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Jobs Kenyan
June 17, 2011

Technical Jobs in Kenya 2011 – BI (6 Positions)




Dynamic People Consulting is currently recruiting for one of its clients, Bridge International Academies. Bridge International Academies is a startup revolutionizing education across Africa with a truly unique business model and instructional program.

The company has launched a large-scale, franchise-like network of ultra low-cost, for-profit private primary schools in Kenya, and will expand across Africa. The schools profitably deliver high-quality education for less than $4 per child per month. Local school managers are able to operate their school businesses profitably, while creating a highly successful business at the central level.

This ensures that the school is not dependent on the vagaries of donor funding, but will rather continue to serve the communities as long as parents value the educational service we provide. To ensure the delivery of high quality education, Bridge International writes its own curriculum using Direct Instruction methodology. They also train and support their own teachers.

Bridge have already launched the first 12 schools in their network in the slums of Nairobi with tremendous success, and plan to rapidly scale the company to serve more than 1 million families in Africa.




1. Construction Researcher

About this position

Bridge International Academies is looking an innovative Construction Researcher to take up the R&D role within our construction team so as to continuously query, interrogate, investigate and improve both our construction processes and products.

The individual must be very comfortable working with processes and procedures as applied in low -income settlements and should be able to appreciate the unique dynamics of the construction process in these environments.

More specifically:

  • The individual will be carrying on research on building components, building materials, technical construction processes and construction management processes.
  • The task involves repeated and iterative improvement of quality requiring inquiring into old established methods already in use, at a very basic and fundamental level. It also requires meticulous attention to detail.
  • In addition to carrying out research internally, the individual will need to be in touch with appropriate low-tech, low-income technologies around the world as familiarity with these shall be essential in informing research planning.
  • Working in informal settlements can be very challenging and often requires many situational difficulties that arise as a result of working in these conditions. The individual will need to be comfortable being requested to re-programme their work at short notice in order to address unexpected site occurrences from time to time.
  • Besides ensuring that R & D proceeds effectively, the researcher will be expected possess a ‘think-outside-the-box’ orientation as this forms the basis for fundamentally overhauling the current processes and products in an effort to achieve the research objectives.
Other responsibilities include:
  • Review of anthropometric, ergonomic and spatial dimensions in currently in use, with a view to revising classroom sizes, furniture, etc.
  • Review of indoor comfort levels in order to revise the ventilation and lighting provisions.
  • Review of structural systems, materials and methods of construction.
  • Research on sewerage disposal in informal settlements in order to recommend appropriate solutions in the various site scenarios that arise.
  • Research on pavements, walling materials, roofing materials, doors, windows, etcetera, in order to seek cost-effective and appropriate in-use alternatives.
  • Research on cost-effective and process-enhancing delivery methodologies for production management, materials management, quality control, process engineering and value management.
About You
  • Minimum of 7 to 10 years experience in research in low-cost technologies preferably in existing low-income settlements.
  • An expert level knowledge of how to effectively carry out R&D for a very high level of innovation and creativity in solution seeking.
  • Must be able to manage competing demands, accept criticism and constructive feedback, while being extremely adaptable and flexible.
  • Excellent writing and oral communication skills are required
  • Ability to identify potential new areas of improvement and research communicate them clearly to the Head of Department.
  • Good people management skills that result in timely completion of deliverables.
  • Be willing to delve into all aspects of the school construction, to ‘improve the already-perfect’.
2. Deputy Director of Construction Management

About this position

We have and are continuing to develop one of the most cost-effective approaches to constructing school buildings in the world. We currently construct school classrooms for less than KSh 140,000 per classroom fully loaded (including all labour and site management, furniture, transport, and the amortized cost of the latrines, School Manager’s office, and fence).

These results are achieved by using experienced fundi’s as site managers, who are supported by a central management team and a highly specified process and specifications.

Because of the speed of our scaling, we construct many schools simultaneously. For example, the company is currently building 15 new schools, and expanding 5 existing schools. That means we have to manage 20 simultaneous construction sites. Within a couple of years the number of simultaneous construction sites will increase to well over 50.

We are looking for a full time Deputy Director of Construction Management who underneath our Head of Construction will provide critical leadership to manage these simultaneous construction projects being led by fundis and day labourers.

In order to accomplish this, the Deputy Director will need to help refine and improve upon our systems for managing and tracking every aspect of these projects, as well as the training and oversight of the site managers/fundis.

We are looking for someone who is good with the details and not afraid of spending long hours in the field (in the slums) to make sure the job is accomplished.

Responsibilities:

  • Improve upon and develop new manuals, specifications, tracking tools, & training program to allow local construction managers to successfully replicate school design
  • Refine and implement a sophisticated budgeting and payment tracking system to ensure that schools are being built under budget and on time.
  • Refine and put in place audit systems to ensure that construction is being done correctly and financial controls are in place to ensure transparency
  • Identifying, training and managing site managers who are the actual implementers at each site
  • Managing central construction team to help implement the design, process, and auditing.
  • Constantly working to reduce cost and improve quality of school construction
About You
  • You have minimum 10 years experience in senior project management or construction management role, especially one where you were managing many sites/projects simultaneously.
  • You have experience with very process-oriented project management
  • You have experience in construction management, ideally in situations where budgets are incredibly constrained
  • You are very comfortable and willing to work in slums
  • You have experience with managing distributed teams of people
  • You have experience managing inventory at multiple sites and ensuring there are systems to prevent loss
  • You are experienced in developing budgeting/accounting system to ensure easy auditing of the financial transactions
  • You are an experienced user of MS Project, ArchiCAD/AutoCAD and MS Excel
  • A background or experience in detailed ultra-low cost engineering design a plus
  • You are very comfortable with using and analyzing data, budgets, and information to make better decisions
  • ‘Love to get my hands dirty’ is your middle name. While you have been a manager, you have also demonstrated your willingness to jump into the very nitty-gritty details and get done what is needed to get done.
  • You function well in a fast-paced, informal environment where constant change is the norm and the bar for quality is set high
3. Programme Manager

About this position

Bridge International Academies is looking a strong Programme Manager to help our construction team manage the scheduling and resource allocation of its construction projects.

The individual must be very comfortable using project management tools and must have managed projects with complex resource allocations. Relevant experience in the field of construction will be an added advantage.

More specifically:

  • The individual will be managing anywhere from 10-30 construction projects simultaneously. These projects are not complex, but the deadlines are tight (less than 6 weeks) and the resources are limited. As a result it will be very important to know exactly how every resource is prioritized and allocated for every hour of every day.
  • Working in informal settlements can be very challenging and often requires many last minute changes to the priorities and schedules. The individual will need to be comfortable making last minute adjustments and redeploying resources to meet the priorities of the company.
  • Besides ensuring that resources are moving tasks forward in the correct places, the Programme Manager will need to ensure that we have timely payments to suppliers, fundis, and labourers. This means ensuring the work is done and scheduling the payments in time, so that the Finance team has time to process the payment and Site Manager has time to pay his team before they break for the day.
Other responsibilities include:
  • Timely decision-making for effective allocation/re-allocation of resources within priorities that change on a day-to-day basis.
  • Definition of a regular system of review of work progress and resource allocation in order to provide a useful overview of the whole of the ongoing construction work.
  • Create master work programmes, based on baseline nested work programmes, for all on-going projects.
  • Collect and collate weekly work plans from the field, into the programmes and evaluate project status for decision making on resource allocations.
  • Prepare, based on the programmes, schedules of labour, materials, payment and other information as required.
  • Prepare daily, weekly and monthly reports on resource utilization for review by the Construction Team.
About You
  • Minimum of 8 to 10 years experience in project management, including projects that have multiple resources that need to be scheduled in and out of the project over the life cycle of the project to optimize costs.
  • An expert level knowledge of how to effectively use Gantt charts, including complete fluency in Microsoft Project or equivalent program. You should also be able to create Gantt charts with Excel.
  • Must be able to manage competing demands, accept criticism and constructive feedback, while being extremely adaptable and flexible.
  • Excellent writing and oral communication skills are required
  • Ability to identify potential problems, conflicts, and delays before they become an issue and communicate them clearly to the Head of Department.
  • Good people management skills that result in timely completion of deliverables.
  • Demonstrated ability to solve problems.
  • Advanced knowledge of Microsoft Office, particularly Excel.
4. Project Architect

About this position

Bridge International Academies is looking an experienced Project Architect to help our construction team with the design, drawing and supervision of low cost schools. This position involves iterative and repeated update and review of Bills of Quantities.

The individual must be very comfortable working in informal environments and must have managed multiple projects that are geographically dispersed.

More specifically:

  • The individual will be managing anywhere from 10-30 construction projects simultaneously. These projects are not complex, but the deadlines are tight (less than 6 weeks) and the resources are limited. As a result, timeliness will be critical to ensure that projects take off within the stipulated timelines.
  • The architect shall prepare typical layout and detailed drawings for standard application in the construction of the branded schools.
  • In addition to standard drawings, the architect shall prepare site-specific site layouts, and ground preparation schemes.
  • Working closely with the land acquisition team, tasks shall include site measurement, site evaluation, site analysis and ground preparation prior to commencement of construction.
  • Reviewing and continuously improving the school design to enhance space utilization and ergonomics of the spaces and furniture.
  • Reviewing typical BQs to adjust for changes due to specific site conditions, design reviews or process improvement.
About You
  • Minimum of 4 to 5 years experience in a busy architectural design environment handling multiple projects concurrently.
  • Demonstrated experience in production of construction detail drawings.
  • Excellent AutoCAD/ArchiCAD/Artlantis skills and experience including 3D and rendering.
  • Must be able to manage competing demands, accept criticism and constructive feedback, while being extremely adaptable and flexible.
  • Excellent writing and oral communication skills are required
  • Ability to identify potential problems, conflicts, and delays before they become an issue and communicate them clearly to the Head of Department.
  • Good people management skills that result in timely completion of deliverables.
  • Demonstrated ability to solve problems.
  • Excellent knowledge of Microsoft Office.
5. Senior Construction Supervisor

The CSC is responsible for the construction work activities for the allocated school site. This begins with appraisal of proposed new sites and includes ensuring that prior arrangements are made for effective project start up, smooth work progress, effective decision making and finalised project close-out.

Planning, implementation and monitoring of the construction site activities including ensuring that work is planned for as they are carried out on each site specifically.

For existing schools, s/he shall be in charge of school Support Officer (SO) communications to receive and detail school facilities conditions concerns, their documentation, possible solutions and timelines, including work approvals and implementation.

S/he is also responsible for the liaison between the school sites and the headquarters in terms of Information flows and record keeping.

Duties & Responsibilities

Site Appraisal

  • Carry out initial site visit, document the site characteristics, evaluate the implications of site conditions to construction and prepare a report.
  • Manage information flows with the Land Department and site takeover.
Project Start-up
  • Carry out all tasks that are necessary for the construction to commence effectively and complete the start-up checklist for approval.
Contract management
  • Prepare or modify the standard contract for site specific issues, discuss it with the Site Foreman and manage it throughout the construction period.
Materials management
  • Prepare or modify the standard schedule of materials, prepare materials requisitions, confirm orders and deliveries, ensure proper materials acceptance procedures are duly applied, retrieve from site and forward to headquarters the delivery notes and invoices, request payments and file away the payment acknowledgement.
Labour management
  • Source qualified Site Foremen, skilled and unskilled labourers, manage labour records, manage labour payments, retrieve from site and forward to headquarters the invoices and time sheets, request payments and file away the payment acknowledgement.
Programme Management
  • Carry out day-to-day monitoring of progress of work on site, tracking to ensure programme targets are met, planning and implementing remedial measures in case of programme slippage, including feedback information for programme improvement.
  • Carry out early morning daily calls, prepare daily email reports and prepare weekly work programmes.
Workmanship and Quality Control
  • Communicate the quality standards, implement procedures to ensure that work meets them, monitor and provide feedback information for improved quality.
Payments
  • Compute or modify budget estimates for approval, prepare payment requests for approval, confirm and record payments completed and balances and file away the payment acknowledgement.
Records Management
  • Implement the proper entering and updating of site records including the site book, invoices, time sheets and prepare summary reports as required.
Labour Relations
  • Ensure the employment of only desirable workers on the school sites, maintain smooth labour relations and provide feedback information for improved quality.
About You
  • Minimum of 5 years experience in site supervision on busy sites preferably in labour intensive projects
  • Should have good knowledge of basic construction technology and practices.
  • Should be a good planner, well organized and able to carry out simple analysis tasks.
  • Should be able to source skilled labour locally and handle labour-related issues arising on site from time to time.
  • Excellent writing and oral communication skills are required
  • Good people management skills that result in timely meeting of deadlines
  • Ability and willingness to accept instructions, accept criticism and positive feedback, while being very adaptable and flexible
6. Site Foreman

About this position

Bridge International Academies is looking for experienced and effective site foremen to provide daily supervision and guidance for construction activities in our school construction sites located in various parts of the country.

The individual must be very comfortable working in low-income communities inside the slums and should be able to handle the unique challenges of the construction process in these environments.

More specifically:

  • The individual will be carrying on hands on, day-to-day supervision on-site.
  • The task involves planning weekly work, organizing work teams, allocating work to teams and providing technical guidance for smooth progress and quality control.
  • In addition to carrying out site work, the foreman shall be expected to provide clear and complete information from the Headquarters staff to the workmen and back. This means that he shall be in charge of implementing Headquarters decisions on the sites and for providing feedback information from the site back to Headquarters.
  • Besides ensuring good quality and workmanship, the site foreman shall be in charge of labour selection, relations, work allocation and payments on the ground.
  • The site foreman shall also be in charge of receiving materials, materials storage, and materials safety.
  • An important part of the work shall be to keep, maintain and submit site records as required by the Company.
  • Working in informal settlements can be very challenging and often requires many situational difficulties that arise as a result of working in these conditions. The individual will need to be comfortable being requested to re-programme their work, replace labour and/or review work processes at short notice in order to address unexpected site occurrences from time to time.
  • This work often requires interacting with local youth, leaders, elders and chiefs in order to smoothen out any issues arising out of the community. Good relations with these groups shall be essential.
Other responsibilities include:
  • Ensuring good workmanship and proper procedures are in use as prescribed
  • Assessing labour requirements and sourcing for artisans and labourers within the school locality
  • Receiving, managing and accounting for all materials once delivered on site
  • Requesting and making labour payments including recording daily work sheets and payment records
  • Planning daily work in accordance with the construction programme provided
  • Completing daily site records on provided site book and work sheets
  • Forecasting work requirements as is necessary fro smooth progress of work.
  • Assisting in identifying unique site conditions that may require amendment of standard work plans and details
About You
  • Minimum of 10 years experience in site supervision on busy sites preferably in labour intensive projects
  • Must have good knowledge of basic construction technology and practices. Formal artisan training will be an added advantage.
  • Must be able to source labour locally and handle labour-related issues arising on site from time to time.
  • Ability to handle payments on the ground, given the associated risk to personal safety.
  • Excellent writing and oral communication skills are required
  • Good people management skills that result in timely meeting of deadlines
  • Ability and willingness to accept instructions, accept criticism and positive feedback, while being very adaptable and flexible

Please send all applications to: Recruitment@dpckenya.com

 

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