By Mike Puia
TRAINING is the key to improving the construction sector. This is according to the Ministry of Infrastructure Development (MID) training programme coordinator, Michael Wairamo.
Wairamo made the statement at the opening of the Certificate 111 in Civil Construction Plant Operations and Certificate IV in Civil Construction Operations workshop at the SIBC yesterday.
A total of 41 locals are attending this two-set workshop. 35 of them are from the private sector representing nine construction firms.
The workshop will start with the first group that will undertake Certificate 111 in Civil Construction Plant Operations. The second group that will undertake Certificate IV in Civil Construction Operations will enter next week.
Each group will have a session each month until October.
The training programme is supported by the Australian government and is facilitated by international facilitators from Performance Training and Civil Contractors Federation.
Mr Wairamo said the training programme came about after they found out that skill was an issue among supervisors and contractors.
A certificate 11 in civil construction was held in 2017 and 16 representatives from the private sector attended. With 41 more joining their training programme, Wairamo said it will increase their pool of qualified people.
Performance Training’s chief executive officer, Bryce Coventon said the workshop is a rare opportunity for contractors.
Mr Coventon said the training programme is a privilege for the contractors as it brings Australian experts into the country to do some of the trainings, saying it’s going to be very practical.
He thanked the Australian government for its support towards improving the skill of government and private supervisors and contractors.
Central Project Implementation Unit (CPIU) team leader, Patrick Mannix, said the workshop is part of the Ministry’s ongoing human resource development.
In the past, Mannix said the Ministry conducted training for supervisors.
Mannix said it is clear it is no use training only supervisors, adding that this is the reason for having this training and getting contractors involved.
“I hope this training will help upgrade the skill of everyone in the industry,” Mannix said.
He said he hopes at the end of the training programme, everyone will have solid foundation in the sector.
The Australian High Commission’s First Secretary for economic infrastructure, Skye Bale, said for this country to have a transport infrastructure sector that is capable of high-quality works; it requires a competitive, highly-skilled private sector workforce.
Ms Bale said there are very few options available to Solomon Islanders to obtain these qualifications, and most of these will involve travelling overseas.
She said bringing trainers into country, through this training programme, presents a key opportunity for individuals in the sector to gain important qualifications.