Each year Become-a-Bricklayer hosts a great national competition, requiring only an entrant’s details to have a chance at a big prize.
Its primary purpose is to get the attention of students (to consider bricklaying as a career) visiting Careers Expos and participating in ‘try a trade’ type activities. However, everyone’s eligible to enter and this year it’s a prize that can’t help but appeal, no matter what age you are. (When we say everyone can enter, that unfortunately doesn’t include staff and partners of ABBTF, the promoter. Bad luck guys. .
This year’s fantastic prize is a ‘Winner Takes All’ $1000 to spend on tickets to any event publicised by Ticketek after the competition is drawn – such as sporting events and music concerts. .
You have the freedom to choose to spend it all at once on a massive party to shout your mates seats to something very big, or you can choose to spread the win over a number of events, shared with your best mate, partner or family..
The odds of winning are pretty good compared to most competitions you’ll see, because we focus our promotion about the competition at Expos, schools and at this website rather than to the mass-market. So be in it and enter on line HERE.
The competition runs from March to early December, with the prize draw made in December – what a Christmas present! Ticketek start to announce next year’s events in the second half of this year, so you’ve got plenty of time to get organised!.
Competition entries need to include an email address. Become a Bricklayer (ABBTF – Australian Brick & Blocklaying Training Foundation) is likely to email information relevant to your future career opportunities, as a result of receiving your email details, but you have the opportunity to unsubscribe should you wish. .
So, enter now, and good luck!.
General Manager - ABBTF
A very happy Year 10 student, Katie Rae of Toowoomba recently received a whopping $1000 Gift Voucher for JB Hi-Fi as the national winner of the ‘Become a Bricklayer – Find Your Freedom’ competition conducted during the trades Careers Expo season across the nation this calendar year. She was thrilled to win the prize money and she chose an iPad, some accessories for it, a new phone and some CD’s with the JB Hi-Fi voucher.
Runners up in each State won similar cards, to the value of $100 each. Katie, a student at Concordia Lutheran College in Toowoomba Queensland, entered the competition during the 2012 Toowoomba Careers Expo. Katie is looking at pursuing a career in mechanical engineering or biomedical engineering when she finishes school. Her new iPad will contribute to a good start to the new school year as well as providing a heap of fun and freedom.
Katie likes to play her oboe, play tennis and is a Girl Guide as well as a volunteer at local charity events. So good on you Katie - and best of luck with your studies!
Congratulations also to the State runner-up winners of a $100 JB Hi-Fi voucher, three of whom have come forward to date to claim their prize. These are Travis Hitchens, Josh McIntyre and Ariane Bowie all from WA. Prizes not claimed will be redrawn in the next two weeks.
The 2013 Become a Bricklayer competition prize is a winner takes all $1000 voucher for tickets to a big sporting or other event for you and your friends so don’t miss out on entering. Full details will be at this website from early February 2013. Make a calendar booking to be reminded to come back to enter the competition online then before the Expo season starts!
Queensland Manager, ABBTF
Regular visitors to Become-a-Bricklayer will be aware that our website uses an image of a massive surfing wave as its branding device. This is because surfing, for many people symbolises the idea of a lifestyle that involves freedom and excitement and the reality is that bricklaying as a career, makes such a lifestyle possible. The fitness required for both, a love of the outdoors and the early start to bricklaying day makes catching the surf a reality.
We were therefore stoked to read in Brisbane’s Courier Mail about Peter de Haan, bricklayer from Cronulla and his amazing, out-of-the-box real life experience of the big surf. Peter just went to see the adventure movie Storm Surfers 3D with his wife when out of the blue he was picked for a promotion and ended up in the middle of Bass Strait a few hours later in a real-life adventure beside big-wave hunter Ross Clarke-Jones.
As Peter said “All I wanted was an autograph for my five-year-old son Jett”. Instead, he found himself on a jet ski in the cold and pitch dark alongside a friendly "maniac", staring at the biggest wall of water he had ever seen.
"It was like I was plucked from Earth and I jumped on another planet," he said of his jaunt with one of the world's most famous and fearless monster-wave riders.
"I'm just ordinary Pete. Things like this don't happen to people like me. But Ross was incredible. He's a cool dude."
The 35-year-old said he thought at first he was being punked when Ross Clarke-Jones ushered him out of screening on to a plane to Melbourne and then drove him at break-neck speed to the Victorian coastal town of Jan Juc, just past Torquay.
Then, when he found himself sitting beside surfing-mad Clarke-Jones on a jet-ski in the dead of night somewhere off the Australian coast, hunting for big waves, he "freaked".
"I surf big waves in my dreams, not in real life," de Haan said of being towed off the coast looking for monster surf. I am just an average Joe who surfs a bit."
While Ross Clarke-Jones, who with former world champion Tom Carroll stars in Storm Surfers 3D, has notoriously ridden waves whipped up by typhoons and been in a wipe-out off a 20m monster, the 4m wave de Haan saw was big enough: "Ross was great. He kept encouraging me. I got up and rode a wave but I was a bit shabby. I think I'll leave this to the professionals."
While it was the adventure of a lifetime, de Haan isn't keen to repeat it: "It was crazy. I'm happy just being Pete."
Tony Bishop, ABBTF Manager Qld
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
A very happy Year 9 student, Harley Collins came into the ‘Become a Bricklayer’ office (ABBTF) recently to collect on a very big win. The ‘Become a Bricklayer – find your freedom’ competition conducted during the second half of last year drew entries from all around the country but Harley won out in the lucky first draw process. The prize was a very nice $3000 in store cards chosen by him from a mix of JB Hi-Fi, Rebel and Village Cinemas.
Runners up in each State won similar cards, to the value of $300 each. Harley, a student at Heathmont High in Victoria, entered the competition during a Year 9 careers class at school. Sounds like Harley needs to thank his careers teacher for the lesson! Harley is considering becoming a bricklayer, but will see at the end of Year 10 and if he stays on at school, will also consider doing a trade as a VCAL student in Years 11 and 12. Harley and his mum Sharon found the Become a Bricklayer website very interesting and informative about the apprenticeship and the trade generally. Harley has a younger brother who hopes to reap some benefits from Harley’s winnings.
He was thrilled to win the prize and is looking to buy a surround sound system for his Plasma TV. Harley is choosing the freedom of spending some of his $3,000 prize money at JB Hi Fi and a lesser amount at Rebel Sports.
Harley follows Richmond Football Club in the AFL – the Tigers and plays locally with Heathmont Football Club. He is a keen NBA fan and his hero Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Part of his winnings will get him a Kevin Durant top from Rebel Sports.
There will be a new Become a Bricklayer competition commencing very soon. Watch out for it and enter at the website or at a Schools Expo around Australia, wherever Become a Bricklayer has a stand. Students can get more information on Bricklaying as an apprenticeship by contacting the appropriate State Office here at the Website.
Congratulations also to the runner up winners including Kirsty Farrell from SA, Patrick Barton from Qld, Robert Doonan from Tas, and Dave Worswick from Vic. NSW and WA winners haven’t claimed their prizes at the time of going to print! A redraw takes place if they don’t come forward so stand by.
Geoff Noble, General Manager, ABBTF
Tasmanian Brad Long is just 19 but in his short career he has already achieved his Bricklaying Apprenticeship, succeeded in running his own bricklaying business and in the last two years has also run the ‘Step out in Bricks’ program for the Education Department at Brooks and Winneleah High Schools. With the current downturn in the building game he’s now commenced another apprenticeship, this time outside the building industry (in auto glazing), to further extend his armoury of skills. Brads got the attitude that though he loves bricklaying, he wants to build a flexible future that allows him to take advantage of the prevailing market conditions and have another set of skills he can use when housing starts are in the doldrums. He sees the future including travelling to other parts of Australia using his bricklaying qualification when things improve.
Brad’s big break in getting a bricklaying apprenticeship in Tasmania came when he was able to include his own experience as a student in the Step Out Program on the resume for his future employer, who then took him on as an apprentice. He was able to demonstrate interest and knowledge that other candidates didn’t have. He started his apprenticeship a week after his sixteenth birthday and was confident about his choice of apprenticeship because of the Step Out program. He knew he was suited to bricklaying and has gone on to enjoy the work, the outdoors and the pride in accomplishing good results and in being able to see the permanence of what you create.
The other lucky break in his short career to date came when a mate had to withdraw unexpectedly from running the Step Out program at selected schools, allowing him to fill the gap. Not only has this provided a new work experience but it’s been a fantastic opportunity to share his own pathway with a group of students going through exactly what he did, just three years prior! Brad describes it as a ‘proud moment’ when you can relate to students your own recent history, beginning in the same Step Out program.
It’s not hard to see he’s a good operator with lots of drive and optimism about his long term bricklaying future. However Brad also gives credit to his family for their support, his old boss for contacts, his friends in the industry and other bricklayers for advice. When starting his own business, he was able to lean on their experience and then apply his own judgement. Utilising the quality tools he’d acquired through the apprenticeship incentives was also a help in getting started. Good luck Brad, we’ll see you back in the industry on the upturn!
Geoff Noble. General Manager, ABBTF
Last week I had an apprentice in to discuss how to go about becoming a licensed builder. As a manager at FCTA, which is a Registered Training Organisation, I get questions like this a lot, because basically, it’s unnecessarily complicated to get information!
Each state handles the issuing of builders licences separately, with their own rules and regulations. As a result there are differences state by state, and no one website to visit. Instead each state has its own website and application procedure. In South Australia, it’s the Office of Consumer and Business Affairs http://www.ocba.sa.gov.au. To mix things up a bit more, from July 2012, until sometime in 2013 a national system of licensing will be rolled out and the system for applying will change again.
Regardless of the complexity, it’s a step well worth taking! Fully qualified and licensed bricklayers can expect to earn more than they were as an apprentice and even have the ability to become their own boss. The process is the simplest for people who have finished their apprenticeship.
>The requirement in SA is that two additional units are completed, one in small business finance, the other in business and legal requirements. These units cover off issues such as how to set up your business finances and what legal issues you need to be aware of. Once that is done, it’s a matter of filling in the paperwork, supplying copies of your apprenticeship papers and proof of completion of the two additional units to the South Australian Office of Consumer and Business Affairs. This department is in the process of developing an online application process, so keep checking back at http://ocba.sa.gov.au/licensing/olap.html
At this point, eyes start to glaze over and the idea of working as a subcontractor and being paid by ABN seems like a better option. While many people in the industry will tell you this is a good option, you need to be aware that if the majority of your income shows as being paid by the same employer this way, there will be issues. Generally, a worker is an employee and not a contractor if:
- You are paid for the time you work, as opposed to being paid for results
- You receive paid leave
- You are NOT responsible for providing the majority of materials or equipment to do a job and
- Your work hours are set by an award or agreement.
The implications of being paid under an ABN when you are working as employee can include, not having workcover support if you are injured at work, not having your superannuation contributions paid and for the employer, fines of up to $33,000 if they try to claim falsely they you are a contractor.
On top of this, employers can be made to pay superannuation and other benefits previously not paid under the shame contractor set up. For information on becoming a builder in other states you will need to contact your local licensing authority, training organisation, MBA or HIA.
A little work now to get your builders license will save some major headaches later on!
Trisch Baff, Marketing & Project Manager,
FCTA – Building Careers
Looking back on last year, 2011 has been a very successful year in terms of the number of Apprenticeships currently in place in bricklaying and blocklaying. ABBTF continued its strong support for apprentice training and employment with more than 2,000 apprentices across the country attracting subsidies for their employers and gaining training and skills for their future freedom.
ABBTF is committed to continue the program to ensure the brick and block laying workforce has the skills to install clay bricks and concrete masonry to the highest standard.
From industry feedback, we know the support makes a difference and is often one of the reasons why apprentices are signed on and retained until the completion of their training.
The downturn in building and construction has made it tough for many contractors to secure future work and maintain their apprentices. However, bricklayers who have fared better are those who have put the training into their apprentice to make them a productive member of their gang.
It’s not hard to see evidence of great examples of young apprentices gaining skills, growing in their role and showing the maturity and initiative to be fine examples of confident bricklayers for the industry. Just look at examples in the State ‘Aussie Bricklaying Newsletter’ and other success stories at this website. I’d love to hear your industry success story, or any feedback in comments to my blog.
We look forward to many more young people making their way in the building and construction industry through a Bricklaying Apprenticeship - with the support of their employers and ABBTF.
Head Office, ABBTF