Knauf, a German company, opened the first plasterboard training center in the Philippines to improve the skills of construction workers.

The “Knauf Academy” is a facility being considered to address the lack of more skilled workers in the construction industry in the Philippines, said Knauf Philippines managing director Mark Sergio.

“The objective of the training center is twofold: we want to ensure that we can improve the capacity, the quality of manufacture and the skills of Filipino installers. We also want to ensure that through this we are able to deliver the best customer experience to our architects, developers and contractor-partners,” he said.

Knauf Philippines executives open the country’s first plasterboard training center.

The opening of the academy is a milestone for Knauf in the Philippines, being the first plasterboard training center in the country.

Sergio said the other goal is to be able to help improve the employability of Filipino skilled workers in the construction industry, especially on the installation of plasterboard.

“Most of our installers in the Philippines actually learned the trade on the job, and then went on to become foremen themselves and eventually own their own small subcontracting businesses. We want to make sure that we also improve their livelihoods,” he said.

Acting Deputy Head of Mission at 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, is promoting further the good economic relations between Germany and the Philippines.

The Knauf Academy accommodates a maximum of 18 participants in a classroom setting where trainees learn the theoretical side of drywall and other standard drywall and ceiling installation techniques.

The reception and exhibition area is equipped with a small snack bar where trainees can relax during breaks, while the workshop area is where trainees can apply what they have learned in theory to actual use through the various dummy drywall installations and where their capabilities will be evaluated.

The academy’s training modules will help equip learners with the 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 enhance the skills of Filipinos to make them more attractive targets among the players in the construction industry.

Upon completion of training, trainees should already be oriented with basic safety protocols, determine the different types of gypsum board and their appropriate applications, become familiar with the components of a standard drywall and ceiling system, understand drywall and ceiling installation methodology, detail connections and techniques, learn the quick and easy way to repair gypsum board, and prevent damage and waste through proper handling and storage of gypsum board plaster.

Sergio said they made sure that the installation itself and the modules not only meet Knauf standards, but also adapt to the Filipino context.

“We also need to understand how our installers learn, and we can modify the modules based on that, with an emphasis on hands-on training,” he said.

Each course offering can also be expanded to meet innovative new products and systems from Knauf in the Philippines, he said.

The Knauf Academy is open to aspiring drywall and ceiling installers who wish to further their knowledge of plasterboard installation, architects, engineers, interior designers, students and other construction industry partners.

Knauf Gypsum Philippines Inc. is a manufacturing company that produces gypsum board and jointing compounds. It is also a fast growing gypsum wallboard brand used in various residential, commercial and industrial projects nationwide.

Knauf products include walls, ceilings, jointing and finishing compounds, acoustic panels and ceiling tiles, acoustic suspension systems, including metal systems.