http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 14.35Change: -0.12
R/$ = 10.72Change: -0.11
Au 1284.35 $/ozChange: -10.85
Pt 1462.50 $/ozChange: -15.00
 
 
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|Exploration|PROJECT|Project Management|Projects|System|Systems|TWP|TWP Projects|Africa|South America|Australia|Chile|Ghana|India|Mozambique|Peru|South Africa|University Of Pretoria|Mining|Software Packages|Specialised Software Packages|Systems|Pieter Louw|Project-tracking Technology|Wi-Fi System
Construction|Engineering||Africa|Copper|Exploration|PROJECT|Project Management|Projects|System|Systems|TWP||Africa||||Mining|Systems||
construction|engineering|santiago|africa-company|copper|exploration|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|mining|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 Infrastructure News
An aloe plant in the foreground as construction gets under way at the Amakhala Emoyeni wind farm project site
Work has officially started at Cennergi’s R3.5-billion Amakhala Emoyeni wind farm, located near Bedford, in the Eastern Cape. The 138 MW project was among the 19 renewable-energy and seven wind projects selected following the second bid window under the South...
Container traffic through Kenya's biggest port grew by 12.8% in the first six months of the year after new cargo handling infrastructure was built to shorten the turnaround time for ships. The Indian Ocean port of Mombasa, the biggest in east Africa and the region's...
South African electricity tariffs are likely to increase by more than the 8% already sanctioned for the year starting April 1, 2015, after the energy regulator determined on Wednesday that Eskom had under recovered R7.82-billion in revenue between 2010 and 2013. The...
Article contains comments
Article contains comments
More
 
 
Latest News
Updated 4 hours ago Independent, black-owned and managed investment holding company Southern Palace Properties has acquired an 8% stake in Growthpoint Properties from the Public Investment Corporation’s (PIC’s) Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) for R4.5-billion. Standard Bank...
Updated 4 hours ago Shareholders of JSE-listed real estate investment trusts (REITs) Octodec and Premium Properties have approved the proposed merger of the two companies, creating a combined property fund that will attract a market capitalisation in excess of R5-billion and comprise...
Updated 5 hours ago The Metal and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council (MEIBC) this week called on employees and employers to exercise restraint as the metals and engineering industries resumed operations following a four-week strike, stating that it regretted the strike’s...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
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.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Steel 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the steel industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the global and South African steel and stainless steel markets, South Africa’s major steel producers and events that have shaped these markets.
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
Multinational semiconductor chipmaker corporation Intel announced its national campaign to further acquire partners to drive its She Will Connect programme, an initiative that aims to expand digital literacy skills to young women in developing countries, further into...
South Africa's MeerKAT radio telescope array programme should get back on schedule within a few months. This assurance has been given by SKA South Africa (SKA SA) associate director: science and technology Prof Justin Jonas. Early last month, Science and Technology...
The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s (PRASA’s) Metrorail service will remain a subsidised service following its current multibillion-rand rolling stock, station, depot and signalling upgrade programme. PRASA group CEO Lucky Montana has allayed fears that...
GARYN RAPSON Contaminated Land Provisions in the National Environmental Management: Waste Act No 59 of 2008 will open the door for court battles to determine who will be held liable for the remediation
The uncertainties around the remediation of affected areas as addressed in the Contaminated Land Provisions in the National Environmental Management: Waste Act No 59 of 2008 will possibly spark litigation and disputes between landowners and businesses, contractors...
South Africa is currently the largest component of the African Development Bank’s (AfDB’s) active portfolio in Southern Africa, comprising 62.5% of the bank’s $7.9-billion exposure to the 12-country region – the second largest beneficiary is Mauritius, which...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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