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WorldSkills Champions Exchange joins BBM legacy

Established in 1925, the Big Brother Movement (BBM) has assisted a wide range of ‘little brothers’ (young UK citizens) in their quest to live and work in Australia, providing them with contact with employers, accommodation and sometimes financial assistance.

Today, BBM has extended their generosity to support UK WorldSkills Competition Champions hoping to gain experience in Australia in conjunction with the WorldSkills Champions Exchange program.

These young WorldSkills mechanics, engineers, hairdressers, IT specialists, plumbers, stonemasons, painters and decorators follow a long line of English journeymen; the first group of more than 200 little brothers sailed from England on the Jervis Bay arrived in Australia back on December 14th, 1925. In the to follow, these young men were trained for farm work at various government run training farms such as Scheyville NSW. The flow of young men first ceased in 1931 due to the depression. In 1939 5 ships completed the journey to Australia however the migration scheme was brought to a halt due to the outbreak of World War 2.

Commencing again in 1947 the Big Brother Movement sponsored over twelve thousand lads to settle in Australia up until 1982. In April 1947 the Movement purchased a 600 acre property known as "Karmsley Hills" at Bossley Park near Liverpool NSW for £15,000 - the farm was dedicated as a memorial to the little brothers who lost their lives in the war. Between 1947 and 1971 nearly 4000 British lads were to pass through this establishment.

By the late 1950s more and more lads were arriving destined for city work rather than farming. The average age of the lads up to the 1960s was 16 years. Later arrivals tended to be up to 20 years old. In 1983 with the termination of the sponsorship scheme the farm was sold and the funds invested.

These funds allowed the BBM to initiate our youth support programmes, providing agricultural college scholarships, helping homeless children, contributions to other youth and child charities plus the BBM awards scheme which allows young Australians funds to visit the UK and enhance their career paths.

BBM is looking forward to applications for UK WorldSkills Champions keen to join part of this wonderful legacy.

Last Updated ( Monday, 24 November 2008 22:02 )
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