http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 13.80Change: -0.12
R/$ = 11.06Change: -0.09
Au 1167.10 $/ozChange: -11.95
Pt 1201.50 $/ozChange: -9.00
 
 
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?








Start
 
End
 
 
And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
 
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Contact Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Jul 20, 2012

Project house tackles skills shortage, prepares for growth

Back
Construction|Engineering|SANTIAGO|Africa|Copper|Design|Exploration|Ghana|PROJECT|Project Management|Projects|System|Systems|TWP|TWP Projects|Africa|South America|Australia|Chile|Ghana|India|Mozambique|Peru|South Africa|University Of Pretoria|Building|Mining|Services|Software Packages|Specialised Software Packages|Systems|Pieter Louw|Project-tracking Technology|Wi-Fi System
Construction|Engineering||Africa|Copper|Design|Exploration|Ghana|PROJECT|Project Management|Projects|System|Systems|TWP||Africa||Ghana|||Building|Mining|Services|Systems||
construction|engineering|santiago|africa-company|copper|design|exploration|ghana-company|project|project-management|projects|system|systems-company|twp|twp-projects|africa|south-america|australia-country|chile|ghana|india|mozambique|peru|south-africa|university-of-pretoria-facility|building|mining|services|software-packages|specialised-software-packages|systems|pieter-louw|project-tracking-technology|wi-fi-system
© Reuse this



Engineering, procurement and construction management company TWP Projects, part of the Basil Read group, established a planning school this month as part of its efforts to mitigate the shortage of skilled project managers and engineers in South Africa.

“The upskilling of people in this industry is a challenge. It is, however, a challenge to which we are able to react,” TWP Projects project delivery officer Pieter Louw tells Engineering News.

He points out that often, when looking for a project planner, companies find people who are able to use only project planning software and lack other planning skills, such as leadership, experience, industry knowledge and people skills.

TWP Projects has selected six trainees from applications it received from university graduates, other companies’ employees and matric pupils for enrolment at the planning school.

“We looked for logical thinkers with the ability to understand the technical complexity of planning projects.

“We have completed the development of the curriculum,” reports Louw.

The trainees will learn about the planning process and how to use the planning software used by TWP Projects correctly.

The company uses specialised software packages for all aspects of a project and trainees will be taught how to use them effectively.

“The aim is to help them understand the software better, further understand what planning involves, as well as what is expected and required of them by us and our clients.

“They are then certified as specialist planners through the Project Management Institute’s Scheduling Professional certification course,” says Louw.

He adds that TWP Projects can provide clients with the software packages and are now also able to link this to various software packages used by clients, even if they are from different developers.

“This allows for an integrated approach to project management and is well received by our clients,” he says.

Further, TWP Projects is also upskilling its existing planners through the planning school by further improving their ability to effectively work with the planning software.

The company is also training its project managers to become project management professionals.

Such professionals are well trained and experienced in the industry; they under- stand projects and project management processes, are able to understand and meet client expectations and are able to deliver projects on time and within budget, while also meeting quality standards.

Meanwhile, Louw says the company has also had success with the accredited draughting school it started at the beginning of the year.

Accredited by both the South African Qualifications Authority and the National Qualifications Framework, the school has the capacity to train 30 students at any given time. It is currently training 25 draughtspersons.

Louw notes that the school provides draughtspersons with an accredited qualification that can be used as an entry to further engineering studies.

“Going forward, our aim with the draughting school is to train draughts- persons for TWP Projects and provide them with training that will enable them to start a career in draughting and possibly, simultaneously, broaden their studies in the field of engineering,” he says.

Louw points out the training courses take on average about 12 months to complete, which excludes the time taken for on-site field experience.

Further, TWP selects students who have completed either construction management courses at various universities or project management courses at the University of Pretoria to undergo experiential training.

“We train them, put them on site, and make sure they understand our way of managing and delivering projects, as well as what our clients expect of them,” says Louw.

Improvements
Despite the skills challenge, Louw highlights there are also some encouraging developments in the industry.

“The availability of project-tracking technology is continuously improving through aspects such as updated planning software. We have to ensure that all the work we do is of good quality and cost effective,” he says.

He adds that the company is building on its existing software systems and databases to improve their use for reference on future projects.

“We can record all the data and this allows us to see what we did well in the past and where we went wrong. This will assist us in constantly improving the quality of our work with each project completed,” he says.

Louw emphasises the importance of communication in the project-management discipline.

“Communication is one of the most important aspects of this business. These electronic databases provide our employees with easy access to information, at any time,” he says.

TWP Projects is also implementing benchmarking tools for each project, which enables the company to compare the costs and the duration of similar projects.

“The aim of the benchmarking tools is to apply best practice in project manage- ment so that we are constantly learning what to do better. We are also able to see how long a prospective project could take and how much it could cost.

“In fact, the benchmarking tools give us a competitive edge, as project information is stored in a central database and is always readily available to be accessed from any mobile or computer device,” he says.

The company also makes project information available to its clients.

“We use our electronic portals to make project information, such as the status and delivery, available to the client at any time. This is particularly useful for projects at remote sites, as the client cannot always be on site, but is still able to track the progress of the project.

“These portals also assist our employees, as they can access the project policies and procedures at any time if needed,” he says.

The usefulness of these portals was displayed when the TWP team went to Ghana to propose a project to a client.

“The team logged on to the portal using a free Wi-Fi system at the hotel where they were staying and were able to show the clients a virtual representation of the project,” says Louw.

He adds that technological developments have made communication easier.

“These portals even work on the satel- lite connections that are most often found on remote sites used for mining and exploration activities,” he notes.

Future Growth
TWP Projects hopes to expand further into South America.

“We have an office in Peru, which looks after the South American client base. The Peruvian office has grown exponentially since it opened its doors about two years ago,” says Louw, adding that the company is now considering opening an office in Santiago, Chile.

“At TWP, we like to operate as close to our clients as possible to best understand their strategic business plans. There are several copper mines in South America and we would like to position ourselves there should any opportunities arise,” he says.

The company, which also has offices in Australia and Mozambique, now includes the services of an India-based design company to assist with certain designs on projects.

Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Project Management News
ARNOUT VAN HAARLEM A project management company must thoroughly understand the needs of the client
A project management company must thoroughly understand the needs of the client before it can successfully manage an engineering and construction project on behalf of the client, says engineering and construction company Fluor South Africa project director Arnout van...
JEFF SHAW The project management industry is cyclical in nature
The South African project management industry is currently not thriving because the slow pace of infrastructure investments is negatively impacting the industry, professional services firm KPMG infrastructure and major projects director Jeff Shaw says. Although...
MINING IT The beneficiation of resources is a complex sequence of events
Project management is useful to the mining industry, as it organises a team of specialists, such as geologists, environmental specialists, mining engineers and processing specialists, who need to collaborate to successfully complete projects, says process engineering...
More
 
 
Latest News
South Africa’s National Treasury on Friday reissued its amended request for proposal (RFP) for the five-year multibillion-rand project to replace the legacy systems currently in use with an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution for an integrated financial...
Systems Automation and Management Durban manager Weyers van der Merwe, Richards Bay dry bulk terminal manager Mandla Mpungose and Umfolozi TVET college principal Sam Zungu.
The handover of specialised computer equipment to the Umfolozi Technical and Vocational Education and Training College would address one of the greatest challenges faced by Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) at the Port of Richards Bay – a lack of skills in a highly...
Through hosting the WorldSkills 2014 competition’s mechatronic pre-national finals, industrial control and automation company Festo would promote and support skills development. Festo said the mechatronic competition would give schoolchildren, trainees and students...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
As the City of Ekurhuleni continues its bid to develop the largely industrialised metropole into the continent’s first aerotropolis, executive mayor Mondli Gungubele has committed the city to creating a predictable, stable and enabling business environment in which...
While Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) did not have “significant issues” with power supply in Gauteng, it was a different story in the Eastern Cape, said FMCSA and American Chamber of Commerce in South Africa president Jeff Nemeth earlier this month....
In 2000, exports into Africa from South Africa represented less than 5% of the turnover of Federal Mogul Motorparts Africa, with sales largely centred around Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique. Today, African exports represent 30% of sales, with trade expanded...
The Malawi government has launched a $50-million project to upgrade the Kamuzu barrage, on the Shire river, an outlet of Lake Malawi, which is used to control the flow of water from the lake to the lower Shire area. The project will run from this year to 2017 and...
  Our new Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Colleges will replace the Further Education and Training (FET) Colleges which have served us for the past twenty years.  The buildings will be the same and most of the staff will be the same but as the...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
content
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
 
 
Close
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks