Late last year Rod Talbot, owner of Talbot Bricklaying, was in a car accident which put operations of his small business on an unexpected hold. Since recovering however, Talbot has begun to breathe life back into things and realised it was time to hire an extra hand.

For Katrina Curcuruto, the timing was perfect. Curcurato recently completed a Skilling Queenslanders for Work program through BUSY At Work, and contacted Talbot about becoming an apprentice brickie. It was the perfect opportunity to test her new found skills and for Talbot, it was the perfect time to take on someone new.

“Bricklaying wasn’t something I had considered before but when the opportunity to do the course came up I grabbed it,” Curcurato said. ”The course was easier than I thought it would be and I did well in the training. Once the course finished I just got on the phone and started ringing bricklayers in my area. Rod was the first call I made which was pretty lucky! I’m really enjoying the work, I prefer being outdoors than in an office, it suits me perfectly.”

Rod, not having had an apprentice in more than 40 years, had not previously considered the idea. With the help of the Department of Small Business and Training’s support through the Works Start initiative and BUSY At Work’s apprenticeship support team though, Rod signed up Katrina – and he could not be happier! “Katrina is better than any of the blokes I’ve had working for me, she is more reliable and always willing to do whatever work I ask of her, there’s never a drama” Talbot said. “We do a lot of insurance work, fences at the moment but all sorts of small household renovations and things. Katrina is a really decent bricklayer and I’m glad to have her on board”.

BUSY At Work’s Managing Director Paul Miles said the program is a fantastic opportunity for young people looking to enhance their skills. “Katrina’s story is a great example of how having the right skills, at the right time, can increase a job seekers chance of finding employment,” Miles said. “Skilling Queenslanders for Work gives job seekers the opportunity to gain sought-after industry skills that local employers are looking for, as well as incentives for employers to put on the graduating students. We are really happy for Katrina and Rod Talbot and look forward to hearing how Katrina progresses in the building industry.”

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