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Home Living : May 18th 2010
4 HLW - HOME LIVING: WEST, Tuesday, May 18, 2010 ............................................. HOMELIVING Become a brickie today The Australian Brick & Blocklaying Training Foundation (ABBTF) has endorsed the Housing Industry Association's (HIA) call for young people to take up trade careers. The HIA - Austral Bricks Trades Report for the March quarter 2010 indicates that the headline trade availability index reached its lowest level since September 2008. The HIA's chief economist, Dr Harley Dale, said there was a shortage of labour in 10 out of 13 skilled trades in the March quarter, with the shortage growing in a majority of instances. ABBTF's general manager, Geoff Noble, said the report provided a timely warning to state and federal governments, industry organisations, employers and training organisations that a lot needed to be done to attract young people to trade careers. ''We know from our own experiences and extensive research that the nation's 26,000 bricklayers and blocklayers are an ageing population -24percentareover50and57per cent are over 40,'' he said. 'This is why the ABBTF subsidises the employment of bricklaying apprentices by employers with a subsidy of $6000, which is topped up by a further $4000 from the Federal Government. Some states have further subsidies available. ''We have also introduced a special $2000 bonus for employers in NSW and Queensland who take on a brick- or blocklaying apprentice by June 30, 2010. ''Our subsidies are funded by a levy on bricks and blocks which is matched by the major brick and block manufacturers, so there is a real commitment to recruit more bricklayers. We undertake many promotional activities designed to attract school-leavers to bricklaying and we are having success in many areas,'' he said. Details: 1300 646 696, becomeabricklayer.com.au or Floor plans bigger » ADVERTISING FEATURE Recent Housing Industry Association figures indicate home renovations will increase by seven per cent this year, sparking a renovation boom as the price of Sydney properties soar. The construction industry is also forecasting a 100 per cent increase in the number of residential renovations in Sydney. Australian residential buildings, (including detached houses, flats, units semi-detached houses and townhouses) have increased in size over the past two decades. The average floor area of new residential buildings increased by 37.4% (from 149.7sq m to 205.7sq m) between 1984-1995 and 2002 onwards. Sydney Flooring founder and managing director Bill Durkowyak said they received an increase in inquiries about timber flooring installations for both renovations and new homes, indicating this new trend. ''With flooring areas of Australian homes increasing in size, choosing the correct flooring to suit your home's interior becomes a major consideration," Mr Durkowyak said. ''A common client brief is they want a flooring product that not only looks great, but is durable for the long term and has excellent eco-credentials. Timber flooring meets these criteria. ''Timber is recyclable, carbon positive, sustainable and renewable, making it very eco-friendly, plus when you consider the life of a timber floor can be well over 100 years, it makes timber flooring both a very sustainable and durable choice," he said. Details: sydneyflooring.com.au or 02 9755 1899. 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