Canadian Consulting Engineer

ACEC reaches out to graduate engineers

As we move forward into the second half of this decade our industry faces new challenges and new opportunities. Fresh incentives for all levels of government to invest and reinvest in our national inf...

October 1, 2005   Canadian Consulting Engineer

As we move forward into the second half of this decade our industry faces new challenges and new opportunities. Fresh incentives for all levels of government to invest and reinvest in our national infrastructure promise to keep our firms busy while placing pressure on our industry’s human resources. These pressures will continue to underscore the importance of staff retention and enhancement. The assimilation of new recruits into the industry, while maintaining the high standards that our clients expect and deserve within our deliverables, will require investment in training, orientation and business integrity.

What do these challenges and opportunities mean with regard to ACEC’s current continuing missions?

Let me report that we were all somewhat taken aback over the past year by the low awareness of what a consulting engineer is in the minds of graduating engineers. Many of the fourth-year graduating class are looking to manufacturing, construction and government for their careers. Sector profile, image, and income opportunities all seem to have some bearing on their reaching out to these areas of engineering.

Past ACEC Chair Allen Williams and other senior ACEC board members met with the Canadian Council of Deans of Engineering to develop some initial opportunities to access the graduating classes. A training template on the “Business of Consulting Engineering” was prepared and tested on the ACEC Board and a group of young graduate engineers in Allen’s firm. The refined template was then rolled out to the graduating class of the University of Alberta. The program was so well received that we will continue in 2005 and 2006 with a program that will be supported by ACEC and administered by each member association across Canada. We must attract and retain the very best of the graduating class to our industry in order to continue to survive as an industry. This will assure technical development opportunities, competitive remuneration and a career that translates into being fun.

Next month, I will write on how ACEC is continuing to meet the challenges of building a foundation for Qualifications-Based Selection in Canada. I look forward to reporting to you on many successes as we move forward.

NORM HUGGINS, P.ENG.

CHAIR, ASSOCIATION OF CONSULTING ENGINEERS OF CANADA

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Engineering


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