Training into work 

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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.

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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, rough carpentry 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

Every year we fund an independent impact study that looks at our work and how well our trainees are doing in the world of work. It provides strong evidence of the difference we are making in people’s lives, and helps us to see what we can do better.

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.

Photo credit: Jennifer Bruce for Communication for Development Ltd