Bricklayers should see this change as an opportunity to focus on training their apprentices on all facets of the trade as set out in the training package. The sooner the apprentice gains the necessary skills of bricklaying, the sooner the employer will benefit from improved productivity on the job.
It is important for apprentices to learn labouring skills such as mixing a batch of mortar and loading up the job and also it’s important that the apprentice spends time on the trowel in the first year to learn and improve the hand skills of laying bricks and blocks.
Onsite training by the employer can also be valuable in reducing off-site training. Arrangements can be made with TAFE or other RTO’s for flexible training where the skills gained by the apprentice on the job can be assessed and signed off on the job.
Apprentices who are not trained during their time on the job and are used as cheap labour will be far more costly in the long run than the impact of the new wage increase.
It also worth noting that satisfactory training progress by the apprentice is an important eligibility condition of the ABBTF Brickstart subsidy support for bricklayers.
Results of ABBTF bricklayer surveys show that more than half of employers say they broke-even or made money on apprentices in Year 1 and more employers benefited in Years 2 beyond. The following table illustrates the survey results:
Refer : Barriers & Drivers Report