The construction industry’s New Year resolution for 2020 should be to budget for staff training to gain a competitive edge when work volumes increase again, John Roxburgh, senior lecturer at The Concrete Institute’s School of Concrete Technology (SCT), has urged.
Roxburgh says the volatility of the South African construction industry is virtually unmatched with slumps and booms always the norm. “Right now, the industry is decidedly struggling with work scarce and many experienced employees being retrenched to make ends meet. The School of Concrete Technology firmly believes that employers should use this situation to their advantage and use 2020’s lean order book times to upskill staff in concrete technology.
“Concrete work on site is usually a major cost component in building contracts. With trained staff – competent in all relevant aspects of concrete practice – contracts could be carried out more economically and quickly with fewer costly site errors and necessity for repairs and damage to reputations. There is no doubt that trained staff give construction companies the edge – and 2020 promises to separate the men from the boys when it comes to competition,” Roxburgh states.
He says small builders and emerging contractors should also note that without substantial concrete technology competency there is very little chance of their companies performing to specifications and establishing a sound business foundation. “Spending money now on training by the School of Concrete Technology – South Africa’s oldest and internationally respected training institute – is an investment in the future of any company.”
Roxburgh adds: “Although there is a severe slump in the construction industry, this should not deter those seeking a career in concrete technology as there are still many key opportunities available. South Africa urgently requires competent concrete practitioners and sales specialists in admixtures, construction chemicals, ready mix concrete, precast concrete, concrete repairs, cement production, aggregate production, testing laboratories and mining sector, to name just a few potential careers.
“The SCT has structured a progression of course levels that will allow prospective students to join at a level that matches their personal competency. There can be no short cuts to becoming a good concrete technology practitioner and the School has all the educational requirements to help trainees meet their specific goals.”
The SCT 2020 education programme, containing full details of courses planned for Midrand, Cape Town and Durban, is now available and can be obtained by visiting the website www.theconcreteinstitute.org.za or phoning 011 315 0300.