Construction training academy Tjeka Training Centre, based in Randfontein, has seen a slowdown in the onboarding of participants for the new year, mostly owing to the second wave of Covid-19 infections in South Africa, says Tjeka Training Matters CEO Frans Toua.
He tells Engineering News that the rise in infections nationwide has led clients to either cancel or postpone training sessions.
“At the moment, it’s very quiet because industry opened up a week ago, on January 11, and while enquiries are still coming in, the second wave of Covid-19 infections has put a brake on training again,” he comments, noting that this may be for the best, as the health and safety of learners is a top priority.
When in operation, the facility runs according to guidelines set out by the Department of Higher Education and Training, which includes 50% capacity at any given point, and that all visitors must be screened and complete a form for compliance purposes.
The slowdown is expected to be temporary, Toua notes, owing to encouraging signs of green shoots across the construction and infrastructure sectors.
“The signs are there that the industry is on an upturn and on the rise, based on planned infrastructure projects that are about to kick off,” he comments, adding that “the industry has been down for a number of years, but there are signs of an increase in numbers and projects”.
This bodes well for the Tjeka Training Centre, Toua says, noting that the centre aims to upskill new individuals entering the industry so that they are trained appropriately and are employable.
The focus of the training, currently, is on small- and microenterprises.
Companies can register participants through Tjeka for learnerships, skills programmes or apprenticeships, which focus on a variety of built environment related skills, such as building, civil works, plumbing, painting, brickwork and even the repair of potholes.