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As with most jobs, training is a key part of becoming a builder. If you apply for any job in the building industry, the employer will want to know what experience you have and whether you are able to provide any evidence of training.

So let’s delve into this area in more detail, to give you an idea of what to expect when you are considering becoming a builder in South Africa.

Do you need builder training?

Yes, you do. While it may be possible to get casual work on a building site and to learn as you go along, it is always best to get professional training. Being able to provide certificates or other evidence of experience in your particular area is a good thing to be able to do.

There are cases in family run businesses where you can learn on the job and gain experience in a practical sense as you go along, but even here it is advisable to take training courses if you can. Imagine taking over the family business in a few years from now. Clients are perfectly entitled to ask you whether you have experience and qualifications, and if you say no to qualifications they will probably go elsewhere.

Are there any general introductory builder training courses you can take?

Yes there are – one good example is the INTEC Basic Construction Principles course. This is a short course that results in a certificate and it is the ideal course to take as an introduction to the world of building and construction.

There are lots of building courses you can take in other areas too. Some will give you more experience and information on how to tender for jobs, while others will be on a more practical level as far as

What is CETA? I’ve read about this in connection with some courses

CETA stands for the Construction Engineering Training Authority. They were established in 2000 and they exist to ensure that proper training takes place in the construction and building industry in South Africa. If you see a training course that is approved by CETA (or run in connection with the authority) you will know it is a good one that is worth looking into.

You may also see accreditations from other similar areas, which form part of the overall SETA (Sector Education and Training Authority) group. These will be recognised throughout the industry as SETA applies to a range of jobs and industries in South Africa. Double check the course you want to take is accredited in this way and you can be confident you’ve chosen a quality course.

Of course, training in the classroom can only take you so far. But most courses include practical learning and training as well. For example you will practice bricklaying before you make it onto the building site, so you can develop your skills in the area you choose.

Builder training takes time but it provides the foundation to an excellent career for you.

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