Motivating the next generation of South Africans to tackle the tough

Hatch hosted more than 80 students for Consulting Engineer of South Africa's Job Shadowing Initative
Hatch hosted more than 80 students for Consulting Engineer of South Africa's Job Shadowing Initative

Hatch recently welcomed more than 80 high-school students to our Durban and Johannesburg offices as part of Consulting Engineers of South Africa’s (CESA) Job Shadowing Initiative.

South Africa is facing a major issue, one that CESA refers to as a ‘mathematics meltdown’—where young students are falling behind in math-based courses and thus moving away from programs of study that are heavily rooted in math. This could hinder the country’s ability to fill the pipeline of future engineers.

To tackle this growing problem, 11 years ago CESA launched its Job Shadow Initiative, a program that allows young students to experience the day in the life of an engineerand encourages young learners who struggle with mathematics and science to persevere. Through job shadow experiences and motivational talks, the young students are offered the chance to imagine, live, work, and pretend to be engineers—opening up their minds to a world of possibilities and opportunities.

Our Durban office hosted 30 students from two local high schools—Wingen Heights and Igagasi High Schools—both of which have been historically disadvantaged. During the day’s event, the structures, water, roads, and urban transportation disciplines presented valuable information to guide the learners in selecting a career part suited to their interests and aptitude. They were also placed in teams and given tasks to complete in fun and interactive team competitions. The day concluded with a site visit to Sibaya Precinct Node 1—an upmarket urban development by client Tongaat Hulett Developments, in which Hatch is involved in the bulk civil service design and construction supervision.

In Johannesburg, we hosted 50 students from three historically disadvantaged schools —Letsibogo Girls High Schoool, Fons Luminis Secondary School, and Kalfontein Secondary School. The day was divided into three parts: career path presentations, a mini expo, and an interactive engineering game.

Hatch is proud to have participated in the day. It’s one of the many initiatives that we, as a company, undertake in an effort to encourage students towards careers in engineering. We believe in encouraging bright minds to take up the challenge of creating positive change in our world.