ABBTF annually receives thousands of expressions of interest and applications to start a bricklaying apprenticeship. The variety of people and range of abilities is immense. However, we find that the two qualities that stand out with successful candidates are a good attitude and the attendance rate.
Your Attitude speaks heaps about you: It’s often clear as early as in the initial phone call, or in the quality of the application, the face-to-face experience or commitment to the training to be done, or the job itself. Sadly, many young people lack the necessary motivation and enthusiasm to succeed and they need help.
There is also a respect and willingness to listen that sometimes needs to be learned. Poor attitude may be due to ambivalence towards the trade or a lack of positive influences in a life, be it friends or family. A negative or a winning attitude comes through very clearly, and needs thinking about before you have the first conversations about an apprenticeship.
When we strike a great attitude – it is something to be admired and fostered! You might be surprised to hear, but a positive attitude often comes from a person with a disadvantaged background, who has been surrounded by negativity and has had to work hard mentally, to overcome barriers in getting started. We have seen many such young people enter the trade and go on to rewarding careers in the construction industry. ABBTF plays an important role in supporting, mentoring and hopefully inspiring young people to change their attitude and outlook, in the interests of forging a path towards a qualified trade career and long term success. What Makes a Good Bricklayer you ask?
Attendance is a very important quality for the bricklaying trade. Young people often underrate the importance of being early, let alone on time, every day. Poor attendance is a trait that can carry over from personal life, but in a working situation it’s too important to be casual about – it can mean keeping a job and not letting down the team.
A major difficulty for young people can be the lack of reliable public transport options. We have seen, however, young people go to great lengths to plan their travel to compensate for this problem. In the bricklaying trade ‘time is money’ and it is essential for all the team to be ready to start at the right time in the morning. There is always set-up work to be done before a brick or block is laid, so a good start is important. This concept is sometimes hard to grasp coming from a school environment. It is often said in the trades, if you are not 10 minutes early – you are late.
ABBTF closely examines all potential apprentices looking for the signs of what will make a successful, qualified bricklayer. If we see the right attitude and the discipline to be on time, then the rest can be taught. It is pleasing to say that in the last ten years ABBTF has seen many young people with these qualities, who have become successful qualified bricklayers and business owners.