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TAFE NSW Miller student Anthony Gargoura has been recognised for his bricklaying skill at the 22nd Masonry Contractors Australia annual Excellence in Brick and Blocklaying Awards.
Mr Gargoura, who completed a Certificate III in Bricklaying/Blocklaying at TAFE NSW Miller, was announced Apprentice of the Year during a formal event at Doltone House in Sydney on Friday 1 November.
The award recognises the best bricklaying apprentices from around Australia. Mr Gargoura, was one of six TAFE NSW students statewide to win the award.
Mr Gargoura said “Once I got over the shock that I had been awarded apprentice of the year I realised what a great feeling it was to be recognised by the industry.
This award shows that all my hard work and time spent mastering my skills at TAFE NSW has really paid off.”
Masonry Contractors Australia President Brendan Coyle said the night recognised the best of the best among bricklaying and blocklaying apprentices.
“This annual award event truly is like the Oscars of bricklaying. It is well-deserved recognition to the next generation of bricklayers,” Mr Coyle said.
“When it comes to the construction industry it’s often the architects and designers of the buildings who get the recognition, but without the knowledge and expertise of the craftsmen those buildings wouldn’t have been created in the first place.”
“For an apprentice bricklayer these awards are a barometer of how their skills and knowledge are developing.”
Mr Coyle said the demand for qualified bricklayers was very strong.
“If I could get 1000 apprentice bricklayers tomorrow, I could find work for them all. We can’t get enough skilled people,” he said.
“It’s an amazing career, you can travel with these skills and the money is very good. I know a 17-year-old apprentice who is earning about $50,000 per year.
TAFE NSW Regional General Manager, Michael Cullen, commended the winners for the commitment and dedication they have shown to their studies.
“It is great to see the hard work of TAFE NSW students being recognised at a national level and it is a testament to the role our teachers play in promoting the pursuit of excellence, which is an important element in achieving these types of results.”
Mr Cullen said awards such as these emphasise the commitment TAFE NSW has to skilling the workforce of the future.
Media contact: Emma Cawley, TAFE NSW Media Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org , 0412 478 415.