AGI initiates moves for the certification of construction workers in Ghana

The Construction Sector of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) has initiated key processes with partners – stakeholders and consultants – in the industry to develop human capital development strategy and mentorship scheme for members in the sector.

The process is expected to lead to the certification of construction workers which would in turn fill in the skills gaps which currently exist in the sector. This forms part of measures aimed at having key programmes to develop the industry.

Already, a draft report has been presented by Consultants during a stakeholders’ dialogue meeting held in Accra last year.

Experts in the sector have insisted that the lack of certification, proper regulatory framework as well as quality assurance mechanism have resulted in the “opportunistic behaviours among tradesmen to the detriment of clients”.

Consequently, the low level of professionalism in the industry, especially among the freelance tradesmen and small and medium scale firms among other challenging issues, have made it increasingly necessary for stakeholders to institute certification and mentorship schemes for members in the industry.

The World Bank estimates that employment in Ghana’s construction industry is expected to grow at about 10 to 12 percent annually. Currently, about 350,000 people are employed in the Ghanaian construction industry, and 70 to 80 percent are in the informal sector.

According to the Industry, employment in the sector is projected to generate about US$400 million to US$500 million in the next 10 years. This implies about one million job opportunities by 2030, of which approximately 250,000 would be skilled, being artisans and tradesmen.

Most Ghanaian construction workers however have low levels of education and with limited skills. In fact, the informal sector, which churns out most of these tradesmen, is not well designed to deliver the quality of skills needed in the construction industry.

Furthermore, construction firms and contractors are not mandated to undertake skill continual development of their employees.

Indeed, for some types of works, contractors have had to recruit from Togo due to lack of local expertise, which has partly led to the poor performance on projects in the area of cost, quality and productivity, the industry asserts.

Speaking with the Goldstreet Business, the Chairman of AGI Construction Sector, Rockson Dogbegah said much of the industry’s growth comes from opportunities in Ghana’s residential market, coupled with non-residential demand for skills, which is mainly driven by the expansion of commercial and retail shopping, heavy engineering among other factors.

“This translates into strong demand for skills such as bricklaying, plastering, plumbing, roofing, steel-frame flooring, steep roofing, and architectural assistants at all levels. Undoubtedly, the demand for skills in the construction sector is high, but the demand for such skills is not fully met, especially for artisans and tradespeople”, he noted.

According to Trading Economics, Gross Domestic Products from construction in Ghana increased to Ghc3639.30 million in the third quarter of 2019 from Ghc2993.45 million in the second quarter of 2019.

Source: goldstreetbusiness

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