Brian Munns


Tis the Season to be Training … ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪

As the year draws to a close, there is no doubt that 2015 has seen some of the best building and construction figures in recent years in Queensland and all forecasters are predicting this level to be maintained for the next few years.

ABBTF supports these forecasts and has been busy sourcing candidates for our Work Ready Programs (WRP). Our WRP’s are a great way for a candidate to gain knowledge on what it takes to be an apprentice in the Brick and Blocklaying industry. Similar Work Ready programs are held by ABBTF around Australia.

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A Positive Attitude, Self-Reliance and the Bricklaying Certificate allowed Ricky Ellis to Overcome the Odds

Earlier this year I was very fortunate to meet Ricky Ellis, when notifying him of his win of Become-a-Bricklayer’s 10,000th ‘Like’ Facebook competition.

His is a really inspiring story about a brickie who had, and still has, the odds stacked against him. He’s got his own way of expressing his journey to his very successfully current life, making it sound easy! But I’ll let him tell the story. I found myself wondering, could I have achieved this if I was in his shoes, see what you think?

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Meet Qld ABBTF Team, Face to Face this Expo Season

It’s that time of the year, May and June not only see’s the end of autumn and the beginning of winter, it also heralds the start of a very busy period for the ABBTF Qld team. It’s known as Expo Season to us. Most people don’t know that ABBTF and our partners conduct expos displays from Weipa in the North West Cape, all the way down to Lismore in northern New South Wales.

This is a massive area to cover and where we can ABBTF aims to conduct a “Try-a-Trade” with bricks and mortar, giving you a hands-on taste of bricklaying. However, due to size of the various venues and the logistics this is not always possible.

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How Far Would You Go For An Apprenticeship?

Back in late September 2014 ABBTF Queensland ran another successful bricklaying work ready course in the Toowoomba region for the local bricklayers seeking a suitable apprentice.

Before the program began we had an enquiry from a young guy living in Longreach. When I spoke with him regarding the location of the course and the area where the opportunities were he said “I’ll be there”.

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Meet Our Very Experienced Queensland Field Rep

Our Queensland Field Representative, Brian Munns, has been a bricklayer for 25 years, starting in the United Kingdom and migrating to Australia in 2006.

Brian had a successful bricklaying business as a host employer in both the UK and here in Queensland, taking on a number of apprentices before making the move into the training industry.

Brian brings a wealth of experience to ABBTF – a bricklayer who has worked overseas, an employer of apprentices and a qualified trainer.

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ABBTF Parents Know How Good a Trade it is!

If ever there was a testament to how good the bricklaying trade is, in terms of opening doors and building a career – this is it! Currently three ABBTF team members have encouraged their sons’ interest in starting an apprenticeship in bricklaying. It’s no mean feat from a small organisation like ABBTF to produce three new apprentices from its own families – they’re certainly doing their bit to improve apprentice numbers but most importantly they want opportunities for their children that will see them advance in a skilled area while also enjoying life and they can see clearly that bricklaying is a sound choice.

The three new apprentices in the last 12 months are Charlie, son of Brian Munns, ABBTF Qld Field Rep, Mitchell, son of David Gill, former ABBTF NSW Manager (now Bricklayer Training Aust [BTA] General Manager) and Daniel, son of Sue Johnsen, Personal Assistant to ABBTF CEO in Victoria.

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A Bricklaying Apprentice – I Didn’t See This Coming!

When my son Charlie left school in December 2013 to become an apprentice landscaper I gave him my full support. Charlie had worked onsite with me occasionally when I was bricklaying, during school holidays to earn a little cash. He always remarked though, that he didn’t want to follow in my footsteps as a bricklayer. “I’m going to be a carpenter or landscaper where I can build with timber and use power tools” he said.

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Pre-Trade Course Paves the Way for Ryan Hague

Ryan Hague is a young man from Maryborough who recently completed the three week Pre-Trade bricklaying course at Salisbury’s Construction Training Centre. The short course was run by ABBTF’s Queensland team with the aim of giving potential apprentices some hands-on training in basic bricklaying prior to being placed with employers.

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QLD Try-A-Trade Student Wins ABBTF’s 2013 Competition

The Try-A-Trade schools program run by ABBTF around the country was the trigger for Tre Lyell-Bevan entering and ultimately winning the 2013 “Shout Your Mates” national competition.
The ‘Become a Bricklayer’ comp, pitched to students, was a game of chance – so Tre’s was the first entry drawn, nationally winning him a mighty $1000 worth of Concert and Sports event gift vouchers of his choosing for 2014. The comp helps ABBTF promote the ‘Become a Bricklayer’ website to students.

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