Progress Of Training Unskilled Workers Management Essay

The difference between skilled and unskilled workers can be the decision between a successful or unsuccessful contract in the construction industry. With the shortage of skilled workers in the industry, it is up to every company involved in the construction industry to try and make a difference. The objective of this research report therefore being to check the many steps put in place by government and companies within the industry for the improvement of the workers in the construction industry.

Methodology:

Checking whether processes private companies have put in place to aid in training unskilled workers in the construction industry are effective.

Data:

Identify methods put in place to train unskilled workers.

The difference in methods that South Africa has, as compared to other countries.

What are private companies doing to improve this?

The role of the Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) put in place by government and its effectiveness thus far.

Results:

The main factor affecting the progress of training unskilled workers in the construction industry is the economic situation of the industry. Also time and initiative put forward by companies that have the power and skill to train unskilled workers.

Conclusion:

The EPWP is not understood properly and is seen as more of an increase to the current workload. Therefore, companies tend to stray away from it. To get into the industry other than a labourer you have to have a degree, a diploma or you would have had to have served an apprenticeship in the construction industry for a certain amount of months, which can also be difficult to obtain.

Recommendation:

South Africa has seen wondrous results when determination serves as motivation. During the 2010 World Cup, South Africa got together as a country and out did themselves with the construction of world renowned stadiums. This should serve as a reminder of a “little goes a long way”. More authority should be put in place to see that every company in the construction industry has put in place a training programme or mentorship programme. Including the public works contracts, companies that are involved in that should be checked to see that they are fulfilling that requirement in the said building contract and if they are working towards the betterment of the construction industry or are they not contributing to the social development of South Africa at all.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Abstract

Chapter One – Introduction

1.1 Introduction

1.2 The Problem

1.2.1 Outline of the topic

Chapter Two – Literature Review – Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP)

2.1 What is the EPWP?

2.2 Logical framework of EPWP

2.3 Targets of EPWP

2.4 Progress of EPWP

Chapter Three – Methodology

3.1 Purpose of Surveys and Outcomes

3.3 Research Data from external sources

Chapter Four – Data Analysis

4.1 Descriptions of Surveys Sent Out

Chapter Five – Data Collection

5.1 Actual Surveys

Chapter Six – Skills development and the output from the construction industry

6.1 Relationship between Skills Development and the Output in the construction industry

Chapter Seven – Involvement of institutes and skills development

7.1 Government-based initiatives employed to train unskilled workers

7.2 Construction Education and Training Authority

Chapter Eight – Conclusion

Chapter Nine – Recommendations

References

Chapter One

1.1. Introduction

Eighteen years ago, when South Africa became a democratic state, many promises where made and therefore a lot of expectations where born. How does South Africa develop their employees in the construction industry? In this research project we will delve into some policies put in place to achieve development in the construction industry.

Poverty and unemployment are the key economic challenges in South Africa. There has been a decrease in employment opportunities in South Africa in the Construction industry for semi-skilled and unskilled workers.

Skills development in the construction industry faces a very particular challenge since the construction sector employs the fourth highest number of persons having no formal education – after agriculture, households and mining (Thwala, 2011).

Skills shortages affect the economic growth of the country – many companies are finding it difficult to source suitable candidates to employ (McCord, 2005).

The introduction of the public works infrastructure programmes and projects are seen as a major development tool. The public work infrastructure programmes was initiated with the hope of transforming the lives of people throughout the developing world.

One of the most remarkable programmes, a programme that stands out is the Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP). The EPWP is a national program that aims to draw a significant amount of unemployed into the productive work force in the construction industry.

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The Problem

1.2. Outline of the study:

Identify methods put in place to train unskilled workers.

The role of the Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) put in place by government and its effectiveness thus far.

Does the EPWP provide sufficient training to benefit labourers in the long term

How does having the appropriate skills affect the construction industry?

Chapter Two: Literature Review

Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP)

2.1 What is the Extended Public Works Programme?

Source: (The Department of Public Works. 2006. Notes on the use of the Standardized Procurement Documents for Engineering and Construction Works.1:23-28.)

EPWP program involves the process of creating work creating temporary work opportunities for the unemployed, while ensuring that workers gain skills and training on the job, and so increase their capacity to earn an income in the future.

The EPWP is one of an array of government’s initiative to try to bridge the gap between the growing economy and the large numbers of unskilled and unemployed people who have not yet enjoyed the benefits of economic development.

Training forms a critical aspect with the EPWP. The Public Works Department (PWD) and the Construction Education Training Authority (CETA) have formed a partnership with the intention of fulfilling the targets set by the Extended Public Works Programme.

According to the Code of Good Practise for the Special Public Works Programme (SPWP) the EPWP requires that beneficiaries should undergo at least two days of training out of every 22 days spent in employment.

Different training courses and models, including short courses, skills programmes and learnerships, are provided for the target groups in the four sectors.

2.2 Logical Framework of the EPWP

Goal

To alleviate unemployment for a minimum of one million people in South Africa, of which at least 40% should be women, 30% youth and 2% disabled, between 2004 and 2009.

Purpose

Create temporary work opportunities and income for at least one million unemployed people – over the first five years of the program.

Provide needed public goods and services, labour-intensive, at acceptable standards, through mainly public sector resources and public and private sector implementation capacity.

Increase the potential of participants to earn a future income by providing work experience, training and information related to local work opportunities, further education and training and Small Medium Enterprises (SME) development.

Objectives

This would be achieved by creating work opportunities in the following four sectors:

Infrastructure

Environmental

Social

Economic

2.3 Targets of the Extended Public Works Programme

The following sectors were identified as having potential for creating EPWP employment opportunities:

2.4 Progress of the EPWP Infrastructure Sector

Labour-intensive infrastructure projects under the EPWP entail:

Using labour-intensive construction methods to provide employment opportunities to local unemployed people

Providing training or skills development to those locally employed workers

Building cost-effective and quality assets

Five programmes have been implemented in the Infrastructure Sector under the auspices of the EPWP:

The Technical Support Programme

The Vuk’uphile Contractor Learnership Programme

National Youth Service Programme

Large Projects Programme

Provincial Roads Programme

Programme

Number of projects

Work opportunities

Training days

Average labour intensity (%)

NYS

136

7 705

220 604

33

Provincial Roads

834

87 753

73 679

46

Technical Support

958

139 533

518 452

21

Vuk’uphile

428

17 455

81 060

21

Large Projects

137

70 045

Data not found

Data not found

Table 1 Outline of progress made by the individual programmes within the Infrastructure Sector for the period 2008 – 2009

Chapter Three

Methodology

3.1 Descriptions of Surveys Sent Out

Source: (The Department of Public Works. 2006. Notes on the use of the Standardized Procurement Documents for Engineering and Construction Works.1:23-28.)

EXTENDED PUBLIC WORKS PROJECT SURVEY

Date completed: ___________________________

Category One: Company and Project Portfolio

Name of company:

Survey participant:

Type of Public Works Project:

Position held in project:

Duration of project:

Year of project: 1st o 2nd o 3rd o 4th o Complete o

Level of labour intensiveness Very low 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

10 Very High

This category in essence gives us information of what company is partaking in this survey. Also information on what type of public works project they had participated in and how labour intensive it was/is is obtained.

Category Two: Public Works Project

Project budget: R

Actual Project Expenditure: R

Number of job opportunities created:

Demographics of workers employed: Men

Women Youth (18 to 35 years)

Persons with disabilities

Minimum day-task wage rate earned on project: R

Number of person-days of employment created:

Number of persons who have attended a standard EPWP 10 day accredited training course

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Category two requires information on the project itself, how much of money at tender stage was budgeted for training unskilled workers in the surrounding communities and of this amount, what target was eventually achieved.

Category Three: Intervention Impact

Initiatives used in training:

Time spent on initial training:

Level of understanding of the EPWP:

Annual revenue spent on training and/or mentorship programmes:

Success rate of interventions mentioned:

Thank you for your co-operation.

Intervention impact provides information on how well the EPWP did. On a project of that scale/magnitude did it achieve any job opportunities that would be worthwhile for the youth in that area?

Chapter Four

Data Analysis

4.1 Surveys and Outcomes

The method of survey that I had used is a questionnaire. This was drawn up by research into what exactly the Extended Public Works Programme is meant to offer. Also has it made a positive impact on the surrounding communities?

The Extended Public Works Survey is made up of three categories, namely:

Category One: Company and Project Portfolio

Category Two: Public Works Project

Category Three: Intervention Impact

Each of these categories lend an insight into what the EPWP means to those Building Contractor’s company and what has been its impact and effect, as well as their view of EPWP.

Chapter Five

Data Collection

Actual Surveys Conducted

EXTENDED PUBLIC WORKS PROJECT SURVEY

Date completed: ___________________________

Category One: Company and Project Portfolio

Name of company: Rapid Builders and Contractors

Survey participant: Devashen Moodley

Type of Public Works Project: Capital Projects (NDPW)

Position held in project: Contractor QS

Duration of project: From Feb 2011 To Sep 2012

Year of project: 1st o 2nd o 3rd o 4th o Complete o

Level of labour intensiveness Very low 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Very High

Category Two: Public Works Project

Project budget: R 144 000 000.00

Actual Project Expenditure: R 115 000 000.00

Number of job opportunities created: 136

Demographics of workers employed: Men 110

Women 26

Youth(18 to 35 years) 136

Persons with disabilities 0

Minimum day-task wage rate earned on project: R 88

Number of person-days of employment created:

Number of persons who have attended a standard EPWP 10 day accredited training course 150

Category Three: Intervention Impact

Initiatives used in training:

Basic skills training for the youth in bricklaying and Plastering

Time spent on initial training:

One month initial skills training

Level of understanding of the EPWP:

Absolutely minimal, the skills training provided by the Service Providers rarely help the learners in practice

Annual revenue spent on training and/or mentorship programmes:

On average the contractors pay service providers R300,000.00 for training 150 youth

Success rate of interventions mentioned:

Due to the lack of discipline by the youth from EPWP, the success rate of turning a trainee into an Artisan is not even close to 10%.

Thank you for your co-operation.

EXTENDED PUBLIC WORKS PROJECT SURVEY

Date completed: ___11 June 2012________________________

Category One: Company and Project Portfolio

Name of company: ____Group Five Construction (Pty) Ltd_______________________

Survey participant: ______D.Thevan_____________________

Type of Public Works Project: _______?____________________

Position held in project: ________Quantity Surveyor___________________

Duration of project: From __2010______ To ___2012_____

Year of project: 1st o 2nd o 3rd ü 4th o Complete o

Level of labour intensiveness Very low 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10ü Very High

Category Two: Public Works Project

Project budget: R_____280mil______________________

Actual Project Expenditure: R______approx 93 mil_____________________

Number of job opportunities created: _______108____________________

Demographics of workers employed: Men ü100% black

Women ü100%black

Youth (18 to 35 years) ü100% black

Persons with disabilities No_____________

Minimum day-task wage rate earned on project: R____20.98/hr_______________________

Number of person-days of employment created: 1,245,545 man hours_______________________

Number of persons who have attended a standard EPWP 10 day accredited training course – Nil

Category Three: Intervention Impact

Initiatives used in training: N/A

________________________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________________

Time spent on initial training: N/A

________________________________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________________________

Level of understanding of the EPWP: ?

________________________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________

Annual revenue spent on training and/or mentorship programmes: R200K ,

spent on entrepreneurial, generic and engineering skills.

________________________________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________________________________

Success rate of interventions mentioned: ?

________________________________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________________________________

Thank you for your co-operation.

Chapter Six

Skills development and the output from the construction industry

6.1 Relationship between Skills Development and the Output in the construction industry

The Skills level of construction workers is extremely important in the industry. Actually in any industry the level of intellect that the employees have plays a vital role in the product that is produced.

The relationship between the skills development and the output in the construction industry is extremely proportionate. The product is of better quality when the people doing the work are highly skilled for it. There are three methods for training unskilled workers. These methods are endorsed by the Construction Education Training Authority (CETA). There three methods are namely:

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Learnerships

Apprenticeships

Further Education and Training Colleges (FET)

Chapter Seven:

Involvement of institutes and skills development:

7.1 Government-based initiatives employed to train unskilled workers

National Public Works Programme

Initiated under the public works programme that is critical to job creation.

Community Base Public Works Programme

Aimed to provide immediate relief to communities an in enabling them to build a capacity for their community to be develop.

Extended Public Works Programme

Launched in 2004, aimed to provide 100 000 to 200 000 short term job opportunities each year.

7.2 Construction Education and Training Authority

How has this institute helped in any way to the skills development and in the South African construction industry?

Many institutes such as the Construction Education and Training Authority (CETA) are involved in skills development. Their sole purpose is to provide assistance to training workers in the construction industry

Chapter Eight

Conclusions

This survey provided the researcher, with an enlightening insight into the capacity of the EPWP. The Extended Public Works Programme was founded in order to provide unemployed unskilled workers with work opportunities in the different sectors, one of the sectors being the construction industry. This message was relayed to us in 2004 by our former president Mr Thabo Mbeki. But is the EPWP really working? If the EPWP is working, then to what extent is it? If the EPWP is not working, then where are the short falls?

Insight has been gained from the surveys conducted on two major problems. Evidently they are major problems, because they will be in existence in the long term. Long term problems would not be good because then the EPWP would have not shown significant impact on the economy. Only when there is a significant positive change/impact on the economy then only will the lives of the unemployed be better as there will be more job opportunities for them.

As per the data that I have collected, there are many variables that where found. Firstly, the most unbelievable is that the EPWP is not really understood by contractors. They do not have the appropriate knowledge or the training that is involved with a public works project. That is shocking seeing that the Extended Public Works Programme was enforced by the government and every construction company should have appropriate knowledge to at least meet the requirements of an EPWP project.

Does the EPWP enforce rules and obligations as to what is needed and what should be the outcome? Some companies do however train unskilled workers. They firstly employ the workers under the EPWP and they are then trained on site or sent to training institutions to be trained by training institutions such as the Construction Education Training Authority (CETA). This however does not ensure long term job opportunities for these now trained workers.

Chapter Nine:

Recommendations

According to the head of EPWP, ‘the Government’s job creation programme [is] on track’ (cited in BuaNews, Pretoria, March 10, 2005). Evidently, the EPWP has improved job creation in South Africa, however long-term benefits of the labour market are yet to be seen. This is further emphasized by the EPWP’s ability to create short-term job opportunities rather than long-term.

From the research undertaken, also taking into account the significant casual talks with colleagues from the industry, I can safely say in 2012 there has been a significant increase in the awareness of the EPWP but the significance to make a change in peoples lives in the long term has not been increased on an equal scale. More companies that have been awarded are obliged as per contractual obligations to enforce the EPWP in their construction methods and programs, but the EPWP is not being used to the full advantage of the workers. This is mainly due to the lack of knowledge that the contractors have of the EPWP.

In order for the EPWP to be effective, the number of unskilled worker that are trained needs to increase. More authority should be put in place to see that every company in the construction industry has a training or mentorship programme.

This can only be done once the targets of trained workers are met and thereafter motivations can be put in place to increase funding to make a significant impact on unemployment.

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