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CIOB: Turning Students Professional

CIOB student membership paves a smoother road for a career in the construction sector. 

December 12, 2023
By Kwadwo Ayirebi-Antwi
2 min read

Growing up, I was fascinated by the world of construction. I was particularly captivated by witnessing the transformation of rather abstract designs on paper into tangible structures – all orchestrated by a diverse team of professionals. Design ideas that eventually come to fruition can become universally appreciated and I wanted to play a pivotal role this rewarding line of work. 

To help me on my journey, I pursued a science curriculum in secondary school before enrolling in a bachelor’s degree in quantity surveying and construction economics at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana.  

I also made the decision to become a student member at the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), the leading professional body for the construction industry with more than 47,000 members globally – including a strong membership base in Sub-Saharan Africa.  

Student membership is an excellent starting point for young people looking to forge a career in the construction industry and who wish to gain chartered status in the future. It gives instant access to useful resources that can support your transition to a worthwhile career and can benefit a vast range of disciplines within the construction sector. 

During my studies, I was also fortunate enough to spend some time working at SKOL Consult Ghana, a quantity surveying and project management firm, which really set the stage for my professional journey. 

When I applied for a full-time position, I was asked to deliver a presentation on sustainability in the construction industry. As for many people, standing up and delivering presentations was not my forte – so I found this to be a daunting prospect. 

Thankfully, the CIOB representatives stepped up to the mantle when it came to helping me with my presentation skills and particularly building up my confidence. I also took a sustainability course through CIOB while doing my national service which further enhanced my knowledge of the area. I have no doubt that the skills and experience that I acquired through CIOB played a significant role in helping me secure a full-time position with SKOL Consult Ghana. 

The practical orientation of the training CIOB provided really stood out to me – particularly the Sustainable Construction and Development Course which left a lasting impression. The course not only shed light on the resource-intensive industry but also showcased real-life projects that actively implemented sustainable construction methods.  

The CIOB really addresses the academia-industry gap, which is a prominent challenge for young construction professionals in Sub-Saharan Africa. 

I have now transitioned into a CIOB Tomorrow’s Leaders representative in Ghana, where I can strive to make a meaningful contribution to the local built environment by working closely with educators, students and industry stakeholders.

My next steps will be to continue fostering these connections and hopefully address the skills shortage in the country, ultimately contributing to the industry’s growth and development.