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Empowering local STEM talent in SA

Home Business Management Education & Training Empowering local STEM talent in SA

WITH World STEM/STEAM Day commemorated in November, WSP in South Africa reiterates its commitment to supporting the country’s sustainable infrastructure goals through ongoing investment in local talent. STEAM adds arts to the science, technology, engineering and mathematics acronym, STEM.

In its half-year report for 2022, Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA) highlighted how important government’s infrastructure investment programme is in playing a countercyclical role in difficult economic conditions. Due to compounding economic pressures and a shortfall in revenue collection, National Treasury said that from September 15 it intended to implement a number of cost containment measures to limit government spending, including a hiring freeze of new staff and the advertising of new procurement contracts for all infrastructure projects. CESA cautioned that this could have a negative impact on economic growth and development. It advocated for placing greater emphasis on prioritisation and deliberate expenditure in specific areas to mitigate against the risk of stagnating growth.

Within the complexities of this environment, WSP believes investing in the development and growth of professionally registered engineers, scientists, and sustainability consultants remains key to fuelling the country’s ambitions with relevant expertise and innovation.

“With a strategic focus on creating sustainable engineering solutions, WSP is at the heart of infrastructure development. The focus is on not only looking at how to help address the current local socioeconomic challenges especially when it comes to infrastructure development, but creating an enabling environment that positions the country for a future of growth. Our dedication to STEM is fundamental as this is the foundation on which to nurture the skills needed for delivering these transformative projects,” says Paul Grota, MD of WSP in Africa.

Marnay Huet, head of human resources at WSP in South Africa, echoes the importance of fostering a talent-nurturing culture.

“WSP’s ethos revolves around empowering our people and providing avenues for growth and success. Our comprehensive development programmes, including support for professional registration and a Professional Growth Network, exemplify our dedication to nurturing the innovators and changemakers of tomorrow,” says Huet.

The organisation has been investing in the development of its people to harness every opportunity to progress and contribute to projects that better South African society and the environment. WSP’s people-centric approach goes beyond internal initiatives. The organisation is committed to driving diversity and inclusion in the communities in which it operates and the broader societal impacts this will result in.

“We are passionate about developing our professionals, ensuring that their careers with us are fulfilling and that they contribute to the diverse and inclusive culture we’re proud of,” says Huet.

With numerous professional development opportunities, including internal and external training, bursaries, and mentorship programmes, WSP is providing a beacon for professionals in the engineering and environmental sciences fields.

“Our professionals work on world-changing projects, gaining invaluable multidisciplinary experience that is unparalleled in our industry,” says Huet.

The company’s commitment to nurturing talent is evident in its extensive support programmes aimed at helping young engineers and scientists achieve professional registration, furthering their technical and business acumen. Additionally, WSP’s efforts to cultivate young talent extend beyond the organisation with learnership, internship, and graduate programmes, especially in STEM fields.

“WSP is not just building infrastructure; we are building the future. We invite passionate individuals to join us in shaping the spaces where we live, work, and play, leaving a legacy of innovative design,” says Grota.

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