The Construction Industry Board (CIDB) have developed a new standard which addresses how training objectives can be achieved as part of construction projects. The standard aims to help clients, such as government, who wish to achieve social and economic objectives such as training and job creation, as part of infrastructure and built environment development projects. The standard sets out contract skills development goals (CSDG) for different types of project including civil engineering, electrical engineering, general building and specialist projects. These goals are defined in terms of a notional cost of training opportunities which the contractor must spend on workplace training of employees and interns during the project, defined as a percentage of the total contract amount.
The standard provides definitions, calculation methodologies, contract clauses and monitoring processes which can be used to achieve training objectives. A criticism of the approach is that it is based on cost which does not necessarily ensure quality or maximise impact in terms of the number of people trained. The prescriptive approach may also lead to increases in project costs. An alternative approach could have been based on improvements in levels of academic achievement and hours of training. This would link more neatly with the way courses and learning achievement are defined in terms of notional hours and credits by academic frameworks such as Unit Standards and Qualifications developed by South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA). The standard however is a significant improvement on the vague and unenforceable requirements for training often currently included in tenders and contract documentation. A draft copy of the standard is available on the CIDB’s website here: