South Africa and Zambia launch new training initiative to create decent jobs in green building/construction sector

In collaboration with the ILO, government and representatives from South Africa and Zambia kick-started a regional green business management training programme. The programme aims at enhancing competitiveness and promoting sustainable business and decent work among medium, small and micro enterprises(MSMEs)of the building/construction sector.

News | 16 October 2013
The Start and Improve Your Green Construction Business (SIYGCB) training programme is an adaptation of the long-standing global ILO Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB) training programme, now offered by public and private training providers in more than 130 countries around the world. 

A product development and validation workshop held on 8 and 9 October 2013 in Johannesburg included delegates from Zambia, Namibia and South African (Gauteng, Free State, and Western Cape Provinces). In particular, the South African Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB), Green Building Council (GBCSA) and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) of South Africa, as well as the National Construction Council (NCC) and Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority (TEVTA) of Zambia provided key inputs towards the development of the SIYGCB management training programme.

The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) in South Africa has estimated that almost 25,000 jobs can be created in green construction by investing in the insulation and installation of solar water heaters. This is in line with the ambitions set forward by the South African Government in the New Growth Path and the Green Economy Accord, which aims at creating 300,000 green jobs over the next seven years. It is expected that a significant portion of these jobs will be created through the retrofitting of buildings and the insulation and installation of solar geysers, amongst others.

In Zambia, the One UN Green Jobs programme aims to enhance the capacity and competitiveness of MSMEs in green construction, and in turn create 5,000 decent green jobs and improve the quality of 2,000 jobs in green construction. The programme is being implemented by relevant ministries and institutions within the Government of Zambia and national stakeholders such as the National Association of Medium and Small Scale Contractors (NAMSSC), Zambian Association of Women in Construction (ZAWIC), Zambia Institute of Architects (ZIA), National Union of Building, Engineering and General Workers (NUBEGW) among others, with technical assistance from the ILO on business development services, UNCTAD on business linkages, UNEP on green building policy, ITC on financial services and FAO on green building materials, products and technology, all with financial assistance from the Government of Finland.

In support of these public and private sector efforts to drive job creation in the green economy, the South African Green Business Council supports the founding of a Green Building Council in Zambia. Stakeholders from Zambia and South Africa will bring the ILO SIYGCB training programme to the market for emerging, small- and medium-scale contractors before the end of 2014. The SIYGCB training programme will be piloted in the Free State Province of South Africa as well as in the North Western, Copperbelt, Central, Eastern and Southern Provinces of Zambia, with local stakeholders from both the public and private sector playing a key role in testing and improving the product to pre-empt  and meet the needs of the MSME market in green construction. 

For more information please contact:
Mr Jens Dyring Christensen, Chief Technical Advisor – SME Free State, South Africa, 
Mr Tapera Muzira, Chief Technical Advisor – Zambia Green Jobs UN Joint Programme, 
Mr Karl Pfeffer, Technical Officer – ILO Green Jobs Facility, South Africa, 
Mr Nico Westphal, Associate Expert – ILO Green Jobs Facility, South Africa,