Trou­bles with­out trained ar­ti­sans

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THE WEEK be­fore last, Rod­ney made an im­pas­sioned plea for those con­sid­er­ing a new build or al­ter­ations to em­ploy only con­trac­tors who are reg­is­tered and com­pli­ant. He says only this type of con­trac­tor is try­ing to train ar­ti­sans for the fu­ture. Non-reg­is­tered con­trac­tors poach from those who have trained or carry out work with non-qual­i­fied peo­ple. The fol­low­ing ap­peared in the lat­est Mas­ter Builders As­so­ci­a­tion news­let­ter:

Our direc­tor in his news­let­ter clearly spelt out the ben­e­fit of em­ploy­ing ap­pren­tices. The num­ber of build­ing ar­ti­sans has de­creased. At the end of July, only 1 431 were em­ployed in Cape Town/Boland, ac­cord­ing to Build­ing In­dus­try Bar­gain­ing Coun­cil statis­tics. Of greater con­cern is that fewer than 100 ap­pren­tices are reg­is­tered on the coun­cil’s data­base.

Skills de­vel­op­ment is a vi­tal el­e­ment in the Con­struc­tion Char­ter. Un­for­tu­nately, we can’t de­ter­mine the to­tal costs claimed by mem­bers for this el­e­ment. We can only ask how much of the to­tal spend is spent on ap­pren­tice train­ing. It could be that not all ap­pren­tices are reg­is­tered with the coun­cil.

In the not-too dis­tant fu­ture, we will run out of skilled ar­ti­sans and fall even fur­ther be­hind de­vel­oped world stan­dards. A skilled ar­ti­san is worth his weight in gold.

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