Training into work 


The construction sector in Zambia suffers from a serious shortage of skills at all levels. It is estimated that the country needs around 17,000 new construction workers each year. However very few school leavers are given the opportunity to gain the necessary skills to pursue this avenue.


We provide skills training and work experience to young, unemployed men and women helping them to earn a living and to provide for their families.  We support our trainees with:

  • Life Skills: Improved confidence, communication skills, numeracy and teamwork helps to equip our trainees for the world of work. Research shows that with such skills, they will achieve and sustain higher incomes
  • Building Skills: 400 hours of theory and practice using our bespoke curriculum which includes brick laying, concrete work and plastering
  • Work Experience: At least three months experience on a construction project helping to ensure that trainees are work ready. Experience is gained either with a local construction company / contractor or by working on one of the new schools or clinics being built by Build It
  • Trades Test: by awarding a certificate of skills by a nationally recognised body

Two years ago, Albert Chama was living in one room in Lusaka with his wife, daughter and niece. He was a construction labourer, but was only occasionally able to find work.

After training at our Centre for Excellence, Albert was able to take his Trades Test.

“Now I’m able to do bigger projects because I have a qualification and people trust me,” says Albert with pride.  He is now working on several projects in his community and is employing six people to help him.

Life has changed dramatically for Albert and his family. Albert is able to support his mother and father and send his younger brother to school, while also saving money to buy his own plot and build a house. In ten years’ time, Albert hopes to have his own construction company.

Our new training centre

Many of our new trainees will learn at the Build It International Training Centre; our Centre for Excellence for the construction sector in Zambia.

The country needs thousands of new construction workers each year but the lack of constructions skills in the local workforce means that companies often look to ‘import’ the labour and skills they need.

Based in Lusaka, building on the centre started in 2016, with the first trainees graduating in 2017.  Over the next five years, it will become a hub for construction skills training, small business development and sustainable building techniques.

The centre will allow us to substantially expand our training programme; both in terms of the numbers of trainees we can reach and the range of courses we can offer. It will provide a focal point bringing together employers and graduates. It will be a hub for change.


“The centre is a landmark project within Zambia… the exceptional level of consideration that has gone into the masterplan will ensure that it facilitates Build It in achieving their goals of individual empowerment.”

Matt Duckett, BuroHappold Engineering