The purpose is to ensure there is an adequate and competent bricklaying and blocklaying workforce to support the demand for bricks and blocks as a construction material and improve the standing of bricklayers and blocklayers within the industry.
Skill Shortage in Bricklaying
There is a shortage of skilled bricklayers in Australia. The last census showed that 47% of bricklayers were over the age of 40 and 24% were over the age of 50.
Less than 50% of the trade have a bricklaying qualification.
The numbers of apprentices completing their training and gaining a bricklayer qualification is only half the number required to replace bricklayers retiring or leaving the trade.
This shortage is causing construction delays in housing and the commercial market, reducing quality due to unskilled workers entering the trade and increased bricklaying costs.
ABBTF have implemented the following strategies to address the skill shortage:
- Promotion of the trade and career development through schools, businesses and the community.
- Sponsorship of industry trade awards.
- Direct promotional and resource support for TAFE’s and RTO’s to enhance quality of training.
- Provision of bricklaying Try-a-Trades at various career and community events.
- Provide Step Out Programs to secondary school students.
- Direct employment subsidy to employers for employing an apprentice.
- Group Training Organisation subsidy to host employer for employing an apprentice.
- Support up-skilling in the form of Trade Skills Recognition to gain a qualification in some states.
- Support for apprentices required to travel long distances to attend a TAFE or RTO in some states.
- Free service to the trade in recruiting new apprentices, providing advice to bricklayers and recommencing out-of-trade apprentices.
- Assisting builders, contractors, group training organisations, hosts, direct employers and apprentices in relation to achieving successful apprenticeship employment outcomes.