We are proud to run an apprenticeship scheme in the old tradition of passing skills on through generations and we always receive hundreds of applications when we advertise, even receiving some enquiries on spec throughout the year.
Our apprentices are with us for four years and our newest, Christian, started with us in 2012. He attends a block release course (which means spending part of the course terms at college and part at work) four times per year at Weymouth College, which provides the theory side of the skill while he learns the practical side with us that will ultimately result in him gaining an NVQ Diploma in Stonemasonry.
Once he has passed his exams Christian will then start what is known as an “improver” year, which is very much like when you have passed a driving test and then going on to learn all the tricks and more personal skills (although of course never any bad habits!)
After completing NVQ Level 3 our previous apprentices (one of whom is now the Cathedral’s Head Mason and one a Cathedral Tutor) go on to attend a course run in partnership between the University of Gloucester and the Cathedrals’ Workshops Fellowship (CWF). The CWF are very grateful and pleased to have the continuing patronage of HRH Prince Charles. There are only eight of England’s cathedrals that have their own Works Departments; Salisbury, York, Canterbury, Winchester, Durham, Gloucester, Lincoln and Worcester and in 2006 work began on introducing a formal route to a recognised qualification for masons. The CWF worked in partnership with Foundation Degree Forward and the University of Gloucester and delivery of the Foundation Degree in Personal and Professional Development (Stonemasonry) began in January 2010.