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Bricklaying competition overview

Bricklayers build the external fabric of buildings in bricks or concrete blocks, which will be load bearing or simply a decorative weatherproof cladding to steel or concrete framed buildings.

Bricklayers lay bricks, pre-cut stone, concrete blocks and other types of building blocks in mortar to construct and repair walls, foundations, partitions, arches and other structures, work at heights or in tunnels and shafts. Bricklaying is one of the most varied construction trades and bricklayers could work on a number of projects from creating a single conservatory building, to building brand new homes or large commercial developments.

This competition has been designed to reflect the role of a bricklayer and the standards that are expected within the construction industry. During the competition competitors will have to demonstrate the following skills:

  • Work from plans and specifications
  • Spread layers of mortar to serve as a base and binder for bricks, remove excess mortar, and check vertical and horizontal alignment
  • Use various tools and brick-cutting machines (supervised while using machinery) to cut and shape bricks
  • Construct arches and ornamental brickwork
  • Keep work area clean and tidy

Competitors will marked throughout the competition:

  • Competitors work to zero tolerance – 10 marks are awarded for each aspect, and one mark is deducted for each millimetre of error
  • Competitors will gain marks for dimensional positioning, gauge, level, plumb, alignment, square, details projected and recessed features, joint finishes, conformity to drawing, cleanliness of facework and work methods
  • Competitors have to work in a safe manner and will lose marks if this is not adhered to

General instructions

  • Bricklaying is available at both new entrant and senior competition levels
  • At the regional heats the maximum working time for the task is 6 hours
  • At the national final the maximum working time for the task is 19 hours
  • SkillBuild national final competitors could progress onto EuroSkills and WorldSkills competitions if all the relevant criteria have been met


The Association of Brickwork Contractors is in full support of Skill Build 2018. Competitions like these are a fantastic way to build confidence and learn new skills.