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School Based Bricklaying Apprentice – Employers Wanted


Last year Bricklaying at Nirimba TAFE College, Quakers Hill, ran a number of successful Youth Engagement Strategy (YES) Programs in Bricklaying.  These Programs allow Years 10 and 11 high school students to attend TAFE one day per week to practise bricklaying, paving and concreting.  They are also introduced to a representative from Brick and Block Careers, at least one employer and Apprentices who have completed their TAFE Course.  We have also been able to arrange work experience for those interested.

Some students have indicated they would like to become School Based Apprentices (SBA) in Bricklaying.  To proceed with this next step, we need employers who are prepared to give them the opportunity to be employed as a School Based Apprentice.  Their average age is around 16 years, they have their WhiteCard and PPE.

Employers interested in employing them as School Based Bricklaying Apprentices can employ them directly or they can be employed through a group scheme such as Master Builders Group Training.

What is a School Based Bricklaying Apprentice?

  • School Based Apprentices work one day a week on-site, attend off-site training one day per week while attending school three days per week.
  • They must complete a minimum of 144 days of work on site by the end of Year 12.
  • They are able to work weekends and during their school holidays.
  • This Program forms part of their pattern of study for the HSC.
  • At the end of Year 12 they continue their Apprenticeship as a full-time 2nd Year Apprentice with their current employer.
  • The School Based Apprentice wage scales and conditions are based on a standard 4 Year Apprenticeship with 12 months progression for each 2 years that is School Based.
  • Current base hourly rates for 1st Year School Based Apprentice Bricklayers, including industry allowance and tool allowance, are $14.22 per hour plus $3.81 per day travel.  “Fair Work 23/02/23”.
  • Off-site training is paid at 25% of normal hours worked – Schedule C Building and Construction General On-Site Award – verify through Fair Work Ombudsman.

Note:  Advice related to hourly rates, allowances, payment for off-site training and other relevant information is based on information available from the Fair Work Pay and Conditions Tool the Building and Construction General On-Site Award  &  Schedule C –of the Award – School Based Apprentices  – 23/02/2023.

Further detailed information is available through the NSW Education website page “About SBATS” About SBATs ( You can also contact NSW School Based Apprentice Advisors through Contact SBAT team (

All care has been taken to represent information related to School Based Apprentices as accurately as possible.  It is recommended that further review and advice be taken to verify this information.

What are the advantages of employing a School Based Apprentice Bricklayer?

  • School Based Apprentices together with their parents, schools and employers make an informed decision to commit to the success of the Apprenticeship.
  • School Based Apprentices can work weekends and during school holidays as a planned extra set of hands.
  • School Based Apprentices can work well with a growing business.
  • A School Based Apprentice can fill the gap while a traditional Apprentice is undertaking off-site training.
  • School Based Apprentices complete Year 12 with well-developed skills in Bricklaying and with advanced standing in the Certificate III in Bricklaying/Blocklaying, ready to work as a full-time Apprentice on-site, for up to another 3 years.
  • A rewarding investment for the employer and the Apprentices with long term benefits for both and for the industry generally.

There are presently six young high school students interested in taking up a School Based Apprenticeship in Bricklaying. They are aged from 15 to 17 years of age. Two have no work experience or training in Bricklaying and are in Year 10 seeking an opportunity through work experience.  The other four aged 16-17, have 2 weeks work experience in Residential Bricklaying and have completed a short 40 hour YES Plus program in Bricklaying and are currently in Year 11.

Amongst these six students are two young women with work experience and training in Bricklaying. All of these students will use public transport and can access the main train line from Penrith to Sydney.

All six are good candidates for a position as an Apprentice Bricklayer.

Commencing in March this year, Nirimba TAFE Bricklaying will deliver more short courses in Bricklaying for high school students from Blacktown to Penrith.  We will need employers willing to provide work experience with the option that these young men and women may become School Based Bricklaying Apprentices.

Please advise if you would like further information and thanks for your time.


Patrick Aiken

Teacher of Bricklaying – Building Finishes – Nirimba

(Bricklaying, Roof Tiling, Concreting & Cleaning )

M 0414 800 188