Across many of Africa’s nations, substantial budgets have been allocated to infrastructure development, including the construction of roads, schools, univer¬sities, harbours, power stations and other key infrastructure projects.The lack of skills and adequate training in the building and con¬struction industry, how¬ever, has been hindering these much needed infrastruc¬ture projects and has been increasing implementation costs. Skills development is one of the industry’s greatest battles, which, so far, has beenfoughtthrough importing skills.

Professional development is key

As the importing of skills is not sustainable in the long-term, African countries need to make a concise effort to increase the number as well as the level of skills available. The construction industry has to be made attractive to young people. South Africa, for example, launched the “Decade of the Artisan” programme, a campaign that promotes artisanship as career of choice to the youth.At the same time, there needs to be a focus on the development of existing construction professionals. In the age of mega projects and a rapidly changing environment, ongoing skills development is more important than ever.

Training and skills development for construction professionals coming up in South Africa

The market has demanded a platform that caters for the construction industry’s professional development needs. The African Construction Expo and Conference, taking place 26 – 28 May 2014 in Johannesburg, South Africa, offers such a platform. Over three days, the event brings together 5000 construction experts from across the continent to facilitate an interactive exchange of knowledge and to advance professional development. The African Construction Expo, together with its sister event, covers issues around strategic business management and the production and use of concrete and cement products. An interactive exhibition floor with 40 free-to-attend training workshops over two days completes the educational programme.

visit www.construction-week.com for more information.

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