Implementing efficient and effective learnerships in the construction industry
Orientation: Overcoming skills deficits has been a major concern in South Africa since the advent of democracy in 1994. Research purpose: This study investigated the current state of the learnership system in the construction sector and identified the major obstacles. Motivation for the study: The study was an attempt to illustrate why it is necessary to implement efficient and effective learnerships in the construction industry Research design, approach and method: A learnership evaluation framework was developed and indicated the critical factors for efficient and effective learnership implementation as well as the roles of the various key stakeholders. The sample included respondents from building and civil companies (n = 90), learners (n = 135), accredited training providers (n = 14) and Construction Education and Training Authority and industry-related bodies (n = 10). Main findings: It was found that descriptive statistics, non-parametric tests and a content analysis of the Western Cape data indicated that, despite low satisfaction with the system in the workplace and among institutional providers, the learnership system was nevertheless regarded as an appropriate means to develop artisans. Practical/managerial implications: Companies were motivated to offer learnerships but felt inadequately prepared for actual implementation. Learnerships were felt to demonstrate effectiveness in terms of employability and skills enhancement. Contribution/value-add: This research provides a theoretical framework to understand, describe and assess the implementation of efficient and effective learnerships in the construction industry.