Female bricklayers are playing a major role in the construction of the Australian Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand where Aussie WorldSkills Australia success story Matt Cheso and two other South Australians are leading the build.
Bouygues Thai-VSL Australia, the contractor for the project currently employs over 600 construction workers, with almost half the workforce being women. Rather than simply being involved in lighter tasks, women are firmly embedded in the construction process, from steel fixing, scaffold assembly, concreting and form working.
The Thai construction industry has little experience with face brickwork and a significant feature of the new Embassy is its curvaceous, five level brick façade. (See design image below.)
South Australian bricklayer Matt Cheso is supervising and along with two other South Australian bricklayers, they are training and supervising the Thai local workers.
More than half of the team are women and Matt believes that they are the superior bricklayers, so much so in fact that he entrusts each of the building’s complex curves (evident in the design mock-up of the finished building image here in the blog) to one woman! Need some local inspiration?
He attributes the women’s skills both to a great attention to detail and a willingness to learn from the young Australians. Given the language and cultural barriers that both the Thais and Australians encounter every day, finding ways to successfully communicate has been essential, to the great work that is being produced.
Matt is the most recent National WorldSkills Australia Silver Medallist and jumped at the chance to be involved in such an outstanding brick project. He has done a great job and has been running the bricklaying team for many months. He is very impressed by the skills of the local female workers. (The next National WorldSkills Australia competition takes place in Melbourne starting October 6!)
We would hope to see more women in Australia take up the trade to demonstrate the same skills being seen at the Embassy and have been promoting Females in Bricklaying over the past six months Young Women. Join the Trade! View Tori Lea’s Video.
Contractors looking to start a female apprentice bricklayer in Australia have an additional incentive from ABBTF with $2,000 payable on the completion of first year.
Contact ABBTF on 1300 66 44 96 for further information.