Bricklaying training books to help you with your courses

bricklaying books

If you’re considering training as a bricklayer then there are some great books that can help you with your training, they are a great way to help you prepare to get your head around what you’ll be learning once you start on your bricklaying course. And they will be a great reference for you during your training or just for learning a new skill.

Brickwork for Apprentices

Brickwork for Apprentices has been the established reference on brickwork for generations of bricklayers. Continuously in print since 1944, John Hodge’s classic text has now been fully revised in its fifth edition by Malcolm Thorpe – who acted as a CITB Advisor and was involved in the draughting of the Intermediate Construction Award syllabus (bricklaying route) – to cover the brickwork craft-related units of the latest Construction Awards and related Trowel Occupations NVQ’s from CITB / City & Guilds at Levels 2 and 3.

The fifth edition incorporates extended coverage on the relatively new area of thin joint systems, to match the latest industry-based requirements and technical developments in the field. Content has been brought fully in line with recent changes to the Building Regulations, ensuring that this text will remain an essential reference for qualified bricklayers and other professionals working in the construction industry, as well as NVQ students new to the industry and wishing to embark on a career in bricklaying.

A new feature in this edition is the inclusion of multiple choice questions at the back of the book, matched to the current NVQ requirements, to provide students of the CITB / City & Guilds Trowel Occupations NVQ’s with essential practice and revision for exam preparation.

  • New edition fully revised by a former CITB Advisor, involved in the draughting of the ICA syllabus
  • Classic text, continuously in print since 1944!
  • Multiple Choice Questions match the requirements of current CITB / C&G courses to provide essential practice for NVQ students

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Brickwork NVQ Level 2 Student Book, 2nd edition

A practical and highly visual resource for students produced in partnership with Carillion, the leading training provider in construction crafts.

Fully updated throughout to cover all the new Technical Certificate requirements in one book, giving all the vital information students need to pass their exam.

Margin features and Fans call out key information and bring learning to life. End-of-unit knowledge tests enable students to track their progress.

Includes brand new chapters, including ‘Principles of building’. Endorsed by Construction Skills.

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BDA Guide to Successful Brickwork

The BDA Guide to Successful Brickwork is the definitive guide to obtaining successful results in brickwork construction. Written by a team of experts from the Brick Development Association, the representative group in industry for brickwork construction, this best-selling text has now been brought fully in line with the latest British and European Standards, to ensure readers are receiving the most up-to-date and accurate information available in the field.

Based on actual teaching practice, the book is highly illustrated throughout to increase accessibility of the text for the reader in its exploration of the practical aspects of brickwork. It also includes an extensive glossary of brickwork terms for ease of reference. Building professionals concerned with the design, detailing and specification of brickwork will also find The BDA Guide to be an essential reference.

  • Updated throughout in order to match the latest industry and exam board requirements
  • Written by a team of experts from the Brick Development Association (BDA) – the representative group in industry for brickwork construction
  • Highly illustrated to show key brickwork techniques in practice

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NVQ Level 2 Bricklaying

NVQ Level 2 Bricklaying

If you want to get a NVQ in bricklaying the answer is yes and it’s called the Trowel Occupations – NVQ Level 2. If you are a new to bricklaying then the recommended course to take to get you up to the required standard to be able to achieve a NVQ is the City & Guilds 6217 Bricklaying.

If you have completed that course or you are an experienced bricklayer who wants to gain the recognized industry Qualification then the Trowel Occupations – NVQ Level 2 is the right choice for you.

A NVQ (National Vocational Qualification) is a nationally recognized qualification that is based on actual real life on the job assessments, basically if you have completed the C & G bricklaying training course “technically” you have the knowledge you need.

However the NVQ will prove that you have that technical knowledge and can put it into practice in the work place in a effective and competent manner. The standards of which are set by the construction industry authorities to be the current best practice.

An NVQ are instantly recognized as being the gold standard of your particular industry and are a great way to prove your expertise and boost your career prospects.

An NVQ shows that you have proven to be able to do your chosen job effectively and safely.

How to achieve your bricklaying NVQ?

construction training

Because NVQ’s are work based assessments this means you must first be at work as a bricklayer for you to be able to get an assessor around to visit you. This can be a dilemma, but if you have the City & Guilds Certificate in bricklaying that should be enough to get you a job in your particular trade, you could then explain to your employer you want to be assessed for the NVQ.

To achieve your NVQ first you will have an interview with your assessor where an action plan will be arranged. NVQ’s are achieved through on the job assessment, during which an assessor will arrange to visit you at your place of work where you will be monitored and questioned by the assessor.

Your assessor will sign off units when the candidates are ready. The assessor will test your bricklaying knowledge, understanding and work performance to make sure you can demonstrate competence in the workplace. Your assessor may then advise you on what they have observed, giving you guidance or advise if you need it

They will then tell you if you have passed the assessment as competent for single units or the whole NVQ.

For more information on the qualifications discussed here visit the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority web site NVQ page here: National vocational qualifications


City & Guilds 6217 Bricklaying Certificate

City & Guilds 6217 Bricklaying

If you are considering training to become a bricklayer then this course is a great way to start, the City & Guilds 6217 Bricklaying Certificate includes most things necessary to enable you to go on to achieve the National recognised Bricklaying NVQ Level 2.

The City and Guilds are the industry leaders in setting out the required skills to do certain jobs. So before you sign up for a course make sure to ask if the training centre is City & Guilds Accredited. That way you’ll know you’ll be getting the correct training and a qualification that’s recognized by the construction trade.

For bricklaying, the City and Guilds 6217 Bricklaying certificate is a great way for a complete beginner who has no previous experience to gain the skills needed to start a new career in the construction industry.

The courses last from 6-8 weeks if you do them in a block i.e. intensive route or most training centres let you spread them over the course of the year if you are unable or would rather spread them out part time style.

To obtain a City & Guilds 6217 Bricklaying Certificate you must complete 9 skill units with 7 being compulsory and 2 optional that you may pick.

Below is a list of mandatory units:

  • Working with stretcher bond walling
  • Block wall 102.5mm thick
  • Cavity wall with frame recess
  • Timber frame faced with best brickwork
  • Stepped foundation using trench blocks
  • Cavity wall using precast stone arch
  • Brick and block gable end

And the optional units:

  • Semi-circled arch – rough ringed
  • Single flue chimney and pot using DPC
  • One brick thick Flemish bond with projection
  • Attached pier in English garden wall bond
  • One brick thick EGWB with oversailing course
  • Course and random rubble stonework
  • English bond manhole

City & Guilds 6217 Bricklaying

After you have completed the 9 units successfully, your course provider will award you your City & Guilds 6217 Bricklaying certificate.

Although you now would have a the City & Guilds Technical Certificate which proves you have undergone the correct training to become a bricklayer, to be considered a fully qualified bricklayer you will now need to go on and archive a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ).

Bricklaying courses cannot award you with an NVQ, you can only get assessed for an NVQ once you are working as a bricklayer, there is a chicken and egg situation here! However during most bricklaying training over the course of time you would have built up a portfolio of work which will hopefully be enough to get you into the workplace to start with, and thus giving you the opportunity to gain your NVQ in Bricklaying.

An NVQ shows that you have demonstrated to an NVQ assessor you can put into practice the skills you have learned on the city & guilds courses in the work space in a competent and safe manner.


What Bricklaying Qualifications do you need?

Bricklaying Qualifications

If you’re thinking about training to become a bricklayer then it’s important to first understand what qualifications you’ll need and what training courses will get you trained to the required standard needed to achieve those qualifications, as well as teaching you the skills to start a career as a bricklayer.

To become a bricklayer you do not need any formal qualifications, you may however find it difficult to get any work these days without having a qualification such as a NVQ in bricklaying or at the very least a City & Guilds Bricklaying certificate.

The City and Guilds are the industry’s education standards body who set out the required skills and best practices. So whatever training course you sign up for, make sure that the training centre is City & Guilds accredited. That way you’ll know you’ll be getting trained to the correct standards to able to gain the qualifications you need to start work as a bricklayer.

The City & Guilds (6217) Bricklaying Course is a good starting point if you’re considering training to become a fully qualified bricklayer with no previous experience in the building trade, during the course which will usually take between 6 – 8 weeks you will study the theory of bricklaying as well as the practical hands on training. Once you successfully complete the course you will be given the City & Guilds (6217) Bricklaying Certificate.

how to become a bricklayer?

Once successfully completed and you’ve gained the bricklaying certificate you should be able to enter the work place as a bricklayer and employers will recognise that you have been trained to the required standards to be able to start work.

The City & Guilds (6217) course is intended to train you to a high enough standard to enable you gain a Bricklaying NVQ. You gain a NVQ once you arrange with a NVQ assessor to come out and watch you do various bricklaying works in a real work environment. You’ll basically be observed so that you can demonstrate that you can put into practise what you have learned the City & Guilds course.

After you have been assessed on various bricklaying tasks, the assessor will sign you off and you will have been award a Bricklaying NVQ Level 2, and you could now consider yourself a fully qualified bricklayer.


How to retrain as a bricklayer?

retrain as a bricklayer

If you are thinking about a change of career and a fresh start then retraining as a bricklayer is definitely a choice you should consider. There is still a shortage of skilled trades’ people in the UK so even though we are in a tough economic climate the demand for qualified bricklayers is still high and this will only increase as we pull out of recession.

Retraining as a bricklayer will bring many advantages to you, you could become self employed or set up on your own and be your own boss, working hours that suit you and your family’s needs. Or you could do contract work on big projects and go where the money takes you. Or work for your local building firm and just take a regular wage; the options are there for you to choose.

Probably the most important reasons to retrain as a bricklayer is that once you have completed your training and are fully qualified you’ve achieved a skill that will stay with you for life, you’ll be a bricklayer and no one can take that away from you.

How to retrain as a bricklayer?

construction training

In the past the only way you could get trained up as a bricklayer was to become an apprentice for a few years, but fortunately with the high demand for training places there have sprung up purpose built training centres all over the UK. There are no formal entry requirements; all you need is a desire to learn your chosen trade. In these training centres you learn from experienced bricklayers who will have worked in the industry for many years.

The training courses are full time Monday – Friday and you will be taught everything you will need to know to enter work as a fully qualified bricklayer, you will learn the theory needed for bricklaying as well as the hands on practical parts of laying bricks in mock up situations, in the training centre. These intensive courses can last anywhere between 6 – 8 weeks (or longer if you choose to take the courses part time) depending on what qualification you are aiming for and the amount of training you need.

Intensive bricklaying courses can be quite expense usually costing between £1000 and £2000 depending on the length and comprehensiveness of the course. For example the City & Guilds Bricklaying 6217 certificate will teach you everything you need to know to be a fully trained bricklayer.

But if you look at it in the big picture it really is a good investment for your future career and one that will stay with you all your working life.

Anything else I should know?

Yes, it’s important to make sure that whichever training course provider you choose is City & Guilds accredited, then you can be sure you’ll be getting trained to the correct industry standards.

Another thing you need to understand is that although the City & Guilds training courses will teach you everything you need to know to start work as a bricklayer, it would be well worth your while to try to get aBricklaying NVQ, an NVQ is awarded by an assessor who will come and assess you at a place of work, the City & Guilds Bricklaying 6217 course will have taught you everything you need to know to be able to achieve the NVQ.

Ask you training course if they can help you getting work to gain the NVQ.

That’s about it, all in all being a bricklayer is a very rewarding career and is certainly achievable by most people who are willing to do the training to become one, good luck.


Practical Bricklaying Training

Practical Bricklaying Training

The Intensive bricklaying courses are available throughout the U.K., and you’ll be getting your hands dirty laying down bricks from from day one – as what you learn through practical training you will quickly absorb until laying bricks becomes second nature to you. The training will teach you hands on the skills you will need to know when you get on a construction site.

For Example:

  • Lay bricks and blocks
  • Selecting the right Bricks and Blocks
  • Selecting the right Materials, tools.
  • Choose and Make the correct bonds.
  • Single and double Walls, cavity walls.
  • Using a variety of bricklaying techniques to match a job.
  • Create brick patterns, using speciality bricks.
  • Mortar beds, techniques, special finishing techniques, mortar skills.

Getting your Bricklaying City & Guilds Certificate

To be able to start your career as a bricklayer you will first need to gain your City & Guilds Bricklaying Certificate.

To be awarded the bricklaying certificate you must successfully complete:

  • Constructing block wall
  • Working with stretcher bond walling
  • Constructing cavity wall with recess
  • Working with stepped foundation using block work
  • Working with timber frame in brickwork
  • Constructing cavity wall using precast stone arch
  • Constructing brick and block gable end

Your courses provider will make sure you are more than ready to complete these tasks competently.

Once you have your city & guilds you will want to gain your NVQ which you will need to be assessed in a place of work by a examiner.

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