The Master Builders Association of the Western Cape (MBAWC) will once again be offering potential candidates in the region to attain a nationally recognised qualification for free, as well as gain employment and earn while they learn.
From February 2019, for the 11th year in a row, the organisation will be offering the opportunity to obtain a Certificate in Construction Supervision. This is open to those who have passed grade 12, with maths as a subject, as well as to those who have not achieved this academic level but who will undergo psychometric tests to prove their suitability for the course. Dubbed The Cadet Programme, the four-year course - approved by the South African Qualifications Authority - will result in a National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Level 4 qualification (equivalent to the old construction diploma from a technikon).
Practical experience through employment
During the initial three months of their first year, students are exposed to all facets of the building industry, including carpentry, plumbing, plastering as well as health and safety. They are given practical experience through employment with MBAWC member companies for the nine months that follow.
Over the remaining three years, they undergo two months of theoretical training at a technical institution and are employed by different member companies each year. At the end of the fourth year, if they have completed all of their modules and projects, they receive their certificate and can become construction foremen or further their studies in order to progress up the career ladder. Throughout the four years, the students receive a monthly stipend.
Gabaitsiwe Medupe, who was one of the first participants in the programme and is today a construction manager and safety officer at Pinelands Development Company, shares that she has benefited enormously from the experience. “I learnt so much - from managing a site, to my managing time. I learnt everything about the industry including how to manage materials and labour, how to build a house, the tendering process and the legal requirements that one must follow for compliance.”
Another former Cadet, Sandiso Mgali, who completed his training in 2017 and is now employed by TGP Construction as a junior site manager, says: “My professional career took off as soon as I joined this programme and it is still going places. I learnt everything that I needed to know about construction like bricklaying, plastering and carpentry, through to more managerial-level stuff. The list is endless, but I can tell you now that every module we did during our time in the programme has proven helpful in my career journey to date.”
Many benefits to enrolling
He encourages everyone who has the necessary qualifications to enrol in the programme saying: “Firstly, the MBAWC gives you a lifetime qualification for free. Secondly, you not only get free, quality education, but you get paid to go to school and learn. Thirdly, you are connected with relevant construction companies, which is something you can’t do on your own. Lastly, I was able to have long chats with the organisers about everything and anything that I happened to need advice on - that's the extra mile that they go to provide assistance to their cadets. There are a million more reasons why people should enrol.”
“We have a proud tradition of producing skilled and semi-skilled people like Gabaitsiwe and Sandiso who have worked on major projects all over Southern Africa and invite more to take part in our training to lay the foundations for their futures,” concludes MBAWC group skills facilitator Tony Keal.