Thursday, October 27th, 2011
Australian Brick and Blocklaying Training Foundation (ABBTF) released its Operating Results for the year ended June 2011, announcing record numbers of apprentice enrolments across the country. During 2010-11 more than 3,000 apprentices attended bricklayer training.

The growth in numbers was despite lower levels of construction activity in some states.

Geoff Noble, General Manager of ABBTF, commented that the ABBTF programs to address the qualified bricklayer skill shortage were now starting to pay dividends. “We are starting to see a new generation of apprentice bricklayers who show the ambition and drive to gain a qualification and pursue a career path in the construction industry.”

The improved quality of candidates has come from marketing the concept of the freedom to choose from the many career choices available following a bricklaying qualification. The Step Out Program in schools has also been influential with 2,436 Year 10 Australian students experiencing a hands-on taste of bricklaying for a week. This program has been delivered to 14,000 students over the past five years.

An excellent “Become a Bricklayer” DVD based on the top 10 reasons to consider bricklaying has been produced and distributed to 3,300 secondary schools throughout the country.

The key to the employment uptake has been the ABBTF offer of subsidies to sign up a new apprentice. At 30 June 2,184 apprentices were supported by subsidies to their employers making apprentices more affordable and encouraging apprenticeship completions.

“While we are pleased with the results to date we are aware of the downturn in building activity which will adversely impact on apprentice numbers. Our focus will be on retention and closely supporting the employers and apprentices to achieve a qualification in brick and blocklaying”, Geoff Noble said.

26 October 2011

Geoff Noble from ABBTF is available for interview and con be contacted on 0418 388 774 or 03 9556 3033. Visit or

Contact Profile

Australian Brick and 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 or
Geoff Noble
P: 03 9556 3033
M: 0418 388 774


Bricklaying, Apprenticeships, Building, Construction, Skills Shortage, ABBTF



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