Why apprentices are choosing bricklaying

At a time when skills shortages are sky high, we wanted to find out the benefits of a bricklaying career and ask apprentices what they enjoyed most about the job.

The House of Commons recently reported that, the number of apprenticeships in the construction industry more than doubled in the period between 2011 and 2020. Encouragingly, this was the largest increase in apprenticeship starts in any sector over the same period. Are more young people looking to get into construction? And, if so, why?

We visited Brookland’s College in Surrey last month, where we spoke to bricklaying apprentices about why they chose to pursue the career and why they like using H+H Celcon Blocks.

College tutor, Derek Cully, told us about the Bricklaying apprenticeship course that Brooklands offer and how it can be a great opportunity for young people. 

“Most of my students who have a job come from their employer to the college and they get a chance to do an apprenticeship. The scheme is one day a week at college with four days a week on site.

“We’ve got a lot of people who are not academics and they come from school to do a bit of brickwork. Some of them are better with their hand skills, so once they do the brickwork and progress through the apprenticeship scheme, they’re earning big money as soon as they complete it.”

Brookland’s bricklaying apprentice Joseph Vaughan said he’s always seen the value of learning practical skills. “The reason I’m training to be a brickie is because, from a young age, I’ve always had an interest in it and thought it was a good skill to know how to do. The best bit about the job is probably being on the trowel and getting to better my skills.”

Apprentice Jacob Edney told us that he likes doing good work for his clients and finds the job rewarding. “The best thing about my job is probably meeting new clients because I do a lot of residential work. We always have nice chats and I like being able to complete work they are happy with. It’s always good to see them when they’re happy.”

When it comes to the benefits of using aircrete while learning and on site, Derek said that H+H Celcon Blocks are “quite light and easy to lay and a lot of students actually enjoy laying blocks more so than bricks.” He continued, “some are better at laying blocks and a lot of them like to stay doing blockwork.”

Jacob added: “My first impression was that they’re nice, easy to use blocks. I use them quite a lot at work, I’m pretty sure I’m using them tomorrow!”

For anyone interested in learning how to build with our Celcon Blocks, visit the H+H YouTube channel to find a range of instructional, how-to videos: https://www.youtube.com/user/hplushuk