The cream of Australia's young apprentice bricklayers fought it out to determine who is Australia's top bricklayer at the WorldSkills National Competition, which was held at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre from 7th to 9th of May.
Each competing apprentice bricklayer has won the right to represent his region following a series of qualifying rounds of bricklaying ensuring the best bricklayers are competing in Brisbane. The competitors have been undergoing rigorous training under the watchful eyes of their trainers to be at their very best for the national competition.
According to Geoff Noble, general manager of the Australian Brick & Blocklaying Training Foundation (ABBTF), the young bricklayers are like athletes preparing for a national sporting event with a similar focus on intensive training prior to competing.
"There were some nervous bricklayers leading up to the actual competition which was judged by industry trainers. They were marked on an ability to read and interpret a plan, set out and accuracy (line, level & plumb), as well as speed of bricklaying.
"WorldSkills is a wonderful showcase of the bricklaying skills of these young apprentices who represent the future of the industry in Australia. The competition highlights their dedication and commitment to their trade and acts as a benchmark for all bricklayers.
"Through our promotional activities around the nation we are finding a similar commitment among young bricklaying apprentices keen to be the very best in their chosen career and we have discovered many success stories where these people have gone on to higher levels in the construction industry, "said Geoff Noble.
"We strongly support the WorldSkills concept and we have worked closely with bricklaying trainers to assist them in the build up to the national competition. The ABBTF also has two state managers assisting with the organisation and judging of the competition in Brisbane.
The winner of the "Top Gun" speed trial was Lester Tibbles. Lester also went on to win the gold medal in the World Skills National Competition, in the bricklaying category; an outstanding achievement.
"The winner will go on to represent Australia at the International WorldSkills in London in 2011. The previous national champion, Nigel Croke, represented Australia in Calgary, Canada and won a Bronze Medal. Nigel, who now runs his own bricklaying business, will be one of the judges in Brisbane.For more information on the ABBTF’s activities visit www.becomeabricklayer.com.au