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DRAFT OCCUPATIONAL STANDARDS FOR KENYAN CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY CONSTRUCTION WORKERS AND SITE SUPERVISORS BY NCA TASKFORCE ON TRAINING FEBRUARY 2016

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Page 1: OCCUPATIONAL STANDARDS FOR KENYAN CONSTRUCTION … · KNEC Kenya National Examination Council KPC Kenya Pipeline Company KPI Kenya Power Institute ... achieve when carrying out functions

DRAFT OCCUPATIONAL

STANDARDS FOR KENYAN

CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY

CONSTRUCTION WORKERS AND SITE

SUPERVISORS

BY

NCA TASKFORCE ON TRAINING

FEBRUARY 2016

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

The National Construction Authority (NCA) through its Research, Capacity Building and

Training Department, with the support of the Industry stakeholders, coordinated the

development of this report. The Authority engaged experts in the industry who formed a 40-

member taskforce that crafted this report using the gap analysis reports, benchmarking, data

collected from the industry, their expertise and experience and a wide range of other

materials.

I would like to acknowledge the efforts of all experts and stakeholders, too numerous to

mention, that were engaged at different stages of collecting, analyzing and compiling the data

collected from the industry. Additionally, I thank all stakeholders who constructively

critiqued and reshaped the document at the stakeholders’ consultative meetings and whose

inputs enriched the report.

My profound thanks go to the Taskforce members and sub-committees members for their

outstanding commitment and effort towards achievement of the taskforce mandate.

Compilation of the final report was ably supported by the NCA Secretariat composed of Eng.

Stephen Nyang’au, Erick Maklago, and Faith Mumbe.

Finally, we thank Prof. Arch. Paul Maringa, Principal Secretary, State Department of Public

Works, the NCA Board and particularly the Executive Director Arch. Daniel Manduku for

their support.

Dr. (QS.) Isabella Njeri Wachira-Towey,

TASKFORCE CHAIRPERSON

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT ........................................................................................................ i TABLE OF CONTENTS ................................................................................................................. ii

ACRONYMS .......................................................................................................................... iii

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ..................................................................................................... v

INTRODUCTION.................................................................................................................... 6

History of the Kenyan craftsman .................................................................................................... 6

Background ....................................................................................................................................... 9

TASKFORCE TERMS OF REFERENCE ......................................................................... 11

Project Definition ............................................................................................................................ 11

Project Brief .................................................................................................................................... 11

Deliverables of the taskforce .......................................................................................................... 11

Membership .................................................................................................................................... 11

METHODOLOGY ................................................................................................................ 13

FINDINGS .............................................................................................................................. 14

Civil Engineering works ................................................................................................................. 17 1.1.1 Summary of trades ...................................................................................................... 17

1.1.2 Plant Operator ............................................................................................................. 19

1.1.3 Site Supervisor ............................................................................................................ 22

1.1.4 Foreman ....................................................................................................................... 25

1.1.5 Survey Assistant .......................................................................................................... 27

1.1.6 Safety Officer .............................................................................................................. 29

1.1.7 Drain layer ................................................................................................................... 32

1.1.8 Landscaper .................................................................................................................. 34

1.1.9 Banksman .................................................................................................................... 37

1.1.10 Laboratory Assistant ................................................................................................... 39

1.1.11 Batch Plant Operator ................................................................................................... 41

1.1.12 Storekeeper / Store man .............................................................................................. 43

Assessment .............................................................................................................................. 45

1.1.13 Assessment guidelines................................................................................................. 45

1.1.14 Accreditation guidelines .............................................................................................. 46

1.1.15 Grading ........................................................................................................................ 47

CONCLUSION & RECOMMENDATIONS ...................................................................... 48

CONCLUSION ............................................................................................................................... 48

RECOMMENDATIONS ............................................................................................................... 49

REFERENCES ....................................................................................................................... 50

APPENDICES ........................................................................................................................ 51

TASK FORCE ON TRAINING MEMBERS .............................................................................. 51

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ACRONYMS

AAK Architectural Association of Kenya

AC Alternate Current

CAK Communications Authority of Kenya

CCTV Closed Circuit Television

CDACC Curriculum Development Assessment and Certificate Council

DC Direct Current

DKUT Dedan Kimathi University of Technology

ERC Energy Regulatory Commission

GDC Geothermal Development Company

GDP Gross Domestic Product

HDF High Density Fiber

HFF Housing Finance Foundation

HIV Human Immunodeficiency Virus

IEK Institute of Engineers of Kenya

IQSK Institute of Quantity Surveyors of Kenya

JKUAT Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology

KABCEC Kenya Association of Building and Civil Engineering Contractors

KCPE Kenya Certificate of Primary Education

KCSE Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education

KENHA Kenya National Highways Authority

KERRA Kenya Rural Roads Authority

KEWI Kenya Water Institute

KFMB Kenya Federation of Master Builders

KIHBT Kenya Institute of Highways and Building Technology

KNEC Kenya National Examination Council

KPC Kenya Pipeline Company

KPI Kenya Power Institute

KPLC Kenya Power and Lighting Company

KRTI Kenya Railways Training Institute

KURA Kenya Urban Roads Authority

KWS Kenya Wildlife Service

MDF Medium Density Fiber

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MWI Ministry of Water and Irrigation

NCA National Construction Authority

NITA National Industrial Training Authority

OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Act

PV Photovoltaic

PVC Polyvinyl Chloride

RACECA Roads and Civil Engineering Contractors Association

STI Sexually Transmitted Infection

TUM Technical University of Mombasa

TV Television

TVETA Technical and Vocational Education Training Authority

UK United Kingdom

UON University of Nairobi

USA United States of America

YMCA Young Men Christian Association

YWCA Young Women Christian Association

Definitions:

Fundi Kiswahili word for Craftsman

Occupational standards Statements of the standards of performance individuals must

achieve when carrying out functions in the workplace, together

with specifications of the underpinning knowledge and

understanding

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Skill refers to the ability of the worker based on dexterity, practical knowledge, theoretical

knowledge and social ability. Such skill is possessed through qualifications, experience and

expertise. Accordingly, the skill of a craftsman and construction supervisors entails all

he/she requires to meet his work responsibilities. Given the dynamic nature of the

construction, work responsibilities of these workers change over time as technology,

materials and condition of engagement change.

In recognition of this NCA set up a taskforce to define the current occupational standards of

craftsmen and construction site supervisors. Specifically the taskforce was to define crafts in

the entire construction Industry; develop syllabi/course outline for the defined crafts; develop

assessment and accreditation formats for the crafts. The taskforce used review of other

construction sectors occupational standards, experience of members, questionnaires and

interviews as the main methods of data collections.

A total of 55 trades were identified; 14 in building works, 8 in civil works, 17 trades in

mechanical works, 16 trades in electrical works, and 12 life skills. The competencies for each

of the 55 trades were defined to illustrate the application of each trade in the industry

including their assessment and accreditation criteria, which was based on complexity of the

work, skill development and practical experience. This represents a significant change for

the current status where only 5 trades are recognised.

These findings represents a revolution in the Kenyan construction sector that will potentially

significantly change the way skilled workers and site supervisors are recognised and

accredited. Skilled work and construction supervisor work is poised to become competitive

and a choice career amongst young Kenyans who will find it offering decent and fulfilling

life long careers. In addition is the official recognition of prior learning by acknowledging

that construction workers and construction site supervisors may be trained formally or

informally. Other impacts of these findings include; improving quality of construction works

by raising the quality of workers skills, pre-requisite to accreditation, improving wages by

recognizing all forms of skilled work, creating a wider variety of marketable skills, reducing

importation of skills and enabling exportation, improving training programs by identifying

marketable skills, and building capacity for local contractors by enabling provision quality

craft skills. These benefits will accrue to all the stakeholders in the construction sector

namely the construction workers, construction site supervisors, employers, government,

consultants, and all Kenyans in general. It is therefore a win-win for all and should be

supported by all as we pursue the NCA motto of ‘Excellence in Construction’.

The taskforce recommends that these findings form the basis for market oriented curriculum

development, that a framework of skilled workers and site supervisors apprenticeship be

formulated to cater for new entrants, that training institutions be equipped with appropriate

training staff, equipment and training materials to ensure quality skills development, and a

construction skills audit be conducted to establish the number of skilled workers in every

county and the forecasted demand as a basis for mounting training interventions.

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

The construction sector is a great player in the socio-economic developments of Kenya and

contributes greatly to the country’s Gross Domestic Product. The National Construction

Authority (NCA) is a State Corporation established under the National Construction

Authority Act No. 41 of 2011 with the main mandate of overseeing the construction industry

and coordinating its development. The Authority serves to provide, promote, review and co-

ordinate training programmes organized by public and private accredited training centers for

skilled construction workers and construction site supervisors. In addition, the Authority is

mandated to accredit and certify skilled construction workers and construction site

supervisors.

In order to promote and stimulate the development, improvement and expansion of the

construction industry, the Authority has rolled a plan to accredit and certify skills of

1.5million skilled construction workers and 0.5million construction site supervisors in the

next five years and in partnership with stakeholders in the construction industry offer

appropriate training programs. The goal of this report is to create a basis for such

accreditation and training of site supervisors and skilled construction workers and with the

objective of improving quality of constructed facilities.

History of the Kenyan craftsman

Kenneth King documented the development and training of indigenous craftsmen in Kenya in

his 1977 book ‘The African Artisan’. During the colonial days the Africans were judged by

the colonial authorities as being unskilled and unproductive and lacking any craft worth

speaking of. This may well have applied to construction skills because the vernacular

building skills of the indigenous African population were perceived to be of no value to

Europeans who were interested in replicating the building processes and technologies from

their home countries. Consequently, the education system offered to the African (1911 -

1934) was mainly vocational where pupils were indentured as they entered primary school

i.e. most of their school day was organised around productive labour in a particular vocation

(e.g. masonry, carpentry, etc.), to which the pupils were legally bound. After primary school

the ‘natives’ continued the next three years of their apprenticeship at the Native Industrial

Training Depot (NITD). Through this, the colonial administrators manipulated the formal

school system to produce craftsmen to meet their skilled manpower needs. Additionally, the

skilling of Africans was driven by the difficult financial state of the white settlers who wished

to substitute the Indian craftsmen with cheaper African artisans. The Indian craftsmen, who

had been brought to Kenya as a short-term solution to skilled manpower shortages,

monopolised almost all the skilled positions including building skills at the time. This

marked the introduction of apprenticeship as a means of acquiring craft skills in Kenya based

on the UK apprenticeship system.

The Kenyan apprentice had, however, radically different aspirations from the UK apprentice.

The former considered himself privileged for he was drawn from a tiny school-attending elite

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at the top of the native educational pyramid. Consequently, the apprentices did not consider

craftsmanship or working on the settler farms as life-long careers but as staging posts to more

prestigious careers in business, retail trade and the acquisition of land. Additionally, the five

year apprenticeships produced craftsmen that were insufficiently versatile to meet the needs

of European-owned estates and were equally unacceptable to the Indian firms who preferred

on-the-job training. This marked the beginning of a mismatch between formally acquired

craft skills and job market requirements.

The colonial government in Kenya lacked interest in the methods of craft skill acquisition

used in the Indian community even though they were highly effective in destroying both

African and European competition. Unlike their European counterparts, the Indian artisans

(mainly carpenters and masons) held relatively privileged positions in the social hierarchy of

their own communities because they belonged to a high caste in India where their services

were only engaged in the construction of houses for the privileged (upper castes), and the

construction of temples and public buildings. Moreover, the Indian artisan (before the mid-

1970s) was usually employed directly by the client and had direct control of the labour

process which was based on unwritten handicraft principles and practices developed through

years of application. These principles and practices were not learned in a formal institution

but mainly via on-the-job training. Indian skills thus thrived chiefly on improvisation and

this started to reproduce itself among their first African employees. Unlike the formal trade

schools graduates, such craftsmen were unschooled like their Indian masters (known as

Mistris); did not seek formal skill accreditation and learned the various technical processes

entirely on-the-job.

Indian craft training led to the emergence of a different class of more successful African

craftsmen who spread their skill throughout the country and in many areas constructed the

first non-vernacular buildings in stone. These Indian-trained craftsmen also introduced

informal apprentice training. For a consideration, they took on learners who stayed with the

masters until they felt they had acquired sufficient skill. The period of training was not fixed

but depended on how long it took the apprentice to gain the skill depending on their aptitude

and the work at hand. Skill proficiency was exemplified by how fast the trainee learnt to use

certain tools or make certain fixtures, mainly via the improvisation in tools and techniques.

In such informal apprentice training, trade tests are irrelevant; training is product specific and

generally lacks any integration into the next level of technology. This method, however,

succeeded in filling the demand for marketable skills and artisans trained were more likely to

remain craftsmen throughout their working life.

An alternative form of craft skill acquisition in the Indian sector was informal on-the-job

skilling. In this format, a small number of skilled Indian craftsmen would be hired to work

with several hundred African casuals. As work progressed, differentiation would take place

within the casuals with the Indian masters selecting those who showed aptitude for certain

skills e.g. block work, plastering, roofing, etc., train them on-the-job and increase their pay

accordingly. This training emphasised individual efficiency and productivity, producing

rough craftsmen without much formal schooling. As they gained proficiency, this select

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group of African craftsmen would either be employed permanently or became labour-only-

subcontractors to the Indian contracting firms. These emerging African labour-only-

subcontractors trained their workers on-the-job just as they had been trained and were willing

to take on apprentices who were educationally disqualified from entering formal

apprenticeships.

The Colonial government and the Indian masters thus ran two parallel systems of training of

construction craftsmen in Kenya. The Indian system of training, although informal, proved

to be more competitive and ultimately came to dominate the construction sector.

Consequently, the formal African craftsmen training and indenturing system in primary

school was abandoned. The NITD was converted into a post primary level trade-and-

technical school and five other such schools were established in the 1940s and 50s, producing

teams of graduates who went around the country building government sponsored school

blocks and furniture. Through building the government schools, NITD graduates gained

sufficient work experience to become self-employed. They, however, were not readily

accepted in the construction sector which, by then, was dominated by Indian firms who

preferred their own on-the-job training (King, 1977).

After independence in 1963, several initiatives were formulated to offer opportunities to

school leavers and to develop as craftsmen. The Kenyan government enacted the Industrial

Training Act in 1964 modelled after the UK Industrial Training Act, in an attempt to regulate

training. The Act only recognised the UK style formal craft skilling and ignored the Indian

formats. The Act created the Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT) which took over the

NITD trade-and-technical school which continued offering crafts skills mainly targeting

secondary school leavers via formal apprenticeship courses. It however changed its name to

National Industrial Vocational Training Centre (NIVTC). The other NIVTC associated

schools offering construction craft skills include Mombasa Industrial Training Centre

(MITC) established in 1979, Kisumu Industrial Training Centre (KITC) in 1971, and Athi

River Vocational Training Centre (ARVTC) in 2003.

Other institutions set up to train craftsmen targeted primary school graduates who made up

the majority of school leavers. The National Youth Service (NYS), which is funded by the

government, established a two year program in 1966 that linked little general education with

productive labour and gave short intensive vocational instruction in, among other skills,

masonry, plumbing and carpentry leading to DIT grade three trade test. The NYS has,

however, over the years, shifted its focus towards secondary school leavers. Other vocational

institutions were formed by voluntary bodies notably, the Village polytechnics.

Village Polytechnics (later renamed Youth Polytechnics) were developed in the mid 1960s by

the National Christian Council of Kenya (NCCK), to equip primary school graduates with

skills e.g. masonry and carpentry, that would enable them to be self-employed or to find

wage employment in their local communities. They were supposed to prepare their graduates

to exploit the income opportunities of the rural areas; to offer a low cost form of skilling; and

to steer clear of formal trade certification. Training in YPs was generally informal with the

institutions being self-sustaining by producing goods for the local market. Over the years the

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YPs abandoned their initial vision and became increasingly formalized, offering courses

linked to formal trade testing.

Other formal vocational schools include Approved schools, Technical schools, Christian

Industrial Training Centres, YMCA Craft Training, YWCA Vocational Training, Limuru

Boys Centre, and Private technical academies. All these offer courses linked to formal trade

testing.

In contemporary Kenya, the skilling of construction craftsmen continues to follow both the

Indian system and the UK system in parallel, with the former maintaining its dominance

despite recent government intervention. The dominance of the former is sustained by the

continued dominance of Indian owned firms in the Kenyan construction sector. Indians (both

Kenyan and foreign), own more than 80% of all the large and medium sized construction

firms. In addition, many African firm owners and craftsmen trained in the Indian firms

perpetuate the Indian methods when training their workmen.

Background

Skill refers to the ability of the worker based on dexterity, practical knowledge, theoretical

knowledge and social ability. From this perspective, skill is a social construct that delimits

certain work as skilled, thereby reserving it for those labelled skilled and ensuring high

wages, better chances of employment or some other advantage. Such skill is possessed

through qualifications, experience and expertise. Accordingly, the skill of a craftsman entails

all he/she requires to meet his work responsibilities.

The construction industry is a major source of employment worldwide, arguably the second

largest after agriculture, and generally the primary one in urban areas. Construction (new and

maintenance) are labour-intensive activities, generating many jobs per unit of investment on

and off the site. Site production entails a variety of skilled activities requiring various

categories of craftsmanship, including masonry, carpentry and joinery, painting, plumbing,

and electrical, among others. Consequently, its success is dependent on the availability of

craftsmen possessing the various requisite skills. Where appropriate skills among craftsmen

are lacking, the sector is unable to meet the client’s needs; innovation is stifled as employers

prefer to use tried and tested methods, mainly traditional crafts; the sector has difficulty

adopting new technology; and health and safety standards deteriorate. Accordingly, skills

development among construction craftsmen and site supervisors is an essential component of

overall training in construction that plays an important role in guaranteeing the success of the

site production phase and indeed the whole construction process.

The skills of construction craftsmen and site supervisors are dynamic as they respond to

changes in the construction sector e.g. new technology, materials, components and processes.

Moreover, skilling is an essential tool for achieving performance improvements that aims at

moving the sector away from competing on cost towards competing on quality. A related

benefit of training of the construction workforce is the enhancement of job satisfaction which

in turn allows employers to get the best out of the workforce and ultimately helps to build a

competitive construction sector. Other drivers of skilling in construction include the need to

respond to job changes over time; retrain existing employees to take on new jobs; prepare for

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predictable future changes in skills; minimise wasteful activities that reduce worker

productivity; provide potential for promotion and flexibility; improve sector competitiveness

(via improvement of quality, productivity, safety and innovation); promote decent work; and

develop human capital. Amongst the skilled workers and site supervisors, changes in skill

requirements are exemplified by the continuing erosion of the demarcation lines of existing

trades, increasing need for specialisation or multiskilling and the growth of new classes of

skills.

In Kenya like many other countries, the construction industry has experienced all the above

skilling change drivers which together have transformed in the work environment of skilled

workers and site supervisors over the last three decades years. Additionally, in the recent past

the construction industry growth-rate hit a peak (13.1% of GDP in 2014) essentially because

of the many of activities related to economic growth in the country to become a major driver

of economic growth and employing more than one million people. The demand of skilled

workers and construction supervisors has skyrocketed and especially specialized skilled

workers.

Traditionally the industry had only five trades as defined and recognised by the national

industrial training authority (NITA) namely masonry, carpenter/joiner, painter, plumber pipe

fitter, and electrical wireman. Given the skills change drivers outlined these five trades are

no longer representative of the sector needs. The Authority through the registration

department under the Rapids Results Initiative (RRI) conducted a survey of construction site

supervisors and skilled workers in the construction industry and the findings shows that only

17% of the workers in the construction industry have gone through formal education and

training. This in turn leads to skill shortages; poor quality workmanship; challenges in

accreditation; and slow technology uptake. The Authority through the research department

also conducted a mapping exercise of training institutions that offer construction related in

the country and it was apparent that there is a clear challenge in skills development in the

construction sector with the current curriculum out-dated and unresponsive to the current

demands of the industry.

The above clearly pointed to a dire need for the definition of occupational standards (required

skill sets) of skilled site workers and construction site supervisors. Accordingly, the

Authority formed a taskforce to identify the craft skills and site supervisor skills required by

the Kenyan construction sectors and their competencies.

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CHAPTER TWO

TASKFORCE TERMS OF REFERENCE

The National Construction Authority is a state corporation that was established following the

enactment of the National Construction Authority Act No. 41 of 2011. The NCA Act has

bestowed upon the Authority the mandate to oversee the construction industry and co-

ordinate its development with training and accreditation being one of the main functions.

The Authority is empowered through NCA Act No 41 of 2011, Part II and the NCA

regulations 2014 Part V to accredit all skilled construction workers and construction site

supervisors. In furtherance of this mandate the Authority seeks to register all skilled

construction workers and construction site supervisors. This exercise is aimed at accelerating

the accreditation process as an obligation of the Authority under Performance Contract

2014/2015 and a core objective of the strategic plan 2015-2020. The Authority has therefore

set-up a taskforce on training to review the crafts skills in the construction industry and

inform the training and accreditation functions of the Authority. The Taskforce members

worked with the training department team at NCA. The taskforce set up late 2015 was to

work for 15 working days with a possibility for follow-up work.

Project Definition

This exercise is thus aimed at matching the supply and demand for artisan skills in the

Construction Sector through a review of the current curriculum and proposes a new syllabus

to meet performance gaps in the construction industry.

Project Brief

The project is to develop standardized syllabi for training and accreditation criteria for

construction skilled workers. Under the NCA Act (2011), Part V of the NCA Regulations

2014, the Authority is mandated to come up with an accreditation/certification program for

skilled construction workers and site supervisors and also provide bridging courses for

construction skilled workers. The National Construction Authority Training department shall

co-ordinate the program and monitor the implementation of the same. The syllabus to be

developed will form the basis for accreditation of site supervisors and construction skilled

workers.

Deliverables of the taskforce

Definition of crafts in the entire construction Industry

Developing syllabi/course outline for the defined crafts

Developing assessment modules for the crafts

Developing an apprenticeship framework for the construction industry

Developing new accreditation format for the construction industry

Membership

The membership of the taskforce was drawn from training institutions and industry players.

The aspects in consideration when forming taskforce include; academic background in

construction related course or education, should be experts/experienced in their areas of

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profession, should be willing and able to be part of the programme to the end, the

representatives should have no alternates (to ensure efficiency), and essential understanding

of the Construction Sector in Kenya was also key. The taskforce membership was from the

following institutions: -

1. Universities (UON, JKUAT, TUM, DKUT)

2. Technical Colleges (KIHBT, KEWI, KRTI, KPTS)

3. Training regulators (NITA, TVETA, KNEC, CDACC)

4. Industry players (ERC, CAK, KPC, HFF, KWS, KPLC, GDC, MWI, KENHA,

KURA, CENTUM learning)

5. Contractors Associations (KFMB, KABCEC and RACECA)

6. Professional bodies (AAK, IEK, IQSK).

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CHAPTER THREE

METHODOLOGY

The taskforce embarked on brainstorming session based on the provisions of the NCA act in

terms of the classes of works. The class of works which include Buildings, Civil works,

Water works, Electrical and Mechanical works were further divided into sub-classes

identifying the services offered under each. The occupational standards required to execute

the services were then identified i.e. types of skills the craftsmen and site supervisors

practiced, requisite qualifications, experience and the duties. The teams then developed tools

for collecting information from the various stakeholders/practitioners (government agencies,

contractors, employers, consultants, manufacturers and trainers) and compared them

documentation provided from existing institutions that train craftsmen. The data collection

tools included questionnaires, interviews and secondary sources e.g. current syllabi.

To further enrich the report and in consideration of the global nature of the industry, the team

considered training manuals from other construction industries especially those with similar

experiences to Kenya. These included USA, China, Germany, India, South Africa and

United Kingdom amongst others.

Given the historical background of the Kenyan craftsmen as outlined above, the taskforce

was consciously aware of the need to embrace skilled workers and site supervisors trained

formally and informally. The requirements for each trade therefore acknowledge and provide

for both forms of training with no hindrances for either group achieving the highest level of

craftsmanship as is currently accepted in the construction market. This essential is

recognition of prior learning which will henceforth be acknowledged as a legitimate training

method offering certifiable and acreditable skills.

The taskforce was divided to five sub-committees based on the NCA classes of works namely

Building Works, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering Services, Mechanical Engineering

Services and Life Skills. Life skills although not a technical trade was added because the

taskforce embraced the concept of lifelong learning for construction workers and site

supervisors hence the need to have essential supporting skills. These life skills will in

addition enable the workmen to improve their livelihood, become more professional, enhance

self-employment and form a basis for advanced skilling.

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CHAPTER FOUR

FINDINGS

The technical skills acquired by the craftsmen are indicated in Table 1 below. These skills

follow the norms existing in the construction sector in Kenya and mainly revolve around

traditional crafts trades. The trade classifications were borrowed from the traditional trades in

the UK training system, which was adopted in Kenya as a result of its colonial relationship to

the UK. This system had its roots in the feudal craft era where the skills practiced were

simply defined by the type of material used e.g. carpenters used wood and bricklayers used

clay and/or the technology. The tasks that the craftsman learns and subsequently practices are

thus dictated by the use of the relevant material/technology in the various elements of the

building. Consequently, as the types of materials and technology used in the Kenyan

construction sector changed, new trades grew as well as specialisms.

Table 4.1: Trades identified in the construction industry in Kenya

Item Trade/Qualification Item Trade/Qualification

1. Carpenter 2. Joiner

3. Scaffolder 4. Form worker

5. Glazier 6. Painter Decorator

7. Interior decorator 8. Tile layer

9. Terrazzo/Granolithic layer 10. Mason

11. Water proofing applicator 12. Steel fixer

13. Aluminium fabricator 14. Steel fabricator

15. Plant operator 16. Site supervisor

17. Foreman 18. Survey assistant

19. Safety officer 20. Drain layer

21. Landscaper 22. Banksman

23. Gas installer 24. Refrigeration & AC mechanic (unitary

system)

25. Refrigeration & AC mechanic (air

system) 26. Overhead crane installer

27. Slinger/signaller/rigger 28. Pipe fitter

29. Plumber 30. Boiler burner installer

31. Boiler maker 32. Fire services mechanic

33. Driller 34. Welder

35. Sheet metal worker 36. Borehole tester/inspector

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37. Water treatment plant operator 38. Pre-stressed sectional tank assemblers

39. Solar water heater installer 40. Electrician

41. Electrical fitter 42. Solar PV installer

43. Overhead linesman 44. Underground cable jointer

45. Fibre optic cable installer 46. Structured cabling installer

47. Supervisor Network Cabling 48. Cable TV installer

49. Radio & TV broadcast equipment

installer 50. Supervisor Electronic Communications

51. Security systems installer - electric

fence 52.

Security systems installer - CCTV,

Access control & alarms

53. Supervisor security surveillance

systems 54. Lift/Escalator mechanic

55. Supervisor Lift/Escalator installation 55. Store keeper

56. Batch Plant Operator 57. Plant Mechanic

58. Lab Technician

While the construction site supervisor represents the highest level of craftsmanship in the

trade, the taskforce recognised that in some sub-sectors (mainly civil engineering and

electrical services) some supervisors superintend over more than one trade. Such

supervisors’ skills have been defined separately from the trades they oversee.

In addition to the trade skills, craftsmen will be equipped with life skills. Life skills are skills

that take on different meanings in different work contexts but are broadly transferable. These

skills enhance lifelong learning and include;

a) Communication skills

b) Team leadership

c) Personal Financial Management

d) Negotiation skills

e) Basic Numeracy skills

f) Environmental Awareness

g) Occupational Safety and Health Awareness

h) Occupational Integrity and Work Ethics

i) Attitude and Passion

j) Digital Literacy

k) Personal wellbeing, spiritual and social responsibility

The detailed discussion of the various trades is outlined below.

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CIVIL

ENGINEERING

SERVICES

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Civil Engineering works

1.1.1 Summary of trades

Plant Operator: Plant operators work

with Plant and equipment used in

construction sites.

Page ……61

Foreman: Plans activities and coordinates

personnel on construction sites.

Page ……67

Safety Officer: Coordination and

enforcement of health and safety systems

in an organization/Construction site.

Page ……71

Site Supervisor: Has knowledge of how

all civil engineering construction processes

are related.

Page ……64

Survey Assistant: Set up and use survey

instruments to give the profiles and

documents results of the levelling

processes.

Page ……69

Drain Layer: Laying pipes for waste and

portable water

Page ……74

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Landscaper: It’s the creation and

maintenance of gardens, parks and other

outdoor spaces.

Page ……76

Banksman: It’s the person who directs the

operation of a crane or larger vehicle from

the point near where loads are attached and

detached

Page ……79

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1.1.2 Plant Operator

Item Description

1. Trade/Skill Plant Operator

2. Related

trades/sub-trade

Operators of the following Plant/Equipment :

Backhoe, Excavator, Hammer, Compactor, Boring machine, Bull

dozer, Prime mover Shovel, Sheep foot roller and smooth wheeled

roller, Grader Roller and mixer, Crane Operator Hydraulic pump

Operator, scrapper, crane, drilling rigs, Aggregate crusher (And all

other machinery used in civil engineering works)

3. Brief

description

(Summary)

Plant operators work with Plant and equipment used on construction

sites

4. Job description

(what they do)

i. Carry out basic routine checks

ii. Load and unload equipment

iii. Lifting/Lowering into position

iv. Select, change and operate special attachments such as winches,

scrub clearers, rippers, pile drivers and rock-breaking hammers

v. Work from markers under the direction of supervisors and

engineers

vi. Cut and Back-fill in areas requiring cuts and fills

vii. Load trucks with excavated fill

viii. Drive machines to and from worksites

ix. Maintain duty of care for other users and work to occupational

health and safety requirements

x. Dredging for marine works

xi. Paving works e.g. surfacing, spreading, spraying

xii. Mechanical Compaction

xiii. Grading and Processing of soil and pavement layers

xiv. Piling

xv. Drilling (Blasting, Grouting, Ground water, Oil, Geothermal) and

casing

xvi. Concrete, Asphalt mixing/batching

5. Functional skills

(Required

competencies)

i. Appreciate practical and manual activities

ii. Able to follow precise instructions

iii. Able to work as part of a team

iv. Able to cope with the physical demands of the job

v. Good eyesight (may be corrected)

vi. Good hand-eye coordination

vii. Able to work with minimal supervision

viii. Knowledge of the manufacturers functional requirements of the

plant

ix. Ability to Drive and maneuver the plant during operation safely

x. Basic plant maintenance

xi. Keep proper maintenance schedule and ensure timely servicing

of plant

xii. Knowledge and adherence of occupational safety and health

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6. Tools and

equipment

i. Plant cleaning equipment

ii. Basic maintenance mechanical tool kit

iii. Plant operation manuals

iv. First aid kit

v. Communication gadget

vi. Warning and safety signs

7. Assessment

criteria

Plant Operator III This is the entry-level in the Plant Operator series. This class is

distinguished from the Plant Operator II by the performance. Have

limited knowledge of plant operations.

i. Attached to the main operator of grade II

ii. Undertakes non-complex activities

iii. Entry point from the training institution

iv. Works under close supervision

v. Minimum of KCSE or equivalent qualification or KCPE with 10

years relevant experience and any other prior learning

vi. Possession of a diving license from NTSA where applicable

vii. Knowledge and adherence of occupational health and safety

standards

Plant Operator II

i. Possession of Plant Operator Grade III with minimum of 3 years

relevant experience

ii. Reference from employer(s)

iii. Output machine efficiency is greater than grade III at minimum

of 60% of the manufacturers specified output

iv. Can operate a minimum of two plant of similar operations

v. Possession of NTSA driving license where applicable

vi. Knowledge of occupational health and safety standards

Plant Operator I

i. Possession of Plant Operator Grade II with minimum of 3 years

relevant experience

ii. Reference from employer(s)

iii. Evidence of attending seminars/Trainings/Continuous

Professional Development Program

iv. Machine efficiency is greater than grade II at 80% of the

manufacturers specified output

8. Accreditation

Criteria Plant Operator III

i. Possession of training certificate or equivalent from recognized

institution

ii. NCA Grade III Assessment

Plant Operator II i. Possession of Plant Operator Grade III or equivalent

ii. Certificate of good conduct

iii. NCA Grade II Assessment

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Plant Operator I i. Possession of Plant Operator Grade II or equivalent

ii. Certificate of good conduct

iii. NCA Grade I Assessment

9. Grading NCA PO/I

NCA PO/II

NCA PO/III

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1.1.3 Site Supervisor

Item Description

1. Trade/Skill Site Supervisor

2. Related

trades/sub-trade

General Foreman, Site Overseer

3. Brief description

(Summary)

Has knowledge of how all civil engineering construction processes are

related

4. Job description

(what they do)

i. Oversees the works of other section foremen

ii. Responsible for overall site planning

iii. Organization of site works

iv. Resource management

v. Ensures timely execution of works

vi. Ensures the construction is being carried out as per plan

vii. Enforces occupational safety and health regulations

viii. Interprets, identify and reports any discrepancies in the contract

documents to the line supervisors

ix. Request any information required for execution of works

x. Attend site meetings

xi. Prepare daily site diaries and periodic progress reports

xii. Keeps records of site inventory

5. Functional skills

(Required

competencies)

i. Good written and verbal communication skills

ii. knowledge of Civil Engineering construction processes and site

management

iii. Occupational safety and health knowledge

iv. Material control skills

v. Read and interpret drawings and programs of works

vi. Interpersonal skills

vii. Logical thinking

viii. Ensure compliance to the regulatory frameworks

6. Tools and

equipment

i. Tape Measure

ii. Computer

iii. Digital camera

7. Assessment

criteria

Grade III

i. Works under supervision of Grade II Site Supervisor or

equivalent

ii. Assist in identification and planning of different sections of work

iii. Knowledge of operation of at least one section of works (e.g.

earthworks, concrete works etc.)

iv. Interprets, identify and reports any discrepancies in the contract

documents to the line supervisors

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Grade II

i. Works under supervision of Grade I or equivalent

ii. Identify and plan different sections of work

iii. Knowledge of operation of at least one section of works (e.g.

earthworks, concrete works etc.)

iv. Interprets, identify and reports any discrepancies in the contract

documents to the line supervisors

Grade I

i. Works under supervision of site agent or equivalent

ii. Identify and plan different sections of work

iii. Knowledge of operation of at least two sections of works (e.g.

earthworks, concrete works etc.)

iv. Interprets, identify and reports any discrepancies in the contract

documents to the line supervisors

Supervisor

i. Must demonstrate in-depth competence in all of the functional

skills above

ii. Demonstrate competence in planning and coordination with

other trades

iii. Methods of assessment include: oral, written & practical

8. Accreditation

Criteria

Grade III

i. Formal Training in the trade or equivalent and minimum of 1

year documented practical experience in the same trade OR 3

years’ documented practical experience in the trade

ii. NCA Grade III Assessment

Grade II

i. Formal training in the trade or equivalent and 3 years relevant

documented practical experience in the same trade as Grade III

OR 6 years’ documented practical experience in the trade

ii. NCA Grade II Assessment

Grade I

i. Formal training, plus five years documented practical

experience in the same trade OR 10 years’ documented

practical experience in the trade

ii. NCA Grade I Assessment

Supervisor

i. NCA Accreditation for Grade I

ii. Minimum of 10 years documented practical experience in the

trade

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iii. Show credible recommendation for excellent & quality work

iv. Proof of ongoing or completed project(s)

9. Coding i. NCA SS/III

ii. NCA SS/II

iii. NCA SS/I

iv. NCA SS/S

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1.1.4 Foreman

1. Item Description

1. Trade/Skill FOREMAN: Earthworks, Surfacing, Pavement, Concrete Works

2. Brief description

(Summary)

Plans activities and coordinates personnel on construction sites

3. Job description

(what they do)

i. Plans activities and supervises construction workers

ii. Ensures execution of works

iii. Resource scheduling

iv. Checks on the materials and ensures the safety of the construction

site.

v. Interprets drawings

vi. Keeps records of site inventory

vii. Liaise with relevant line supervisors

viii. Ensuring the safety of workers on site

ix. Estimating the piece works

x. Supervise and monitor the progress to ensure quantity, quality and

time are met.

xi. Maintaining time and materials records necessary to complete daily

job.

xii. Recommends measures to improve productions methods, equipment

performance, product quality, and workers performance

xiii. Prepares daily progress record/report

4. Functional skills

(Required

competencies)

i. Good written and verbal communication skills

ii. knowledge of construction processes in the related field

iii. Production control

iv. Occupational safety and health knowledge

v. Material control

vi. Activity scheduling

vii. Read and interpret drawings and programs of works

viii. Ability to read and interpret site instructions and correspondences.

ix. Ability to think logically

x. Basic knowledge of computer office packages (MS word, Excel)

xi. Knowledge of plant and equipment used in construction

5. Tools and

equipment

i. Tape Measure

ii. Walking measuring wheel

iii. Testing apparatus

6. Assessment criteria Grade III

i. Works under supervision of minimum Foreman Grade II

ii. Identify different types and uses of plant and equipment

iii. Knowledge of operation of at least one plant/equipment

iv. Reads and interprets drawings

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Grade II

i. Works under supervision of Foreman Grade I

ii. Identify different types and uses of plant and equipment

iii. Knowledge of operation of at least one plant/equipment

iv. Reads and interprets drawings

v. Assist in quantifying day works/piece works

Grade I

i. Works under supervision of the Site Supervisor

ii. Identify different types and uses of plant and equipment

iii. Knowledge of operation of at least one plant/equipment

iv. Reads and interprets drawings

v. Quantify day works/piece works

vi. Possession of personnel management skills

7. Accreditation

Criteria Grade III

i. Attain minimum of Grade I of a relevant trade with 3 years relevant

working experience or Ordinary Diploma holder in related discipline

ii. Reference from employer(s) for grade I of relevant trade if not

formally trained

iii. NCA Grade III Assessment

Grade II

i. Attain minimum of Grade III foreman with 3 years relevant working

experience or minimum of ordinary Diploma with 1year relevant

experience or equivalent technical training qualification

ii. Reference from employer(s)

iii. NCA Grade II Assessment

Grade I

i. Attain minimum of Grade II foreman with 3 years relevant working

experience

ii. Reference from employer(s)

iii. NCA Grade I Assessment

8. Coding Grade NCA/FI

Grade NCA/FII

Grade NCA/FIII

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1.1.5 Survey Assistant

Item Description

1. Trade/Skill Survey Assistant

2. 1 Related

trades/sub-trade

Leveller, Chainman

3. Brief description

(Summary)

Set up and use survey instruments to give the profiles and documents

results of the levelling processes

4. Job description

(what they do)

i. Assists the Surveyor in topographical Survey

ii. Assist in setting out Horizontal, Vertical alignments and

structures

iii. Levelling

iv. Provide data to extract quantities e.g. earthworks

v. Produce related graphs and drawings

5. Functional skills

(Required

competencies)

i. Understands Surveying procedures

ii. Good interpersonal skills

iii. Able to carry out surveying processes

iv. Maintenance and handling of equipment

v. Able to read and write

6. Tools and

equipment

i. Staff

ii. Levelling Machine

iii. Ranging rods

iv. Tape Measure

v. Booking books

vi. Staff

7. Assessment

criteria

Grade III

i. Works under supervision of Grade II

ii. Identify different types and uses of surveying equipment

Grade II

i. Works under supervision of Grade I

ii. Identify different types and uses of surveying equipment

iii. Assist in quantifying day works/piece works

Grade I

i. Works under supervision of the site supervisor or equivalent

ii. Quantify day works/piece works

iii. Possession of personnel management skills

Supervisor

i. Must demonstrate in-depth competence in all of the functional

skills above

ii. Demonstrate competence in planning and coordination with

other trades

iii. Methods of assessment include: oral, written & practical

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8. Accreditation

Criteria

Grade III

i. Formal Training in the trade or equivalent and minimum of 1

year documented practical experience in the trade OR 3 years’

documented practical experience in the trade

ii. NCA Grade III Assessment

Grade II

i. Formal training in the trade or equivalent and 3 years relevant

documented practical experience in the trade as Grade III OR 6

years’ documented practical experience in the trade

ii. NCA Grade II Assessment

Grade I

i. Formal training, plus five years documented practical

experience in the trade OR 10 years’ documented practical

experience in the trade

ii. NCA Grade I Assessment

Supervisor

i. NCA Accreditation for Grade I

ii. Minimum of 10 years documented practical experience in the

trade

iii. Show credible recommendation for excellent & quality work

iv. Proof of ongoing or completed project(s)

9. Coding i. NCA SA/III

ii. NCA SA/II

iii. NCA SA/I

iv. NCA SA/S

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1.1.6 Safety Officer

Item Description

1. Trade/Skill Safety Officer

2. 1 Related

trades/sub-trade

Occupational Health and Safety Specialist

3. Brief description

(Summary)

Coordination and enforcement of health and safety systems in an

organization/Construction site.

4. Job description

(what they do)

i. Assessment of risks to health and safety

ii. Putting appropriate safety controls on site

iii. Advice about accident prevention

iv. Reporting and investigation of incidents and accidents when they

occur

v. Inspect equipment, such as scaffolding, to ensure they meet

safety regulations and to identify hazards and risks

vi. Work with engineers and other professionals to ensure the safety

of worksites and work practices

vii. Ensure personal protective equipment (such as hearing

protection, dust masks, safety glasses, footwear and safety

helmets), is being used on site according to regulations

viii. Ensure hazardous materials are correctly stored

ix. Record and report hazards, accidents, injuries and health issues

within the site

x. Assist with the investigation of accidents and unsafe working

conditions, study possible causes and recommend remedial

action

xi. Coordinate emergency procedures, mine rescues, fire fighting

and first aid crews

xii. Prepare periodic reports as required

5. Functional skills

(Required

competencies)

i. No fear for heights

ii. Good level of fitness

iii. Good team working skills

iv. An understanding of health and safety issues.

v. Understands the operation of an ongoing construction site

vi. Identification of fire assembly points and evacuation routes

vii. Enforce safety regulations on site

viii. First aid skills

ix. Conduct meetings

x. Develop and enforce hygiene standard

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6. Tools and

equipment

i. First aid kit

ii. Tool box

iii. Gas meters, Noise meters, Thermometer etc. where applicable

iv. Laptop

7. Assessment

criteria

Grade III

i. Works under supervision of Grade II

ii. Assist in the development and implementation of health and safety

manual for site operation

iii. Effective communication skills

Grade II

i. Works under supervision of Grade I

ii. Ability to develop and implement health and safety manual for site

operation

iii. Effective communication skills

Grade I

i. Works under supervision of Site agent/Supervisor

ii. Ability to develop and implement health and safety manual for

site operation

iii. Enforcement of occupational health and safety requirements

iv. Effective communication skills

i. Supervisor

ii. Must demonstrate in-depth competence in all of the functional

skills above

iii. Demonstrate competence in planning and coordination with

other trades

iv. Methods of assessment include: oral, written & practical

8. Accreditation

Criteria

Grade III

i. Formal Training in the trade or equivalent and minimum of 1

year documented practical experience in the same trade OR 3

years’ documented practical experience in the trade

ii. NCA Grade III Assessment

Grade II

i. Formal training in the trade or equivalent and 3 years relevant

documented practical experience in the same trade as Grade III

OR 6 years’ documented practical experience in the trade

ii. NCA Grade II Assessment

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Grade I

i. Formal training, plus five years documented practical

experience in the same trade OR 10 years’ documented practical

experience in the trade

ii. NCA Grade I Assessment

Supervisor

i. NCA Accreditation for Grade I

ii. Minimum of 10 years documented practical experience in the

trade

iii. Show credible recommendation for excellent & quality work

iv. Proof of ongoing or completed project(s)

9. Coding i. NCA SO/III

ii. NCA SO/II

iii. NCA SO/I

iv. NCA SO/S

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1.1.7 Drain layer

2. Item Description

1. Trade/Skill Drain layer

2. 1 Related

trades/sub-trade

General Plumber, Pipe Fitter, Pipe layer

3. Brief description

(Summary)

Laying pipes for waste and portable water

4. Job description

(what they do)

i. Lay pipes for storm or sanitation sewers, drains, and water mains.

Perform any combination of the following tasks: grade trenches or

culverts, position pipes or seal joints.

ii. Ability to interpret related drawings and specifications

iii. Able to make basic plumbing works quantities

iv. Test of plumbing systems

v. Laying or repairing drains

5. Functional skills

(Required

competencies)

i. Understanding of plumbing systems

ii. Observation of safety precautions

iii. Skilled in testing of drain systems

iv. Able to read and write

v. Good problem solving skills

vi. Ability to do dimensional checks on drains

vii. Awareness of health and safety

viii. Physically fit

6. Tools and

equipment

i. Die stock

ii. PPR welder

iii. Grinding Machine

iv. Groove cutter

v. Plumbers toolbox

vi. Basic masonry tools

7. Assessment

criteria Grade III

i. Works under supervision of minimum of Grade II

ii. Identify different sizes and types of drains and types of piping

materials

iii. Ability to lay drains

Grade II

i. Reads and interprets drawings

ii. Identify different sizes and types of drains and piping materials

iii. Works under supervision of Grade I

iv. Ability to appreciate the roles of other complementing trades

v. Ability to assist in preparing material schedule for plumbing works

vi. Knowledge of occupational health and safety standards

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Grade I

i. Reads and interprets drawings

ii. Identify different sizes and types of drains

iii. Works under supervision of the site agent/supervisor

iv. Ability to appreciate the roles of other complementing trades

v. Identify and rectify defects in the drain system

vi. Ability to supervise drain works

vii. Ability to generate material schedule for plumbing works

viii. Knowledge of occupational health and safety standards

8. Accreditation

Criteria Grade III

i. Formal Training in the trade or equivalent and minimum of 1 year

documented practical experience in the same trade OR 3 years’

documented practical experience in the trade

ii. NCA Grade III Assessment

Grade II

i. Formal training in the trade or equivalent and 3 years relevant

documented practical experience in the same trade as Grade III OR 6

years’ documented practical experience in the trade

ii. NCA Grade II Assessment

Grade I

i. Formal training, plus five years documented practical experience in the

same trade OR 10 years’ documented practical experience in the trade

ii. NCA Grade I Assessment

Supervisor

i. NCA Accreditation for Grade I

ii. Minimum of 10 years documented practical experience in the trade

iii. Show credible recommendation for excellent & quality work

iv. Proof of ongoing or completed project(s)

9. Coding i. NCA DL/III

ii. NCA DL/II

iii. NCA DL/I

iv. NCA DL/S

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1.1.8 Landscaper

Item Description

1. Trade/Skill Landscaper

2. 1 Related

trades/sub-trade

Gardener

3. Brief description

(Summary)

It’s the use of botany, horticulture, fine arts, architecture, industrial

design, geology and the earth sciences, environmental psychology,

geography, and ecology to come up with a spatial design.

It’s the creation and maintenance of gardens, parks and other outdoor

spaces.

4. Job description

(what they do)

i. Uprooting trees

ii. Planting (Ground cover, hedges, shrubs, trees )

iii. Irrigating

iv. Filling ground

v. Cutting Ground

vi. Maintenance of plants & gardens

vii. Installation of landscape materials e.g. boulders, wall stone,

pavers, etc.

viii. Installation of water features and irrigation systems.

ix. Restoration of existing landscapes.

x. Operating equipment such as trucks, Bobcats, compactors,

trenchers, masonry saws

5. Functional skills

(Required

competencies)

i. Able to Handle various work equipment

ii. Able to Observe safety precautions in work environment

iii. Understands basic first aid

iv. Must be able to take direction well

v. Must be attentive to detail

vi. Must be able to work well with others - a team player

vii. Must be able to work in varying weather conditions and use

appropriate apparel (rain suit, boots)

viii. Knowledge of trees, shrubs, and other landscape products is

helpful

ix. Ability and willingness to work with chemicals and fertilizers

6. Tools and

equipment

i. Cultivators - soil pulverizers, tillers

ii. Draglines - drag brooms; drag levelling bars; plow pan spikers;

x-drags

iii. Fertilizer spreaders or distributors - fertilizer spreaders; hand

spreaders; salt spreaders

iv. Graders or land levellers - land levellers; land planes; landscape

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rakes; power rakes

v. Lawnmowers - flail mowers; hydrostatic mowers; manual

mowers; riding mowers

vi. Rakes - arena rakes; artificial turf groomers; iron rakes; turf

sweepers

vii. Shovels - dirt shovels; sod lifters

viii. Masonry tools

7. Assessment

criteria

Grade III

i. Works under supervision of Grade II

ii. Identify different types and uses of landscaping elements

iii. Reads and interprets drawings

Grade II

i. Works under supervision of Grade I

ii. Identify different types and uses of landscaping elements

iii. Reads and interprets drawings

iv. Assist in quantifying day works/piece works

Grade I

i. Works under supervision of the site agent/supervisor

ii. Reads and interprets drawings

iii. Quantify day works/piece works

iv. Possession of personnel management skills

v. Identify different types and uses of landscaping elements

Supervisor

i. Must demonstrate in-depth competence in all of the functional

skills above

ii. Demonstrate competence in planning and coordination with

other trades

iii. Methods of assessment include: oral, written & practical

8. Accreditation

Criteria

Grade III

iii. Formal Training in the trade or equivalent and minimum of 1

year documented practical experience in the same trade OR 3

years’ documented practical experience in the trade

iv. NCA Grade III Assessment

Grade II

iii. Formal training in the trade or equivalent and 3 years relevant

documented practical experience in the same trade as Grade III

OR 6 years’ documented practical experience in the trade

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iv. NCA Grade II Assessment

Grade I

iii. Formal training, plus five years documented practical

experience in the same trade OR 10 years’ documented practical

experience in the trade

iv. NCA Grade I Assessment

Supervisor

v. NCA Accreditation for Grade I

vi. Minimum of 10 years documented practical experience in the

trade

vii. Show credible recommendation for excellent & quality work

viii. Proof of ongoing or completed project(s)

9. Coding v. NCA LS/III

vi. NCA LS/II

vii. NCA LS/I

viii. NCA LS/S

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1.1.9 Banksman

Item Description

1. Trade/Skill Banksman

2. 1 Related

trades/sub-trade

Signaler

3. Brief description

(Summary)

It’s the person who directs the operation of a crane or larger vehicle

from the point near where loads are attached and detached

4. Job description

(what they do)

i. When directing a lift truck, a banksman must be fully aware of

the standard signalling procedures designed to guide the

operator, as well as where the driver’s blind spots lie.

ii. Checking the cargo manifest and reviewing the load

iii. The need for communicating hand signals clearly

5. Functional skills

(Required

competencies)

Must be able to:

i. Know occupational safety and health

ii. Understand the related equipment and machinery

iii. understand correct procedures for manoeuvring equipment

6. Tools and

equipment

i. Helmet,

ii. Reflective Gloves (High visibility clothing)

iii. PPEs

7. Assessment

criteria

Grade III

i. Works under supervision of Grade II

ii. Identify different types and uses of plant and equipment in

Grade II

i. Works under supervision of Grade I

ii. Identify different types and uses of plant and equipment in

iii. Knowledge of operation of at least one surfacing

plant/equipment

Grade I

i. Works under supervision of the foreman

ii. Identify different types and uses of plant and equipment

iii. Reference from previous employers

Supervisor

i. Must demonstrate in-depth competence in all of the functional

skills above

ii. Demonstrate competence in planning and coordination with

other trades

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iii. Methods of assessment include: oral, written & practical

8. Accreditation

Criteria

Grade III

i. Formal Training in the trade or equivalent and minimum of 1

year documented practical experience in the same trade OR 3

years’ documented practical experience in the trade

ii. NCA Grade III Assessment

Grade II

i. Formal training in the trade or equivalent and 3 years relevant

documented practical experience in the same trade as Grade III

OR 6 years’ documented practical experience in the trade

ii. NCA Grade II Assessment

Grade I

i. Formal training, plus five years documented practical

experience in the same trade OR 10 years’ documented practical

experience in the trade

ii. NCA Grade I Assessment

Supervisor

i. NCA Accreditation for Grade I

ii. Minimum of 10 years documented practical experience in the

trade

iii. Show credible recommendation for excellent & quality work

iv. Proof of ongoing or completed project(s)

9. Coding i. NCA BM/III

ii. NCA BM/II

iii. NCA BM/I

iv. NCA BM/S

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1.1.10 Laboratory Assistant

Item Description

1. Related

trades/sub-trade

Laboratory Technologist

2. Brief description

(Summary)

Individual in this position works in permanent, field and site

laboratories. She/he is responsible to organize and arrange the sample

collection from field or site and conduct the desired tests in laboratory

as and when required either in field or permanent location

3. Job description

(what they do)

This job requires the individual to work in lab whether it is in field ,

at site or in permanent location as a Laboratory Technician.

4. Functional skills

(Required

competencies)

i. The individual needs to be physically fit to withstand working

in a construction environment and responding to the needs and

requirement of the tasks.

ii. He should be able to organize and manage a group of labor and lab

technician under him at site to do the required job / tests

iii. Identify and use the tools & tackles and equipment based on test.

iv. Carry outfield testing in adverse climatic conditions.

v. Maintain, care and handle the tools and equipment.

vi. .Involved and complete the housekeeping activities in lab and field.

vii. Read the gauges and meters for filling the testing format.

viii. Compute the test resulting stipulated time.

ix. Follow the safety procedure/norms in a doubt of the lab and field.

x. Ensure the safety involvement of helper

5. Tools and

equipment

i. Concrete Compression Testing Machines

ii. Concrete RH/Moisture Meter Kit with BluePeg Sensor

iii. Moisture Meter for Concrete Testing - Rapid RH 4.0 from Wagner

Meters

iv. Concrete Test Hammer - SilverSchmidt from Proceq

v. DIL 402 Expedis Select / Supreme – Dilatometry Redefined from

NETZSCH

vi. Rebar Detector

vii. FA Series Compression Testing Machines for Civil Engineering

Applications - from Tinius Olsen

viii. DG Series Concrete Compression Testers from Tinius Olsen

ix. Pull-off Tester - Proceq DY-2 Family

6. Assessment

criteria

Lab Assistant III i. This is the entry-level in the Laboratory Testing. This class is

distinguished from the Lab Assistant II by the performance.

ii. Have limited knowledge of material testing.

Lab Assistant II

i. Possession of Lab Assistant III with minimum of 3 years relevant

experience

ii. Reference from employer(s)

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Lab Assistant I

i. Possession of Lab Assistant Operator Grade II with minimum of 3

years relevant experience

ii. Reference from employer(s)

iii. Evidence of attending seminars/Trainings/Continuous Professional

Development Program

7. Accreditation

Criteria Lab Assistant III i. Possession of training certificate or equivalent from recognized

institution

Lab Assistant II i. Possession of Lab Assistant III or equivalent

ii. Certificate of good conduct

Lab Assistant I i. Possession of Lab Assistant Grade II or equivalent

ii. Certificate of good conduct

8. Grading NCA LA/I

NCA LA/II

NCA LA/III

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1.1.11 Batch Plant Operator

Item Description

9. Related

trades/sub-trade

Plant Operator

10. Brief description

(Summary)

Responsible for the safe and efficient operation of the Ready Mix batching

operation and assist with the scheduling of deliveries.

11. Job description

(what they do)

i. Efficiently operates batching facilities and maintains maximum

production levels

ii. Operates computer controlled batching system that transfers product

from storage bins through weigh bins and into ready-mix trucks

iii. Record daily delivery statistics and daily maintenance activities

iv. Reads and interpret computer orders to control mix design and to set

appropriate slump

v. Uses computer to weigh product being transferred to each truck

vi. Visually monitors control boards and computer screens

vii. Visually inspect loading trucks to assure proper positioning for

delivery of product

viii. Prints tickets on computer or writes tickets by hand to be sent via air

tube system to driver

ix. Visually inspect concrete on as needed basis

x. Files a copy of each ticket

xi. Records all daily record keeping and paperwork as required

xii. Maintains material inventories and orders materials as needed

xiii. Inspects silo, weigh hoppers and plant and cleans hoppers as needed

xiv. Climb stairs/ladders to top of cement mixer to manually add concrete

fiber packets as needed

xv. Diagnose and assists in trouble-shooting when process is interrupted

xvi. Demonstrates good understanding of lockout/tagout procedure

required during certain procedures

xvii. Assists with cleanup as needed

xviii. Assist in training of co-workers as needed

xix. Assigns and maintains raw material delivery tickets

xx. Supply customers with accurate product and delivery information

xxi. Accurately report on fuel, petty cash, time cards, etc.

xxii. Assist Dispatcher in balancing driver hours to assure equity and

compliance with D.O.T. requirements

xxiii. Maintain an excellent personal safety record and a clean/safe work

environment

12. Functional skills

(Required

competencies)

i. Proficient in reading, writing, math and operational logic

ii. Have extensive product, customer and equipment knowledge

iii. Excellent communication skills

iv. Excellent personal safety record

v. Current knowledge of D.O.T. and C.D.L. regulations

vi. Able to handle many/varied details in a pressure situation

vii. Self-starter with a very high standard of expectation of

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himself/herself and those with who he/she works

viii. Positive attitude toward other employees, customers and supervisors

ix. Excellent work ethic - punctuality, accuracy and attendance

x. Pass required physical examination and drug screens

13. Tools and

equipment

Computer

14. Assessment

criteria

Batch Plant Operator III

This is the entry-level in the Batch Plant Operator series. This class is

distinguished from the Batch Plant Operator II by the performance. Have

limited knowledge of plant operations.

i. Attached to the main Batch Plant Operator II

ii. Undertakes non-complex activities

iii. Entry point from the training institution

iv. Works under close supervision

v. Minimum of KCSE or equivalent qualification or KCPE with

10years relevant experience and any other prior learning

Batch Plant Operator II

i. Possession of Batch Plant Operator III with minimum of 3 years

relevant experience

ii. Reference from employer(s)

iii. Output machine efficiency is greater than grade III at 60% of the

manufacturers specified output

iv. Can operate a minimum of two plant of similar operations

v. Knowledge of occupational health and safety standards

Batch Plant Operator I

i. Possession Batch Plant Operator Grade II with minimum of 3 years

relevant experience

ii. Reference from employer(s)

iii. Evidence of attending seminars/Trainings/Continuous Professional

Development Program

iv. Machine efficiency is greater than grade II at 80% of the

manufacturers specified output

15. Accreditation

Criteria Batch Plant Operator III i. Possession of training certificate or equivalent from recognized institution

Batch Plant Operator II i. Possession of Batch Plant Operator Grade III or equivalent

ii. Certificate of good conduct

Batch Plant Operator I i. Possession of Batch Plant Operator Grade II or equivalent

ii. Certificate of good conduct

16. Grading NCA BP/I

NCA BP/II

NCA BP/III

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1.1.12 Storekeeper / Store man

Item Description

17. Related

trades/sub-trade

Store man

18. Brief description

(Summary)

Capability to maintain correct record of materials, machinery, T & P

received / issued/ returned is a must. Maintenance of daily consumption

registers of materials, distribution of manpower and preparation of muster-

rolls is desirable.

19. Job description

(what they do)

i. overversees and administers the operations of a store. Receives,

identifies and verifies merchandise. Provides information to and

assists customers.

ii. Maintains inventory. Uses inventory management software. Prepares

purchase requisitions for the replacement of stock. Contacts suppliers

or searches catalogues to determine price and additional details

concerning new items.

iii. Makes claims with transport companies if delivered merchandise has

been damaged.

iv. Maintains files appropriate to the activities of the unit, such as

invoices, order number, receiving date, shipping date, etc. Prepares

reports.

v. Is responsible for cash and makes cash deposits.

vi. Verifies ledgers, statements and supporting documents.

vii. Communicates with others in order to receive or transmit

information.

viii. Handles and stores merchandise or special products that require some

knowledge of spontaneous combustion, toxicity, fragility, rapid

deterioration, contamination, etc.

ix. According to requirements and established procedures, arranges

stock. In case of emergency or in order to replace outdated material,

suggests substitutes available in the store.

x. Controls and carries out the lending and renting of tools, equipment,

furnishings, and devices. Ensures that they are kept in good condition

and that they are repaired or replaced as necessary.

xi. Oversees the delivery of merchandise following an established

schedule and coordinates special deliveries by transmitting the

necessary details to the persons concerned.

xii. Maintains equipment and instruments. Ensures cleanliness of work

areas.

20. Functional skills

(Required

competencies)

i. Appreciate practical and manual activities

ii. Able to cope with the physical demands of the job

iii. Good hand-eye coordination

iv. Able to work with minimal supervision

v. Knowledge of the manufacturers functional requirements of the plant

vi. Basic plant maintenance

vii. Keep proper maintenance schedule and ensure timely servicing of

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plant

viii. Knowledge and adherence of occupational safety and health

21. Tools and

equipment

Tape measure

22. Assessment

criteria

Store Keeper III This is the entry-level in Store keeping series. This class is distinguished

from Store Keeper II by the knowledge of stored materials.

i. Stores ordinary material

ii. Works under close supervision

iii. Minimum of KCSE or equivalent qualification or KCPE with 10years

relevant experience and any other prior learning

Store Keeper II

i. Possession of Store Keeper III with minimum of 3 years relevant

experience

ii. Reference from employer(s)

iii. Knowledge of occupational health and safety standards

Store Keeper I

i. Possession Store Keeper Grade II with minimum of 3 years relevant

experience

ii. Reference from employer(s)

23. Accreditation

Criteria Store Keeper III i. Possession of training certificate or equivalent from recognized

institution

Store Keeper II i. Possession of Store Keeper Grade III or equivalent

ii. Certificate of good conduct

Store Keeper I i. Possession of Store Keeper Grade II or equivalent

ii. Certificate of good conduct

24. Grading NCA SK/I

NCA SK/II

NCA SK/III

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ASSESSMENT

1.1.13 Assessment guidelines

The Basis for the proposed Assessment Levels;

Grading Levels

Four grading levels have been proposed. The proposed levels are based on the existing NITA

trade tests with additional level for a supervisor grade. The levels are Grade I, Grade II,

Grade III and Supervisor where Grade I is the lowest and supervisor grade the highest. This

order of grading is the inverse of traditional NITA Trade Tests. It is preferred because it

benchmarks with similar grading world wide.

Areas of Competency

The approach adopted is the Competency Based Education and Training (CBET) which

recognizes prior learning and which focuses on the acquisition of competency unlike the

traditional approach which focuses mainly on passing scheduled examinations. It is expected

that technical training institutions and vocational centres like the Youth Polytechnics, now

under the county governments, will continue offering technical training. These institutions

training are based on a syllabus and an examination. Such programmes run both theory and

practical lessons with an additional component of industrial attachment.

In the CBET approach an apprentice applies or requests to be assessed whenever they feel

confident that they have acquired the necessary competency. The approach recognizes prior

learning and is practical-based whereby the apprentice acquires the knowledge, the skills and

the attitude. The assessment is therefore based on the three aspects of cognition, psychomotor

and attitude.

Soft Skills

In the conventional system of assessment, attitude is not assessed. The new approach

recognizes the need to assess the candidate’s attitude to their career. An additional

component of assessment called Life Skills has been added to the practical skills and

knowledge. It has been observed that the need for Life (soft) skills increases with increased

responsibility i.e. it is minimum for grade I and highest for the supervisor grade. The

component has been allocated 30% of the total grading.

NITA weighting

Conventionally, the distribution of marks between theory and practical in the NITA trade

tests is skewed towards the practical. The ratio decreases as the grading level increases. The

objective of the distribution is to enable a candidate who is completely unable to tackle a

theory question to still pass the test.

In the proposed assessment this will not be allowed. The candidate in a training institution

shall be required to pass both theory and practical. The reason for this is because passing the

theory paper is the only evidence that the candidate has the required knowledge.

Proposed Weighting

The marks awarded for theory and practical is therefore based on the current NITA trade tests

weighting but in the proposed approach it accounts for only 70% as the 30% is now allocated

to Life skills. The apprentices training outside of a formal training centre shall not be tested

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on theory. A component of knowledge and attitude assessment will be built into the

assessment tool to be used for practical skills.

Assessment to be carried out based on:

Knowledge - training

Observation & practical –on-job-training

Observation -Attitude

Short refreshers courses to be offered at agreed intervals of time to build capacity of site

workers and supervisors. A placement assessment can first be administered where necessary

prior to the competency assessment of any grade.

Formal Training

I. Attain competency mark in both soft skills and theory & practice

II. Total marks attained shall not be a measure of competency

Industrial Training

I. Attain competency mark in both soft skills and practical competency

II. Total marks attained shall not be a measure of competency

Table 4.1: Placement assessment cut-off marks

FORMAL TECHNICAL

TRAINING

INDUSTRIAL BASED

COMPETENCY

COMPETENCY

MARK

Practical Theory

Life

Skills Theory Industrial

Life

Skills Technical

Life

Skills

GIII 63 7 30 0 70 30 50 10

GII 48 12 40 0 60 40 40 20

GI 35 15 50 0 50 50 30 30

Supervisor 24 16 60 0 40 60 20 40

1.1.14 Accreditation guidelines

Applicants will be assessed before being accredited or graded

Applicant will be graded based on competencies, qualification and experience

Accreditation of supervisors will include visit to an on-going/recently completed

project for which the craftsman was directly involved as grade I in trade applied.

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ENTRY LEVEL –LEVEL 1

GRADE III –LEVEL 2

GRADE II- LEVEL 3

GRADE I- LEVEL 4

SUPERVISOR - LEVEL 5

1.1.15 Grading

The grading levels can be calibrated in a scale of 1-5 from entry to supervisor. The grading

was informed by the currently system and discussions with stakeholders. The grading levels

are as shown below:

Figure 4.1: Grading levels

Entry level (Level 1) is deemed to be for the unskilled new entrants into the construction

sector that will be deemed to be construction apprentices. It is recommended that NCA

recognise them for social protection and follow their progression in the sector.

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CHAPTER FIVE

CONCLUSION & RECOMMENDATIONS

CONCLUSION

A total of 58 trades were identified; 14 in building works, 10 in civil works, 18 trades in

mechanical works, 16 trades in electrical works, and 12 life skills. The competencies for each

of the 58 trades are defined to illustrate the application of each trade in the industry. The

taskforce also developed an assessment and accreditation criteria, which was based on

complexity of the work, skill development and practical experience. This represents a

significant change for the current status where only 5 trades are recognised. It is mainly

driven by the changes in materials and technology used in the construction industry.

These findings of the taskforce represent a revolution in the Kenyan construction sector that

will potentially significantly change the way skilled workers and site supervisors are

recognised and accredited. It ushers the construction sector into the era of ‘business unusual’

where skilled work and construction supervisor work become competitive and a choice career

amongst young Kenyans who will find it offering decent and fulfilling life long careers. The

other major change is officially ushering-in the recognition of prior learning by

acknowledging that construction workers and construction site supervisors may be trained

formally or informally. Going forward therefore the method of training will no longer be

used to discriminate against those trained informally as both have an opportunity to achieve

the highest level of craftsmanship. Additional impacts of these findings include;

Improving quality of construction works by raising the quality of workers skills

Enhancing skills development in the sector

Standardize skills

Pre-requisite to accreditation

Improve wages by recognizing all forms of skilled work

Create a wide variety of marketable skills via accreditation/certification

Attract better workmen by making construction crafts choice careers among youth

Reduce importation of skills particularly by foreign contractors and enable

exportation of skills

Improving programs offered by training institutions via enabling provision of

marketable skills

Building capacity for local contractors by offering quality craft skills

Enhancing recognition of all construction trades.

It is noteworthy that these benefits will accrue to all the stakeholders in the construction

sector namely the construction workers, construction site supervisors, employers,

government, consultants, and all Kenyans in general. It is therefore a win-win for all and

should be supported by all.

All this is focused on achieving the NCA motto of ‘Excellence in Construction’ which will

only be achieved by being brave enough to embrace new frontiers. Being a market leader in

the region this report may also inform training in neighbouring nations whose construction

sectors are similar.

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RECOMMENDATIONS

1. There is need to develop a current curriculum for all the identified skills including

recognition of prior learning. These findings would form the basis of such curriculum.

2. The NCA should engage various stakeholders in the industry to partner and promote

skills development in the construction industry via the creation of construction sector

skills council.

3. There is also need to conduct an international benchmarking with recognized

curriculum developers and trainers e.g. in Canada, German, Australia, South Korea,

India, etc.

4. Formulate a framework of skilled works and site supervisors’ apprenticeship.

5. Training institutions must be equipped with appropriate training staff, equipment and

training materials.

6. A construction skills audit should be conducted to establish the number of skilled

workers in every county and the forecasted demand and a basis for mounting training

interventions.

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REFERENCES

1. Report on mapping of technical training institutions- NCA research department

2. Report on RRI for registration of construction skilled workers and construction site

supervisors

3. King, K. (1977) The African Artisan: Education and the informal sector in Kenya.

London: Heinemann Educational Books.

4. ROK (2014) Economic Survey of the Republic of Kenya. Central Bureau of Statistics

Government Printer, Nairobi: Government Printer.

5. Craft skills definitions from China, India, USA, Germany, United Kingdom

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APPENDICES

TASK FORCE ON TRAINING MEMBERS

Name Institution Email Telephone

1. DR.ISABELLA NJERI

WACHIRA-TOWEY

UON [email protected] 0722736370

2. QS. SYLVESTER OLUOCH IQSK [email protected]

[email protected]

0700317464

3. MR. DAVID GATIMU

GATIBIRI

TVET

CDACC

[email protected] 0729685840

4. ENG. JOSEPH MURAGE KETRACO [email protected] 0700320895

5. MR. PAUL GACHUKI

MBUTHIA

KPLC [email protected] 0722606480

6. ENG. BENSON WAMAYA KWS [email protected]

[email protected]

0721620420

7. ENG. RICHARD KIPNGETICH

CHEPKWONY

IEK [email protected]

om

0721229435

8. MR. HENRY S. MUNYASIA NITA [email protected] 0723336067

9. Ms MILLICENT JANET OTOM NITA [email protected]

[email protected]

0722250802

10. ARCH. ALEX GACHANJA

NYAGAH

AAK [email protected] 0721232658

11. MR. EDWARD GICHINA

MWANGI

KFMB [email protected] 0729322119

12. MR. BHUPEN HIRANI KABCEC bhupen@prosperconstruction

.com

0732753443

13. Ms MILKA KAIRU GDC [email protected] 0720252268

14. DR.-ING. CHRIS M. MBATHA UON

[email protected] 0721781769

15. MR. DOMINIC A. KUNDU KERRA [email protected] 0723658485

16. ARCH. GEOFFREY M.

GITHIRI

KIHBT [email protected] 0720545914

0732073922

17. MERCY MUSAU HFF [email protected] 0703256787

18. MR. SIMON M. KIBACHIO MWI [email protected] 0722593664

19. ENG. EDWIN ODWESO KURA [email protected]

[email protected]

0723848034

20. MR. PETER THOBORA TVETA [email protected] 0712239578

21. ARCH. CALEB TOROITICH JKUAT [email protected] 0722950338

22. MR. PATRICK KUNG’U ERC [email protected] 0722567665

23. MR. JAMES OCHIENG

AGENGO

Kenya Power

Institute

[email protected]

0725258092

24. MAHESH GERA

CENTUM

LEARNING

[email protected]

m

25. MR. PETER KARANJA MUGI KTTC [email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

0721336718

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26. ENG. MAITEKA ANDREW KENHA [email protected] 0721464087

27. ENG. MAURICE AKECH NCA [email protected] 0724779926

28. ARCH. WINNIE C. KALYA NCA [email protected] 0725803079

29. ENG. MICHAEL WALELA NCA [email protected] 0721404086

30. Ms RUTH M. MAKAU NCA [email protected] 0723440208

31. JACKY LEGISHION NCA [email protected]

0720288811

32. ENG. STEPHEN NYANG’AU NCA [email protected] 0721755355

33. ENG. CHRISPUS NDINYO NCA [email protected] 0724715059

34. MS ANGELINE MWENDE

MUTHOKA

NCA [email protected] 0712545966

35. ERICK WASONGA MAKLAGO NCA [email protected] 0712118454

36. QUEENVELLY MAYAKA NCA [email protected]

0738530400

37. MARTIN KLEDE CSC

FRANKFURT [email protected] 0718845909

38. ENG. STEPHEN MWAURA UON [email protected]

om

0729377629

39. DR. NJENGA MBURU DeKUT [email protected] 0728777573

40. HENRY ORWA NORKEN

INT.

LIMITED

[email protected] 0722456719

41. EZRA BETT KPC [email protected] 0713034644

42. ARCH. JULIET KABERE NCA [email protected] 0721639287

43. STEPHEN ATICHI NCA [email protected] 0720486716