Apathy in building industry

Posted On Monday, 09 February 2004 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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Concern about apathy regarding training in the South African building industry was the major topic at a recent annual conference.

Gaye Le RouxConcern about apathy regarding training in the South African building industry was the major topic at a recent annual conference.

This was highlighted at the 100th annual meeting of the Gauteng Master Builders Association (GMBA) in Midrand on Thursday.

Guest speaker, Professor Gaye le Roux, former head of the Department of Quantity Surveying at the University of Port Elizabeth, outlined the building industry's urgent need for training to cope with future contractual demands.

Then outgoing GMBA president, Charles Hattingh, warned that the construction industry would be in "serious trouble" soon if it continued to neglect skills development. Delivering his presidential address, Hattingh said training had become a crucial matter for the building industry.

"Many in our industry still have the attitude that it is not important but unless we all take the matter seriously, our industry will be in serious trouble in a few years time." Hattingh said training in Gauteng was at a low ebb and had it not been for the efforts of the GMBA, there probably would be no training in place.

"The Building Industries Learner Training scheme, initiated by our association, started operating in about the middle of last year - after three years of hard work, drive and tenacity. We already have a small number of learnerships registered but more support is needed from the industry." He said HIV/Aids was also removing skills daily from the building sector. "Sadly, in Gauteng we seem to brush this threat aside as not important."

Without adequate training, productivity would suffer and income and profits reduced. "Skills development has never been more important than right now." Eunice Forbes, the new president of the GMBA, told The Star that she would like to see the GMBA expand its training programmes even further during her term in office.

"Contractors seem reluctant to employ trainees because it has become difficult to dismiss them in the event of unsatisfactory developments. I think the major contractors could commit themselves far more to training in this country. In fact, all contractors should participate." Forbes also expressed her concern about the effect of Aids on the building sector.

"I believe the GMBA should undertake an on-going education drive to spell out to employers that Aids is an issue we can no longer sweep under the carpet.

"Employees also need to learn more about Aids and be offered opportunities to deal with their fears and reservations in terms of employment.

"As Patricia de Lille recently stated, we should bring Aids out of the bedroom and into the boardroom."

Last modified on Thursday, 24 October 2013 15:27

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