Corobrik churns out brick layers

After 10 months of training everyone – even the not so dexterous – can lay bricks!

That assurance comes from Ismail Rothman, Training Co-ordinator at Corobrik’s Building Training  School based at the Corobrik Landsdowne Centre in Cape Town. In the throes of running a training course that is sponsored by the Department of Labour, he is passionate about seeing learners succeed.

For him, it is all about helping people attain the skills they need to earn a living – and ultimately responding to President Jacob Zuma’s call for business, labour and communities to work together to help realize government’sNew Growth Path objective of creating five million jobs by 2020 and bringing South Africa’s unemployment rate down to 15 percent.

“On 23 April, we started a course for the department of Public Works – 25 learners will be trained over four months to level 3 of the NQF certification.  The Department of Public Works sponsors the training – they advertise for candidates, interview applicants to see if they are suitable and then select the people that come on our course,” he explains.

This programme is now in phase 5 of the national youth job creation programme. After completing the first phase of their training, learners go on site to complete the practical segment of the course. Both the Corobrik trainers and the Department of Public Works visit the site to keep an eye on participants. Ultimately, they will draw from this pool of trainees for its projects.

Since he joined Corobrik two years ago, this is just one of eight courses that Rothman has run – and he has many more planned.

These include a basic skills training in bricklaying over a three week period where delegates are taught to lay non face plaster bricks. If learners are experienced or learn quickly, they can then go on to learn how to lay face bricks.

The centre also conducts training courses for companies and recently completed a course for Grinaker. 48 people, divided into groups of 12, were trained and will now gain practical experience on site.

Rothman says that, “detailed records are kept of each student’s progress and relative skills levels this helping with our efforts to find placement for our learners. He adds that learning material provided is based on the length of the prospective skills assessment in a particular course.  After assessment and internal moderation, the learner goes on site for practical training.  “During this practical training, we continue to monitor the progress of our trainees and assist them with any difficulties they encounter and at the end of the six months, we do a final assessment,” he explains.

“Those people with strong technical aptitudes and that show initiative are encouraged to go further with their training.  In fact, Mandla Pambaniso is one such person.  He has gone on and we have helped him to get his NQF4 qualification Rothman adds.

However, not all the Cape Town Building School’s courses are a walk in the park for all! “This year, we hosted 60 first year architectural students from the University of Cape Town.  They came to the school to learn how to lay bricks.  Clearly great design capability does not translate into great bricklaying ability for all, with some students commenting that bricklaying was definitely not as easy as it looked.   They left having learned a great deal and importantly with a whole new respect for bricklayers.”


  • Can you please assist me with some bricklaying training wanna be qualified as a bricklayer artisan. I have completed my N1-N5 still busy with N6 building and construction . your reply will be highly appreciated

  • Im looking to in studying brick layer’s course and im working

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