MAIN­TAIN­ING STAN­DARDS

Don’t over­look ben­e­fits of ac­cred­ited build­ing as­so­ci­a­tions

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IAM GET­TING more re­quests for rec­om­men­da­tions for con­trac­tors of all types. As my read­ers know, I won’t rec­om­mend any­one if I have not had a per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence or at least a few good ref­er­ences. As prices rise, handy­men ap­pear to be in de­mand for those that can’t man­age small tasks them­selves. A while ago, I tried to start a data­base of handy­men but did not have much suc­cess as they ap­pear to be a breed that come and go. If you have any rec­om­men­da­tions, please tell me and I will add them to my Face­book page.

As you know, I am happy to an­swer ques­tions and dish out ad­vice, but I would ap­pre­ci­ate a lit­tle more feed­back, es­pe­cially if I have made the wrong call. I read­ily ad­mit that I can make mis­takes, but please let me know whether my ad­vice has helped or not.

My pet cru­sade is to en­cour­age ev­ery­one to use con­trac­tors who are both reg­is­tered and com­pli­ant in terms of the law, to­gether with us­ing con­trac­tors who be­long to ac­cred­ited con­trac­tor as­so­ci­a­tions such as the Mas­ter Builders As­so­ci­a­tion.

Peo­ple at large and even their own mem­bers are some­times un­aware of some of the ben­e­fits th­ese as­so­ci­a­tions can pro­vide. As the stan­dard of work­man­ship con­tin­ues to drop, caused in part by the ac­cep­tance by clients of shoddy work­man­ship as the new norm and the lack of fresh tal­ent en­ter­ing the in­dus­try, who wants to be a build­ing ar­ti­san, work­ing long hours for a small re­ward, when there are much bet­ter op­por­tu­ni­ties for those with a ma­tric cer­tifi­cate?

Yes, to en­ter an of­fi­cial ap­pren­tice­ship now, you need a ma­tric. The Mas­ter Builders As­so­ci­a­tion has a scheme whereby you can send your work­force for as­sess­ment and then ad­vise you what train­ing your work­ers need to up­skill them to do the equiv­a­lent work of an ar­ti­san and what rate they should be paid as they move up through the cat­e­gories of trades­man. This is a great way of en­sur­ing we keep the cur­rent skills in the in­dus­try.

The as­so­ci­a­tion pays for the train­ing and the con­trac­tor only has to pay the nor­mal wages, which can be re­claimed through gov­ern­ment train­ing al­lowances.

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