Nov 18, 2011
Engineering consultancy invests in skills development programmesBack
© Reuse this
“South Africa’s entire education and youth development system needs to be reviewed again. That is why Hatch has committed to skills development through our in-house programmes and why we encourage other firms to also lend a hand,” says Hatch Africa executive director Tshepo Kgobe.
The company says it feels strongly about engineering and technical skills development. It currently provides financial assistance for a programme called Siyakhula, which aims to facilitate maths and science education and introduce the engineering and built environment faculty to high school learners in the Ivory Park area, in Gauteng.
Siyakhula is an addition to another Hatch programme, the Naletsana Schools Development programme, which mentors and prepares learners from secondary level education all the way through to tertiary level. This programme is run by a Hatch employee, who was previously a beneficiary of the programme.
The engineering consultancy says it has achieved phenomenal results with the skills development that it has implemented. “Through our programme, we have been able to attract and select brilliant students, whom we then award bursaries and later employ,” says Kgobe.
Further, he points out that learners who previously obtained averages of about 40% for their studies, now achieved averages of about 70%, following their involvement in the skills development programme.
Hatch aims to create civil, industrial, mechanical, electrical and chemcial engineers, geology and mining professionals and various other project professionals by focusing its efforts on the development of Grade 9 pupils, matric assistance programme learners and university students through the various schools development programmes.
The company says it has introduced an additional level to the programme for learners who do not meet university entrance requirements, but who show potential, by facilitating students’ enrol-ment at further education and training colleges and technical universities.
Kgobe says the company provides bursaries for the students to remove the financial burden and enable them to focus on their studies.
Further, in response to reports suggesting that a high first-year drop-out rate is the result of previously disadvantaged learners not adapting to the university environment, Hatch says its programme covers multiple key areas to assist students with such difficulties.
The programmes cover, but are not limited to, English language skills and socialisation, interpersonal skills and adapting to the university environment.
Meanwhile, another initiative Hatch Africa is a part of, in its efforts to promote skills development, is the sponsorship of draughting and design school African Academy. The consultancy company says it provides the academy with funding of R1-million a year that goes towards the sponsoring of underprivileged students.
Further, Hatch says gaining practical experience is essential for engineers in training and those who have recently graduated. The necessary practical knowledge and experience facilitate access to better employment opportunities.
To accommodate this, the company sends students to project sites with experienced engineers.
Hatch says it is developing a programme that will enable draughtspeople from the African Academy to also acquire artisan skills. Some students are more than com-petent in drawing, but lack engineering skills.
“To bridge this gap, we are considering creating a programme that will combine drafting and artisan courses,” explains Kgobe.
He says skills development and training in the engineering sector will lower the high prices charged for the provision of services by engineers and, as a result, grow the sector.
“Service providers are able to charge higher prices because of the short supply of qualified engineers,” he concludes.
Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Economy News
Updated 22 minutes ago Private equity will play a key role in developing Africa given the massive needs for capital on the continent, says Blackstone Group, which is focusing on infrastructure projects involving power generation and transmission. CEO Steve Schwarzman said he would continue...
Updated 28 minutes ago Egypt expects a planned economic zone near the Suez Canal to eventually make up about a third of Egypt's economy, the country's investment minister said on Thursday. Egypt plans to build an international industrial and logistics hub near the canal to attract foreign...
Updated 51 minutes ago South Africa has to secure the future of the local petroleum industry through policy protection, to prevent the market from being flooded by clean fuels imports. The deferment of a clean fuels policy last year had opened a gap for importers and the urgency to...
Recent Research Reports
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector
While the construction sector remains a sizeable economic contributor and employment provider, it has been in a slump for the past seven years, not being able to recover to the growth levels in the build-up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup – between 2004 and 2007 – when...
Liquid Fuels 2014: A review of South Africa's liquid fuels sector
Despite South Africa’s oil and gas deposits, its current fuel-refining capacity is insufficient to meet local demand for liquid fuel products, and the shortfall is being met through imported refined products. In recent years, the country has become increasingly...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector
As the world’s most valuable resource, water and its preservation are becoming increasingly important, with various industries noticing the scarcity of this resource. Without water, industrial activities and agricultural activities cannot take place – directly...
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry
South Africa’s defence industry has sophisticated manufacturing capabilities and it has been at the forefront of many significant defence developments locally and internationally. The industry has a high level of State involvement in terms of acquisitions and...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure
The state of a country’s transport infrastructure is a key determinant of the performance and growth of its economy, as well as of the social and economic opportunities available to that country’s population. South Africa is investing substantially in its transport...
Real Economy Year Book 2014
There have been some improvements in global economic conditions over the past few months, with the US set to grow at a better pace in 2014 than has been the case in the years following the global economic crisis. Few economic commentators are anticipating a hard...
This Week's Magazine
The World Bank, the European Union, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the government of Sweden have agreed to provide Zimbabwe and Zambia with $294-million for the repair of structural deformations on the Kariba dam wall and avert the possible collapse of the...
Executive chairperson of the Global Electricity Initiative (GEI) Philippe Joubert says energy utilities globally, together with the business community more generally, have come to terms with the science of climate change, particularly as extreme weather events begin...
JSE-listed Emira Property Fund reported distribution growth per participatory interest (PI) of 9% for the six months ended December 31, 2014.
Sub-Saharan Africa is still faced with the challenge of providing citizens access to electricity and an additional $450-billion will need to be invested to ensure that people in urban areas have access to electricity by 2040.
Consulting Engineers South Africa (Cesa) last month said it was dismayed that the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) was seconding 35 Cuban engineers on a two-year contract to share their expertise with South African engineers in the water sector.