EASTERN Cape-based members of the construction and ancillary industries now have “unprecedented” opportunities to expand their concrete knowledge.
That’s according to John Roxburgh, senior lecturer at the School of Concrete Technology, who said their offering of online training this year covers 10 courses, aimed at diverse levels of competency in the industry.
SCT, South Africa’s oldest concrete technology training facility, is now part of the newly established Cement & Concrete SA (CCSA), a non-profit entity established through the consolidation of The Concrete Institute (TCI), Concrete Society of Southern Africa (CSSA) and the Association of Cementitious Material Producers (ACMP).
Roxburgh said that whereas in the past potential students in the EC were offered only a handful of live courses every year, the introduction of online training by the SCT now means hundreds of students based all over the province could now register and receive such essential training.
“The time involved in attending the courses has also now been drastically reduced. The courses normally presented live stretched over one to five days but, in the online environment, the training can be stretched over a few more days to cater for students who need to do most of their studies after work. SCT is also offering substantial discounted costs this year,” he said.
The courses for which “flexitime” online training is now nationally available are:
- SCT10 “Introduction to concrete”: A course recommended for small-, medium- and micro-enterprises, junior technical and sales staff or any individual seeking a short introduction to concrete.
- SCT12 “Mortars, plasters, screeds and masonry”: Originally developed to assist NHBRC inspectors, the course explains best practices for sand-cement mixes, what can go wrong with it, and how to prevent such problems. It is ideal for masons, those managing projects, and people who will be assessing the finished work.
- SCT13 “Making concrete bricks and blocks”: A course that provides rudimentary understanding of how to manufacture masonry units that could become the cornerstone of a new business.
- SCT15 “Concrete for batchers and batch plant staff”: This course covers important training on how to produce quality readymix concrete.
- SCT20 “Concrete practice”: Recommended for foremen, clerks-of-work, technicians, supervisors, sales and technical staff in the construction as well as mining industries.
- SCT21 “Concrete industrial floors on the ground”: Aimed at helping engineers and contractors by giving a broad, detailed and practical overview of all facets of industrial floor construction.
- SCT30 “Concrete technology”: An intensive course for civil and structural engineers, experienced technicians and technologists, providing detailed knowledge of how cement and concrete works. Recommended for electrical, mechanical and mining engineers to meet their mining qualification requirements.
- SCT36 “Properties of concrete for the structural designer and constructor”: A special course for engineers with experience or training in concrete technology to refresh their knowledge on important concrete concepts.
- SCT41 and SCT42 “Concrete technology and construction (Stage 2 and 3)”, offered by the Institute of Concrete Technology (ICT) of London: These are ideal bridging courses for potential candidates for the intensive SCT50 “Advanced Concrete Technology” diploma, the world’s leading qualification in concrete technology, run at the School of Concrete Technology every two years.
“The lockdown has given people more time to study, they have learnt how to use online meeting platforms such as Zoom and Teams, and the discounted tariffs now offered by the School has also been a major incentive,” Roxburgh said.
“The fact that we can offer training for a specific company’s personnel – at a suitable time for the client – also means that staff productivity can be maximised as there is no travel or lecture room time involved. Furthermore, as the lecture sessions are recorded, a delegate who misses it can view it later.”