Meet Blake Tolley – Cert IV in Building and Construction (Building)


Blake Tolley got into carpentry with the dream of building his own house.

“My uncle is a builder and has this huge house overlooking the Murray River back home. I always thought to myself that I wanted to have something like that, so I started working for him.”

In January, Blake will have been a carpenter for 10 years. By then he will also hold his Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building) from Builders Academy.

For Blake, signing up to do his Cert IV was a no brainer. If you’re a chippy with dreams of one day building your own home, you should read on to find out why!

certificate building and construction

Working Towards the Australian Dream

Blake was inspired to get into carpentry by his uncle Neil, who built his own home overlooking the Murray River.

“He would have had his business up and going by then, so he would have had people working for him, and other tradies kicking around. Still did most of it by himself.”

Blake’s vision is a throwback to the classic Australian Dream, of hardworking tradies rolling up their sleeves to build a place to call home. To realise his dream, Blake realised he needed to make some big changes.

“I grew up in a little country town called Robinvale, which is about 5 hours from Melbourne. There wasn’t a huge amount of work going on out there, so I thought I’d move to the big smoke.”

“I did my four-year apprenticeship then moved on.”

Blake’s currently working as a subcontractor, but has recognised that he can achieve his goals faster by starting his own business. However, Blake knows that before he starts to grow his business, it’s a good idea for him to get new knowledge and the right skills.

building and construction

On his way to becoming his own boss

“I like the idea of making money for myself and not for someone else.”

Blake realises that there are a new set of challenges for business owners that he doesn’t face as a subcontractor. Luckily, Blake knows that getting his Certificate IV can help prepare him for this next stage in his career.

“We’re learning about the Building Codes of Australia and how to navigate through that.”

“You’ve got to make sure you’re on top of it all. You learn bits and pieces doing your Cert II and III, but Cert IV is where you learn most of it.”

Mostly, he thinks it’s helped him brush up on stuff that he mostly knows and says it helps to make him feel more confident making decisions.

“Being able to recognise what you need, like what timber to use or being able to go through a span table and look at that. Little bits and pieces that you probably should know, but that a lot of people don’t have 100 per cent grasp of. That’s where the course has been good. It clarifies a lot of stuff that you think you know.”

The environment at Builders Academy is making it easier for Blake to learn. He says that a class full of quality people and a good instructor makes it.

“Always a good atmosphere.”

“When things had to be done, the teacher made sure we got it done. But he also makes the class enjoyable with his endless supply of horrible jokes as well.”

diploma building and construction

That fact that Builders Academy is run by people who have worked in trades and understand what it’s like, means that it’s the perfect environment for any tradie who wants to take the next step in their career.

“I think if you enjoy the people you’re working with, work’s pretty easy.”

“It’s worth it. It might seem a bit daunting but it’s a lot of fun. Some hard work, obviously, but it’s going to further your career in the industry.”

“But it also looks pretty good on a resume as well,” Blake adds, recognising that until he bites the bullet and starts his own business, it’s going to be way easier for him to find more subcontracting work with his Certificate IV.

Blake’s definitely excited about the idea of becoming his own boss. Even though he really “enjoys being hands on with the work”, there are some things he won’t miss doing when he’s the boss.

“Not a massive fan of concreting. It’s hard work, but someone’s gotta do it. I’d just prefer it not to be me,” he says and laughs.

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 call back and we will get back to you with all the information you need.