Finding an Apprentice

There are a number of ways you can find a good quality apprentice bricklayer trainee but by far the one way guaranteed to give you the best outcome is one where the candidate is pre-screened and is alert to what is expected on the job. There’s no question that you want the best apprentice you can get: A person who suits your team, who’s enthusiastic, listens well, has good hand-eye co-ordination, consistent work habits, and is punctual and respectful. ABBTF highly recommends some basic exposure to bricklaying before the start, otherwise you risk a departure in a matter of weeks, due to a complete misunderstanding of what’s entailed. That’s where ‘Work Ready’ comes in, a program operating in Vic, NSW and Qld.

Work Ready Program:

The free, Work Ready Program (WRP) allows students and young job seekers to evaluate bricklaying in an intensive one week workshop, funded and organised by ABBTF. WRP is conducted in a TAFE or an on-site learning environment and is generally repeated on a regular basis in both metropolitan and regional centres, according to local demand for apprentices, as identified by ABBTF. The course is advertised through ABBTF’s social media pages, secondary schools, newsletters, Seek, Gumtree and many other mediums.

The Benefits to the Employer:

There are many advantages of WRP for the employer. Because it puts the job role in perspective for the applicant it gives you, as employer, a better informed apprentice. Having completed WRP, participants are more level-headed about the role, the responsibilities of a job and about the opportunities available to them upon completion of the apprenticeship. Experience has proven that on average, the WRP produces a far stronger candidate and is more likely to produce a quality bricklayer than other methods of recruitment. Specifically:
  1. You save time dealing with interviewing and the uncertainties – we handle it.
  2. It’s an opportunity to familiarise students with a bricklaying learning environment, eliminating some of the risk of early resignation or release.
  3. Students are fully supervised by qualified bricklaying trainers as they learn about the trade with hands-on classes.
  4. They mingle with students from other schools or other job seekers of various ages and, where possible, will have exposure to second and third year apprentices in a structured, trade industry learning setting.

What’s included in a Work Ready Program?

While the program varies slightly in each State the objective is the same: to give you, the employer or host, the best apprentice candidate available and the one likely to give you the best return on your investment in training. Note that WRP does not deliver any competencies against the Bricklayer Certificate III; it makes the person Work Ready. The areas of subject matter are:
  • Use a mixer
  • Have a go at basic bricklaying
  • Make batches
  • Site safety (not white card in Victoria)
  • What the tools are
  • Basic employability and commmunication skills
On successfully finishing the WRP, candidates are matched with the employer’s identified needs, with ABBTF assistance, using information about training location needs, suitability to large or small teams, work travel needs and so on. A pleasing result of the regional WRP workshops is the opportunity to help offer local candidates jobs and apprenticeships within a reasonable distance of their home.

Other Methods of Recruitment:

There are several other ways to source apprentices, depending on your circumstances:
  • Local Schools – Approach Career Teachers about
    • Students who want to leave in Years 11 or 12, if currently doing VET or trade based subjects or ask about signing on a school-based apprentice
    • Taster or Step Out Program participants showing interest
    • Consider offering work experience and develop a standing relationship with the school.
  • Word-of-mouth – Ask around the trade; let others know you’re looking to sign on an apprentice.
  • Pre-Apprenticeship Courses are run by TAFE and RTO’s to recruit students. Find out when the courses are run and during the courses, investigate which students show potential.
  • TAFE Colleges or RTO Students on the move – A current apprentice who has split up from his boss and looking to recommence with another employer – provides access to history on abilities and progress made in the apprenticeship.
  • Employment Agencies – Candidates may be more mature, have had previous work experience and be more work-ready.
  • Advertise for Free on Australian Job Search and Gumtree
  • Advertise on Career One and
Call ABBTF on 1300 30 44 77 – We recommend your first call is the Work Ready Program. It screens and evaluates individuals to deliver you the strongest candidate possible.