The important role Australian Apprentices play on The Block

Monday, March 24, 2014

By Scott Cam

I am in the lucky position to witness first-hand the trials and tribulations that the couples go through each week on The Block.

Brad and Dale, Alisa and Lysandra, Steve and Chantelle and Kyal and Kara are up against it every week as they try and deliver a more spectacular room with less money and a looming deadline.

It is a credit to them all that they deliver outstanding renovations, week in, week out.

But I’ll let you in on a little secret.

They get more than just a little help from the future of our great nation, Australian Apprentices.

Australian Apprentices have played a crucial role for the couples during The Block.

They carry out work for the contestants with apprentice carpenters, plumbers, electricians and cabinet makers among the many tradespeople involved.

Something that impresses me is the quality of Australian Apprentices on The Block.

The Australian Apprentices are highly-skilled, hard-working, motivated and great problem solvers, something that has been valuable for the couples and indicates that our future is in good hands.

I am sure it warmed your hearts, like it did mine, to see The Block’s first female carpenter Megan Ronaldson appear this season.

Let me tell you, Megan is more than capable and her carpentry skills are high quality –proving that being a tradie is not just a man’s game.

Another great story has been 22-year-old carpenter James Vea.

James was born deaf, but has not let that stop him as he pursued his aim of becoming a chippie.

Watching how James communicates with his boss via their own form of sign-language has been a great learning process for The Block family.

James is on the cusp of finishing his Australian Apprenticeship and plans to be his own boss in the future.

He is an inspiration and shows that if you are willing to work hard, you can achieve your dreams.

It was about a year ago when I had the pleasure of meeting some of my fellow Australian Apprenticeships Ambassadors, and some WorldSkills Australia representatives for an apprentice challenge on The Block: Sky High.

While it was great to see ambassador Paul Tran helping his team to win the challenge in that episode, most of the WorldSkills Australia superstars soon found themselves in Germany competing against the world’s best at the 2013 WorldSkills International Competition.

These opportunities are something I could only dream of when I was an apprentice carpenter.

Completing an Australian Apprenticeship was one of the best things I ever did, but imagine working a few days of your apprenticeship on The Block and answering to Keith the Foreman.

Talk about pressure!

We are nearing the business end of The Block: Fans v Faves and I still can not pick a winner.

One thing is certain.

There will be plenty more drama as the couples fight it out to be crowned champions of The Block: Fans v Faves.

On ya, Scotty.

Read Chirpiest of all chippys: Scott Cam

Scott Cam is one of Australia’s most loved television personalities and is an Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador. The Block: Fans v Faves is broadcast on Channel Nine at 7.30pm on weekdays and 6.30pm on Sundays.

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