SAICE-PDP has managed a myriad of interesting capacity development and professionalisation projects, in the public and private sector, some of which are showcased below.

Municipal support nationally

In 2006/2007 some 57 engineers, 47 graduates and 102 students were deployed to 72 municipalities nationwide to address service delivery challenges, in under- performing municipalities and to train the next cadre of engineering professionals. Many of these young practitioners have since completed BTech studies and have risen to middle- and senior management posts in local government. The delivery of new infrastructure was facilitated, and systems and procedures were developed and implemented to ensure sustainability.

Municipal support in Gauteng

From 2006 to 2011, civil and electrical engineers, town planners, graduates and students were deployed to Gauteng municipalities. Almost R4bn worth of scopes of work were drafted enabling substantial bulk infrastructure delivery and the eradication of backlogs. In-house staff, engineering students and graduates were mentored and coached by the senior engineers deployed, enabling most students to graduate and many to register as professionals by the end of the project.

Young Professionals Programme

From 2008 to 2011, over 100 graduate civil engineering technicians and town planners were trained towards professional registration in municipalities nationwide. In many instances there was not enough meaningful engineering work in their municipalities to gain the required experience and candidates were seconded to professional service providers, water boards and soils laboratories. By the end of the programme, a total of 28 were registered and in the ensuing years many more have been able to register with their respective Professional Body or Statutory Councils.

Professionalisation in the Eastern Cape

From 2013 to 2015, SAICE-PDP assembled a team of senior engineers to develop professionalisation programmes in provincial departments, municipalities and development corporations, such as Coega, in the Eastern Cape. The programmes included the assessment of in-house technical staff to determine their readiness for professional registration, identifying the experiential gaps for registration, preparing training plans and professional development plans. Mentoring, coaching and supervision were provided in the workplace. More than 40 candidates were successfully registered.

CETA Candidacy Phase support programme

After many years of SAICE-PDP motivating for SETA funding to support candidates towards professional registration, the Construction SETA (CETA) was the first SETA to fund candidacy phase development. Since 2012, SAICE-PDP has been able to access several grants to assist consultants, and contractors affiliated to the CETA and municipalities to develop training and development plans for their candidates and provide mentorship, coaching and supervision.

To date, 150 candidates have been supported in ± 30 companies. The first of these candidates successfully registered in July 2014, and candidates have continued to register once they have gained adequate experience.

LGSETA BTech bursary scheme

SAICE-PDP was appointed to administer the BTech bursary scheme for LGSETA from 2006 to 2015. During that time, 103 municipal employees completed BTech qualifications in civil or electrical engineering. The programme was a major success for the retention of engineering practitioners in local government, as the bursary recipients had signed an agreement to remain in local government for three years after graduating. Having spent this period in local government, they have become municipal engineering practitioners.

Gauteng CoGTA professionalisation programme

In 2015, SAICE-PDP was appointed to assist experienced engineering employees in Gauteng municipalities to register with ECSA within a 12-month period. A target of submitting 40 applications was set. The programme’s objectives were to assess all Gauteng engineering candidates who considered that they were ready for registration, to determine their readiness, and assist them with the registration process. Those not ready for registration were to be given career advice and invited to attend various courses to enhance their knowledge.

The first candidate to register was Fred Fryer from Ekurhuleni Metro who said ‘I was able to complete documentation, which I clearly understood after I received help, and finally registered. In retrospect, this happened really quickly and painlessly’.

The second candidate to register was Kenneth Masiagwala from the City of Tshwane who excitedly exclaimed ‘I grasped the opportunity with both hands’.

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