Friday, January 23rd, 2015 - Australian Brick & Blocklaying Training Foundation (ABBTF)

Around Australia there are right now, 200 unfilled bricklaying trade apprenticeships, largely because the trade can’t seem to shake outdated negative attitudes held by parents who dissuade their children from entering the trade.

It points to a time, perhaps as recent as 10 years ago when typically the trade was much maligned as dirty work, ‘for dummies’, back breaking, with low wages and unfair on apprentices.  This is despite the fact, says Geoff Noble, the CEO at Australian Brick and Blocklaying Training Foundation, (ABBTF) that there always were great craftsmen and mentors in bricklaying, running highly professional businesses training and qualifying bright and successful apprentices.  “But it’s been too easy to malign bricklaying”, says Geoff, because, yes, there are times when it can be seen as dirty being a wet trade and it can be hard work, but not a lot different from many other trades.  But much has changed in bricklaying.  And yes, there are a few difficult employers, like in any trade, but we have many strategies in our State teams today, to place and support apprentices to give them the best possible chance of completing and gaining a qualification.

Without a doubt the most important advances Geoff sees are that the vast majority of young people who’ve come through a Bricklaying apprenticeship over the last 10 years or so are now fully competent having been trained expertly both on and offsite.  They are well respected in the team, are paid fairly and have the confidence to see a vision for themselves as a future success, either as a sub-contractor or as part of a proud, strong bricklaying or building team.  Many take on further part-time studies, almost immediately, in business training, in project management, or other construction skill-sets to advance in large companies.

All the incentives are in place to make apprentices attractive to employers, and with renewed building growth, the industry is now crying out for new apprentices. Getting the message to parents that bricklaying is a sound career choice, is however challenging for the ABBTF.  The most likely way students currently enter is via existing family businesses and knowing the employer bricklayer – it’s the endorsement most likely to persuade parents to agree to the trade. 

Geoff also notes that young people who, for whatever reason, don’t settle well at school or who may lack strong male role models can benefit greatly from the discipline and the team camaraderie in bricklaying.  “As long as they are good listeners and can turn up on time each day, we find that once they settle and mature a little, their confidence grows.  The desire to be successful will follow”. 

ABBTF is in all States and has a website all about the trade, ‘Become a Bricklayer’.  Geoff encourages parents to read the material at the website and give the office a call for a discussion.

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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, apprenticeship, trade, career, parents, negative attitudes

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