Monthly Archives: September 2012


ABBTF Support Apprentices in an Easing Market

ABBTF has released the Operating Results for the year to 30 June 2012. The year was highlighted by the 1,923 apprentices who were supported by Brickstart subsidies paid to their employers. ABBTF also added a Brickstart bonus during the year to encourage apprentice sign-ups and improve retention in a difficult market. Revenue was down due to the […]

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The Main Event

A mighty battle was fought for the National WorldSkills title with the victorious Gold Medal winner Todd Richards from Mackay Qld, never having once laid pressed clay bricks used for the National competition. North of Rockhampton, about 90% of brick building is in concrete blocks and the remainder is the extruded clay brick, rather than the […]

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Standing Room Only at the Gun Trowel

The eye catching supporting event of the finals was the ABBTF “Gun Trowel” speed competition. It drew a huge and rowdy crowd of spectators who jostled for a spot five deep around the perimeter of the competition area. CSR/PGH Queensland Manager Trent Cosh provided a colourful commentary and introduction of competitors, entertaining us while the […]

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High Skills Made it a Tight Finish in Bricklaying’s National WorldSkills 2012

It was a close contest for the title of National WorldSkills Bricklayer at Australia’s premier event to decide the best apprentice in the 50 skill categories contested. The final margin between the winner and second place was just two points out of a possible 100, and between second and third place, just one point. Coming out on […]

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“I have never seen such a focused bunch of competitors at WorldSkills”

As the dust settles on another great WorldSkills competition, I would like to take a moment to reflect on some of the highlights that contributed to the excitement. The day before the event the group of competitors and judges came together for a familiarisation period where competitors could test the products they would be using, […]

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Where are the Women?

Recently it came to my attention that there are only four female apprentice bricklayers currently in training in Australia. Four!  Nationwide!  Wow. Whilst I knew the numbers would be low I was shocked to hear that it was that low.  Admittedly, there are also another six female bricklayers who have completed their training in recent […]

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Contractors, Trainers, Builders – Preparing for Better Times through Training

‘Tough times don’t last.  Tough people do.’  How true that is.  Reflections on WorldSkills. Working in the building industry we have definitely been facing tough times – an issue since the GFC hit three years ago.  However as we know construction occurs in cycles, we have our booms and we have our lows. Neither lasts […]

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Prime Minister Gillard Visits Pre-Apprenticeship Students at Kwinana Jobs Expo

There were all smiles at the Bricklaying exhibit area of the Kwinana Jobs and Skills Expo in WA on Wednesday this week when the Prime Minister and a large contingent dropped by for a chat and to try laying bricks. Julia Gillard shook hands and took some bricklaying advice from young pre-apprentice, Wayde Brown, one […]

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Bricklaying’s National WorldSkills Winner had Never Laid a Pressed Brick Before!

A mighty battle was fought for the National title this weekend in Sydney with the victorious Gold Medal winner Todd Richards from Mackay Qld, never having once laid pressed clay bricks used for the National competition. North of Rockhampton, about 90% of masonry construction is in concrete block and the remainder in wire cut clay bricks, […]

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Gun Trowel Speed Bricklaying Draws Crowd at WorldSkills

Part of the lead in to the National WorldSkills Bricklaying championship in Sydney on the weekend was the twenty minute “Gun Trowel” speed competition. All entrants to the bricklaying WorldSkills competition participated in the event. And what an event it was!   Standing room only, spectators were five deep around the perimeter of the competition area and […]

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