CESA developing Business Skills for future Industry Leaders

A lack of investment in the development of skills for consulting engineering human resources over many years has resulted in a skewed and unbalanced scenario in the industry. When a graph is plotted showing the number of engineers against the age of these engineers, the picture that emerges is a graph of two peaks with the older (close to retirement) engineers on one peak and young (recently graduated) engineers on the other with a trough of middle management between the two peaks.

The immediate challenge to the industry is the constraint faced by under-resourced middle management engineers in providing adequate experiential training of upcoming young engineers. The CESA Business of Consulting Engineering (BCE)programme is an annual development programme that provides a solution to this gap in human resource development.Presented by CESA’s School of Consulting Engineering, the BCE equips engineering staff in the consulting environment with the non-technical skills which form an integral part of the work of a consulting engineer, but which are not part of a normal tertiary engineering education programme.

"The BCE is an essential element of developing not only engineers but for the survival and success of the industry at large. The business of engineering is more than the business of completion of projects. To survive, it must be about the business of making meaningful decisions that can be beneficial to all parties: the client, the engineers and the community," states Makotsene Makgalemele, 2014 CESA Young Engineer of the year who has successfully completed the BCE programme.

The BCE Programme is aimed at engineers and technologists with some experience in a consulting engineering environment. It is also suitable for other technical staff and senior engineering personnel employed in a consulting engineering firm. It is an ideal platform for engineers and technologists who have the potential to rise rapidly towards senior levels of management and responsibility in their firms and bring with them the skills and capability required at such levels. The students learn about the consulting engineering environment, business management, project finance, legal and contractual matters while getting exposure to aspects of inter-personal skills development which enhance their ability to work in teams and become future leaders in the industry.

The 2018 BCE training programme promises to be one of the most successful ever. The course runs from February to December each year and a maximum of 25 students are accommodated. Students attend three one-week contact sessions in Johannesburg and have to prepare and submit written assignments throughout the programme. In addition, there is a written exam at the end of the year, all of which are factored into assessing the success or otherwise of prospective students. Only successful students are awarded a certificate upon completion of the Programme.

For more information visit http://www.cesa.co.za/node/142