Knauf, a German company, opened the first gypsum board training center in the Philippines to upgrade the skills of construction workers.
The “Knauf Academy“ is a facility is envisioned to fill the gap for more skilled workers in the Philippine construction industry, said Knauf Philippines managing director Mark Sergio.
“The intent of the training center is two-fold: we want to make sure that we can improve the capability, the workmanship quality and skills of Filipino installers. We also want to make sure that because of this, we’re able to deliver the best customer experience for our architects, developers and contractor-partners,” he said.
The academy’s opening is a big milestone for Knauf in the Philippines, being the first gypsum board training center in the country.
Sergio said the other objective is to be able to help improve the employability of Filipino skilled workers in the construction industry, particularly on gypsum board installation.
“Most of our installers in the Philippines actually learned the trade on the job, and they later became foremen themselves and eventually owners of their own small contracting businesses. We want to make sure that we improve their livelihood as well,” he said.
Acting deputy head of mission of the German Embassy in the Philippines Alexander Schmidt said the German government is proud that a German company, in cooperation with the German Investment and Development Corporation or DEG, will further foster good economic relations between Germany and the Philippines.
The Knauf Academy can accommodate a maximum of 18 participants in a classroom setup where trainees learn the theoretical side of gypsum and other standard drywall and ceiling installation techniques.
The reception and showroom area is fitted with a small snack bar where trainees can lounge around during breaks, while the workshop area is where trainees can apply what they learned in theory into actual use through the various mock dry wall installations and where their capabilities will be assessed.
The academy’s training modules will help equip learners on both theoretical knowledge and practical skills of standard drywall and ceiling installation. The 16-hour session will instill the fundamental knowledge and practical skills of interior wall and ceiling system installations to help secure employment and hopefully, strengthen Filipinos’ skills set to make them more attractive targets among construction industry players.
Once training is completed, trainees should already be oriented with basic safety protocols, determine the different types of gypsum boards and their proper applications, familiarize themselves with the components of a standard drywall partition and ceiling system, understand the methodology of drywall and ceiling installation, detail connections and techniques, learn the fast and easy way to repair gypsum boards, and avoid damages and wastages through proper gypsum board handling and storage.
Sergio said they made sure that the facility itself and the modules not only follow the Knauf standards, but also adapts to the Philippine context.
“We should also understand how our installers learn, and we can modify the modules based on that, with emphasis on practical training,” he said.
Each course offering can also be expanded further to cater to incoming innovative Knauf products and systems in the Philippines, he said.
The Knauf Academy is open to aspiring drywall and ceiling installers who want to upskill their knowledge of gypsum board installation, architects, engineers, interior designers, students and other partners in the construction industry.
Knauf Gypsum Philippines Inc. is a manufacturing company that produces gypsum boards and jointing compounds. It is also a fast-growing gypsum board brand used in various residential, commercial and industrial projects in the country.
Knauf products include wall, ceiling, jointing and finishing compounds, acoustic panels and ceiling tiles, acoustic suspension systems, including metal systems.