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Why 44-year-old Bec went back to bricklaying

Bec Wilding is proving that no wall is too high for a career in Bricklaying. The 44-year-old started studying in 2023 and hasn’t looked back. 

No wall is too high for Bec Wilding. The 44-year-old is loving bricklaying after undertaking a Certificate III in Bricklaying and Blocklaying in November 2023.

Bec is part of a growing number of women taking up a qualification in building trades, with women making up 6.5 per cent of the Federation TAFE cohort learning a trade in 2023.

This is an increase of 5.8 per cent from 2022.

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Bec cemented her interest in tradie life after working with her husband – also a bricklayer – for the past three years. After years of working with the business, doing bookwork and with the onset of the Covid restrictions, Bec decided that she wanted to work onsite and become fully qualified.

“Once life started to get back to normal after covid, I jokingly said to hubby, ‘oh you’re finally to sign me up for an apprenticeship’,” Bec said.

Already a qualified Construction Manager, she’s definitely not one to shy away from hard work.

“If the mixer isn’t turning, we aren’t earning,” Bec said.

“I come from a farming background. I’ve been in different jobs, but nothing felt as comfortable as this. Now I don’t get up and think ‘I have to go to work’, I think ‘I have found my niche in life’.”

Brick by brick

Being a mature aged student has been a real benefit for motivation to study.

“With my son starting high school, I am at a point in my life where I have more freedom to do what I like,” Bec said.
“I am very family orientated, so I want a job that will give me the work/home balance so I can be there for my son.

“I have the best support network, my mum gets my son to school, my sister taught my son through remote learning for me, my husband helps at home, if I didn’t have that I don’t know how it would be.”

“Supporting women into trades is what we aim to do across the board in a wide range of industries. Bec is the perfect example of how someone can take up a new trade while managing life’s many other responsibilities,” Federation University centre, centre for service industries, and the built environment head Sharyn Wright said.

“Federation TAFE hopes to lead the way for people of all genders to have equity when accessing education or employment.”

Federation TAFE offers a number of different courses in Building and Construction, some of which are available through the Victorian Government’s Fee-Free TAFE program. For more information visit here.

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