Mentoring In the Construction Industry

Mentoring In the Construction Industry

It is very easy to register as a Construction Company in South Africa and for this reason many SMMEs are becoming Construction Contractors. However, many of them go into liquidation within the first year or two. The reason for this, in my opinion, is their lack of knowledge of how the Construction Contracting Industry works. For this reason, there is a need for qualified, Professional Construction Mentors.

What is Mentorship?

Mentorship is a system of semi structured guidance whereby one person shares their knowledge, skills and experience to assist others to progress in their own lives and careers. Mentorship is more than “giving advise”.

What are the qualities of a good Mentor?

  • The willingness and ability to transfer knowledge.
  • Approachability, availability and the ability to listen.
  • Honesty and diplomacy.
  • Inquisitiveness
  • Objectivity and fairness.
  • Compassion and genuineness.


This involves a relationship between the Mentor and the MD/Owner of a company that is built on trust.

The Mentor’s first job is to find out where the company is in terms of:

  • Knowledge (Business Management, knowledge of the Construction Industry).
  • Skills (Personnel, Access to skills that are not within the company)
  • Finance (Sustainability, Working Capital)

From here a Mentorship Programme can be mutually developed and implemented.

My own approach is to assess the strengths and weaknesses within the company and develop a programme according to the Company’s needs.

This can be anything from assistance with:

  • Tendering (including the choice of Project, understanding the Conditions of Contract, the capital that will be required, Labour and plant required, the Site Inspection and the Bid).
  • Post Award (including the Pre-plan, Scheduling, Cost Control, Quality Control and most important of all: The cost of Safety).

It must be pointed out that the Mentorship Programme is not a Training Programme which it is often misunderstood to be, there are no certificate or awards at the end of it. It is a lasting relationship.

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