The switch to online training by Cement & Concrete SA’s School of Concrete Technology has been enthusiastically welcomed by the construction and related industries all over South Africa, says John Roxburgh, senior lecturer.
Roxburgh says it is evident that the online mode of tuition has many benefits for all involved in concrete with some of the benefits not totally expected, nor immediately evident, when the concept was launched last year during the first phases of lockdown.
“The lockdowns have undoubtedly given people more time to study. They now know how to use online meeting platforms and because we can offer training for a specific company’s personnel – at a suitable time for the client – it means that staff productivity can be maximised as there is no travel or lecture room time involved. Our tuition now also reaches even remote rural parts of the country, and the discounted tariffs now offered by the School have also proved a major attraction,” he adds.
Roxburgh says there were obviously challenges to overcome initially for the virtual teaching of an intricate subject such as concrete technology with its practical facets, but the School has optimised available online avenues and now successfully employs a blend of online self-study, video delivery platforms, and online Zoom or MS Team conferencing.
The School of Concrete Technology now offers several online training courses, aimed at diverse levels of competency in the construction and allied industries. Prior to the use of the online mode, these courses were normally presented at the School over one to five days but online they can be stretched over a few more days to cater for students who need to do most of their studies after work.
Some of the courses for which ‘flexitime’ online training is now available are:
- SCT10 “Introduction to concrete”: A course recommended for small-, medium- and micro-enterprises, junior technical and sales staff or any individual seeking a short introduction to concrete.
- SCT12 “Mortars, plasters, screeds and masonry”: Originally developed to assist NHBRC inspectors, the course explains best practices for sand-cement mixes, what can go wrong with it, and how to prevent such problems. It is ideal for masons, those managing projects, and people assessing the finished work.
- SCT13 “Making concrete bricks and blocks”: A course that provides rudimentary understanding of how to manufacture masonry units that could become the cornerstone of a new business.
- SCT15 “Concrete for batchers and batch plant staff”: This course covers important training on how to produce quality readymix concrete.
- SCT20 “Concrete practice”: Recommended for foremen, clerks-of-work, technicians, supervisors, sales and technical staff in the construction as well as mining industries.
- SCT21 “Concrete industrial floors on the ground”: Aimed at helping engineers and contractors by giving a broad, detailed and practical overview of all facets of industrial floor construction.
- SCT30 “Concrete technology”: An intensive course for civil and structural engineers, experienced technicians and technologists, providing detailed knowledge of how cement and concrete works. It is recommended for electrical, mechanical and mining engineers to meet their mining qualification requirements.
- SCT41 and SCT42 “Concrete technology and construction (Stage 2 and 3)”, offered on behalf of the Institute of Concrete Technology (ICT) of London: Bridging courses for potential candidates for the intensive SCT50 “Advanced Concrete Technology” diploma, the world’s leading qualification in concrete technology, offered by the School of Concrete Technology.