Building on Success @ WorldSkills

Nigel Croke, a high achieving NSW hockey player, chose bricklaying for a successful career path. The hot shot brickie looks towards WorldSkills in Calgary during 2009 for the ultimate chance to compete and be the best.

About Bricklaying At WorldSkills:

The bricklayers have three days of competition in which they work from plans and specifications to make a ‘city skyline’ decorative work, a square column and other brick structures.

Other skills they employ over the competition:

• seal foundations with damp-resistant materials

• spread layers of mortar to serve as a base and binder for bricks

• use various tools and brick-cutting machines to cut and shape bricks

• lay bricks or blocks in rows, designs or shapes

• construct arches and ornamental brickwork

• repair and maintain clay bricks, cement blocks/bricks and related structures

This year ‘sustainability’ has been introduced to the competition to encourage environmentally-friendly trades. Recycling materials, correct disposal of waste products, segregating waste into bins for easy processing, recycling and reducing water usage and reducing sand and cement ratios.

About Nigel:

Nigel is 21 years old and became a bricklayer when his uncle lined him up for some part time work with a local builder. The next year he started his bricklaying apprenticeship at TAFE. In 2007 he won the prestigious ‘Golden Trowel’ bricklaying competition for second and third year apprentices. He was awarded lots of tools from ‘Access’ and gained a heap of confidence in his trade.

Nigel loves the physical and outdoor side of being a brickie, he says, “I will definitely stick with being a bricklayer, it’s a good trade and good money.” Going in competitions is really good for Nigel’s future career because he develops and learns different skills, meets lots of people and finds contacts for getting jobs further down the track.


VJ Thomas Greader