Concrete training: beware of imitations

02 June 2015

The Concrete Institute’s School of Concrete Technology (SCT, for decades trusted as the most authoritative provider of concrete technology training in South Africa, warns: “Beware of the increasing number of opportunistic training touters now popping up in South Africa.”

John Roxburgh, lecturer at the SCT, says the School places a high priority on staying at the forefront of concrete technology and continuously upgrades courses accordingly. The School is also able to draw on the input of local and overseas experts to enhance the technical content of its courses. “Relying only on tried and tested sources of training is vital now that more and more unproven training consultants are pitching aggressively for corporate business.”

The Southern African Readymix Association (SARMA) recently issued a warning about supposed top-flight, high-priced concrete training workshops being marketed to the industry that contain information not relevant to the local market and not recognised by any of the local industry’s representative bodies. In some cases claims of course accreditation have proved to be false and the academics advertised as trainers knew nothing about these courses.

Roxburgh says the emergence of bogus training initiatives is not surprising. “Concrete is by far the most widely used construction material worldwide and, because of its durability, eco-friendly qualities and economic benefits, the demand for more skills and advanced training in the industry is increasing. But remember that training is technique- and climate-specific, so training based on overseas conditions and techniques could actually be counter-productive to South African companies.”

He recommends that only training, workshops, or seminars endorsed or run by The Concrete Institute, The Concrete Society of Southern Africa, SARMA, local universities, or SA companies or associations serving the local concrete industry should be supported.

Roxburgh says South African companies stand to gain immediate benefits from sending staff to SCT courses. “Their staff members will return with a thorough knowledge of concrete concepts, best practices, latest trends and leading-edge technologies. This translates to an increase in concrete quality, productivity, and ‘getting it right first time’ – all of economic advantage,” he explains.

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