The Australian Brick and Blocklaying Training Foundation (ABBTF) has
been once again approved by the ACCC to continue its work in providing skilled
bricklayers and blocklayers for the construction industry.
The ACCC approval followed a public consultative process across the
building and construction industry to re-assess the benefits delivered by ABBTF
programs; ACCC concluded that the program provided a public benefit by way of
increasing the supply of skilled bricklayers and reducing the delays in
Welcoming the decision, ABBTF’s Chief Executive Officer Geoff Noble said
the endorsement of the program confirmed its efficacy in recruiting more
bricklaying apprentices, raising the profile of bricklaying, and improving the
skills base of the industry.
One of the key strategies of the program is a subsidy of $3,000 provided
to employers to encourage them to take on apprentices. This is topped up by a
further $4,000 from the Federal Government and Industry Training Board support
in some States. ABBTF has also applied more resources to recruiting quality
candidates for apprenticeships to satisfy the urgent need to fill the 150
vacancies registered with ABBTF across the States.
To attract the right young people to the trade, ABBTF has also developed
highly effective social media platforms with its two websites, ABBTF and Become
a Bricklayer together attracting over 8,000 visits per month alongside a
national ABBTF Facebook page with nearly 8,000 fans following bricklaying as a
ABBTF’s Step Out Program and Try-a-Trade events for secondary school
students aim to give a hands-on bricklaying experience to young people; almost
13,000 students have participated in these taster programs over the past five
According to Mr Noble, ABBTF is focussed on raising awareness of
bricklaying as a career and the opportunities it provides for career
development in the construction industry. He adds that there are many success
stories where bricklaying apprentices have gone on to start their own
bricklaying businesses, or become builders, project managers and even captains
ABBTF also welcomed the recent Federal
Government decision to allow skilled bricklayers to migrate on permanent visas
to Australia, which will supplement the Foundation’s efforts to build a skilled
workforce for the construction industry.