NEWS: NSW – June – 2014

A Call for Bricklayers to Act Now on Skills Shortage


A message from Laurie Cosentino, Housing Manager of Wisdom Homes

“I’ve been fortunate to see our industry move from tough times to the recently reported market recovery that the building sector has long been awaiting.  As we move towards these market improvements our industry will almost certainly experience a shortage of qualified skilled workers.

You only need to speak with some of my industry peers to hear the same sentiment, “How are we going to meet the industry’s need for qualified skilled workers?” The issue is real, and the outcome of not addressing the problem will be detrimental to the industry and future potential home owners.

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About Face or 50 Shades of Grey

pic01Clay brick manufacturing is as old as European settlement in this country.  With the first fleet, in 1788 was a master brick maker and brick manufacturing equipment as part of its convict ‘crew’ and cargo.

In todays market bricks fall into two primary categories: Face & Commons.

The term “face brick” originated from some of the first constructions by the early colonial settlers of Australia.  In old Sydney town an individual trying to establish his new dwelling would have the front walls of his house constructed in Sandstone (at a considerable cost) and the side, load bearing and back walls built of common bricks (which came in a variety of colours dependent on their height location in the firing kilns).  Later on in history as brick manufacturing became more sophisticated, Face bricks of a consistent colour or colours throughout a production batch became available.

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Cap-tivating Block Work from a Clever Bricklayer

blockwork1 Although the practice of laying bricks, blocks and stone may be thousands of years old, we are always pleasantly surprised and enthusiastically curious when a new innovation presents itself.

A newly renovated house in a Sydney beachside suburb is an excellent example where you could be forgiven for thinking the finishes you are looking at are a stacked stone façade product, but that is not the case.

The photos reveal front garage, rear steps and BBQ area and front fence with planter boxes and mail box. Closer inspection shows that the project you are looking at has been laid from plain grey block caps, which are usually used to cap off the top of a grey block wall to give a job a uniform finish.

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