Papers and Research Reports

Since moving into skills development in the early 2000s, Allyson Lawless has been campaigning about the need to not only ensure that enough students study engineering, but graduates are supported in the workplace over a three to five year period to develop the competences required to become decision-makers able to take full responsibility for their work. There had been no recognition for this phase of training as a learning phase and hence no funding for mentoring and coaching was available through the SETAs or other structures which provide funding for skills development. By 2012, after much campaigning, the need for structured training, known as Candidacy was recognised in the draft Learning Regulations, targets were set for SETAs to fund candidate development and the DTI BB_BEE Codes of Good Practice now also include recognition for investment in candidate training. The following papers and research reports give a sense of the work which has been done and the recommendations which have been made over the years to ensure adequate investment is made in the development of engineering professionals.
SAICE Conference, 2000, Pretoria.

CIVIL ENGINEERING OUR TIME HAS COME – The presentation outlines the roles played by the infrastructure pioneers of the 18th and 19th century and challenged those present to see themselves as infrastructure pioneers for the New South Africa, and to adopt the lessons learned from the earlier pioneers.

CETA SSP Research, 2004.

EDUCATION AND EMPLOYMENT STATISTIC IN THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT – An exposé of the supply, demand, training and bottlenecks associated with all the professions in the Built Environment, designed to influence the planning of training in the CETA Sector Skills Plan in order to allow professionals to access training funds.

CETA Candidate Training Business Plan, 2004.

DEVELOPMENT OF CANDIDATE CIVIL ENGINEERING LEADERSHIPS – A proposal to implement structured training in the workplace for engineering graduates towards professional registration, in the form of learnerships, to ensure that companies could gain access to funding to enhance their candidate training and mentorship efforts.

IMESA Conference, 2004, Cape Town.

FACTS, FIGURES AND SUGGESTIONS FOR CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT AMONGST ENGINEERING PROFESSIONALS IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT – Addressed the shortages of local government civil engineering professionals and the support which municipalities can offer to develop skills from school level through to CPD.

IMESA Conference, 2005, Port Elizabeth.

GROWING CIVIL ENGINEERING CAPACITY IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT – Studies the conditions necessary to attract and retain civil engineering staff in local government and the need for learnerships to develop young skills.

ECSA Career Guidance, 2005.

ENGENIUS – A proposal to initiate nationwide career guidance in engineering to ensure an adequate flow of students into tertiary education from all regions and districts of the country. This initiative eventually only got off the ground in earnest in 2011.

Voluntary Association Research, 2006.

INCREASING THE POOL OF PROFESSIONALLY REGISTERED ENGINEERS BY DEVELOPING THE STAGE II PROCESS FOR TRAINING ENGINEERINGGRADUATES – A proposal prepared on how to implement and fund workplace training across all egineering disciplines to support graduates in their drive to become registered engineering professionals.

JIPSA Research Report, 2008.

REPORT TO JIPSA ON ACADEMIC STAFF SHORTAGES IN HIGHER EDUCATION ENGINEERING FACILITIES – The report covered the challenges faced by all universities, and universities of technology in all engineering disciplines, in terms of the availability of experienced academic staff and facilities and made recommendations on funding, attraction and retention strategies and registration of academic staff. This research will be updated in 2013 and it is hoped that the recommendations will be adopted in the light of the MOI that ECSA signed with government towards the end of 2012.

IMESA Conference, 2008, Bloemfontein.

NUMBERS AND NEEDS IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT – The paper looks at systems which worked in the past, the present challenges and makes suggestions about future models to redevelop civil engineering skills and professionalise local government.

AMEU Conference, 2008, East London.

NUMBERS AND NEEDS IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT – looks at systems which worked in the past, the present challenges and makes suggestions about future models to redevelop electrical engineering skills and professionalise local government.

SAQA Workshop, 2010, Johannesburg.

THE CANDIDATE PHASE AS A STRUCTURED, FUNDED PHASE OF WORKPLACE TRAINING FOR ENGINEERING GRADUATES – This paper once again outlined the need for the candidate phase to be a structured, funded phase of training, recognised by the Dept of Higher Education and Training and the SETAs as an official training methodology.

ECSA Candidate Committee Submission to the QCTO, 2011.

RESEARCH PROPOSAL WITH RESPECT TO THE ALIGNMENT OF THE QCTO PROCESS WITH PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS, USING THE ENGINEERING COUNCIL OF SOUTH AFRICA’S REGISTRATION PROCESS AND DESIGNATIONS AS A BASIS – This paper proposes that the QCTO research the viability of writing up the workplace training of candidates as a qualification in order to enforce structured workplace training and ensure access to funding through the SETA system.

ECSA Position Paper, 2012.

AN ESTIMATE OF THE NUMBER OF ENGINEERING PRACTITIONERS IN SOUTH AFRICA – This paper was developed to inform Minister Patel and others on the PICC of the estimated number of engineering practitioners in South Africa. The engineer numbers could be estimated with a reasonable degree of certainty, whilst the technicians were more difficult to estimate because of the many learning pathways which have been in place for technicians over the years. Research commenced towards the end of 2012 and will continue in 2013 to better understand the supply and demand and determine the areas in which there are gaps or where skills are scarce.

CIDB and DHET, 2013. 

STANDARD FOR DEVELOPING SKILLS THROUGH INFRASTRUCTURE CONTRACTS – Significant contributions were made to the development of the CIDB Skills Standard. This is an important document which any public sector department may append to a tender to ensure that training takes place on projects as part of the tender. The training categories cover apprenticeships, internships, candidacy and other relevant construction related qualifications requiring workplace experience. Public sector officials requiring experience in the private sector, such as design, may also be trained as per clause 3.1.3.

World Conference on Cooperative & Work-Integrated Education, 2015, Kyoto.

WHAT HAS BEEN DONE AND STILL NEEDS TO BE DONE TO SKILL SOUTH AFRICANS TO DELIVER INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS –  This paper captures the 21 STEP PROCESS developed out of the research carried out to prepare the publication ‘Skills for and through SIPs’. The entire process from determining the project pipeline and associated skills required, to providing education, training, support to education institutions, workplace experience, developing specialists and capacitating the public sector to deliver is outlined as a possible model to be adopted in other countries or regions contemplating major infrastructure development.

IMESA Conference, 2016, East London.

NUMBERS AND NEEDS IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT – UPDATE 2015 – Research into the changes in civil engineering capacity in 2015 was compared with the original research of 2005. Although there were many more civil engineering practitioners in local government in 2015, the growth in the number of households in the 10 year period had outstripped the growth in skills. Furthermore, the majority of the experienced engineers had left local government and had been replaced by junior technicians, a largely majority of whom needed dedicated mentoring and coaching. The paper made several recommendations on interventions which should be considered.