WA breaks down building barriers with free bricklaying program

Jarrod Brown
By Jarrod Brown
4 Min Read

A free government pre-employment program has helped hundreds of job seekers break into sorely needed bricklaying jobs.

Part of the WA’s Fee-Free training initiative, the Bricklaying Job Ready program delivers short and sharp training for job seekers and young people, enabling them to upskill or reskill in industries requiring skilled workers.

Program participants complete the Work Safety in Construction short course skill set at TAFE, which teaches work safety practices, learn how to use a range of construction equipment and tools, and become certified in basic bricklaying for new and existing structures, including residential homes, units and apartments.

After completing the course, participants can transition into employment, undertake an apprenticeship with a participating employer or further their training.

Of the more than 2,530 participants who have commenced Job Ready programs, 1,125 participants have already secured employment in the industry or gone on to further training, adding to the pipeline of skilled workers needed across a range of essential sectors. 

More than 440 of commencements were in the Bricklaying Job Ready program.

Housing Minister John Carey said the free Bricklaying program is a “fantastic example” of how the Cook Government is committed to boosting the state’s dwindling housing supply. 

“We’ll continue to use every lever we can to get more homes built to ease pressure on the housing market,” said Minister Carey.

Burns Beach MLA Mark Folkard said it was “great to see” free programs filling the in-demand jobs that would get homes built in the booming northern suburbs. 

“With Perth’s northern corridor forecast to be in the top areas for population growth, the Bricklaying Job Ready program here in Clarkson is helping to meet the local demand for workers,” said Mr Folkard.

Breaking down workplace barriers 

At the core of the Job Ready programs sits the mission to combat inequalities in the construction industry and empower underrepresented workers. 

Programs specifically incentivise First Nations people, young people, people looking for work or receiving income support, unpaid carers, people with disability, and women facing economic insecurity to access affordable training and break into the workforce. 

To date, nearly 32 per cent of Job Ready participants are women, 29 per cent are aged under 25, 19 per cent are Aboriginal people, and 25 per cent undertook the training in regional WA.

Training Minister Simone McGurk said these Job Ready programs are fast, free entry-level courses that enable students to overcome barriers and gain the skills they need to enter the workforce. 

“The program includes additional wraparound support and on-the-job training, which has led to some fantastic outcomes for participants and employers – particularly in areas like bricklaying where we know there is a strong demand for workers.

“Developing our building and construction workforce is an absolute priority for this Government – so we can get boots on the ground and people into their homes faster.

“It has been great to hear first-hand from participants about their experiences, especially how fee free courses have supported them to overcome barriers to training – and to land jobs.”

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Jarrod Brown combines his background in journalism, copywriting and digital marketing with a lifelong passion for storytelling. He has a strong passion for new and emerging consumer technology within the building sector. He lives on the Sunshine Coast - usually found glued to the deck of a surfboard.