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The Authority on Friday, 3rd November 2017 held a consultative meeting at its headquarters with representatives from various associations representing construction workers.
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss issues facing construction workers in Kenya and to find ways to build capacity where applicable.
In attendance were representatives from the Kenya National Construction Workers Association, Institute of Clerks of Works of Kenya, Global Communities and Mafundi wa Kenya Association.
Some of the issues discussed include adequate representation for the workers, many of whom feel their respective trades are not as respected as other professions within the construction industry. Many workers also felt that the accreditation process and even the card itself did not create adequate value vis a vis those who were not accredited. Other issues raised were the high cost of technical training and trade tests and lack of defined parameters within their job descriptions.
One of the most contentious issues has been safety on construction sites, as many construction workers are not provided for personal protective equipment. In the event of an accident, workers cannot afford legal representation in order to seek compensation from their employers.
A possible solution discussed was the formation of a society for the workers, where welfare and other issues would be addressed, and where workers can gain collective bargaining powers and adequate legal representation.
The formation of the same requires stakeholder input from various State and private agencies, and NCA is now in consultation to form a multi-sectoral task force that will begin the process.
Currently, the Authority is having a month long free accreditation drive in order to support more workers towards being recognized on the official professional register. Additionally, the Authority has also been in talks with donors and the National Industrial Training Authority (NITA) to subsidize the cost of trade tests, which is prohibitive for most workers.
NCA has also been in talks with several firms to discuss affordable insurance packages as well as financial inclusion and credit facilities, starter tool kits for purchase or leasing,training loans and job placement.