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Joinery (Bench/Site Carpentry) Intermediate Apprenticeship at Gateshead College

Course description

If you like making things and enjoy working with wood, this could be an ideal career for you.

You will need formal qualifications to become a carpenter or joiner and some on-site experience. If you have not worked in construction before, you could work as a joiner's mate or labourer to get site experience. Once working, your employer may offer you training in carpentry and joinery. The best way to become a carpenter or joiner is through an Apprenticeship programme.

To become a carpenter or joiner you will need to have an eye for detail. You will also need good maths skills for measuring and working out angles. As a carpenter you’ll need to follow technical drawings and plans.

Course content

  • Construct formwork into which concrete is poured
  • Set out an outline of the building on the ground of the site, using string and pegs to allow for excavations
  • Build floors, wall frameworks (timber or metal) and roofs, and lay timber floors
  • Read plans and specifications to determine the dimensions, materials required and installation processes
  • Install metal and timber windows, sashes and doors
  • Construct and erect prefabricated units, such as cottages and houses
  • Cut materials with hand and power tools and assemble, or nail, cut and shape parts
  • Install door handles, locks, hardware, flooring underlay, insulating material and other fixtures
  • Maintain and sharpen tools.

Entry requirements

  • Ideally you should have 4 GSCE grades A-D, however support is available to those who do not.
  • You will also need to be employed within the sector. If you are not employed, however, it is still worthwhile applying to Gateshead College as we may be able to assist you in finding suitable employment or advise on another suitable course.
  • Advanced apprentices would also have to undergo numeracy and literacy tests, a skills test and an interview.


  • An NVQ assessor is responsible for visiting you in your workplace to assist you in compiling a portfolio of evidence. 
  • The technical certificate is assessed by assignments, project work and knowledge based tests whilst you attend the block and/or day release programme at the College. 
  • Functional skills are assessed by examination and portfolio. 
  • Apprentices who have the appropriate GCSE grades may be exempt from completing the examinations and/or the portfolio.

Future opportunities

After completion of an Intermediate Apprenticeship you could progress onto an Advanced Apprenticeship

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Gateshead College directly.

Last updated date: 14 April 2016

Key information


  • More information
    • This 3000 square metre facility is home to all our construction trade courses such as plumbing, electrical installation, painting & decorating and plastering with dedicated areas for each trade as well as a modern café.

      The facility ensures students and construction industry employers can further benefit from the college's experience in delivering specialist training in green and renewable energy technologies.

      These include solar photovoltaic, solar heating, rainwater harvesting, grey water recycling, heat pumps, biomass and combined heat and power training - all designed to enable the wider construction industry to gain new skills to remain competitive.