Irwil Adonis, Gabaitsiwe Medupe and Arthur Mills were three unskilled South Africans before embarking on the Master Builders Association of the Western Cape cadet programme. Today, they each hold high-ranking positions within well-renowned construction companies in the Western Cape.
Adonis and Mills both recall seeing a newspaper advertisement by chance back in 2007 for the Certificate in Construction Supervision Course being launched by the MBAWC in response to the shortage of skilled supervisors on construction sites. As both men had a passion for construction, they eagerly decided to enrol.
Medupe, on the other hand, shares that she had actually wanted to study biomedical technology, but that course was full and so she switched to building and civil engineering. After failing one of her subjects, she was told about the MBAWC’s offering. “I think it was fate,” she says. “My passion and love for construction grew as I continued with the training.”
Equivalent to a diploma
Dubbed the cadet programme, the Certificate in Construction Supervision Course enables participants to attain a NQF Level 4 qualification - equivalent to a diploma from a university of technology - whilst earning a monthly stipend. During their training, students are exposed to all facets of the building industry including carpentry, plumbing, plastering, as well as health and safety. They are also provided with practical experience through employment with MBAWC member companies.
Medupe and Adonis were placed with Pinelands Development Company, while GVK Siya-Zama took on Mills. All three are still working for these companies today, with Medupe serving as HSE (Health, Safety and Environmental) site administrator, Adonis as general foreman and Mills as senior foreman.
Mills shares that the training he received not only increased his overall knowledge of the construction industry, but boosted his self-confidence. Adonis adds that it was always his dream to become a site manager one day and that this course helped make it possible. “I hope the MBAWC will carry on providing this programme and continue making a difference in the lives of other young people.”
“We are very proud to have been a part of laying the foundations for Irwil, Gabby and Arthur’s futures. Since this original crew of cadets graduated, over 30 others have undergone the course and are on the road to achieving similar success. We look forward to helping the next group of cadets change their lives,” says MBAWC group skills facilitator Tony Keal.