A Well-Deserved, Outstanding Apprentice: Nicholas Coci

Nic Coci On Site - with caption - final

Much has been written about 18 year old ABN Bricklaying apprentice Nicholas Coci’s accomplishments in 2014.

Some of these outstanding results include his impressive performance at the WorldSkills Australia national bricklaying competition this year where he was placed third and won the ABBTF “Gun Trowel” trophy, plus winning the WA ABBTF best direct indenture bricklaying apprentice and Best MBA and ABN overall apprentice for 2014 – to name but a few successes!

Nic Coci Gun Trowel - with caption - final

However, what is life really like on site like for this young man and how have these experiences impacted on him as an individual?

Yesterday, both Eddie Campbell, Polytechnic West lecturer/WorldSkills Australia judge and I managed to catch up with both Nic and his host employer, Pat Riley on a Celebration Homes site (part of the ABN Group) in the northern suburbs of Perth.

The site was immaculately clean, not a tool or building material out of place. The brickwork was naturally of a high quality and whilst they where using face bricks, not a single brick required cleaning.

Material wastage was almost non-existent, minimising landfill disposal costs for the builder – a hot topic right now with the levy rate rise in January. This was definitely a happy and productive site as was obvious in the respect Pat and Nic have for each other.

Nic Coci Bronze Medal - with caption - finalNic was still on a high reminiscing on his participation in the 2014 national WorldSkills Australia event, the people that helped him along the way, the apprentices he met from other states, the attention that came his way and the personal development he enjoyed – all of which was an extension and added bonus to his apprenticeship training.

He is deeply appreciative of the people that have taken an interest in him as an individual, not only as a WorldSkills Australia participant but also as an apprentice. Nic comes from a hard working family and as such has always had a great work ethic and positive attitude. Every time I come in contact with this lad he has a smile on his face. Whilst he came under a ‘little’ pressure at WorldSkills Australia, he never got down or appeared to loose direction!

One thing we did not expect to hear from Pat is that customers of the builder, Celebration Homes, were actually asking for Nic to do the brickwork on their home as they’d heard or read so much about this remarkable young man!

It must be said of course that Pat Riley has built a powerful reputation for fine brickwork and as such has secured contracts off his own bat for years, but to have an apprentice that is also being requested on the job, through his involvement in WorldSkills Australia and his awards, is absolutely remarkable.

There is no doubt that with Nic’s energy, drive and passion and the strong commitment from his employer Pat Riley, he will go a long way. He’ll be a person to look out for in our industry as a quality performer and hopefully an industry leader and mentor himself one day.

Well done Nic, you certainly have a very bright future!


Dean Pearson
ABBTF WA Manager


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