The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) has given authorisation for the Australian Brick and Blocklaying Training Foundation (ABBTF) to continue their programs to address the skill shortage in bricklaying.

The approved levy of $2 per thousand bricks and 10cents per square meter on concrete blocks is fully matched by the brick and block manufacturing members of the ABBTF.

Funds raised are used for a national program designed to lessen shortages of skilled bricklayers in the construction industry.

The ACCC approval follows a public consultative process across the building and construction industry to assess the benefits brought about by the program over the past three years of the previous authorisation.

Numerous positive expressions of support for the ABBTF program were received by the ACCC, which then concluded that the program provided a public benefit by way of increasing the supply of skilled bricklayers and reducing the delays in construction times.

Geoff Noble, ABBTF’s general manager, said the endorsement of the Foundation’s program confirmed that the national strategy to promote and recruit more bricklaying apprentices and to lift the profile of bricklaying added valuable skills to the industry.

The ABBTF also run a promotional program that includes Step Out programs in schools, giving 40 hours hands-on experience in bricklaying for students at Year 10 level who are considering their career options. Over 10,000 students have completed the program over the past four years.

The ABBTF regularly attend Career Expos across the country, promoting a bricklaying career, and work closely with TAFE bricklaying schools, as well as Registered Training Organisations.