The US Masonry Skills Challenge
We’re delighted that one of our own ABBTF team members, Qld State Manager Tony Bishop, has been appointed to judge the USA’s annual apprentice bricklaying championships on 3 February.
The US Masonry Skills Challenge is a competition run by the Masonry Contractors Association of America (MCAA) for masonry (bricklaying) apprentices in first, second and third year skill levels. The contest is a showcase for skills training in the industry, challenging winning apprentices from regional US and some foreign competitors, to determine the top masonry apprentice at each level. The exciting competition spotlights the industry’s finest young masons, just as WorldSkills Australia and the Golden Trowel competitions do in Australia to promote the trade as a career choice.
Each level of competition is given an unseen project, appropriate to their level of training. They can’t consult their instructor, employer or anyone else during the three hours they have to complete the project. It’s a true test of skill and very similar to our WorldSkills Australia competition testing.
Judge Tony Bishop
Tony Bishop has been invited to be a judge and to be part of the commentary team at the 2016 Masonry Skills Challenge in Las Vegas. With 32 years in this industry, he is in a great position to assess bricklaying/blocklaying skills development.
The event is being held as part of the ‘Masonry Madness’ industry event at this year’s World of Concrete and Masonry (see promotional video). Tony has been a judge at WorldSkills Australia both regionally and nationally since 1999 as well as judging the ABBTF – sponsored Golden Trowel over many years. He is also not only the sole Indigenous judge of bricklaying in Australia but he will be the first Australian judge for the US Masonry Skills Challenge. Well done Tony, we’re looking forward to a blog here from you on your experiences on your return!
In addition to his role as State Manager of Qld for ABBTF, Tony is part of a group consisting of members from the Masonry Contractors Australia, whose mission it is to strengthen ties between the Australian and American industry bodies and to seek out exciting opportunities for our apprentices and tradespeople.