With the increase in building activity and the forecast of further increase in Building and Construction, ABBTF is calling on Government to fund a greater number of pre-employment courses to meet the growing needs of a booming building industry and strong demand for bricklayers.
Post-GFC and during the massive downturn in activity, the Government quite rightly reduced funding to these courses due to a lower level of vacancies. However, now is the time to get on the front foot and address the growing need for apprentices to join the bricklaying trade. Not only bricklayers, but other trades like carpenters and plumbers are also saying it’s getting harder and harder to source quality tradesmen and as a result it’s delaying build times.
In many regions, builders are telling us they are struggling to find bricklayers. Importantly, they’re asking for candidates to have a level of pre-trade skills to allow for a faster, smoother and more cohesive transition into the trade. To achieve this, ABBTF encourages the Government to consult with industry as to what is needed rather than just go with the heavily theoretical pre-trade courses that are on offer.
I’ve been talking with many employers in Queensland who say they would prefer more practical hand skills rather than theoretical knowledge at the point of entry to the trade. One contractor said “It’s no good knowing the theory if they don’t even know if they like working in the game”. I’m hearing this type of sentiment more and more.
While ABBTF does programs like Try-a-Trade and Step-Out, we don’t deliver certified training – that is left up to the RTO’s. We support funding for these organisations to run more Pre-Apprenticieshp and Pre-Vocational Courses.
As part of its role to reduce the skills shortage in bricklaying, ABBTF is further developing its working relationship with Government on this issue and would welcome the opportunity to also work more other industry bodies to meet this growing need.
ABBTF QLD Manager