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Stone Mason
A stone mason builds and repairs stone structures such as piers, walls and abutments.

The stone mason works predominantly with two types of stone:
- natural stone such as marble, granite and limestone;
- artificial stone made from cement, marble chips or other masonry material.

The stone mason cuts, shapes and cleans these stones to erect structures, lay pavements and paths. The stonemason uses kerbstones and special types of masonry for vats, tanks and floors. The stonemason may work from drawings in which each stone has been marked for placement.

Satisfying Aspects
- working outdoors
- able to use artistic ability

Demanding aspects
- requires physical strength and stamina
- must be agile and dexterous

A stonemason should:
- enjoy working outdoors;
- work well with other people;
- be able to work quickly and efficiently;
- have physical strength and stamina;
- have manual dexterity and agility;
- have some artistic ability.

School Subjects
Grade 9 Certificate.
Grade 10 Certificate or N1 is recommended.

Compulsory Subjects: None
Recommended Subjects: Mathematics, Engineering and Technology

There are three ways to qualify as a registered artisan:

1. An apprenticeship is a 4-year contract between company and apprentice, comprising a 12-week theoretical training, which includes 4 subjects at national exam level.

2. A learnership is a structured learning programme that leads to a qualification in a certain field. The learnership programme includes a theoretical and a practical component. It usually takes about a year to complete. The training takes place on-site (on the premises of the organisation). This has the advantage that the learner gets on-the-job experience whilst training.

3. FET colleges offer theoretical training to prospective artisans via the new National Certificate Vocational (NCV). During this 3-year programme (levels 2 to 4), learners complete a school-leaving certificate (this NCV) similar to the
new National Senior Certificate (NSC) in schools. They are also exposed to a practical workshop component.

All learners are required to complete a practical internship under the supervision of an experienced artisan. As an alternative to doing the full qualification, a learner can apply to do a skills programme at a FET College. Skills programmes are short practical hands-on courses.

For more information about qualifications and skills programmes, contact your nearest FET College. FET Colleges are accredited and funded by a SETA (Sector Education and Training Authority) such as MERSETA or CHIETA. They also receive bursary funding through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) for the NCV programme.

Learners must all receive training in occupational safety and first aid, fire-fighting and preventative security measures. Learners study everything about the installation, maintenance and repair of all electrical equipment. They must also become familiar with municipal legislation relevant to electricity supply and consumption.

- Trade, building or general contractors
- Government concerns
- Businesses that do their own construction and alterations

The stonemason with the necessary experience can practise his trade on a private basis or start his own business.