29 September 2015 - Aurecon, the engineering, management and specialist technical services company, is actively involved with the training, upskilling and mentoring of young engineers in South Africa. Three students from the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), who joined the company in 2014 to complete the practical portion of their studies, will be awarded their diplomas in Civil Engineering this month.
Aurecon’s Buildings Leader: Gauteng, Nicol Labuschagne, says that the company has provided a supportive learning environment and helped over 20 engineering technicians from local tertiary institutions achieve formal engineering and technical qualifications over the past decade.
“Whether engineering students are looking for a career that will inspire them, or to work with industry leaders, or gain world-class experience, Aurecon is the place to be. As one of the world’s top engineering consultancies, our experienced mentors are here to help with their professional development,” says Labuschagne.
Stoffel Mentz, who works closely with the young engineers as a structural engineer within the company, says that specific processes and mentoring programmes have been put in place to ensure an innovative, supportive culture for engineers in training. Besides being able to expose young engineers to Aurecon’s breadth of technical expertise, projects and experience, the company also supports students in furthering both their academic and professional careers.
“Many of the students who join our company to complete the practical portion of their academic studies are subsequently offered permanent employment within Aurecon. We also encourage students and support them financially to further their studies. There aren’t always external bursary schemes available, so we’re committed to supporting ambitious individuals to pursue post-graduate certifications when possible. We also accommodate students who want to complete their studies part-time by offering flexible work schedules so that they can attend lectures,” says Mentz.
The three students who will be receiving their diplomas are Thapelo Mafemani, Silverton Maphophe and Ayanda Mthombeni. They have become part of the Buildings unit at Aurecon.
“The students have done exceptionally well and they will all be pursuing their BTech diplomas next year. Aurecon would like to congratulate them on their achievements and we hope that we can support them in registering as Professional Engineering Technologists in the future,” comments Labuschagne.
Thapelo Mafemani says that some of the most important skills he has acquired while working at Aurecon include communication, problem solving and time management skills.
“I’ve learned that solving problems for our clients takes a collaborative and big-picture approach. I enjoyed the design work the most because it’s very rewarding to see something that you detailed be produced into a physical structure on site. I also value the career advice that the experienced structural engineers were able to give me over the course of the past year.”
Silverton Maphophe was part of the project team for the Mall of Africa, one of the largest projects currently underway in sub-Saharan Africa. He says that some of the most valuable skills he’s obtained over the course of the year include learning relevant design software programs such as AutoCad, Prokon and Civil Designer, as well as how to approach complex problems and interpret drawings, standards and reports for practical applications.
“The technology that Aurecon uses, combined with the critical thinking skills of the experienced engineers that I’ve been able to work with, have opened my mind to a new way of thinking. It has been fascinating to be a part of a team accountable for everything from quality assurance on site and site supervision, to making the vision of architects and designers come to life,” adds Maphophe.
Ayanda Mthombeni plans on specialising in urban engineering and says the most rewarding part of her job is being able to see how the projects that she is involved in can improve the quality of life.
“I chose a career in engineering because I want to be able to give back to the community. I have been able to see the impact that some of Aurecon’s projects have made and the changes it has brought about to people’s lives.”
“A considerable number of the young engineers who started out as technicians in training at Aurecon now hold senior positions. At Aurecon, we encourage people to live their ideas and take ownership of their careers by offering a supportive environment and advanced learning opportunities,” concludes Labuschagne.