Tuesday, July 1st, 2014 - Australian Brick & Blocklaying Training Foundation (ABBTF)

The Federal Government’s decision to add bricklaying to the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) from today (1 July 2014) will help address the growing shortage of skills and availability of bricklayers.

The skill shortage has become more acute with a lift in housing commencements and forecasts of more building activity to come.  Current apprentice bricklayer numbers are the lowest in 10 years which is adding fewer qualified tradesmen to the workforce.  This shortage will lead to construction delays, cost increases and lower standards of bricklaying.

Builders in most states are experiencing delays due to this skill shortage with the bricklayer shortage most severe in Western Australia followed by New South Wales.

The delivery of qualified bricklayers through the apprenticeship training system takes three or four years and is unable to match the short timeframe of the change in the building cycle.

The bricklaying industry finds it difficult to employ and train apprentices when building activity is at a low level.  The quick turnaround needs a more rapid response to the skill shortage according to Geoff Noble, CEO of ABBTF*.  “Skilled migration is one strategy which can add skilled, experienced bricklayers within months”, he said.

Bricklayers wishing to migrate to Australia are now able to submit an expression of interest on the SkillSelect website of the Department of Immigration, from 1 July 2014.  Permanent general skills migration visas require migrants to qualify on a points-based system which takes into account age, skills and English language skills.  The Department will then invite the prospective migrant to lodge a visa application.

When bricklaying was previously listed on the SOL approximately 250 skilled bricklayers per annum were migrating to Australia to live and work.  Many of these contractors now run successful businesses and often employ and train apprentices.

The low apprentice numbers is also a reflection of the attitudes and aspirations of the Y and Z generation.  More young people are aiming for a degree at University and do not always see the benefits of trade training or a career in the construction industry.  This is often due to parental and peer group pressure on young people.

There are also a growing number of young people who do not apply for or who miss out on a University place and struggle to find employment of their choosing.  They see bricklaying as hard work and put little value on a trade qualification.  The jobless rate of 15 to 19 year olds has risen from 14.4% to 17.5% over the past year, however and the number of apprentice commencements in construction, particularly in bricklaying, has not improved.

There is no short term fix to the problem but the ability to source quality bricklayers from overseas is a start to filling the gap.

Geoff Noble

Chief Executive Officer

*Australian Brick & Blocklaying Training Foundation Ltd (ABBTF)

30 June 2014

Contact Details:

Geoff Noble

Tel: 03 9556 3033 or 0418 388 774

Email: [email protected]

Websites: www.abbtf.com.au and www.becomeabricklayer.com.au

Susan Johnsen, Assistant to the CEO 0425 337 710

Contact Profile

Australian Brick & Blocklaying Training Foundation (ABBTF)


The ABBTF was established by manufacturers of clay brick and concrete masonry throughout Australia to ensure there is an adequate and competent bricklaying and blocklaying workforce.  Its purpose is to support the demand for bricks and blocks as a construction material and improve the standing of bricklayers and blocklayers within the industry.

ABBTF apprenticeship programs to address the skill shortage in bricklaying are funded by a small levy on the sale of clay bricks and concrete masonry and a matching contribution from brick and block manufacturers. The levy represents $16 on the cost of an average Australian house and $40 for double brick construction, the prominent brick in Western Australia.

Geoff Noble from ABBTF is available for interview and con be contacted on 0418 388 774 or 03 9556 3033.  Visit the industry stakeholder site:   www.abbtf.com.au or the student’s site:  www.becomeabricklayer.com.au
Geoff Noble
P: 0418 388 774
W: www.abbtf.com.au

Australian Brick & Blocklaying Training Foundation Ltd


Background to Australian Brick & Blocklaying Training Foundation (ABBTF)
The ABBTF was established by manufacturers of clay brick and concrete masonry throughout Australia to ensure there is an adequate and competent bricklaying and blocklaying workforce. Its purpose is to support the demand for bricks and blocks as a construction material and improve the standing of bricklayers and blocklayers within the industry.

ABBTF apprenticeship programs to address the skill shortage in bricklaying are funded by a small levy on the sale of clay bricks and concrete masonry and a matching contribution from brick and block manufacturers. The levy represents $16 on the cost of an average Australian house and $40 for double brick construction, the prominent brick in Western Australia.

Geoff Noble from ABBTF is available for interview and con be contacted on 0418 388 774 or 03 9556 3033. In his absence, refer to Susan Johnson 03 9556 3036 Visit the industry stakeholder site: www.abbtf.com.au or the student’s site: www.becomeabricklayer.com.au


Sue Johnsen
P: 03 9556 3036
M: 0404 024 449
W: www.abbtf.com.au

Keywords

Bricklaying, Bricklayer, Skill, Shortage, Migration, SOL, Skilled Occupation List, Geoff Noble, ABBTF, Trade, Training, building, apprenticeship

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