The main function of a plasterer is to prepare walls and ceilings for decoration and finishing. Plasterers are a core part of any construction team, especially in the housing sector. As an apprentice plasterer, you will learn different techniques for plastering and cementing interior and exterior walls. In their daily work, a plasterer interacts with commercial and domestic customers, other trades, architects and site managers.
All plasterers can work on their own or as part of a small team. They work on small-scale domestic jobs, large repair and restoration projects and on big commercial developments such as schools or hospitals, so this can be a varied job.
You may work as a solid plasterer, applying a range of plastering systems on to different background surfaces using traditional and modern materials, or a fibrous plasterer, creating plaster components including: beam and column casings, ceiling roses, complete ceilings, cornices, panel mouldings and many others.
During this Apprenticeship, you will have training sessions at City College Plymouth one day a week, term-time, to give you the skills and knowledge required to succeed in the industry. You will also receive direct training from the business you are employed by for your Apprenticeship, who will work with the College to ensure you are reaching your maximum potential via regular workplace observations and reviews.
This Apprenticeship offers two pathways: solid and fibrous; however, there is a core element of study for both pathways and apprentices will need to have sufficient knowledge and training of this core knowledge.
An Apprenticeship is broken down into three learning categories: skills, knowledge and behaviours. For the Level 2 Plasterer Apprenticeship, you will cover the following …
- health and safety: health and safety hazards; current regulations and legislation; codes of practice and safe working practices
- customer service: the principles of high-quality customer service; respect for the working environment including customers’ properties, impact on other trades and the project
- communication: how to communicate in a clear, articulate and appropriate manner; how to interpret and use drawings and specifications
- buildings: different eras, types of construction methods, insulation considerations, facilities and fire protection; the importance of thermal/insulation to buildings, damp proofing/tanking, renovation and restoration
- materials: types of traditional and modern materials; moving, handling and storage of material; their uses and characteristics; cost awareness and environmental considerations/waste awareness; chemical damp proofing installation, moisture effects and damage
- considerations before completing plastering work
- dry lining – materials, methods, and finishes
- application methods for different types of mortars and finishes
- application methods for different types of render systems
- how to fix ancillary works
- how to produce reverse moulds
- how to cast from reverse moulds in fibrous plaster, glass fibre reinforced gypsum and glass fibre reinforced concrete
- how to fix a range of cast mouldings.
- materials: identify and prepare surfaces for plastering; determine quantities and ratios of materials; move, handle and store materials
- safe working: adhere to relevant health and safety legislation and codes of practice
- working environment: select appropriate tools, equipment, materials and components
- interpret and use drawings and specifications
- fixing and jointing plasterboard: construct metal-framed partitions, wall linings and openings in preparation for boarding; mechanically install plasterboard to timber and lightweight metal framing; direct bond plasterboard to masonry; use hand-applied and machine-applied tape and jointing systems
- plastering: apply solid plastering systems using one and two-coat plastering to internal surfaces
- in-situ moulds: construct running moulds to match existing moulding design
- running moulds: Construct positive or negative running moulds
- repairing existing plaster: renovate and restore internal and external affected surfaces back to original state
- install cast mouldings: install cornice mouldings including forming internal and external mitred angles
- plastering: apply three-coat plastering, including heritage lime mortars and finishes, and machine applied plaster; sealings and bonding agents, reinstate plastering systems after chemical damp proof injection
- rendering: apply traditional, modern and machine-applied render systems, including colour rendering; run in situ moulding work in sand and cement
- ancillary works: fix beads and trims, use additives and form mechanical keys
- reverse moulds: produce reverse moulds
- casting: cast from reverse moulds in fibrous plaster, GRG and GRC
- restoration of existing mouldings; produce and install mouldings for the repair of existing mouldings.
- positive and mature attitude: conscientious, punctual, enthusiastic, reliable and professional including appearance; show drive and energy; show honesty and integrity
- quality focused: be reliable, productive, efficient and quality focussed; awareness and consideration of other trades
- effective communication: oral, written, body language and presentation; collaborate with others
- self-motivated learner: identify personal development needs and take action to meet those needs.
You will be taught, guided and assessed on the above topics over the duration of your Apprenticeship to prepare for your achievement. This will be done via tutor practical sessions and visits at the workplace from your designated assessor who will ensure you are competent in the job you are doing.
To undertake this Apprenticeship you will be required to undergo an assessment with the course tutor. This is nothing to worry about! The tutor will have a conversation with you in order to assess your employability skills and your willingness to learn. They will also want to find out about any prior knowledge you may have. The assessment may include a practical task and a short workbook of basic questions about the industry.
If you do not already hold a GCSE at a grade 4-9 (A-C) or Functional Skills (level 1-2) in English and maths then you will be asked to complete a short assessment to determine what level you are currently working at. The results from this, combined with your tutor meeting, will ascertain whether we will be able to accept you onto an Apprenticeship and work with you to find an employer to begin your learning journey.
To achieve this Apprenticeship, you must pass the end-point assessment (EPA). The EPA is the name given to a series of tests you must take to prove your ability to do the job you have been training for. These tests take place at the end of the Apprenticeship following a period of training and development.
This Apprenticeship has an expected duration of 36 months, however, this may vary depending on your readiness to sit the end-point assessment.
Once you complete this Apprenticeship you will have the right knowledge and experience to go into full-time employment as a plasterer. You may choose to work for a construction firm or go self-employed and start your own business. Good plasterers are always in high demand, so your salary could increase quite quickly as you build your reputation.
By applying for this position you will go through the College’s assessment procedure and once successful, you will be assigned a Business Engagement Officer who will guide you into employment by supporting you to find the best-suited workplace.