NEWS: VIC – May – 2013

The Making of a Master Tradesperson

Bradley Lawson, Winner of Holmesglen TAFE’s Outstanding Apprentice Student Award – all Trades 2012 and consecutive winner of 1st year, 2nd year & best overall Bricklaying Apprentice Award. Also Bradley recently won the Master Builders Association Victorian Bricklaying Apprentice of the Year Award.

Dedication to precision and an acute eye for detail are just some of the qualities of Holmesglen’s 2012 Outstanding Apprentice Award winner, and soon-to-be qualified bricklayer, Bradley Lawson.

Annually, Holmesglen TAFE selects from across its entire student base (1,100 in 2012), one student from the total 15 trades, to be awarded its Outstanding Apprentice Award. At the 16th Annual Awards Festival Dinner at the Park Hyatt on 22 March 2013 Bradley Lawson’s award was announced to a large audience of training, industry and the guests of award category winners.

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A Gentleman of the Trade – A Tribute to the life of Brian Sampson

Brian-Sampson-IMG_2711It’s a cold, wet Monday morning, winter 1987. I had signed up to do two weeks work experience with a family friend, Brian Sampson, who was a bricklayer.

My dream was to become a carpenter but with no work experience available in that trade, Brian suggested I come along with him to get a feel for all the trades that work on the building site.

Sounded like a plan to me.

By the end of my first week I was hooked. The way everything was completed by the brickies by hand and with hand tools only. The way Brian and his apprentices worked the mud, flicking it around with such precision. The fact that by day’s end I could stand back and admire what had been achieved that day. Gone were my Chippy aspirations.

Two weeks in, Brian asked whether I would consider doing an apprenticeship under his guidance. This was a difficult decision for him given I was the son of a family friend. What if all went pear shaped and we fell out?

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Stars in the Making


“Many young people throughout the state are currently participating in a bricklaying pre-apprenticeship course, pre-vocational or school based programs with a view to gaining a bricklaying apprenticeship and a career in the construction industry.”

It is great to see so many opportunities now exist for students to trial bricklaying. The outcome is going to be better prepared students and therefore, a higher retention rate through the first crucial year of the apprenticeship.

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