Over 300 artisans in Manyatta Constituency, Embu, have received accreditation from the National Construction Authority (NCA) in collaboration with area CDF Office after undergoing a retooling training.
The training was meant to equip the artisans, many of whom have been practicing without certification with knowledge on safety and best practices in the building and construction industry as well as the requisite documents.
This, MP Gitonga Mukunji, said will ensure the artisans in various fields of expertise including masonry, carpentry, plumbing and electrical works have a good understanding and the required competence to perform in the workplace.
Mukunji said the accreditation was set to increase their employability prospects and enable them to cash in on the upcoming housing projects on the horizon as the global economy shifts away from white-collar jobs.
“As we are talking of the housing projects and with the passage of the housing development levy, it is prudent that we prepare our people on the ground to take the upcoming opportunities,” he said.
He said he wants to build a strong team of qualified and accredited artisans from across the constituency to position them well so that they can use their skills to earn a living.
Speaking on Friday at Manyatta Technical and Vocational College where the participants were awarded certificates by NCA, Mukunji said he will also be using the same workforce in CDF funded projects.
“I will be creating an association for the ‘fundis’ of Manyatta Constituency who I will ensure I use in my projects of CDF in my push for labor based contracts,” the MP said.
He said he wants to accommodate and engage as many locals as possible in his development budget of around Sh. 60 million.
NCA Research and Business Development Acting Manager Engineer Stephen Nyakondo said the challenge they had been facing in the construction industry was having unqualified artisans, leading to collapse of buildings.
“As an authority we have moved very fast to improve the quality of the industry and such a program as the one we are carrying out here is very important to bring on board qualified, tried and tested personnel,” he said.
He said from their investigations, the people who have been working in buildings that have ended up collapsing have not been accredited or of good competence.
Engineer Nyakondo called on developers and investors to only engage accredited artisans for quality works.
Manyatta Technical and Vocational College Principal David Nthuci said the government was also going out of its way to teach people foreign languages to export labor where the job market is available.
He said currently they were teaching German language at the institution to increase chances of learners getting opportunities there.
By Samuel Waititu