In the international bricklaying competition in Leipzig Germany last year a new standard in quality and accuracy of brickwork was set. This was despite assigned Projects the projects becoming more complex and tougher to complete in the allotted 22 hour timeframe. The winning project (from the UK) gained a score of 89.4% which is by far the highest winning score in any former international events.
The main reason behind the outstanding work and scores is that countries are investing more resources to support the mastery of the skills required to do well in WorldSkills competitions. Countries are utilising their involvement to not only do well in the competition but also raise the standard of skills in their respective countries. It’s quite exciting.
In order to ensure that Australia remains in the highest echelon of the competition, the ABBTF has developed a “World Class Bricklaying Scholarship” which is aimed at optimising the opportunity for the young bricklayer selected in the Australian team to compete in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 2015. Having this opportunity in the first place tends to be a life changing experience for the competitor but this scholarship will make it even more life changing.
The targeted areas of the scheme are:
- To release the competitor from his employer to engage in elite training. This has been difficult to manage in the past and can impact on the bricklaying employer, especially if he runs a small gang.
- Contact with the training Expert (if based in different states).
- Sourcing bricks which are exactly the same size as the international host nation. Australia has a unique brick size compared to the rest of the world so this tends to be an issue when trying to construct projects exactly as per plan for the international competition.
- Engagement in other high level competitions, possibly back to back, to develop competition skills in unfamiliar environments utilising different materials, all under the added challenges of language barriers and crowd distraction.
- Support with the non- “tool in hand” aspects such as mental preparation, dietary advice and public speaking training (as there are many ambassadorial obligations).
Thank you sincerely to ABBTF for working with WorldSkills Australia to develop this scholarship. It will have a great bearing on Australia’s performance in the international competition and also provide a great added incentive for all the young bricklayers looking to do well in the national competition in Perth this September.
WorldSkills International Chief Expert – Bricklaying