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State-of-the-art construction training centre in Randfontein helps create jobs and opportunities for the self-employed

21 January 2021

Thousands of people have acquired various building and civil-engineering construction skills at Tjeka Training Matters’ state-of-the-art training centre in Randfontein, Gauteng, since it commenced operations in 2012.

They include employees of some of the country’s foremost contractors, participants in the building and civil-engineering construction supply chains and government bodies tasked with delivering critical service delivery infrastructure. This is in addition to the many individuals who have launched their careers in the construction industry by enrolling themselves directly in various training programmes available at the facility over the years.

Frans Toua, Chief Executive Officer of Tjeka Training Matters, attributes the high success rate of the company’s training interventions to an intense focus on equipping people with the skills they need to earn a living in the building and civil-engineering construction industries.

“At our training centre, we aim to impart skills that people can use to secure jobs, excel in their chosen fields of expertise or become self-employed. This is opposed to training for the sake of it and just to meet the requirements of the scorecard – a narrow-minded approach that has thwarted real efforts geared at addressing skills shortage in the South African construction industry. The fact that clients continue to use the services of the facility for their training requirements and individuals return to the centre to hone or expand their competencies bears testament to the success of our approach to skills development and training,” Toua says.

Tjeka Training Matters’ training centre in Randfontein is equipped to provide training that is geared specifically at the civil-engineering construction and building industries.

For example, it is able to present a myriad of building, civil, road construction, supervisory and managerial courses to more than 200 candidates at any point in time at a single location.

As a private Technical and Vocational Education and Training college, Tjeka Training Matters is also able to adapt the content of its many training programmes at the facility and their commencement dates to suit clients’ workplace needs.

In addition to learnerships and skills programmes, short training courses of between five and 20 days in duration are available at the facility. They have been developed specifically to meet the immediate needs of the construction industry to create employment opportunities on civil-engineering construction and building contracts.

All training for the various building trades, including bricklaying, carpentry, plumbing, plastering, tiling and painting, is undertaken in designated workshops or training areas. Able to accommodate between 15 and 20 candidates at a time, they also feature their own classrooms for theoretical instruction and simulated practical training areas.

The practical component of the civil and road construction courses is presented outside in elected areas at the facility and the theory component of the training in classrooms.

Tjeka Training Matters also provides accommodation for learners. This includes three meals a day, as well as transport to and from the centre where necessary.

The plumbing course is one of the most sought after of the various building-related training interventions available at the facility. This is considering the major strides made by the Institute of Plumbing South Africa (IOPSA) and the Plumbing Industry Registration Board (PIRB) in establishing a clear career path towards becoming a licensed plumber.

Considering the high demand for plumbers at present, there are more job opportunities available in the profession than most of the other building trades. This has attracted many people to the centre to complete plumbing courses and individuals who are interested in freelancing the field or launching a small plumbing business.

Among other clients, Anglo Platinum, the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure and Development, the Department of Water and Sanitation and the West Rand Municipality have sent employees and candidates to the training centre to learn plumbing skills.

The company’s bricklaying courses also remain in very high demand. This is considering that it is a skill that can be learnt in a very short period and can be deployed on both private and public sector contracts. A low capital outlay for tools and equipment also makes bricklaying an ideal skill for the self-employed.

Moreover, Tjeka Training Matters has seen a marked increase in the number of people who want to learn carpentry skills. This competency can be deployed in the manufacture and erection of roof trusses, installation of conventional home ceilings, cornices and skirtings, as well as for hanging doors. People with the competency may also be able to secure employment on many of government’s social housing projects that are being rolled out by state as part of its strategy to use infrastructure development to stimulate the economy.

The company has trained numerous people in the field for, among others, Hilti, Basil Read, Westrand Youth Development and the Department of Infrastructure and Development.

Tjeka Training Matters’ portable skills solution in various trades is also a very popular for quickly developing the capabilities of people to find a job or become self-employed in the building and civil-engineering construction industries. The services that the company provided to Uitkomst Colliery still stands out as stellar example of its portable skills offering.

Tjeka Training Matters also remains proud of the many shutter, concrete and reinforcing hands it has trained at the centre for WBHO, complementing its quality training in scaffolding erection and inspection.

The company also continues to build on its solid working relationship with many leading participants in the road construction industry, such as Hillary Construction. Training in the

field includes road construction, pothole repairs and paving, as well as the installation of precast-concrete kerbs, guardrails and Gabion baskets.

This is in addition to the services that the facility has provided to other leading participants in the South African construction industry. For example, it has trained tilers for Italtile and completed Hot Water Solar Skills training programmes on behalf of Women in Oil and Energy SA (WOESA).

“Government has embarked on a massive public infrastructure investment drive to stimulate the economy and create jobs amid the turmoil of the COVID-19 virus. This follows a protracted period of hiatus in the South African construction sector that also had a notable negative impact on the ability of companies to train. It is encouraging to note the emphasis that has again been placed on training since government first announced its large public works programme,” Toua concludes.

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