To tackle any skills shortages in the sector, construction industry body Master Builders Association (MBA) North offers intermediary services to con- nect its members’ employees with appren- ticeships and learnerships relevant to the industry.
MBA North education, training and transformation manager Deon Landmann tells Engineering News that the association also provides its members with an education, training and transformation service. “When our members need to train their employees in, for example, health and safety, and bricklaying, they contact us. MBA North then connects the members with training service providers, while negotiating special prices for them.”
Landmann says the association can accommodate any company in the construction industry that requires education and training services, “from your top-listed organisations to small companies with five staff members”.
“The services include assisting employees in acquiring hard skills, such as bricklaying and plumbing, as well as soft skills, such as writing a business plan, business communication skills and using Microsoft application programmes such as Microsoft Outlook,” he adds.
MBA North provides services for members in the North West, Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga. “To be accepted as a member, a company has to be in good standing. This means it has to be registered for tax purposes; its books and finances need to be in order; it must have proper contracts with its employees; and it has to adhere to our working standards, which include work ethics and quality work standards. Therefore, we do background checks on a company before we accept it as a member,” Landmann explains.
He notes that, before a member is connected with a training provider, MBA North ensures that the training provider is legitimate and accredited for the courses that it will present to the member’s employees.
Landmann says MBA North deals with tertiary educational institutions such as the University of Pretoria and the University of Johannesburg, Tshwane University of Technology and the University of the Witwatersrand.
The association also deals with private and public further education and training (FET) colleges, such as Tjeka Training Matters, Sparrow FET College, Tshwane South FET College and Ekhurhuleni East FET College.
In addition to using external training providers, MBA North also presents training seminars at its premises in Midrand, Johan- nesburg. “The seminars cover only soft skills, such as courses on black economic-empower- ment codes and transformation, health and safety, and first aid. Sometimes, we send personnel . . . to a client company to conduct the training there if there is an adequate number of people requiring training.
“However, we never present courses on hard skills on our premises, as we do not have the facilities to do so. Training in hard skills is done on site at the premises of the external training provider,” concludes Landmann.