Monthly Archives: July 2016


ABBTF Calls on WA Builder Support for Out-of-Trade and Cancelled Bricklaying Apprentices

Anyone that has been in the WA building industry for 10 years or more will tell you that we are currently experiencing one of the toughest downturns in residential building activity ever. At the forefront of this change is the demand for bricklayers.

Bricklayers are accustomed to change and they are generally resilient in the face of fluctuating market cycles. However, given we’ve recently come off an extended period of unprecedented building growth leading up to June 2015, staffing levels and contracts have since reduced significantly.

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Boost to Qld Bricklaying Apprenticeships as Payroll Tax Rebate Doubled

The Qld State Government recently announced that it is doubling an incentive for Queensland businesses to employ apprentices and trainees as part of a drive to create more jobs.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the Government’s scheme offering a 25% payroll tax rebate for employing apprentices or trainees would be doubled to 50%.

For this financial year any employer in the State with apprentices or trainees on staff will be able to claim a 50% rebate.

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Beware of the Wind

The past few weeks have seen severe weather patterns of very strong winds across the country, which can be a real danger to bricklayers and other workers on building sites.

There have been reports of brick walls collapsing on building sites and it is timely to remind the trade that falling brick walls can result in serious injuries or fatalities!

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Which Bricklayer Training Matters Most?

There is regular debate on the value of bricklayer training conducted on the job site versus that conducted off-site, at a TAFE/RTO training centre. The answer is that both are very valuable – ABBTF’s view is that a blended model combining on and offsite experience gives the best results and the contributions are very different in nature.

You might be surprised to know that some Registered Training Organisations (RTO’s) deliver up to 100% of bricklayer training on-site. But to be successful, it relies heavily on the contractor having both the skills and time to train the apprentice in circumstances where the commercial pressures of getting enough bricks laid often impacts on the quality of training.

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Female Thai Bricklayers Excel in Aussie Embassy Build

Female bricklayers are playing a major role in the construction of the Australian Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand where Aussie WorldSkills Australia success story Matt Cheso and two other South Australians are leading the build.

Bouygues Th-VSL Australia, the contractor for the project currently employs over 600 construction workers, with almost half the workforce being women. Rather than simply being involved in lighter tasks, women are firmly embedded in the construction process, from steel fixing, scaffold assembly, concreting and form working.

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“I am where I am because I believe in all possibilities”

I read this recently in the UK Independent and I can’t resist passing on to bricklayers and apprentices some pointers on this very fine actor who was also, once, a bricklayer. As Rebecca Tyrrel of the Independent tells it, “Who would have known Whoopi Goldberg was once a bricklayer ? “Well, Whoopi explains it: “I needed the money and I needed to work. So I figured I would rather lay bricks than lay men for money.”

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