Several studies on construction craft skills have identified a number of problems including ineffective training as responsible for shortages of craftsmen in the construction industry. In Nigeria, the problem of training craftsmen has been attributed to lack of a harmonised training framework. This research therefore examined existing training frameworks in craft skills training institutions and assessed the performance of the products of those institutions with a view to developing a harmonised framework for delivering effective training in Nigeria. Largely qualitative approach was adopted in conducting the research. Detailed literature review on training of craftsmen led to the development of a semi-structured interview guide which was used in conducting interviews in technical training institutions and construction organisations. In the technical institutions, senior management staff that specialised in technical training were interviewed while in the construction organisations, both management staff and craftsmen were interviewed. A total of six (6) training institutions were identified from a list of accredited technical training institutions published by the National Board for Technical Education and interviews conducted. For the construction organisations, nine (9) large construction firms were selected using purposive sampling and interviews were done with a management staff and three (3) craftsmen in each firm. Data obtained from the interviews were subjected to conceptual content analysis. The results showed the existence of different frameworks in each training institution with similarities, strengths and weaknesses. Other findings include the absence of direct collaboration between institutions and industry in delivering training; industrial training is poorly organised, supervised and the duration is inadequate; lack of prearrangement for the conduct of industrial training; training delivery is generic in most institutions regardless of the specific requirement of industries. Consequently, from the findings of the study, a harmonised framework for training construction craftsmen was developed which takes advantage of the strengths of the existing frameworks while minimising their weaknesses. The developed framework was validated using construction industry stakeholders. The study concludes that training of construction craftsmen can be delivered in a collaborative manner with all stakeholders in the construction industry performing roles based on their strategic advantage. It is recommended that sector specific technical training approach should be adopted and implemented in a collaborative manner for effective training; the developed framework for training of construction craftsmen should be adopted and implemented.











1.1 Background to the Study



The Construction Industry produces sky scrapers, roads, airports, ship yards, and several other structures. The production of these relies heavily on human and material resources. In terms of importance, Khalil and Lees (2006) ranked human resources higher than natural (material) and capital resources in both production and services process of an organisation. Additionally, Muya et al. (2006) argued that the quality of services offered by construction firms depend largely on the quality of their workforce. Furthermore, of the workforce in the construction industry, the craft skills constitute the majority and execute most of the jobs because the industry is still manual labour intensive (Fellows et al., 2002). Regrettably, this class of human resource required by construction firms are in short supply in UK, Canada, USA, Asia and Africa (Agapiou et al., 1995a; Agapiou, 1998; Gann and Senker, 1998; Mckenzie, et al., 2000, Forde and MacKenzie, 2004; Datoegoem, 2006; Issam, 2006; McGuinness and Bannett, 2006; Muya et al., 2006; Chan and Dainty, 2007; Smith, 2009; Abdullahi, 2010; Kikwasi, 2011; Medugu et al., 2011).


In order to make up for the shortfall in craft skills required in the construction industry, construction firms import craft skills from other countries or poach them from rival companies to improve their performance and out-play their competitors instead of training new ones (Agapiou et al., 1995a; Muya et al., 2006). However, in both the developed and developing countries, poaching of skilled workmen is viewed as an indication of shortage of quality skilled workers in an industry and is reported to discourage investment in training by companies since most





organisations believe poaching is cheaper than training (Muya et al., 2006; Clarke and Herrmann, 2007; Wachira et al., 2008; Hansen, 2011). In contrast, Agapiou et al. (1995b) and Construction Industry Institute [CII] (2007) reported that poaching workmen leads to increase in cost of construction projects through direct cost of labour charged by poached workers which may lead to companies losing jobs as a result of high tender figures.


In addition, other implications of craft skills shortages are rework and low productivity which are also reported to have effect on overall construction project cost (Rubin, 2007; CII, 2007; Wang et al., 2008). For example, Burati et al. (1992), Construction Industry Development Institute [CIDA] (1994) and CII (2007) showed that the works of poorly trained craftsmen are subject of rework coupled with low productivity and the direct costs of rework in construction projects are considerable and falls between 10-15% of contract value. This leads to an eventual increase in a project‟s final cost and cost-in-use through increase in company overhead cost and high incidence of maintenance. Since construction cost is a resultant of labour productivity, addressing the shortage of craft skills should therefore be the concern of all construction industry stakeholders especially Quantity Surveyors, who by training are expected to have the competence of managing construction projects both in-terms of human, material and financial resources (Royal Institution of Chattered Surveyors [RICS], 2006; Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors [AIQS], 2007; Ibrahim et al., 2010; Project Management Body of Knowledge [PMBOK], 2014).


To address the problem of construction craft skills shortage, the causes of the shortage must first be identified. Previous studies have stated various reasons for craft skills shortages (Zakeri et al., 1996; Clarke and Wall, 1998; Jayawardane and Gunawardena, 1998; Conference Board of Canada [CBC], 2002; Ellison, 2003; deGraft-Johnson et al., 2003; Sha and Jiang, 2003; Bokinni,





2005; Dainty and Bagilhole, 2005; Abdullahi, 2010; Medugu et al., 2011), while the shortages in some countries are due to decline in quality of workmanship resulting from inefficient training, in some other cases, it is the quantity of craft skills available in the labour market that is far below the quantity the industry required (Arkani, et al., 2003). Some of the notable reasons for shortages of craft skills workers are challenges of new technologies which require continuous update and sometimes change in nature of training such as broad based training of skilled workforce in-place of trade based training (Agapiou et al., 1995a; Clarke and Wall, 1998; Gann and Senker, 1998; Makenzie et al., 2000; Datoegoem 2006 and Muya et al. 2006).


The approach to solving the skills shortage depends on the causes, as such; different suggestions and approaches have been used and in some cases implemented (Clarke and Wall 2000; Clarke and Herrmann, 2007; Arkani, et al., 2003; Castaneda et al., 2005). UK for example developed structures for training and certification to reverse shortages of construction craft skills (Gann and Senker, 1998; Agapiou, 1998; Makenzie et al. 2000). Hyari et al. (2010) proposed using multi-skilling to solve the problem of craft skills shortages in organisations. The study developed an optimisation model to aid field management personnel in assigning skilled workforce on site. The successes or failure of the different approaches to solving the skills shortage has been widely criticised (Arkani et al., 2003; Preston, 2006; Clarke and Wall, 2000; Clarke and Winch, 2004). Castaneda et al. (2005) proposed a workforce management strategy, referred to as Tier II, as a comprehensive approach to address the problems of craft skills shortage in the US. The Tier II workforce management strategy is part of a two-tier strategy proposed by the Centre for Construction Industry Studies (CCIS) to provide a structure for long term evolution of an improved workforce. Castaneda et al. (2005) further explained that the Tier II strategy is based on utilisation of fewer, better educated, and skilled workers who perform craft functions and






some lower-management functions, while delivering improved project results in safety, quality, and schedule at improved or comparable costs. The strategy emphasises multi-skilling and craftsmen-level management skills, resulting in more productive workers which would receive a skills-based higher wage rate. One of the weaknesses of the strategy is that it emphasised the utilisation of trained workforce without considering the means of providing new crop of employees through pre-employment training.


In most developed countries the effort at addressing craft skills shortage is largely on improvement of the training system and attraction of youths to build career in the industry (Clarke and Wall, 1998; CBC, 2002; Ellison, 2003; deGraft-Johnson et al., 2003). However, the case is different in developing countries where previous studies suggested lack of formal training as largely the cause of craft skills shortage and suggest investment in training to address the problem (Kumaraswamy, 1997; Gann and Senker, 1998; Makenzie et al., 2000; Ziderman, 2001; Dainty et al., 2004; Muya et al., 2006). Regrettably, unstructured and poorly organised formal and informal training may likely prevent any meaningful change in training unless a holistic approach is adopted (Zakeri et al., 1996, Jayawardane and Gunawardena, 1998; Sha and Jiang, 2003; Bokinni, 2005; Abdullahi, 2010).


In Nigeria, the problem of training craft skills is characterised by lack of efficient and effective vocational and technical training centres in addition to the absence of standardised and unified framework for training among others (Bamisile, 2004; Datoegoem, 2006). There are several routes of becoming a skilled person in Nigeria, the common ones are the Federal Science and Technical Colleges (FSTCs); the State Technical (Vocational) Colleges (STCs); the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) which has training centres for the provision of direct hands-on skills training to qualified and interested youths; the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) and a





few Privately own technical training institutions. The frameworks for training in these institutions are varied and lack uniform methodology. This has resulted in serious challenge in supervision and assessment of training delivered across the various training institutions in Nigeria (Datoegoem, 2006; Abdullahi 2010). Okoye and Chijioke (2013) reported cases of mismatch between the requirement of the industry and the training delivered by the institutions which has resulted in preference of artisans trained outside Nigeria against indigenous trained ones. According to the National Centre for Construction Education and Research [NCCER] (2013), quality comprehensive craft training is fundamental to the development of a skilled workforce and a skilled workforce is essential to safe, productive and sustainable construction and maintenance activities, which in turn, is critical to the nation‟s economic future. This therefore informed the need to develop a harmonised framework for training of craftsmen in Nigeria in order to provide a uniform basis for training, supervision and assessment of craft skills that will eliminate mismatch between training and industry needs thereby improving quality of locally trained craft skills, creating job opportunities, boosting economy, improving productivity and reducing project cost.


1.2 Statement of Research Problem



Previous studies have established the problems of technical skills training and the inadequacies of existing training frameworks in Nigeria (Bamisile, 2004; Datoegoem, 2006; Abdullahi, 2010; Odusami and Ene, 2011; Okoye and Chijioke, 2013). The studies highlighted that various institutions have different training programmes with little or no supervision of such programmes due to lack of harmonised framework for training. These have posed challenges in delivering uniform and systematic training while serving as criteria for supervision and assessment of






training across the country. As a result, there is mismatch between training and industry requirement (Okoye and Chijioke, 2013). Although previous studies acknowledged the existence of training frameworks and its lack of harmony, there is however no evidence of studies on existing training frameworks in Nigeria. The emphasis of previous studies are largely on causes of shortages, policies of training and perceptions of stakeholders on crafts skills in Nigeria. This therefore create the need to study the existing frameworks in order to understand the methodology of training and develop a framework for delivering effective training in Nigeria. This gab is what this study sought to fill.


1.3 Need for the study



Studies on construction craft skills shortages have become topical in most nations and particularly on issues surrounding training structures. Some nations have developed structures for training and utilised it to train youths in order to create employment, boost economy, improve productivity, reduce incidence of rework resulting from poor and insufficient labour, and eventually cost of construction projects (Burati et al., 1992; CIDA, 1994; Clarke and Wall, 1998; CBC, 2002; Ellison, 2003; deGraft-Johnson et al., 2003; CII, 2007). Burati et al. (1992); CIDA (1994); CII (2007) showed that the works of poorly trained craftsmen are subjects of rework coupled with low productivity. In addition, the direct costs of rework in construction projects are considerable and falls between 10-15% of contract value. Barker (2011) considers the benefits of investment in training for scarce skills in the South African construction and engineering industry. The report suggested that reducing skill shortages provide benefits for organizations, individuals, families, regions and national economies. The study argued that since training improves the job performance of employees, it should therefore reflect on their productivity,






quality of work and services. Similarly, Rubin (2007) found that investing in training could have double-digit returns in productivity, reduced absenteeism and need for rework, amongst others.


The absence of harmonised framework for training craft skills in Nigeria has prevented the nation from creating jobs, boosting economy, improve productivity, reduce rework and projects cost since most of the locally trained craft skills are denied employment in the industry because they lack sufficient skills (Simire, 2010; Okoye and Chijioke, 2013). In addition, the employment of foreign workmen has created difficulty in establishing reliable productivity and cost data since the payments to those workers are usually high (Rubin, 2007; CII, 2007; Wang et al. 2008). With an average population of 175 million people and unemployment rate of 26% (National Bureau of Statistics [NBS], 2011; NBS, 2012), Nigeria has the capacity to create one million jobs on average to replace those imported (Simire, 2010; Okoye and Chijioke, 2013). Additionally, solving craft skills shortage through training will potentially reduce cost of construction projects by providing efficient skills workers at affordable cost and eventually, reliable productivity and cost data for use in the industry will be established. The development of a harmonised training framework will assist in achieving this by giving Nigerian trained craftsmen the requisite skills and experience to be gainfully employed in the construction industry. Ultimately, it will boost the Nigerian economy, provide reliable productivity and cost data and reduce capital flight resulting from payments to expatriates and likewise reduce employees‟ turnover, absenteeism and injuries in the construction industry.


1.4 Research Questions



The following research questions are outlined from the background and the need identified for the study:




  1. What is the mode of training construction craftsmen?



  1. What are the existing training systems in Nigeria? What are the key components in existing training systems?


  • What are the key issues in training system of developed countries that can contribute to the development of a harmonised training system in Nigeria?


  1. What are the perceptions of craft workers and their employers on the performance of the products of existing training systems in Nigeria?


  1. How can construction craftsmen be trained?



1.5 Aim and Objectives



1.5.1 Aim



The aim of this research is to develop a harmonised framework for training of construction craft skills with a view to providing efficient manpower for the construction industry.


1.5.2 Objectives


  1. To articulate construction craft skills training frameworks with a view to understanding the mode of construction craft skills training.


  1. To evaluate existing frameworks of construction craft skills training in Nigeria.


  • To assess performance of the products of construction training institutions in Nigeria.


  1. To develop and evaluate a harmonised framework for delivering effective construction craft skills training in Nigeria.







1.6 Research Methodology



To achieve the objectives of this research, detailed review of related literature was done using databases of journals, textbooks, conference papers and internet searches. Discussions were done at relevant academic and industrial seminars and conferences which guided the focus of the research. Subsequently, a semi-structured interview guide was developed and used as a guide in conducting interview with relevant stakeholders. At the validation stage, focus discussions was employed to validate the developed framework.


Following the development of the interview guide, interviews were scheduled and conducted in six training institutions and nine construction organisations from the months of March, 2013 and February, 2014. An interview session took average of 90 minutes. For the training institutions, the list of accredited training institutions in Nigeria published by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) was first used to identify relevant training institutions that offer construction related courses. In the course of conducting interview in the institutions identified in the list, more training institutions were identified and interview scheduled and conducted. For the interviews in construction organisations, the organisations were selected based on purposive sampling and both management staff and craftsmen were interviewed in order to assess the performance of the craftsmen.


To validate the framework, focus group discussion was used in obtaining response from stakeholders (NBTE, Federal and State Technical Training institutions, Industrial Training Fund and Construction organisations) on the developed framework.












1.6.1 Sketch Outline of the Research



It is proposed here that the challenge in delivering a uniform and systematic training while serving as criteria for supervision and assessment of training craft skills across Nigeria should be solved by developing a harmonised framework. In developing the framework, four main steps were undertaken. The first step was to define the purposed of the framework. The purposed of developing a harmonised training framework is to provide a structure that will guide in the delivery of effective training of craftsmen in Construction Industry in Nigeria, as its absence has prevented the nation from creating jobs, boosting economy, improving productivity, reducing rework and project cost. The strengths and weaknesses of existing training frameworks were identified and in the proposed framework, effort was made to address those issues with the view that effective training will be provided to construction craftsmen in Nigeria. Specifically, the framework addressed the issues of mismatch between industry requirement and training provided in the institution in addition to the issue of field experience which was lacking in technical training in Nigeria. The second step was devoted to collecting information. This was done through collection of data from the field and literature review. It was noted that the accuracy of the framework depends largely on the validity of the data collected.


Thirdly, the Framework was built. This comprises of grouping all the themes or issues into relevant classifications identified from the analysed data. In the fourth step, the framework was validated. This entails validation of the developed framework by construction industry training stakeholders.


Finally, the dissertation was written and structured in six chapters as follows:


Chapter 1.0: Introduction





Chapter 2.0: Literature Review


Chapter 3.0: Research Methodology


Chapter 4.0: Data Presentation, Analysis and Discussion


Chapter 5.0: Presentation and Validation of the Framework


Chapter 6.0: Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations



1.7 Scope and Limitation



1.7.1 Scope



The study focused on process of training craft skills workers in the construction industry at pre-employment stage with emphasis on vocational and technical training institutions and construction organizations. Traditional trades such as Masonry, Painting, Plumbing installation, Electrical installation, Tiling, Carpentry and Joinery, Steel-fixing (Fitters), Plant operators, Plant mechanics, Scaffolding, and so on were considered while emerging trades in the industry were explored. Data was collected in Lagos and Kaduna States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja particularly because of the concentration of training institutions and construction organisations in the States and the Federal Capital Territory. Other issues such as facilities, funding and manpower (trainers) were not the primary focus of this research.


1.7.2 Limitation



The key limitations here are in the manner that data was collected. Some of the respondents (craftsmen particularly) were not able to adequately express themselves in the English language and as such could bring in bias in the results obtained. In addition, the conduct of face-to-face interview necessitates direct contact of the researcher with respondents thereby influencing some





responses. This had likely influence on the data and the results obtained. The framework is only developed for initial (pre-employment) training and may not be suitable for other technical training like retraining of employed craftsmen


All project works, files and documents posted on this website, projects.ng are the property/copyright of their respective owners. They are for research reference/guidance purposes only and the works are crowd-sourced. Please don’t submit someone’s work as your own to avoid plagiarism and its consequences. Use it as a guidance purpose only and not copy the work word for word (verbatim). Projects.ng is a repository of research works just like academia.edu, researchgate.net, scribd.com, docsity.com, coursehero and many other platforms where users upload works. The paid subscription on projects.ng is a means by which the website is maintained to support Open Education. If you see your work posted here, and you want it to be removed/credited, please call us on +2348159154070 or send us a mail together with the web address link to the work, to hello@projects.ng. We will reply to and honor every request. Please notice it may take up to 24 - 48 hours to process your request.