A Decade of Addressing the Skill Shortage in Bricklaying
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Geoff Noble – General Manager and Jane Alexander – Victorian Manager commenced the scheme in 2003.

In June 2003 the brick and block manufacturers in Victoria implemented a plan to address the skill shortage in bricklaying. The strategy was seen as a success and was then rolled out nationally during 2006 and 2007 with the creation of the Australian Brick & Blocklaying Training Foundation Ltd.

After a decade of hard work, it is evident that the programs implemented by the Victorian and Australian Brick & Blocklaying Training Foundations have made a difference.

Many thousands of school students have enjoyed the hands-on experience of bricklaying through Step Out Programs and Try-a-Trade helping decide their future careers.

Support for pre-entry training, coupled with a strong promotional campaign to raise the image of the trade and the career path available from bricklaying has led to a marked improvement in the quality of young people starting an apprenticeship in bricklaying.

Thousands of bricklayers across Australia have received valuable financial support to employ and train an apprentice in bricklaying. ABBTF has demonstrated the flexibility to introduce programs to overcome barriers to learning the trade such as the mature age allowance, the apprentice regional travel allowance and recognition of prior learning support.

This assistance is not provided by other specific construction trade industry bodies.

Over recent years ABBTF has faced up to the challenges of apprentice attrition and limited apprenticeship employment opportunities in a flat construction industry. It has introduced a more hands-on approach to providing a range of valuable support services to the trade.

While we have seen much progress over the ten years, ABBTF recognises that there is a lot more to do to create a sustainable skilled bricklaying workforce for the future.

Geoff Noble
ABBTF General Manager

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