Construction craft skills requirements in sub-Saharan Africa: a focus on Zambia

Purpose – As the development agenda for sub-Sahara Africa (SSA) gains momentum, it has become necessary to refocus attention on effective and sustainable human resource development strategies for the construction sector in the region that include craft skills. Aims to provide insight into the availability and quality of construction craft skills in Zambia, and the SSA region in general. Design/methodology/approach – Using Zambia as a country case study, results of a survey that was designed to assess the construction industry's perceptions of the quality and availability of construction craft skills in Zambia are presented. The surveyed contractors' support for the introduction of a sector-specific training levy in Zambia was also investigated and is reported. Findings – Findings point to both poor quality and shortage of construction craft skills in Zambia. Results suggest that construction sector-specific training levy would be the most viable, sustainable and industry-wide supported option for supplementing government funding in the training of construction craft skills in Zambia, and probably in the SSA region. Research limitations/implications – The survey was exploratory in nature and depth, and SSA is a vast and diverse region. The results of the case study may not correctly reflect construction skills exigencies across the whole SSA region. Originality/value – The results provide information and advice for both policy makers and contractors concerned with construction crafts skills issues in Zambia, and SSA in general. © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited