NEWS: National – September – 2016

The Countdown to WorldSkills Begins!

WorldSkills Australia 2016

Will the most accomplished Apprentice Bricklayer for 2016 please step forward!

Which monster event soon to hit the halls of the Melbourne Showgrounds will use over 7,500 bricks, 90kg of chocolate, 3,250 stems of flowers and foliage and 8 tonnes of steel, amongst other materials?

Yes it’s the 18th National WorldSkills Australia, featuring 60 skills competitions, an in-house career expo and a range of fun and interactive Try’aSkill activities. The competition will take over 25,000sqm of floor space (equivalent to the MCG) from October 6-8. Those lucky enough to attend will witness the absolute best of the country’s apprentices in action and at their peak!

Our most skilful bricklayers, selected from Regional WorldSkills competitions conducted over the past year or so across the nation, will be demonstrating their knowledge, skill and aptitude and vying for the honour of being named the champion apprentice bricklayers for 2016: Gold, Silver and Bronze medals will be awarded to the most accomplished, following judging by an experienced team of experts led by Troy Everett, International Chief Expert – WorldSkills Australia. All participants are to be soundly congratulated for participating in their Regional events and in reaching the national finals. Win or not, it’s a mighty and an enjoyable experience that will benefit all competitors in times to come, for having taken part and done their best on the day.

Our 12 bricklaying competitors are required to build a detailed brickwork design with an AFL inspired theme. They must construct the projects according to plans and specifications, and the judges will assess dimensions, level, alignment, angles and detail.

In wishing the contenders well Troy Everett said “Many of our competitors have been inspired by the events at the recent Olympic Games where there were so many great stories around outstanding achievement, sportsmanship and producing your best when it counts. I would like to wish each of them all the very best and I am looking forward to seeing you all in action at the big event where the bricklaying competition is not only our ultimate apprenticeship skills test but a great spectacle for all”.


Representing their Regions, in chronological order of the regions, are:

WorldSkills Australia 2016: Arron Ladlow

Representing Tasmania


Arron Ladlow BricklayerMy name is Arron Ladlow and I’m a third year apprentice brickie currently working for All Brick Tasmania in Mornington, Hobart. I always wanted to become a bricklayer because it’s a great trade with lots of variety. I’m an active guy and I love to work outdoors. I went in WorldSkills to improve my skills and test myself and I am absolutely stoked I will be representing Tasmania in the national competition. I have a 3 year old son who is my pride and joy, and hopefully he will look back when he is older and be proud of my achievements.

I did my training at TasTafe in Hobart and have also trained there for the competition. My employer, Colin Barratt has a large business and has been represented by his apprentices at National WorldSkills several times, most recently by one of his sons Paul Barratt. In 2012 another brother, Matthew won the Bronze Medal in the National event. I saw what the past three consecutive All Brick bricklaying competitors got out of it and, loving a challenge, I want to push myself and see what I can achieve.

I’m feeling the nerves leading up to the competition but have been training so I can be the best I can be on the days of competition.

View All WorldSkills 2016 Competitors

WorldSkills Australia 2016: Nikolas Foster

Representing South West WA


Nikolas Foster BricklayerI am a 20 year old, 2nd year bricklaying apprentice from Wokalup, near Bunbury, in Perth’s South West.

After completing work experience through school and once I had graduated, I decided to enrol into a pre-apprenticeship bricklaying course at South Regional TAFE, Bunbury. Once I successfully completed my pre-apprenticeship course, I obtained an apprenticeship with ABN Training, at Dale Alcock Homes South West.

One of the main reasons I decided to do bricklaying, was because I love the challenge of constructing new homes and knowing that it will stand for many years to come. I currently have 17 months left until I finish my apprenticeship. When completed, I would like to run my own business and train my own apprentices. I enjoy playing football, being outdoors and working on my car.

Five months into my apprenticeship, ABN Training asked me if I would like to compete at the regional WorldSkills Australia competition. I am pleased I did as I won the Gold medal for Perth – South West. I have since been training for the national competition at the South Regional TAFE, with TAFE lecturer Mark Baker and going up to Perth, to train with the other WA competitors.

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WorldSkills Australia 2016: Ethan Warner

Representing Perth South


Ethan Warner BricklayerI am 20 years old and in the third year of my bricklaying apprenticeship. I chose bricklaying as a career because my father is a bricklayer and I followed him into the trade, just like he did – my grandfather was also a bricklayer in Perth.

I enjoy the hands-on, practical aspect of the job and working outdoors. I started out doing a couple of months’ labouring and then joined my dad and began my apprenticeship at South Metropolitan TAFE, firstly with HIA where my dad is a subcontractor, but I am now directly indentured to him.

I have been training pretty hard for the competition up at South Metropolitan TAFE with the other WA competitors Conrad and Nikolas. We also got a chance to build the project at the recent Skills West Expo, which was good experience for the Nationals. I feel pretty good about the work I have been doing and am fairly confident that I am across the main technical aspects of the design. The challenge will be getting the timing right and watching the accuracy.

I don’t really do much sport – I find bricklaying keeps me pretty fit and a sports injury can mean I have to miss work, so nowadays my main hobby is working on my car.

View All WorldSkills 2016 Competitors