Consider what you enjoy and take a good look at the trades

Work Ready Program Victoria
Candidates at a recent Work Ready Program held at Melbourne Polytechnic.

On March 7, there was a valuable news contribution by journalist for The Australian, Andrew Wallace, on the importance of reaching young people with the message that the Trades are a great career choice for the right person.  Unfortunately the trades are often dismissed outright in the clamor to get a university place.  I’m sharing some of the highlights of Andrew’s article here as it aligns so well to ABBTF’s careers message and just maybe, by shining a light on the topic in this blog I’ll convince you to take another look at our great trade.

Having said this, ABBTF is also reaching out to mature age (as well as youth) candidates interested in bricklayer training, or re-training, exiting from another apprenticeship or university start, which they’ve realised isn’t for them.  Extra years can be a big plus, as you’ve had more time to assess what’s best for you.  Here’s Andrew’s take on the actions we need to get Bricklaying recognised for the great opportunity it is:

“Right now, more than a million Australians are returning to university to continue their studies.  For those in their final year their minds will be turning to some pressing questions: Am I going to get a job? How will I pay back my student debt?  2017 ASG Planning for University Index suggests these questions are only going to become harder to answer, with rising costs over the next 10 years.

We often talk about training Australia’s young people for the jobs of tomorrow, but there are skilled jobs crying out to be filled today.  The Department of Employment creates a skills shortage list every year of jobs where local businesses are finding it hard to recruit skilled people.  (Yes Andrew, but the opportunity is there for mature age candidates as well.)

What you will find on the trades wanted list are bricklayer, welder, chef, carpenter and plaster.  These are the skilled workers that Australia desperately needs today.  Many trades are listed as state wide shortages, meaning that employers are unable to fill or have considerable difficulty filling vacancies. It is a startling fact: in Victoria today, employers are finding it near impossible to find a skilled bricklayer, painter or butcher.

We need to tackle three challenges to deal with this serious shortage and provide a better future for hundreds of thousands of our people

  • First is the perception among some parents, employers and among career aspirants themselves that vocational education is a second class option. The only way to change this perception is by showing off the great role models we have.  Tradies do not tend to make a fuss and they are not known for talking about themselves.  We have to do it for them.  The federal government’s Australian Apprenticeships Ambassadors program is a start, identifying people who have achieved better pay and a more rewarding working life through an apprenticeship.
  • We need to get these ambassadors far more coverage. This is the right answer, but it needs to go much further.
  • We need to get these ambassadors into schools, parents’ groups and youth centres to tell people first-hand about their success.”

Australian Brick & Blocklaying Training Foundation (ABBTF) fully supports the rationale and ideas presented by Andrew Wallace:  ABBTF attends career expos, liaises with teachers, students and parents along with job network agencies and it promotes WorldSkills Australia and Golden Trowel competitions for young apprentices, giving them a chance to show their skills and become role models and ambassadors for other young people.

Make yourself Work Ready and get a bricklaying apprenticeship by attending our 5 day free hands on program.  Successful candidates will be put in touch with employers call 1300 66 44 96 or visit and explore this website.  Bricklaying trade apprenticeship places are available now. 

Read more of Andrew’s article


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Interested in trying Bricklaying? Then please contact us on 1300 66 44 96