship (CWF), which is a two-year course, equivalent to a degree,” said Sam.

Sam’s opportunities have just kept coming. Recently he was taking part in a team building and performance psychology week at Loughborough University. This was to prepare him for the World Skills Competition in Ireland where he will be in a team of three stonemasons who will go through a lot of intensive training followed by the chance to fly to Sao Paulo in Brazil to compete alongside competitors from 40 other countries for the gold title.

Says Sam: “This is a great competition for me to be in, to have the chance to win gold and be the best in the world at my age. This opens up doors for me in the future that would never have been available and I feel very lucky and privileged.”

To find out more about how to become an Apprentice or how to recruit an Apprentice into your business please contact York Business Development Team:

Tel: 01904 770368

Tom Gudgeon

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