The Coffs Harbour TAFE Bricklaying class celebrates the Golden Trowel title win by teacher Paul Venn and travelling New England students Dwayne Potter and Ian Cutmore. Classmates (l-r) Matt Balshaw, Brad Nicoll, Duncan Ritchie, Sean McGrath, Jake Wiseby and Byron Smith.
The Coffs Harbour TAFE Bricklaying class celebrates the Golden Trowel title win by teacher Paul Venn and travelling New England students Dwayne Potter and Ian Cutmore. Classmates (l-r) Matt Balshaw, Brad Nicoll, Duncan Ritchie, Sean McGrath, Jake Wiseby and Byron Smith. TREVOR VEALE

Brickies win Golden Trowel

BRICKLAYERS learning their trade in Coffs Harbour are as good as gold.

Two brickies at the local North Coast TAFE campus have won the trophy that top apprentices paved their careers around - the Golden Trowel.

It's the second time in eight years apprentices studying at the Coffs Harbour workshop have taken out the national competition.

Third year apprentice Dwayne Potter, who hails from Tenterfield, and second year brickie Ian Cutmore of Inverell, represented the Coffs campus at the biennial national competition in Newcastle this week.

"The Golden Trowel is a real test of skill, planning and teamwork and the boys got the job done," bricklaying teacher Paul Venn said.

"It's a highly sought after title, one-and-a-half days of competition where 12 teams are marked on a range of tasks.

"This year saw the apprentices build a wall out of masonry concrete bricks with a wheel arch."

Campus manager Paul Taylor said the Coffs Harbour workshop joins the Orange TAFE College as the only campuses in Australia to have won the Golden Trowel title more than once.

"It's a big achievement when you consider there are 35 apprentice bricklayers here at the Coffs Harbour campus and they are competing against campuses from South Australia with up to 100 apprentices to select a team from," Mr Taylor said.



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