Meet Andrew Kirk – Diploma of Building and Construction


Andrew Kirk has been an insurance assessor for over ten years now, twice as long as he ever spent working in a trade. That doesn’t mean that Andrew’s time working as a bricklayer were wasted. He uses his knowledge of building and construction to improve outcomes for his customers.

“We want to help our customers, pay the claim and help our builders to carry out those works.”

“That’s where I’m involved as an ex-building supervisor, to help oversee the building project and make sure that the builder represents us as the insurance company really well.”

As an experienced tradesperson, Andrew knows what to look for when he’s assessing a claim. To make sure he continues to give the best advice and service, Andrew has returned to study a Diploma of Construction at Builders Academy Australia.

diploma of building and construction

Building Knowledge, Brick by Brick

“I was a bricklayer once upon a time,” Andrew says, talking about how he got into his current professional career through a trade. Initially, Andrew wanted to be a carpenter, but he says that a skill shortage meant that the number of pre-application carpenters far outstripped those for bricklaying. “Having known that, I moved into bricklaying,” Andrew says.

“I’m not sure why the trade shortage was,” Andrew says, adding that it might have had something to do with how the trade is perceived.

The conditions that led to a shortage back then might still be at play, with Victoria experiencing its fourth consecutive year of bricklayer shortage.

“Brick laying versus carpentry, there’s maybe not enough awareness about what bricklayers actually do. It’s not just one brick on top of the other, as they say.”

“Maybe there’s not enough promotion of the art of brickwork.”

“The actual concept of brick laying is very three dimensional. And it’s well paying.”

Bricklaying gave Andrew a good start, so he’s glad that he went against the grain and decided to try something different to what most people were doing. This is particularly true because it helped him move into the career where he has been excelling for over ten years.

“I had a good career as a bricklayer and as a building supervisor from there and eventually as an insurance assessor.”

building and construction

An Insure Thing

Andrew likes that his work as an insurance assessor gives him the opportunity to help people.

“I love looking at a different property every day and being customer facing, out on the road. It’s challenging but rewarding. We love seeing people appreciate their homes getting restored.”

“We do malicious damage, storm damage and, quite commonly, escape of liquids, so burst pipes and things like that.”

“Sometimes there’s property damage sustained by floods, for example. The catastrophic events in Queensland, we’ll assist with them and the property repairs to their homes.”

Unfortunately, Andrew says, this idea doesn’t fit with the way some people see insurance. Andrew is hoping to help change that through his dedication to his customers and the builders who work to restore their homes.

“The misconception can be that we’re out there to try and save money and we’re not acting in the best interest of the customer. But we want to help our customers, pay the claim and help our builders to carry out those works.”

Andrew’s experience as a bricklayer and building supervisor help him understand the ins and outs of construction. This can be particularly valuable in his industry, as repair is often not as straight forward as from-the-ground-up construction.

“We’re looking to restore your property after an event. Sometimes with repair it can be a specialist area.”

“It’s not just building a new home from scratch, there’s a lot of other dynamics to it and the builders are quite good at helping us with those issues.”

Andrew wouldn’t be able to do his job to the same standard if he didn’t have those years in a trade under his belt. But, as he’s required to work on complex jobs, Andrew wants to keep growing his knowledge, so that he can maintain and improve his level of service.

diploma of building and construction online

BAA has Andrew Covered

“It really helps to have some previous experience,” but Andrew also says that the Diploma in Construction from BAA has been invaluable. “I took a lot of details that I wouldn’t necessarily know about if I didn’t do the course.”

“I learnt a lot about load bearing principles and commercial construction,” information that Andrew has been able to apply in a practical way with his work. The diploma has also, “been good with project management skills and experience. I’ve learnt these over the years, but the course has just given me sort of a higher understanding of why we do certain things.”

Andrew has a packed schedule because he works full-time, but still prefers the hands-on learning approach that BAA offers and says he, “didn’t want to do an online course.”

“I wanted more classroom structure training. I had tried online before, but had not been committed to that. The classroom environment really helped.”

Andrew says that the teachers at BAA, “had a sense of humour and were really approachable,” which was “very influential” in terms of student attendance.

It also helped that Andrew got the chance to learn things that he was passionate about and interested in, such as an in-depth building plan.

“I learnt a lot about how to start a commercial construction business.”

Andrew will be able to draw on this if he eventually decides to start his own commercial construction business. For now, he is happy with how it has broadened his knowledge, and how it stands to help him make the lives of his customers better.

Anyone who’s thinking about this kind of course should, “Commit to the training,” Andrew says. “Attend, have an open mind and get something out of it.”


Looking to take the next step in your career in building and construction with a certificate or diploma? Contact our team at 1300 LEGEND (1300 534 363) or request a callback and we will get back to you with all the information you need.