Construction Trades Training Center
Efforts to rebuild Afghanistan have been seriously hampered by the lack of qualified construction labor and management. While the construction industry in Afghanistan employs a large proportion of the workforce, the level of technology and labor productivity has been low. Quality of construction is often poor; there are frequent time delays and cost overruns on projects; new materials, technologies, and management practices are seldom adopted due to the lack of awareness among construction professionals; and the general workforce can lack the most basic skills. To address this problem, IRD established and operated the Construction Trades Training Center located in Jalalabad City from October 2005 to June 2008.
The CTTC provides hands-on construction skills training to 3,000 students through short, 30-day intensive vocational training classes. Students of the CTTC are provided basic skills in trades such as carpentry, electrical wiring, plumbing, concrete, and masonry. The center also offers courses to site superintendents and trades forepersons on project scheduling, cost estimating, and reading construction documents. Curricula can be developed and tailored to meet client demand.
CTTC curriculum is taught using a combination of classroom work, laboratory work, hands-on experience and oral testing. Training for the program for construction workers and foremen includes both specific construction skills (plaster and paint, masonry, carpentry, plumbing) and general topics such as safety, work ethic and punctuality, productivity, and quality control. Training for the management program for field engineers includes safety, blueprints, leadership, quality assurance, sub-contract management, and conflict resolution.
Upon graduation, students receive a tool kit containing the basic tools of their trade and are provided with job placement services. The CTTC also operates a well-equipped material testing services laboratory with the capability to conduct a wide range of quality control services on behalf of road construction contractors and implementing partners.
IRD successfully converted the CTTC into a thriving Afghan-run nongovernmental organizagtion in 2008, which continues to offer services to the US Army Corps of Engineers and numerous USAID implementing partners and construction companies working in Afghanistan.