Stonecutting & Stonemasonry

Masonry

Stonecutting & Stonemasonry – Apprenticeships

The work carried out by a Stonecutter and Stonemason encompasses a range of skills, from the extraction and processing of stone, to carving, restoration and monumental work.

The trade of a Stonecutter & Stonemason services the areas of Stonecutting, Extraction and Processing, Conservation and Restoration.

Stonecutting and Stonemasonry specialists work in a cross-section of domains within the overall craft such as:

  • Cutting stone with hand tools and stonecutting machinery
  • Interpreting technical drawings and diagrams
  • Stonecutting, stone finishing, monumental stone engraving, lettering techniques, stone carving, decorating and restoring stone
  • Mechanical fixing and coping stones for piers
  • Conservation and restoration of stone
  • Extracting and quarrying techniques

Note: Experience has shown that higher grades of entry than those suggested by SOLAS are preferred for certain apprenticeships, due to the technical nature of the trade.

Employers typically seek applicants who have completed Leaving Cert including Maths (with at least a grade C3 in Ordinary Level Maths) and preferably Physics.

Work Aspects

  • Learning and developing new practical craft-related skills, knowledge and competence
  • Working with and learning from experienced craftspersons
  • Seeing a job through from start to finish
  • Comply with Health and Safety requirements
  • Understanding drawings and diagrams
  • Working outdoors
  • Using tools or machinery
  • Accuracy and attention to detail
  • Being well organised and careful with practical tasks
  • Working at heights
  • Lifting or carrying heavy items.
  • Taking responsibility for own learning, including the allocation of study time.
  • Being physically active
  • Stretching, bending and kneeling
  • Working in cramped and awkward spaces
  • Passing all your phase exams (theory, practicals skills demonstration)
  • Earning as you learn

Phase 1: With Employer

  • Induction Training
  • Introduction to Health & Safety
  • Introduction to Tools & Equipment
  • Introduction to Basic Skills

Phase 2: Delivered in Training Centre (26 weeks)
Course Content:

  • Induction
  • Banker Stonecutting
  • The stone built environment
  • Technical drawing & craft calculations
  • Fabrication and fixing
  • Lettering techniques
  • Stone carving
  • Conservation

Phase 3: With Employer
Work Based Training and Assessments

Phase 4: Delivered in Educational Colleges (10 weeks)
Course Content:

  • The stone built environment
  • Technical drawing & craft calculations
  • Science and technology
  • Banker stonecutting
  • Fabrication and fixing
  • Lettering techniques
  • Relief carving Conservation

Phase 5: With Employer
Work Based Training and Assessments

Phase 6: Delivered in Educational Colleges (10 weeks)
Course Content:

  • Engraving and carving
  • Fixing
  • Conservation and restoration
  • Ecclesiastical architecture

Phase 7: With Employer
Work Based Training and Assessments

The overall duration of this apprenticeship is a minimum of 4 years provided all phases are successfully completed.

On successful completion of the programme the learner is awarded aLevel 6 Advanced Certificate Craft – Stonecutting & Stonemasonry.

As a Stonecutter and Stonemason you will need to be physically active and to be able to work with your hands.

An awareness of health and safety and good housekeeping is essential as well as attention to detail.

The Stonecutter and Stonemason must have the ability to:

  • Plan and organise
  • Communicate eff ectively
  • Solve problems
  • Work independently and as part of a team
  • Show a positive attitude
  • Recognise the need for good customer relations
  • Demonstrate good work practices including time keeping, tidiness, responsibility, quality awareness and safety awareness

The minimum age at which the employment of an apprentice may commence is 16 years of age.
The minimum educational requirements are:
1. Grade D in five subjects in the Department of Education & Skills Junior Certificate Examination or an approved equivalent,
or
2. The successful completion of an approved Pre-Apprenticeship course
or
3. Three years’ work experience gained over sixteen years of age in a relevant designated industrial activity as SOLAS shall deem acceptable

Note: These are the current approved minimum educational requirements for apprenticeship programmes, however, previous experience of the following subjects would be an advantage but not essential:

  • Art
  • Technical Drawing/Graphics
  • Construction Studies
  • Technology
  • Mathematics

Note: Experience has shown that higher grades of entry than those suggested by SOLAS are preferred for certain apprenticeships, due to the technical nature of the trade.

Employers typically seek applicants who have completed Leaving Cert including Maths (with at least a grade C3 in Ordinary Level Maths) and preferably Physics.

You must obtain employment as an apprentice in your chosen occupation.

  • The employer must be approved to train apprentices.
  • The employer must register you as an apprentice within two weeks of recruitment.

On successful completion of the apprenticeship programme, apprentices are qualified to work within the recognised trade or profession.

Where apprentices and craftspersons have the necessary ability, initiative and basic qualifications, opportunities are available for advancement. These include advanced technology courses and management courses which are available in Institutes of Technology, Schools of Management and Professional Institutes.

Many craftspersons use their apprenticeship qualification as a platform to launch careers such as engineers, managers, owners of businesses, teachers and instructors amongst others.