Geoff Noble, General Manager of the Australian Brick and Blocklaying Training Foundation (ABBTF), has urged school leavers to consider a career in brick and blocklaying as a pathway to becoming a builder.
According to Mr. Noble, the ABBTF wants to highlight the benefits of a bricklaying apprenticeship as a sure way of a great career in the construction industry, especially as school leavers will be making important decisions about their careers at this time of the year.
Geoff Noble said, “Bricklaying is sometimes overlooked when making a career choice but the reality is that many builders started out as bricklayers accumulating vital skills for their successful career in the construction industry. Of course bricklayers can also go on to become site and project managers or run their own building supply company.

Geoff Noble continued to explain that David Valstro, a Victorian builder, is a good example of a bricklayer who has progressed to be a builder. He started studying at university but decided that wasn’t for him.

“He took on a bricklaying apprenticeship and finished his trade in 2003. With six years bricklaying experience behind him, David completed a Certificate 4 in Building & Construction at Holmesglen TAFE and was registered as a builder in 2009. He is now building homes and employing bricklaying apprentices.

“If you like the freedom of working in the outdoors and the opportunity to start earning money immediately bricklaying is a good choice. With our bricklaying workforce around Australia aging rapidly, and likely to retire in the near future, we are going to need many more bricklayers to make up for the shortfall in numbers,” said Geoff Noble.

Many construction skills can be learnt by bricklayers, including the ability to read building plans, determine material quantities, erecting scaffolding, brick cutting, mixing mortar, window sills, brick pointing and tuckpointing. Bricklayers are often called on to build intricate designs in addition to straight walls and corners. These are the skills that will stand bricklayers in good stead for a building career.

The employment of bricklaying apprentices by employers with a subsidy of $6,000 is subsidised by the ABBTF. This is topped up by a further $4,000 from the Federal Government with some states having further subsidies available.

The Federal Government is also offering bricklaying employers a further top up of $3,350 if they take on apprentices during the December, January and February period.
The ABBTF is part of the Australian Brick and Blocklaying Foundation .