Brendan Coyle

NSW Bricklaying TAFEs Select Apprentices of the Year 2017

NSW Bricklaying Apprentices of the Year 2017

The NSW Bricklaying Apprentices of the Year 2017 were announced earlier this month at the Masonry Contractors Australia (MCA) Awards dinner to mark this special event. Individual winners were selected by six of the seven NSW TAFEs and the awards were presented by the MCA and Australian Brick and Blocklayers Training Foundation (ABBTF).


Bathurst Team Wins Golden Trowel Brick and Block Event

Golden Trowel Award 2017 Logo

Last week there was another big competition happening in the Australian Brick and Blocklaying apprenticeship world with the 13th biennial Golden Trowel competition held from 15–17 October at TAFE NSW Nirimba in Western Sydney. For the fourth time in the life of the eleven year event, the winning team was Bathurst.


Fifth Generation Namoi Valley Bricklaying Team on Show to the Nation

Namoi Valley Bricks Logo

Namoi Valley Bricks and its unique coal fired down-draft kilns were recently featured in Channel 7’s Better Homes and Garden’s television series when Australia’s largest agricultural equipment field day event, AgQuip, came to Gunnedah, in NE NSW. Namoi Valley Bricks is one of the nine brick manufacturer brand names that form the Australian Brick and Blocklaying Training Foundation (ABBTF), financially supporting bricklaying apprenticeships in Australia.


Bricklaying helps 457 Visa Holders start a new life

Bricklaying helps 457 Visa Holders

ABBTF and Pivotal Labour Hire & Training have joined forces to provide bricklayer recognition qualifications and awareness training for ten Zimbabwean 457 Visa Bricklayers helping them establish a new life in Sydney. Work has been organized for the group and they start later this week. Each member of the group is on a two-year work Visa with the opportunity to achieve permanent residency on completion.


Beware of the Wind on Brick Walls

Safety First

Tragically last week another death occurred in Sydney with a brick wall collapse, involving strong wind and a second serious accident occurred about 20 km from the first, also related to the weather. It was July last year when again strong winds were involved in the death of another bricklayer. Around the country we always have the potential for severe and erratic weather patterns which can be a real danger to bricklayers and other workers on building sites.


Career Reflections of an Irish Brickie who landed at ABBTF

Career Reflections Brendan Coyle

Our NSW-ACT Regional Manager, Brendan Coyle has an interesting story on his own career path through bricklaying. It’s one chock-full of learnings on navigating a path from successful skilled bricklayer to a Regional Manager at ABBTF, where he’s responsible for reducing the skills shortage of qualified bricklayers in his region.


Quick thinking Apprentice Brickie applies CPR, saving another tradie’s life

Kyuss Smith - Quick thinking Apprentice Brickie

You never know when you’re going to be put to the test: To have to decide to take responsibility and be accountable in an unpredictable but clearly life-endangered situation needing fast action.

As our apprenticeships industry body, ABBTF is very proud of 17 year old, second year bricklaying apprentice Kyuss Smith, of Gary Pollack Bricklaying, Orange NSW, for stepping up and acting when he did on April 21. He saved a life through his quick thinking and speed when another tradie fell down, and as Kyuss explains was ‘fitting and frothing at the mouth and his eyes rolling back in his head’.


Interested in trying Bricklaying? Then please contact us on 1300 30 44 77