The need for skills upliftment in the construction industry has never been more vital as South Africa prepares for the long-awaited roll-out of tenders for government’s strategic integrated projects (Sips) in 2016, states The Concrete Institute MD Bryan Perrie.
The institute’s Midrand-based concrete training facility, the School of Concrete Technology (SCT), is preparing for its 2016 education programme, which will include the biennial Advanced Concrete Technology (ACT) diploma, or SCT50.
The diploma is only on offer every two years because of the extensive amount of logistics and planning that goes into the internationally acclaimed qualification, which is examined by the Institute of Concrete Technology, in London, explains Perrie.
“We source the best professionals, such as concrete chemists and concrete contractors, to lecture during the ACT programme . . . the pinnacle in concrete technology education.”
Although the ACT diploma will be presented again only in 2018, enrolment for 2016 is still open for those who qualify, Perrie states.
“How- ever, it is recommended that students wishing to enrol for the 2018 ACT course use 2016 to complete the SCT41 and SCT42 Concrete Technology and Construction correspondence courses. “Passing these courses will . . . ensure that the student meets the entrance requirements for ACT, with the training also an excellent preparation for the diploma,” he reasons.
Perrie describes the ACT diploma, an intensive four-week course, as a natural progression for professionals working with concrete, as the course aims to build a greater understanding of concrete in the construction industry.
“We are expecting a busy year. The scope of opportunities is great, owing to the Sips, but to take advantage of this, education in concrete technology is crucial,” he emphasises, adding that companies in the construction and civil engineering industries should take advantage of the situation and invest in their employees’ skills and career development by enrolling them in an SCT course.
“Using the school’s phased approach to concrete education, an employer can map out a progressive career path for an employee, who could then start his or her concrete education at a level matched to individual competences,” says Perrie.
The SCT offers a range of courses and caters for a variety of educational needs in the construction, mining and concrete-related industries. “An SCT certificate is instantly recognised and highly regarded in the industry. A qualification in concrete technology will open doors in many different fields of employment at a critical time in South Africa’s infrastructure development,” he advances.
Training courses offered by the SCT cater for individuals working in the ready-mix concrete and admixtures sectors, testing laboratories, construction and civil engineering, mining, aggregate production and materials, as well as concrete-related fields, such as formwork, precast concrete, concrete products and concrete production machinery. Training also extends to the “increasingly popular” decorative concrete market.