With all the talk of the mining boom, the federal government has released some interesting new figures to put the mining industry in perspective with other industries. In Australia, the construction industry employs over 1 million workers. It’s one of the three largest employing industries along with retail and healthcare. At FCTA (a leading Registered Training Organisation in SA) we have many students talking about getting in on the mining boom. For some, this is a great opportunity, for others it means long working hours, time spent away from family and friends and increased rates of violence, gambling and drinking problems. More information about the 'dark side' of the mining boom can be found in these articles from The Australian, WA Today, & The Queensland University of Technology website.
In contrast, the construction industry offers many people the ability to become their own boss, and manage their work around their family and social priorities. Over the five years to November 2011, employment in Construction increased by 10.7% (or 100,700). This growth was mainly driven by Construction Services (up by 47,500) and Building Construction (21,700). Construction employment is expected to rise by 131,200 (or 12.6%) over the next five years, with most new jobs expected to continue to be created in Construction Services. Compare industries’ Expected Growth Rates to 2016-17 and Employment Numbers in these downloads. For a full review of employment prospects in various industries in the next few years, download the new DEEWR report, Australian Jobs 2012.
For people interested in working in the construction industry, FCTA - Building Careers in South Australia has pre-apprenticeship courses, including bricklaying, commencing July 30th and October 15th.
Trisch Baff, Marketing & Project Manager,
FCTA – Building Careers
If you’ve lost interest in school or just can’t seem to achieve for some reason and are considering leaving school, you might want to consider pre-apprenticeship training. It’s a way to try out the trades for a time, before you make a full commitment to an apprenticeship. Yes it comes at a cost, but with the incentives that are often provided, depending on your age, the State Government benefits and the organisation offering the pre-apprenticeship, it is good value. You’ll get the benefit of a range of skilled learning, usually four or five days a week, get some trade experience, perhaps ‘on the trowel’ in a bricklaying team, and all up receive very good value for your investment of the three to four months or so on the course. No matter where you’re located there are pre-apprentice courses offered. ABBTF can help you identify where yours are.
Employers generally like to take on apprentices who have done a pre-apprenticeship course because they come with some basic skills and with eyes more open to the trade. You get exposure to builders, bricklayers and group training organisations so you’re better placed to find the right employer for you and to know many more than if you hadn’t done this pre-entry training. Some of the subjects are transferrable to other pre-entry trade courses too, in case you decide to try another before taking on an apprenticeship.
One pre-apprenticeship course just starting in WA is exclusively for Bricklaying (whereas often they cover a number of trades in one course). It starts August 6 at Polytechnic West’s Thornlie campus and runs for 18 weeks and includes three weeks work experience on the job. It costs $825 if you’re under 17 or have a Health Card, and on completion there’s a $250 cash scholarship awarded from the CTF plus there’s a $250 tool voucher ABBTF, if you go on to start your apprenticeship. Full details are available from Polytechnic West and there’s a Downloadable Word Doc Here for applicants to return. Call or email Paul Wharmby or Stan Bowie on 9267 7661.
Lindsay Partridge, Father of Australia’s bricklaying skills training scheme recognised in Queens Birthday Honours ListPosted by: Geoff Noble | Comment (0)
Lindsay Partridge has been named a Member of the Order of Australia in the Queen's Birthday Honours list this week, for his visionary work in securing the future of this industry through the ongoing training of a skilled workforce in bricklaying. His work culminated in the establishment of the Australian Brick & Blocklaying Training Foundation (ABBTF) which he continues to actively guide as Chairman of the Board of Directors. This national organisation has, since 2006, made possible the training of up to 2500 apprentices in Australia each year.
Lindsay Partridge is a veteran of the industry and is Managing Director of the largest brick making Company in Australia - Brickworks Ltd (Austral Bricks and its many sub-brands). His early recognition that the residential and commercial brick building industry would decline without the continuing flow of qualified bricklaying tradespeople entering the trade, while appreciated in the industry, now has wider recognition with this announcement.
When asked about the award, Lindsay Partridge was quick to recognise the team effort involved in maintaining the focus over the past thirty years and the successful outcomes since the establishment of the ABBTF in more recent times.
Geoff Noble, General Manager of the ABBTF since its inception as a national organisation in 2006, was delighted to learn of the Award. “This Award for Lindsay recognises his great achievements in advancing the bricklaying trade. I know he would agree that this Award also recognizes the efforts of the wider industry: the ABBTF team, the programs of TAFE’s and Group Training Organisations, the brick manufacturers, the builders and the bricklayers who employer and train apprentices on the job, year in, year out. “
Geoff Noble, General Manager ABBTF.
Townsville’s Cluden Race Course was the venue for the (unofficial) first Aussie Best Bricklayer Competition, May 19 and 20, when the best blocklayers in Northern Queensland got together to see who was the fastest and most accurate in the game.
Check out the event on Youtube Here, it looked fantastic fun.
As is said in the video, maybe it will become the beginnings of a national competition to compete in the US ‘World’s Best Bricklayer’ competition at the US Spec Mix 500 in 2013.
ABBTF was one of many sponsors of this inaugural two day event – and we hope to be part of it again next year. Leading the sponsor board was Austral Masonry, Adbri Masonry and Scott Brickworks Townsville. Winners weren’t announced at the time of going to loading this blog but watch out at the NQ Supa Trowel website.
Titled "Blocklayers At Their Best", the NQ event was part of a wider Fishing and Outdoor Expo, but organisers Daniel Stevens and Roy King created the event as a promotion to entice more brickies into the industry. As they told the Townsville Bulletin "There are only eight or nine apprentices region wide and the industry is lacking young kids," he said. "We need an injection and generate more interest into the business." Great work guys and we hope you send interested starters to this website to check out more information on the trade.
ABBTF Qld State Manager
As part of next year’s budget, the Federal Government recently announced grants to help young apprentices starting their own business within two years of finishing an apprenticeship. These are grants specifically to help in business skills training and mentoring support. Up to $5000 is available to the apprentice and just 500 people nationally, will be assisted in 2012-13, so waste no time on following up on this, if you’re interested. 1,000 people each year from 2013 14 will be able to take this up, til June 2016.
Many young bricklayers freshly qualified want to launch out on their own soon after completing the apprenticeship but it goes without saying that having the business skills and some experienced advisors is crucial. This $5000 incentive to invest in such support would be an excellent way to help improve your likelihood of success in business. Young qualified bricklaying businesses are usually the ones quick to take on apprentices themselves so we say, go for it!
The best place to start to enquire on how to access the funding would be Australian Business Grants on
1800 785 972 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Failing that, call us and we’ll assist.
Geoff Noble, General Manager, ABBTF