In times of significant growth in residential building activity, as in Perth recently, keeping up supply of the trades, especially bricklaying is challenging. The demand for bricklayers has been very high and as a result so is the need for additional bricklaying apprentices.
As shown in the statistics, ABBTF has delivered on the challenge: As of June this year, commencements of new bricklaying apprenticeships have increased by 54%, compared to June 2013 (367 vs 239). Compared to June 2012, which was a very difficult year for our trade and industry, 2014 apprenticeship starts actually increased by a whopping 243% (367 vs 107). That’s an additional 260 new pairs of hands on tools and bricks in the last 2 years!
Currently of the approximate 485 bricklaying apprentices in training in WA, as many as two thirds are first year apprentices. This is an unprecedented situation which clearly demonstrates that the ABBTF and industry can rise to the occasion and attract new talent, when it needs.
|The ratio of bricklaying apprentices has also increased this year to be nearly 8 apprentices to every 100 bricklayers compared with June 2009 when it was less than 4 apprentices for every 100 bricklayers.|
The challenge for industry now is to look after and support bricklayers who employ or host bricklaying apprentices (builders inclusive). If we can achieve this now and in the future, one would fairly conclude that employer confidence should remain buoyant. Every opportunity and support should be given to apprentices, including the huge first year cohort, to complete their apprenticeship.
Youth availability and quality does fluctuate. However, our experience has been that there are great people out there of all ages and nationalities that just need encouragement and an opportunity. Success in attracting new apprentices to your business does not come overnight as reputation and representation is the key!
In saying this I would like to thank both Ian Fitzgerald and Kristine North of the ABBTF WA team, for the great job they have done in working with industry, schools and job hunters in recent times to help us capitalise every placement opportunity and lead. Along with the team is the ongoing support given by Austral, Geraldton and Midland Bricks.
Long live the ABBTF!
ABBTF WA Manager