by Mbawc

Artisan skills essential for the future


Artisan skills essential for the future
Artisan skills essential for the future

“In the next few years, the country is going to be running out of skilled bricklayers, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, plasterers and even painters. This means that soon our limited building industry skills base is under threat,” says John Matthews, Chairman of the Master Builders Association Educational Trust and Vice President of the Master Builders Association of the Western Cape (MBAWC). “I think that we underestimate the magnitude of the problem, not just in the Western Cape but within the country as a whole.”

To rectify the situation and promote the skilled artisan aspect of the construction industry as a viable career path, the MBAWC has developed a DVD presentation that will be shown at schools around the Western Cape. Children need to know what career opportunities are out there. Without more school leavers entering this sector, it is going to cause a problem. We don’t want to have a lack of these skills in our country as they are vital to our economy,"says Stephen Price, Headmaster of Bergvliet High School.

With the presentation the MBAWC hopes to communicate to youngsters that they don’t necessarily have to go to university in order to enter the employment market – there are other options available. The MBAWC offers an apprenticeship programme at zero cost to the learner, which equips them with the valuable skills they will need to succeed together with an internationally recognised trade certificate. They will also to be able to earn while they learn.

Many of the successful businessmen and women in the construction arena started in the hard skills sector and worked their way up. Furthermore, certain trades such as plumbing, carpentry and joinery, tiling and roofing lend themselves to artisans becoming entrepreneurs. Business has been criticised by the Minister of Higher Education for not participating in skills development and has requested that they partner with government in producing a skilled workforce.   However some 50% of all the training done for the building industry nationwide takes place in the Western Cape with the MBAWC having a proud tradition of producing skilled people who have worked on major projects all over Southern Africa.


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Issue 29


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