Two Bathurst apprentices have paved their way to victory and claimed the title as Australia’s best bricklayers, at the coveted Golden Trowel Competition in Sydney this week.

Apprentices Kevin Sawdy and Michael Ingwerson, with the support of TAFE NSW teacher Dooley Thompson, were tasked with building a concrete structure with intricate detailing over the course of the intensive two-day event. They were judged on their precision, craftsmanship and conformity to the design specifications.

“The boys nailed it. They used their time really well, we were the only team to complete the whole task. They were really professional and worked like tradesmen rather than apprentices. I am so proud of them,” Mr Thompson said.

Kevin is employed by Skillset Workforce (hosted by Jim Grives) and Michael is employed by Jamie Stevens. Both men thanked their employers, workplace mentors and TAFE NSW for the opportunities, support and training they have received. “It has been a great experience, and I have learnt a lot”, said Michael, with Kevin adding “If anyone ever gets the chance to do something like this just do it!”

Kevin has been nominated to receive the Apprentice of the Year Award at the Australia Brick & Block Training Foundation awards in Sydney on November 3rd.

Skillset Workforce Senior Manager, Jane McWilliam said “Kevin is an outstanding young apprentice and it is rewarding to see his hard work pay off. The support he receives in the workplace has been critical to his development and none of that would happen without his wonderful host and mentor Jim Grives”

Dudley Salter, General Manager of Bathurst Concrete Products (BCP) who were the major industry sponsor of this event said “By investing in apprentices, we are investing in our future. We are committed to developing the trade so the industry can continue to grow and be strong. These young people are our future”.

The Golden Trowel is hosted by the Concrete Masonry Association of Australia (CMAA) and the Australian Brick and Blocklaying Training Foundation (ABBTF) in collaboration with TAFE NSW.