Building up the skills

There is a job for everybody and apprentice bricklayer Liam Cordang is proof of just that.

Liam, 18, is diagnosed with autism yet that is no barrier in stopping him in accessing work.

A few months ago, with assistance from CVGT, Liam was offered an apprenticeship with third-generation bricklayer and business owner Eugene Ockers.

“I put on another apprentice from CVGT a couple of years ago, who we are really happy with, and that’s why I came back to get Liam as well,” Mr Ockers told The Guardian.

“I think there is a job for everyone out there.”

Since joining Mr Ockers 14 weeks ago, Liam has thoroughly enjoyed his experience.

“It’s an interesting job, I was surprised as I thought there would be more brick layers out there but there’s not,” he said.

“I’m enjoying learning all the new skills, like how bricks are laid in certain ways and getting faster at things.”

Mr Ockers said Liam had learnt a range of skills including how to mix mortar, cut bricks using a brick saw, load bricks and rake joints out.

“He’s just started on the trowel, Liam’s always been really interested and really keen to learn,” Mr Ockers said.

“I enjoy training the apprentices, I’m very fussy and I make sure I take the time to teach them the proper way.”

Mr Ockers said he enjoyed helping people find their calling and encouraged other business to have a similar outlook.

“In the industry, there’s not many people taking on apprentices for brick laying,” he said.

“A lot of people don’t take them on and a lot of people with big crews don’t spend a lot of time with them.

“I like teaching them, so it’s a win-win; and they can always take on other courses in different areas such as scaffolding or scissor lift.”

In order to have Liam ready for his apprenticeship, CVGT business development constant Lycette Silvey assisted with gaining the correct qualifications (a white card) and matching Liam with the suitable employment.

“We put Liam’s resume out to quite few businesses, he was proactive in looking for work, which was really good,” she said.

“Another thing we help with is transportation, that will be our next step so Liam is independent as well.”

Ms Silvey said it was important to highlight that no matter your background, you could always seek employment.

“I think it’s really good that people with disabilities are given the chance,” she said.

“CVGT work really closely with their clients to really understand what their needs and wants are.

“It’s important that we don’t overlook these people — someone on the autism spectrum can be very channelled and very productive.

“We are really keen to match the right jobseeker with the right employer so it’s right for everyone and it’s a success.”

Ms Silvey said CVGT had 60 clients with a disability on the books and 150 non-disability clients, due to COVID-19 looking for work.

“We’re not looking for short-term employment, we are looking for long-term, sustainable and meaningful employment for our seekers,” she said.

If you need support with preparing a resume, and getting ready for a job, call 132 848.

Article by Georgie Morton and is reproduced with permission from The Guardian.

Live Chat