Monthly Archives: May 2012


The Ongoing Quest for the Title of Best Bricklayer in the World!

We previously reported in this blog on Ron Elliott and the team at The Country Group(Botany NSW) who, on Australia Day this year, ‘carried’ the Aussie flag in the US Spec Mix 500 Competition for the title of Best Bricklayer in the World! Brian Freeman had been visiting the annual event for some years and decided with workmates Ron and Mark Reese to have a crack at the title in January this year.

Well they didn’t win but Ron says it was an amazing experience and they learned a heap about competing in the event and hope to do it again in 2013. Ron said the atmosphere was ‘mad’ – like a footy final in Australia.

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Successful SA Apprentice Jay Gerardis nominated for Apprentice of the Year

I spent this afternoon catching up with one of FCTA – Building Careers recently completed apprentices, Jay Gerardis.

Jay is 21 and has just finished his bricklaying apprenticeship and completing the training required to apply for his builders licence. In Jays words, the best reasons to become a bricklayer are ‘being able to work the hours you want, be outside, not stuck in an office’ That’s when Jay looks at me in front of my computer and adds in ‘no offence’.

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Bricklaying Apprenticeship gave Brad Long the freedom to choose his destiny

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. Brad’s 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.

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