Friday, 02 June 2017 10:33

Consulting Engineers South Africa celebrates a decade in unearthing future engineers

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In its quest to promote engineering as a career of choice, Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA) and its Young Professionals Forum (YPF) has for the past decade celebrated Job Shadow Day with the aim of attracting South Africa’s learners into becoming the country’s future engineers. 

Bhekizulu Senior Secondary School

The initiative is geared towards showcasing the engineering profession, particularly consulting engineering as an exciting career option and also serves as a call to action for Engineering Corporates to develop a pipeline of much needed engineering professionals in South Africa.

CESA’s YPF Chairperson Amanda Masondo-Mkhize points out that June is a significant month that is used to commemorate the role of youth in the liberated society that we live in today. “To ignite and commemorate the resolve of those gallant students. I would like to urge all CESA member firms to partake in the Job Shadow Initiative and allow high school pupils to experience ‘A day in the life of a Consulting Engineer’,” proclaims Masondo-Mkhize.

Since 2008, CESA’s Job Shadow Initiative has reached over 15 000 learners from previously disadvantaged backgrounds. In 2004 CESA established a young professional forum to expedite the development of practicing young professionals by creating focused platforms of interaction that could be utilized to address areas of development that were identified as lagging by these young practitioners.

CESA President Lynne Pretorius’ view is that we should develop a pipeline of professionally registered engineers. This is a long-term approach and requires various role-players to:

  • Identify and support learners with an aptitude for Mathematics and Science at secondary school level.
  • Support, guide and mentor learners towards choosing Engineering as a
  • Provide financial assistance towards tertiary engineering studies.
  • Provide the necessary social support to students in these tertiary engineering study programmes from disadvantaged schools and  
  • Assist with work placement after graduation.
  • Ensure adequate workplace mentorship and guidance to develop competence and ultimately professional registration. These will   ultimately become the future leaders in our industry, she avers.

Engineers are the main role players in the delivery of Infrastructure. The development and maintenance of infrastructure is a key ingredient for sustained economic growth, which ultimately leads to job creation and poverty alleviation. By affording learners this opportunity they get to imagine, live, work and play Engineering – opening their minds to a world of possibilities. Engineers change the world by conceptualising practical solutions while inspiring people to create and design solutions to problems faced by modern societies.   

The Job Shadow Initiative takes the form of a poster competition, from which the three best posters describing the learners’ experience having spent time with a member company get the recognition at the CESA Aon Engineering Excellence Awards which will be held on 16 August 2017. In 2016, Royal HaskoningDHV was the winner of the CESA Job Shadow Poster Competition with UWP Consulting and Nako ILISO as the runners-up.

School Talk

The CESA Job Shadow Initiative has been expanded to include School Talks by individuals or organisations, who do not participate in the main Job Shadow programme. The School Talks were necessitated by the fact that many learners continue to struggle with Mathematics and end up doing Mathematics Literacy which limits them in their later career choices.

“I now understand what engineering is about and I find transportation engineering very interesting,” said a learner from Bhekizulu Senior Secondary School.

“I thought this was just a matter of taking these kids to site and back. I was extremely moved by how well this event was organised. The level of information conveyed to the learners and the motivation and techniques you shared with them. We shall take this to the classroom and improve the quality of teaching and learning at my school,” noted Bhekizulu Senior Secondary School Deputy Principal.

Last modified on Thursday, 14 September 2017 12:12

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