NSW


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’.

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NSW Bricklaying Industry Helps Middle Eastern Refugees Start a New Life in Australia

Key players in the bricklaying industry in NSW have recently joined forces to provide bricklayer apprenticeship training for Middle-Eastern refugees to help them start a new life in Sydney. The program is a united effort from ABBTF the bricklaying apprenticeships peak body, together with Australia’s largest brick maker Austral Bricks and Settlement Services International (SSI), a not-for-profit humanitarian organisation helping refugees resettle in Australia.

The focus of the project is ABBTF’s introductory training course in bricklaying, known as the Work Ready Program (WRP) which in this case was held at Granville TAFE in the heart of western Sydney. Importantly, by helping prospective apprentices to be ‘work-ready’ before they start the Apprenticeship, it is also helping to introduce candidates who are a good fit for bricklaying.

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Boom Time. Tower Cranes Cloak Sydney’s Skyline

To say there is very high demand for Bricklayers in the NSW market would be the understatement of the year; just look at the number of tower cranes working in Sydney at the moment (approximately 300 in the greater Sydney area). I have been in the construction industry in Sydney for over 30 years and the last time I saw it this busy was in 2000 before the GST increase and the Sydney Olympics. Reversing a long term trend, bricks are now making a huge comeback in high rise buildings and numerous buildings are all face brick in over 20 story constructions.

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Brickies Deal with Sorrow, Doing What They Do Best

A terrible car accident on April 23, the ANZAC Day weekend, sadly killed a 17 year old apprentice bricklayer, Ethan Hertslet and two of his friends who were returning home after the long weekend away.

Ethan lived in the regional town of Orange in NSW where the devastation of this loss left people heartbroken. He was an apprentice bricklayer employed by local bricklayer Gary Pollack and was a very popular young person at work and amongst his peers around Orange, Gilgandra, Brewarrina and elsewhere.

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The Young Wise Owl Should Buy a Trowel

We’ve banged on a bit about trowel time lately and how a poor apprentice will leave the excellent trade of bricklaying simply because his boss is not giving him time on a trowel. But is it always the boss’s fault?

If you want to get more trowel time at work, you’ll need to take the bull by the horn, so to speak.

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A Life Changing Success in Bricklaying

Aziz Muradi is a great example of grabbing opportunities in both hands in achieving a start in an apprenticeship in bricklaying in the ACT.

Aziz is a 19 year old refugee from Afghanistan who fled his war torn country in a boat in 2012. His experience in bricklaying started when he laid his first brick during an ABBTF Step Out Program.

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Geometry, Physics and Commercial Nous – Ingredients for a Bricklayer

It’s fair to say that many bricklayers get a bum rap from people who don’t understand the skills and knowledge that go into being a first rate bricklayer. For generations, bricklayers have variously been accused of being without the skill level required of other trades. If you’ve spent some time on a building site you have probably heard someone say “Don’t ask me I’m just the dumb brickie?” which is the way some bricklayers side-step an argument. As we all know, it takes a long time and much repetition, to undo this kind of self-deprecation.

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