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Certification of Blocklayers 12 June 2007

Following concerns expressed by the IOM Employers Federation and other bodies recently, on the qualification standard for blocklayers within the construction industry, the Department has considered the issue in some detail. The role of mason/bricklayers and blocklayers within the construction industry has changed in recent years as more buildings utilise block construction, and the Department is keen to maintain appropriate levels of certification.

Representatives of the construction industry that have already been consulted stress the need for high quality work in both brickwork and blockwork. The skills to achieve that quality are basically similar, although a qualified mason/bricklayer would have a far wider range of skills than a blocklayer. This situation underlines the way in which the Scheme for the Certification of Craftsmen 1990 perhaps fails to fully reflect the way that traditional construction crafts operate within the modern construction industry, and the role of this Scheme is currently being reviewed alongside a review of Government’s List of Approved Contractors.

In the interim the Department intends to address the concerns of the industry and consult with all interested parties to consider the introduction an additional category of ‘blocklayer’ to the Scheme for the Certification of Craftsmen 1990. Copies of the consultative document can be obtained from the Department and are available for download from the Department’s website at

Minister for Trade and Industry, David Cretney MHK said ‘I know that the situation in relation to blocklayers has caused considerable comment in the industry, and I am keen that we address this issue in a logical manner that reflects industry best practice. I believe that we should be promoting the very best standards of workmanship and qualification in the construction industry and I will be pleased to support the introduction of this trade to the Scheme if the proposed consultation recommends that.’

For further information contact:

Steve Woodward, Director of Infrastructure Development, Department of Trade and Industry. Tel. 01624 682369, e-mail:

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