FEMALE BRICKIES

10 Mar 2005, 05:50:12 PM

Reporter: Andrea Burns

There is a class of women in Perth proving that one of the last bastions of blokedom, has been invaded.

Leanne has previously worked as a bar maid and a house maid but at 28, she believes she's ready made for a future as a brickie.

Carla and Roxy are both 17 and are currently taking part in a three-week course which will give them the brick-laying basics, but more importantly, they will also leave with a job.

But the booming building industry is having trouble keeping up. According to builder Dale Alcock with delays of materials and shortage of labour, the industry has to address their training in new and innovative ways. And including women is part of the programme.

Gemma Blakemore's traded in teaching studies for a trade. She completed the Silver Trowell three week course and got an apprenticeship with Matt Shaw. She's just one of three women in his four person crew

Jess Falkiner is another woman in Matt's team - she says she has copped some flack from older blokes.

"They just think that girls can't lay bricks and they don't know anything about it and I'm going to prove them wrong," she said

These women will leave the course with jobs paying up to five hundred dollars a week - not bad when many of them were on the dole just last week.

In the future they could be earning as much as $100,000 a year.

The Silver Trowell Bricklaying School in Canningvale can be contacted by calling 9356 6133.