CESA unearthing future leaders

CESA unearthing future leaders

Johannesburg 12 June 2018 “Young people must take it upon themselves to ensure that they receive the highest education possible so that they can represent us well in future as future leaders. Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,” proclaimed the late Former President Nelson Mandela.

In a quest to promote engineering as a career of choice, it is against this background that Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA) and its Young Professionals Forum (YPF) are hosting their Job Shadow Initiative. In addition, CESA’s YPF is also hosting its Annual Imbizo as well as a series of ‘School Talks’ aimed at promoting Engineering as a career of choice within schools.

Job Shadowing Initiative

The goal of the Job Shadowing Initiative is to expose and entice school learners into the engineering field, but more specifically to the specialised field of Consulting Engineering as a career of choice. By giving them an experience like no other, learners get a chance to imagine, live, work and play Engineering – opening their minds to a world of possibilities. Engineers change the world by creating and designing innovative solutions that provide sustainable value-for-money infrastructure important to the communities they serve.

The initiative is geared towards showcasing the engineering profession, particularly consulting engineering as an exciting career option and also serves as a call to action for corporates in the engineering discipline to develop a pipeline of much needed engineering professionals in South Africa. 

The Job Shadowing Initiative takes the form of a poster competition, with the top three submissions depicting the learner’s experience, receiving recognition at the CESA Aon Engineering Excellence Awards being held on the 15th August 2018. Last year UWP Consulting won the competition with Infraconsult and Bigen Africa, runners-up.

The CESA Job Shadow Initiative is timed to coincide with Youth Day, celebrated on the 16th June, in commemoration of the Youth that participated in the Soweto Uprising in 1976. “CESA’s Young Professionals Forum stands in solidarity with the students of today as they endeavour to have a South Africa where affordable, quality education is accessible to all students regardless of their backgrounds. During Youth Month in particular, the CESA 

YPF therefore encourages all member firms to participate in the Job Shadow initiative and poster competition which is currently underway and runs till the 31st of July. The Job Shadow initiative allows student to experience ‘a Day in the Life of a Consulting Engineer’ and hopefully will allow students to make an informed decision when choosing a career path after high school,” declares CESA’s YPF Chairperson Amanda Masondo-Mkhize.


 Masondo-Mkhize points out that during June, the YPF urges CESA member firms and the Public Sector to support the Annual Young Professionals Sustainability Imbizo (#YPImbizo), which takes place on the 14th and15th of August this year, by encouraging young professionals within their companies to submit abstracts for this empowering conference and also to sponsor the attendance of their young professionals.

The Imbizo provides networking opportunities and engagement that encourages dialogue that is necessary in order to sustain the future of Engineering.

Young Professionals that attend the Imbizo are afforded the opportunity to attend the CESA Aon Engineering Excellence Awards where the winner of the Job Shadow initiative poster competition, the Young Engineer of the Year and numerous other Engineering excellence awards are presented.

CESA School Talks

The CESA Job Shadow Initiative has been expanded to include ‘School Talks’ by participants who are not involved in the main Job Shadow Programme. ‘School Talks’ have become a necessity since the majority of learners continue to struggle with Mathematics during the transition from grades three to four, grades seven to eight and end up not choosing Mathematics in grade ten. Statistics show that from those who choose core mathematics in grade ten only one in five achieves a pass of more than 50% in Mathematics and Science in the matric final exam.


An ‘engineering intervention’ is necessary to stop and reverse the ‘Mathematics meltdown’ at schools by conducting motivational talks during the Job Shadowing Months. The South African Engineering profession will not survive if the standard of numeracy at schools does not improve.


Much in the same manner as the Job Shadow Initiative, the presenters of the ‘School Talks’ present learners with a copy of the talk which they can share with their peers and their parents. This small effort may be akin to trying to save starfish that get washed ashore. Too many to save and too few who care! CESA though, is up to the challenge!