An evaluation of the implementation of construction learnerships on the expanded public works programme : a case study of eThekwini Vuk'uphile I, KwaZulu-Natal
Mayombe, Celestin Busare.
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This study was based on the findings of an evaluation of the implementation of construction learnerships in the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP). The learnership programme in the EPWP (or Contractor Learnership Programme) forms construction firms which include one learner contractor and two site supervisors. The research focused on the eThekwini Vuk’uphile I Learnership Programme. This was aimed at developing sustainable emerging contractors and job creation. The overall purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of the implementation of the eThekwini Vuk’uphile I Learnerships Programme. A survey design was used for this research, using questionnaires to gather data and which sought both quantitative and qualitative (or triangulation) information from the sample in order to bring out views from a variety of key stakeholders. The research found positive results reflecting well on the training providers involved in the implementation of the eThekwini Vuk’uphile I. The programme reached three-quarters of the target populations who were youths, women and historically disadvantaged. The local newspapers were the most effective source of knowledge about the existence of the eThekwini Vuk’uphile I Programme. Finally, the study found that the overall implementation was successful. This is because the contractors were able to sustain their firms beyond the learnership programme. However, as a pilot project, eThekwini Vuk’uphile I experienced considerable challenges. The main problems concerning the implementation were availability of suitable projects in time, commitment and buy-in of stakeholders, mentors in short supply, and learner contractor/ learner supervisor disputes on profits. The findings suggest that these problems need to be dealt with by (1) refining recruitment and selection, (2) involving key stakeholders during the planning stage, (3) identifying projects prior learnership implementation, (4) improving the adversarial relationship between contractors and supervisors, and (5) designing and implementing monitoring and evaluation framework.