BRENDAN Duke is building his future, one brick at a time.

The Nudgee College student was taking part in yesterday's Try-a-Trade at CQUniversity's Rockhampton TAFE campus, and had spent the morning learning how to lay bricks.

So far, Brendan said, he enjoyed carpentry the most.

"Today has been very good and enjoyable... I've always been interested in trade work and when I found there was this Try-a-Trade I wanted to have a go," he said.

"I don't want to go to uni and I'm not interested in anything else. I like to work with my hands."

Brendan said a lot of his friends were choosing to go into trade work rather than university.

He commended the university merger with CQ TAFE in making learning transitions easier; a union that was also celebrating its first anniversary yesterday.

Brendan's carpentry teacher for the day, Craig Schelks, said most had learned about the opportunity through Careers Day.

"I think this gives them a chance to have a look at what they're doing, and I try to give them a bit of a story about what the trade has done for me," he said.

"It's a good job, you meet a lot of people and you aren't in the one spot always. There are a lot of avenues you can go down."

Brendan Duke takes advantage of a CQ University program to introduce High School students to trade courses including brick laying. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin
Brendan Duke takes advantage of a CQ University program to introduce High School students to trade courses including brick laying. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin Chris Ison

There are positives for the students too, where they can use what they have learned in the program for their studies.

"We have had a lot do Cert 1 and come back as apprentices... some of those competencies come off their apprenticeships," he said.

"There is good money in trades these days."

In a room full of young men eager to learn a trade, Mr Schelks said he had only seen about two girls come through the program in his seven years teaching.

"The girls are a lot smarter normally; they don't take as much training as such and if they are here, they really want to be here," he said.

"I mean, nothing is 'too heavy' these days, it's all reduced for safety. It would be good to have more girls."

At a glance

Take a look at the career breakdown for bricklayers

Median salary: $51,312

Average rate: $26.79/hr

Workforce gender: 2% female, 98% male

Experience: 29% has 5-9 years experience

Location: Brisbane sits about $8329 above national average

(payscale.com)



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