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. As a result, this lack of construction skills in the local workforce means that companies often look to ‘import’ the labour and skills they need, leading to further Zambian unemployment.

Build It provides construction skills training and work experience to young, disadvantaged men and women. With their new skills, they are able to earn a living and provide for their families.

We have designed and developed bespoke, entry-level training courses in:

  • Brick and blocklaying
  • Rough carpentry
  • Painting
  • Plastering
  • New: Floor and wall tiling – disruptions caused by the pandemic means this new course will now be piloted in summer / autumn 2021

We also have an entry-level course in Building Skills through our community building projects.

The majority of our training is delivered at our construction training centre; our Centre for Excellence.

We are also delivering training through The Rise Again project, in partnership with UP Zambia. This is a three-year initiative funded by the European Union to support juveniles in conflict with the law to help them successfully reintegrate back into society. All our efforts go towards economic development in Africa and combating Zambian unemployment.

Course Content

All our training courses include:

  • 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
  • Construction Skills: Theoretical and practical learning using our bespoke curriculum
  • Work Placement: At least three months experience on construction projects helping to ensure that trainees are work ready. Experience is gained either with a construction company or by working on one of the new schools or health clinics being built by Build It

The vast majority of our trainees are between 18 and 35 years old. We look to train young people who have had little education, but with a genuine interest and desire to learn new skills.

Many of our trainees learn at our Centre for Excellence, next to the Great North Road on the northern edge of Lusaka.

For more information about how Build It is tackling Zambian unemployment and to learn about our training courses, please contact our Training Team on +260 971103672 or +260 211267715.

Before his training, Albert 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 parents and send his younger brother to school, while also saving 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

Striving for Excellence

Build It has been awarded centre approved status by international awarding organisation NOCN for the quality of our construction skills training programme. This means that all our entry-level courses being delivered at our Centre for Excellence are endorsed by NOCN.

“Endorsement by NOCN recognises the quality of our training and awards. It will help ensure that the young men and women we train have the best possible chance to succeed in building themselves a brighter future. We see this as just the start of a long and fruitful partnership.”

Build It Chief Executive Andrew Jowett OBE

NOCN Approved Centre