New hope in construction sector

By Mike Puia

The Ministry of Infrastructure Development (MID) Civil Engineering Acting Director, Mike Qaqara, speaking during yesterday’s ceremony

THE Acting Director for MID’s Civil Engineering section, Mike Qaqara, is confident a training for local civil construction workers will increase the value of money invested on infrastructure.

Qaqara when addressing recipients of the Certificate 111 in Civil Construction Plant Operations and Certificate IV in Civil Construction Operations workshop yesterday said this is a milestone achievement as more qualified people are added to the workforce.

He said Solomon Islands had problems and issues which affect its young civil construction industry.

He said provision of training not to MID personnel and few who worked for private companies will address this problem.

“In the past MID is faced with many problems when it comes to the civil construction industry. Problems such as critical need for road infrastructure improvement and other infrastructures. So much money invested in projects with low outputs received, which means value for money was not received,” Qaqara said.

He said all these problems were due to lack of capacity training for the workforce in this industry.

Qaqara said MID now believe that those who attended the training will make a huge difference in the field while working for MID projects and for other projects.

He said a quality benchmark is set and MID’s reputation in the civil construction industry will improve with the contracted workforce.

The training covers workplace safety (risk management), environmental awareness and preservation, community consultation, communication and general numeracy skills.

Qaqara said the skills acquired are not just for civil construction but transportable lifelong skills that graduates can take wherever they go.

Group of recipients of the Certificate 111 in Civil Construction Plant Operations and Certificate IV in Civil Construction Operations and officials

“I believe you had gained something new out from this training. Please apply it in your work places to contribute to the development of our nation. I believe the qualification you received today will also determine your future career in your lives so please make use,” Qaqara encouraged the participants who completed the training program.

About 41 locals participated in the workshop which comes in two fold. Thirty-five of them are from the private sector representing nine construction firms.

The workshop starts with the first group that undertake Certificate 111 in Civil Construction Plant Operations. The second group undertake Certificate IV in Civil Construction Operations.

The training was conceptualised to Solomon Islands industry while at the same time align with the Australian National Accredited training frameworks and standards.

The training program is supported by the Australian government and is facilitated by international facilitators from Performance Training and Civil Contractors Federation.

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