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40th anniversary, ECSA applauds universities, industry for rise in professionals

As it celebrates its 40th anniversary on Friday, 13 February 2009, the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) has applauded universities and the industry for their crucial role in seeing the number of professional engineers rise.
Lately, ECSA has seen a steady increase in the number of engineers especially Previously Disadvantaged Individuals (PDIs) registering as professional engineers.
“We can only applaud the universities for their stupendous efforts in attracting more students especially students of colour in their engineering programmes. The industry has also made an invaluable contribution by providing bursaries and training to students. It is through this combined effort that ECSA is enjoying a steady rise in people registering as engineers,” said ECSA acting CEO, Professor Hu Hanrahan.
In 2000 ECSA had 626 PDIs registered as professional engineers. Currently, they stand at 1 259.
Previously disadvantaged candidate engineers have also seen a steady increase as they have doubled from 731 in 2000 to 1 797 currently. In this regard ECSA also applauds institutions of higher learning which are working hard at recruiting more students especially from disadvantaged communities into the engineering field.
ECSA will continue exploring ways of attracting more people into engineering by establishing partnerships with relevant parties to enable those with a knack for the engineering sector break into the field.
Currently, many school leavers interested in engineering have not been able to realize their dreams due to financial constraints.
As it celebrates its 40th year, ECSA has appealed to all those working as engineers to register. To date registration has not been compulsory, so ECSA is concentrating heavily on educating people on the benefits of registration.
“We are extremely delighted that not only are we turning 40 this year, but also we have made reasonable progress in
attracting women in the challenging and rewarding field of engineering,” said Hanrahan.
“As we celebrate this milestone, the challenge for us is to keep our professionals within our shores. We are living in the global village and we will continue to explore ways to make South Africa a desirable working destination and we will also look beyond our borders for more professionals to join us as we are we not immune to the brain drain hitting other regions,” he added.​