Monthly Archives: September 2016


Take Note: Chris Pike – A Bricklayer with a Passion for Restoration

Chris Pike is an interesting bricklayer from the central Victorian town of Dunolly, near Bendigo. He’s a man who’s dedicated to delivering expert repair to old brickwork, for which he’s in high demand. But my guess is he’d take the same pride and care in bricking a new house as he does on restoring an old building.

Chris made the news recently when featured by the Sun Herald in Melbourne and I’m giving his story a second run because I’d like to also applaud Chris for his craftsmanship, on behalf of his industry and to pass on the learning. Chris has restored several of the very old public buildings in Dunolly, built between 1862 and 1884 during the gold mining boom in central Victoria.

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ABBTF Annual Report Announces Highest Apprentice Numbers in Five Years

I’m pleased to announce that the Australian Brick & Blocklaying Training Foundation’s Annual Report for 2015-2016 has now been released and distributed to key stakeholders. The full report and the Operating Results are available online.

The report shows that apprentice numbers grew strongly during the year on the eastern seaboard, where high construction activity drove the demand for bricklayers. This resulted in a very positive number of 2,609 apprentices in training, nationally during the year, the highest in five years.

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Appreciation for Todd Farrawell’s Step-Out Training

A group of Year 9 and 10 students at UC High School Kaleen completed a Brick & Blocklaying 3 day construction course held earlier this month, building two worm farms which will complement the School’s wide curriculum. The Step Out Program is an introductory bricklaying course conducted by the Australian Brick and Block Training Foundation (ABBTF) designed to open the eyes of students to the trade and the construction industry, to consider the possibility of obtaining qualifications and employment in the industry in the future.

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Successful Apprentice Integration isn’t Bolted-on. It’s embedded in Work Culture.

For the apprentice, the job is not just about undertaking training that will mean a wage and a start in a construction career. The more I learn about how good employers train and mentor, the more I realise that it is so much more: a quality ‘learning based’ apprenticeship serves a very important role in building self-worth and a strong character, which will have a huge impact on what happens to that individual in their future.

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See the Trade in Full Flight in Melbourne

The countdown is on with the final three weeks of bricklaying preparation before the National WorldSkills Australia competition. It takes place at the Melbourne showgrounds between the 6th and 8th of October so if you’re able, get on down for an amazing display of the best talent in Australia, across all the trades.

Many of the bricklaying competitors have been inspired by the events at the recent Olympic Games where there were so many great stories around outstanding achievement, sportsmanship and producing your best when it counts.

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Koli Fisiikaile takes out the Bricklaying CITC Outstanding Apprentice Award

ABBTF congratulates now qualified Koli Fisiikaile, who was the well-deserved winner of the 2016 Outstanding Apprentice in Bricklaying in the ACT for 2016. The announcement was made at the ACT Regional Building and Construction Industry Training Council (CITC), 14th Outstanding Graduating Apprentice and Industry Encouragement Awards. This important annual construction industry award night was held at Thoroughbred Park, Lyneham on Friday 19 August.

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