Thanks to Todd Richards great win on the national stage, at the 2012 National Bricklaying WorldSkills event in Sydney, we’ve seen a strong increase in apprentices throughout Queensland keen to compete for their shot at glory.
The Regionals kick-off this week, Tues 7 May. Competitions are open to the general public, so come along on the day from 9 to 4 and have a look at the cream of the industry coming through.
The Rockhampton/Central Qld Regional Bricklaying competition will be first, on Tuesday 7 May at Rockhampton TAFE, Canning Street Rockhampton with an industry BBQ on the night before around 5:30 pm.
This is the region in which Todd won his finals, to go on to win the National Bricklayer title.
Next cab off the rank is the southern region. On Friday, 10 May at Skills Tech Australia (STA)TAFE Acacia Ridge Campus, ABBTF and WorldSkills will be conducting the Brisbane/South East Qld Regional WorldSkills Final in Bricklaying at STA’s 247 Bradman Street, Acacia Ridge.
This will be the biggest Regional competition ever held in Brisbane with 10-14 bricklaying competitors planned to start, rivalling to represent this regional at 2014’s National title.
Qld has never had so many apprentice bricklayers striving for their opportunity to go to the nationals. It was only a few years ago we would struggle to get 6-8 apprentices throughout the State to compete and now we have 4 Regions putting up their hands to hold finals this year.
This is further proof that the relationship between ABBTF, TAFE’s, RTO’s and Manufacturers continues to reap rewards for our industry in Qld
The remaining Queensland Regions to hold competitions later this year are Mackay/North Qld on 23 July with industry night on Monday 22 July, and Bundaberg/Wide Bay on 7 August at Wide Bay TAFE Walker St Bundaberg.
ABBTF is a sponsor of all Regional WorldSkills events as part of its challenge on behalf of all stakeholders in Bricklaying, to reduce the skills shortage. It aims to provide employers with the best possible candidates to become qualified bricklayers.
State Manager Qld, 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
It seems that bricklayers are a very competitive breed. Take Ron Elliott – he’s about to compete for Best Bricklayer against the best in the USA - the 16 winners from regional bricklayer events that were held during 2011 throughout the US & Canada. Together with just one other non US bricklayer, a Pom, each competitor has to lay as many bricks as he can in one hour, with deductions for inferior work. Ron says "I'm not going there to muck around. I'm taking it very seriously," he said. "It's too far to fly not to win."
The event is the Spec Mix 500 World's Best Bricklayer competition, part of the World of Concrete Trade Show which takes place in Las Vegas on, of all days, Australia Day! Ron’s workmate Mark Roese, 38, will compete in the best labourer section at the same Trade Show.
If you’d like to take in the action –coverage of the competitions is being streamed live from 5:00 AM Aussie time, January 26, 2012. Full details are at the Spec Mix website.
Ron, who is site manager for The Country Group, has been a bricklayer for 27 years and believes he’s well prepared. "I've been doing about two hours training every day for the last couple of months; building walls and corners and trying to get my speed up and make sure the walls are close to perfect," he said.
Ron’s boss, Brian Freeman has been attending the World of Concrete Trade Show for years and decided it was time! "If it's going to be the world's best bricklayer surely an Australian can be in it" Mr Freeman said. "I think we've got a very good chance of winning. I'm very confident we can come back with a first place."
Mark Roese, Project Manager and Estimator, also with The Country Group, is equally confident. He will have 20 minutes to set up his work area. "I can't wait to go and show the Americans that we're good tradesmen," he said.
Good luck to the guys, we’ll be watching and waving our Aussie flags!
David Gill, ABBTF NSW Manager