The 2015 Skills Shortage Survey indicates that the category Site Supervisory staff, which includes the trade and general Foreman level, to have the most critical shortage overall.
In order to resolve this situation the Master Builders Association – Western Cape (MBA-WC), through its Skills Trust facility, embarked on a Cadet Foreman Programme, which is aimed at young matriculated people between the ages of 22 and 30, who, through lack of career guidance, wish to pursue a more stable career.
Candidates are subjected to rigid selection process, which includes psychometric tests designed to indicate their trainability and ability to work under pressure.
Once selected, candidates enter a training environment which exposes them to all the facets of building work, including but not limited to – excavation, carpentry, concrete, scaffolding, bricklaying, plastering, tiling and setting out. They arrive with ‘soft’ hands and at the end of twelve weeks have a good understanding of building, and, in fact they can even build their own house.
The Cadets are then placed with MBA WC member companies for nine months on-site to gain practical experience. Each month their attendance and performance is evaluated. Following this period the Cadets then return to the training provider and are registered to complete the Learner programme Site Supervisory Practices at NQF IV a SAQA approved programme. They are then exposed to theoretical knowledge such as, measurement, computer literacy, quality management, health and safety, management, advanced setting out, risk management, report writing and communication.
After three months they are then placed for further practical training for nine months and again are subjected to monthly evaluation reports.
The process is then repeated, after which the Cadets are assessed and receive the NQF IV Certificate in Site Supervisory Practices.
During their theoretical training period, Cadets are paid a stipend by the MBA Development Trust, and when on site are paid a stipend by the host employer.
During March, 2017 Master Builders Association – Western Cape will be interviewing an additional group of eight persons to start in early May 2017. Interested member companies wishing to host our Foremen of the Future should contact MBA-WC.
The Association extends thanks to those member companies who are currently hosting cadets.