Q&A with Nicholas Allen
2nd Year Apprentice with employer Bradley Wakefield Bricklaying!
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your story and what made you get into bricklaying?
A: “I started as a tennis coach. At tennis, I met Bradley Wakefield (current employer) and gave bricklaying a go. I started working with Brad and signed up into an apprenticeship at the age of 17 (2 years back)”.
Q: What do you enjoy most about bricklaying as a job?
A: “Working with the team, boss makes it enjoyable.”
Nick thrives off hard work and being able to see the results of the work each day from start to finish.
Q: What’s your plan going forward once you complete your apprenticeship?
A: “To continue with Brad (Bradley Wakefield Bricklaying) for a few more years to get myself some more experience. Eventually I want to branch off to start my own business and take on some apprentices one day”.
Q: In the time that you have been an apprentice, what has been your biggest achievement or favourite project that you have worked on?
A: “Biggest achievement was being able to do the stairs at home for mum that saved her $14,000. Nothing was more rewarding then being able to use the skills I have learnt to help my mum out massively by saving her money.”
Nick did this project with his grandad, and really enjoyed working with him.
Q: What advice would you give students or school leavers looking at getting into a bricklaying apprenticeship?
A: “GO FOR IT!!! Don’t sit back and think about it – just give it a go. At the same time you got to be dedicated and willing to work hard but seeing the end result makes it all worth it.”
Q: Tell us a bit about your family as we heard you have 4 generations of bricklayers?
A: My dad, grandfather and great grandfather were all bricklayers! My grandad was bricklaying for 60 years and went into building from there as well. My great grandfather had his own business as a bricklayer, where my grandad started his trade with his dad and passed down his knowledge from there. My grandparents are originally from England, they started the business in England and then moved to Australia and continued the legacy here.
Q: Tell us more about your grandad’s career as a bricklayer? Does he still love bricklaying?
A: He started learning with his dad who had his own bricklaying business in England, then my grandad (Ken Spicer) moved to Australia and started his own business here and began also building houses and everything in which he got the skills to be able to do this just from understanding the bricklaying trade.
We asked Nick’s grandfather about bricklaying and he says that if he could (as he is 88) he would get back into it and pick up the trowel and start laying bricks it is his passion and he would be happy doing it till the day he dies which is why he enjoyed getting in and getting dirty to help Nick complete the project at Nick’s mother’s house, his age was not stopping him getting in and laying bricks again.
Thinking of becoming a bricklayer? Or maybe you’re just interested in finding out if it’s the right job for you. Get in touch with us and find out more info. https://www.brickandblock.org.au/contact-us/