18 August 2015 - The annual ‘Aurecon Cares: Job Shadow Day’ events were organised by various Aurecon offices in South Africa this year. The focus was on giving learners valuable first-hand experience of a day in the life of an Aurecon professional in the consulting engineering environment.
Each of the offices gave learners an overview of Aurecon and the profession of engineering in general. This was followed by a visit to the site of an Aurecon project or a team challenge exercise aimed at encouraging innovative thinking. The day closed with giving the young guests details of available scholarships, together with advice on applying for a place at a tertiary education institution.
Some of the activities organised by local Aurecon offices were:
Aurecon's Tshwane Office hosted learners from high schools in and around Tshwane municipality, together with learners from the Aurecon PROTEC (Programme for Technological Careers) Programme in Mamelodi. PROTEC helps to prepare young people from disadvantaged communities to embark on careers in science, engineering and technology.
A detailed presentation on structural engineering was followed by an informative tour of one of the company’s current projects at the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, previously known as MEDUNSA, in Ga-Rankuwa north of the City of Tshwane.
Aurecon staff gave Grade 10 to 12 high school learners in the Bloemfontein region a warm welcome and briefed them for an early site visit to the Raceway Park Housing Development site, east of Bloemfontein, in which Aurecon is currently involved with the project management of the electrical and road works.
Aurecon’s Port Elizabeth office began Job Shadow Day by introducing local high school learners to the engineering environment and giving them practical examples on how mathematics was applied in engineering. A fascinating visit to the refurbished Tramsway Building site followed, where the learners were given a brief history of the building from the design stages in 1895, its economic lifespan, the descent into vandalism and the engineering challenges of a refurbishment project.
Aurecon’s Rustenburg office arranged an informative visit to the Platinum Village School project site, after which a young Aurecon engineer described her academic journey and career. She was able to relate to the concerns of the learners as she came from the same background and had studied at the same school that many of them were attending.
The Aurecon office in Mafikeng hosted learners from Mafikeng High School and Sol Plaatje Secondary School. The Mafikeng office’s resident engineer gave an account of the projects she is currently working on, with specific focus on the renovations of Mega-City Mall, which the learners later visited.
Learners from high schools in Kimberley were given an illuminating insight into the world of water engineering. They began to appreciate that the contributions of civil engineers to our daily lives are typically taken for granted each time a tap is opened or a toilet is flushed. Later, on a site visit, the learners saw the structures taking shape for the new Sol Plaatje University construction site, and the involvement of the various engineering disciplines was explained to them.
A group of eThekwini school learners heard a young Aurecon engineer describe the journey towards becoming a professional engineer. The learners then experienced an important engineering project when they visited the Avon independent power producer peaking plant in Shakaskraal, near Stanger.
The Cape Town office hosted learners from several local schools, including Mondale High School in Mitchell's Plain, which is a beneficiary of an Aurecon sponsorship programme. Aurecon engineers from the various units gave presentations on transportation, water, building services and renewable energy. They explained why they studied engineering and how engineering plays such an important role in life without us even being aware of it.
Job Shadow Day was a resounding success and gave meaning to our brand proposition that “We work to build a vibrant and brighter future for all”. It was also a rewarding day for all our participating professionals to see the awakening among learners of interest and enthusiasm for engineering.