Artisan Gaps in the Construction Industry in Zambia

  • Chanda Kaoma Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, School of Engineering, University of Zambia P.O Box32379, Lusaka, Zambia
  • Mundia Muya Dean’s Office, School of Engineering, University of Zambia P.O Box 32379, Lusaka, Zambia
Keywords: Artisans, Skills, Shortages, Workmanship, Apprenticeship.


The creation of new talents through apprenticeship in the industry would contribute to construction sector growth because apprenticeship germinates confidence in artisan skills that result in innovations. Future research should be extended to manufacturing industry of construction related materials.The construction industry in Zambia grew rapidly in the last decade. The growth in infrastructure development resulted in construction boom. The boom had catalysed increased demand for construction artisans. Hiring artisans with the right skills, and experience has been an ongoing challenge. Contractors need good skilled artisans to effectively deliver projects of high quality. The purpose of the study reported in this paper was to develop a training model that enhances effective skilled labour supply to the Zambian construction industry by establishing factors that lead to shortage of artisans and how that contributes to construction defects. During the study, apprenticeship training was considered and evaluated as mitigation pathway of increasing a number artisan labour in the industry. Interviews, a questionnaire survey and three case studies were used to collect data. Stratified random sampling was used to treat biasness in sample selection. The study established shortage of artisan in Zambia’s constructions industry among tilers, shop fitters, air-conditioners technicians, plasterers, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, steel fixers, and steel fabricators. Identified causes of artisan shortages included: low number of trade schools and unattractive conditions of service in the industry. The impacts of artisan shortages were poor workmanship, low efficiency and reduced effectiveness of construction industry workforce.Apprenticeship Skills Flow Chart Model (ASFM) was developed and apprenticeship has been recommended as a possible approach to alleviating artisan shortages. Implementation of ASFM could lead to more skillful artisan labour availability in the industry and better productivity improvements in project delivery. 


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