The launch of the BMI Coverland Roofing Academy has been welcomed by the Master Builders Association (MBA) North and the Professional Roof Repair and Waterproofing Association (PRAWA).
“We have been advocating the professionalisation of the roofing and waterproofing industry for some time. The launch of the BMI Coverland Roofing Academy is a very welcome development because it is the first training provider where individuals can obtain an accredited National Certificate in Waterproofing,” says JJ Conradie, Executive Chair of PRAWA. “PRAWA is busy compiling the minimum standards in roofing and waterproofing, so this comes just at the right time.”
Leonie Adams, Training Manager at the BMI Coverland Roofing Academy, says that the importance of roofing cannot be overestimated. “If a roof collapses or leaks, it can cause enormous damage and even loss of life,” she says. “The engineers and architects who design roofs have to comply with professional standards, so it only makes sense that the men and women who actually do the work are held to similarly high standards.”
Adams goes on to explain that the Academy offers a 12-month entry level course, of which 70% is practical training, as well as courses for both skilled and semi-skilled workers within the construction industry who want to change careers. The National Certificate in Waterproofing is rated NQF Level 2 and is accredited by the Construction SETA.
She points out that there is a distinction between approved waterproofing contractors, who have received training in a certain vendor’s products, and certified contractors, who have acquired the required level of all-round skills to be true roofing and waterproofing professionals. Roofing is highly specialised, making training to meet minimum standards essential to ensure that service providers are equipped to deliver the appropriate quality to customers.
Individuals who have been in the industry for many years are also being encouraged to obtain their certification. The Academy recognises prior learning, which can greatly reduce the time needed to obtain the certification.
“Individuals who are already highly skilled through years of experience are a major resource, and certification will help them to expand their customer base and even improve their level of expertise,” Adams says.
The BMI Coverland Roofing Academy is situated in Roodepoort, with its headquarters at JBC House nearby.
An exciting development is the launch of Pledge for a Learner to encourage players within the construction industry to sponsor the training of our people in roofing and waterproofing.
“South Africa’s population is set to reach 82 million by 2035, which means there is a huge need for housing – and that includes good-quality roofing. This is a niche area of the industry that offers excellent career prospects, but it’s vital that new entrants have the requisite skills to ensure that the customers get the right quality, and that the industry can grow sustainably,” Adams says.
“Certification is the cornerstone of any professional industry, and soon only certified roofing and waterproofing contractors will be able to issue certificates of compliance,” says Boitumelo Thipe at MBA North. “The Roofing Academy has a key role to play in helping this important component of our industry offer uniform high standards in line with the rest of the industry.”
Source: Concrete Trends