Monday, 11 October 2021

Skills shortage: Demand for “Work at height” increase

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SGB-Cape Rope Access, a division of Waco Africa, offers specialist rope access services and has stated that there is a shortage of skills in the “work at height” industry in South Africa. 

A specialist field of work – and not for the faint-hearted – there are significant advantages to using “rope access” over traditional access methods such as scaffolding and mobile elevated working platforms. Apart from the ease of access to hard-to-reach locations, utilising rope access offers an affordable alternative to other methods, such as building scaffolding, and can be set up quickly, efficiently and with minimal disruption. 

Cobus Joubert, manager at SGB-Cape Rope Access, explained, “Say for example a light bulb, 40 meters in the air at a construction or mining site, needs to be changed. Instead of orchestrating an entire operation that requires scaffolding to be built – which includes a number of heavy-duty vehicles, drivers, builders, going through an organisation’s supply chain process – and then of course everything has to be taken down again, a simple task of changing the light bulb can take several weeks or months. On the other hand, a couple of rope access technicians can do the same job in a matter of days.” 

Mr Joubert continued, “Here in South Africa we have a multitude of industries that are already using rope access technicians, such as construction, power, oil and gas, banner signage, industrial maintenance and telecommunications industries. However, we find that we have a serious lack of skill and qualified technicians and would encourage adventurous souls to actively pursue it as a career. To become a rope access technician is not as daunting as most people think, and the first entry-level qualification is aimed at individuals with little or zero previous experience.” 

IRATA Training

SGB Cape Offshore (Pty) Ltd is an accredited provider of IRATA (Industrial Rope Access Trade Association) industrial rope access training courses. IRATA is recognised as the world’s leading authority on industrial rope access and directs and regulates the training of all workers seeking an IRATA qualification through its' accredited providers. To find out more and to register for IRATA level 1, 2 or 3, please visit https://www.sgbcaperopeaccess.co.za/What-We-Do/IRATA-TRAINING-COURSES/IRATA-Courses-Offered. 

About SGB-Cape Rope Access

SGB-Cape Rope Access is an operating division of SGB-Cape, one of South Africa’s leading service providers of access scaffolding and industrial access-based maintenance such as thermal insulation and corrosion protection. SGB-Cape is part of Waco International, a focused equipment rental and industrial services business with operations in Africa (South Africa and other sub-Saharan African countries), Australasia (Australia and New Zealand) and the United Kingdom. The Group provides services in the areas of formwork, shoring and scaffolding, insulation, painting and blasting, hydraulic and suspended access platforms, relocatable modular buildings, portable sanitation products and integrated hygiene services. https://sgbcape.co.za/

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