I finished my apprenticeship a couple of years ago. I am 22 years old. I live in Hobart and attended TAFE Tasmania, Clarence Campus, Warrane. I work in our family business Allbrick Bricklaying, for my father, Colin Barratt. The business is large, with 35 employees. I have four brothers, three of whom, with me, are bricklayers with Allbrick and one is an apprentice carpenter. We tell him he wasn’t good enough to be a bricklayer!
I’m very excited about reaching the National WorldSkills. There’s a strong tradition in our business to participate at WorldSkills and this year at the Regionals seven of the eight competitors were from Allbrick. We believe it’s good for our business reputation to compete and do well. I’m preparing my training at my old TAFE, getting insights from the Project we were given, and I’m practicing onsite every day, helped by heaps of encouragement and training from workmates. My brother Ben won the Silver Medal at the Nationals in 2010, so I’m very keen to do well for the business and myself.
I was borne into bricklaying really, with all the family involvement but originally I did want to be an architect. I’m lucky to have had a lot of guidance from family and other employees throughout my apprenticeship. There’s a really good spirit onsite, and it’s probably what I like best about the work. The large crew and the atmosphere make’s it great. My hero though would be my dad. He developed this successful business, now with 35 employees. He still works in the business, mainly supervising, but isn’t on the trowel now. I admire his achievements and would like to be as successful as him, maybe running the business one day.
ABBTF Note: Also involved in the National competition from Tasmania, will be Paul McKay the bricklaying trainer from Skills Institute, who has been invited to join the judging panel for this major bricklaying event. Paul was the driving force behind the Regional competition at the Clarence Campus Warrane of Skills Institute late last year and will be judging at a national level for the first time.