Property / Construction
Fighting for the best talent
by Wendy Shair
Engineering expertise is crucial to the sustainable development of a vibrant, fast-paced city such as Hong Kong. As the demand for professionals in the field grows, high-performing graduates face good career prospects.
"Thanks to the quality education offered by Hong Kong's academia, we expect local engineers to continue to play a vital role in infrastructure development across Asia," says Cassady Winston, director, human resources, Asia, AECOM.
A global provider of professional technical and management support services, AECOM currently employs about 45,000 staff worldwide. "We expect Asia to continue to develop quickly over the next decade. As long as Hong Kong carries on producing strong engineering graduates with the language and intellectual skills necessary for work locally as well as abroad, the future looks good," notes Mr Winston, who anticipates an increased need for civil engineers in Hong Kong and the mainland. "We believe it is important to invest in our people on an ongoing basis," he adds.
The company is currently recruiting engineers, designers and planners for many of its operations across Asia, and has ambitious growth targets for the next few years. Finding the right people will be fundamental.
"AECOM has a strong track record of exploring and developing the full potential of local talent and we're committed to hiring university students for internships and entry-level positions," Mr Winston notes. The company provides graduate engineers with various means to advance their soft skills, in addition to training for approved professional accreditation programmes such as the HKIE Scheme A training. "Our graduates receive training allowances and special study leave. We also help them to broaden their exposure and gain experience by assigning them to work on-site and, sometimes, overseas," says Mr Winston.
AECOM provides a comprehensive range of services for public and private clients. Graduates working at the company therefore get an international, multi-disciplinary grounding, which allows them to develop a thorough understanding of the specifics of their own areas of expertise, and to learn from—and work with—their counterparts in other disciplines. Mr Winston remarks: "We play an important role in the modernisation of Asia, which is a great opportunity and responsibility for all of us."
Experience and standards
Taken from Career Times 4 March 2011, B6