GROW Good News Story: Apprentice of the Year!

As construction is the third-largest employer in the G21 region, getting the construction industry on board with our GROW program is critical to its success.

Luckily, John Holland Group (who joined GROW in mid-2020) are excellent patrons of GROW and inspired local masonry company, Caruso Bricklaying to jump onboard.

Since becoming a signatory, Caruso Bricklaying has been instrumental in offering pathways to young workers looking to get into the construction industry, have continued their work supporting local social enterprises, and met and worked alongside other like-minded businesses.

Their apprentice, Jaycob, was one of the trainees, cadets, and apprentices who completed a total of 300,000 hours on the new Chisholm Road prison project.

Recently, Jaycob was awarded the Southwest Regional Master Builders’ Apprentice of the Year award.

Roy Caruso, Administration Manager of Caruso Bricklaying said “we’re very proud of Jaycob, he’s worked hard and has come a long way – he is a deserving recipient of the award. The change in him since he started with us in February 2020 is noticeable. He is more confident, has learned so much, and continues to excel in his workmanship as a bricklaying apprentice.”

However, Jaycob’s road to where he is today wasn’t straightforward.

Two years ago, Jaycob was facing significant challenges. He’d become disengaged from school and struggled to visualise a pathway into work.

Luckily, through the Regional Industry Sector Employment (RISE) program run by the City of Greater Geelong, Jaycob gained trade skills and support to complete his Certificate II in Construction Pathways.

Not only has the Chisholm Road prison project gave Jaycob the opportunity to learn while working and earning money, but the experience has also given him a more positive outlook.

“My future feels bright with the people I’ve been working with, and being able to work on this big project,” he says.