Corobrik has opened a new bricklaying training centre at its Lawley factory in Gauteng. It is one of three training centres countrywide that provides opportunities for unskilled South Africans to acquire the fundamental expertise they need to secure work in the building industry.
More than 2000 people have already graduated from the company’s training schools in Durban and Cape Town, and at the company’s former Midrand facility.
“Skills development remains a key priority in South Africa and Corobrik is committed to playing a meaningful role in this process,” says Berkley Petty, Human Resources Development Manager for the brick manufacturer which has been in operation for more than a century.
“Corobrik’s three building training centres are designed to provide unskilled workers in both the public and private sectors with recognised qualifications in bricklaying, blocklaying and segmental paving disciplines, providing fundamental skills to the construction industry.”
The training centres offer a variety of courses ranging from basic bricklaying to learnerships. The bricklaying training centres are accredited by the Construction Education and Training Authority (CETA) and run NQF accredited courses. Training is conducted in groups both at the centre or on site, combining theory with practical implementation.
A number of major construction companies as well as the Department of Public Works and Transport have enrolled learners in Corobrik’s bricklayer training programmes.
The progress and skills levels of each student are monitored and recorded – during both their theoretical and practical training. Those with strong technical aptitudes and those that show initiative are encouraged to go further with their training.
“Once they have completed the courses, the learners are in a better position to find gainful employment with government or construction companies and many have gone on to establish their own enterprises,” says Petty.
The Bricklaying Centres are not run on a profit basis but rather to cover costs so as to help make the training affordable to the learners.
According to Petty, it is all about helping people attain the skills they need to earn a living. This is in line with government’s appeal for business, labour and communities to work together to help meet the New Growth Path objective of creating five million jobs by 2020 and reducing the unemployment rate to 15%.
“The building training centres are also an integral element of Corobrik’s multi-faceted Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment initiatives to help lay the foundation for a prosperous future for South Africa.”