Monthly Archives: September 2014


Minister for Mud Gives Thumbs Up to the Perth Brew

He’s a Queenslander, a Gympie bricklayer, an amazing employer of many determined apprentices and a fantastic hand. Thanks Andrew Hosking! Affectionately known as the “Minister for Mud”, Andrew Hosking recently gave up a week of his own busy workload to head to Perth and lend a hand with the National WorldSkills Bricklaying competition.

Mixing mud and making 27 to 30 batches a day to keep up with 14 keen bricklaying competitors was a competition in itself! Andrew’s energy and enthusiasm at our most important national event was appreciated by organisers and competitors alike.

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‘Salt of the Earth’ Support from Bricklaying Industry at WorldSkills WA Made for a Great National Event

The Bricklaying WorldSkills Perth 2014 competition has come and gone in the blink of an eye! It was a wonderful exposé for Perth, WorldSkills and the greater bricklaying training industry in Western Australia.

Many people from other states and industries during the event, commented on just how organised and successful this particularly competition was. Truth be known it was due to the collective effort of a few good men and women from industry, WorldSkills and Government which made it come together to support the 14 regional competitors.

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Sam Spong Wins National WorldSkills Competition

Bricklaying’s 2014 WorldSkills national competition in Perth saw Sam Spong from New Berrima NSW win the Gold Medal in Bricklaying. Matthew Cheso from Murray Bridge SA won the Silver Medal and the Bronze Medal went to Nicholas Coci from Carabooda WA. Well done to you all.

Sam deserves enormous credit for his courageous win against a high quality field, each young person aspiring to excel at building what was a complex brick and block project in just 18 hours. The standard of bricklaying from the fourteen competitors was the highest for many years!

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Need to Know: Training Benchmarks for 457 Visa Brickies

Employers applying for approval as Sponsors of 457 Visa Bricklaying workers entering Australia must meet the requirements of the Training Benchmarks set by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).

Employers as Sponsors need to demonstrate that they have made a contribution to training each year. This may include a contribution of at least 2% of payroll to an Industry Training Fund if current training expenditure on employees is less than 1% of payroll. This pre-requisite is seen as a contribution to national training in lieu of training existing employees.

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Good Radio Response to Apprenticeship Vacancies

An article in the Australian Financial Review in August on apprentice numbers being at a 10 year low has sparked a great interest in the bricklaying skill shortage through a number of radio stations.

ABBTF currently has 200 apprenticeship vacancies which we are finding difficult to fill. This is a surprising number considering that youth unemployment is at the highest level since 1997!

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Interested in trying Bricklaying? Then please contact us on 1300 30 44 77