Career Forum Apr 2016: HKIE helps young engineers face a more demanding world
Most engineering companies in Hong Kong recognise corporate membership of The Hong Kong Institution of Engineers (HKIE) as a key qualification for employment, says Chan Chi-chiu, HKIE president.
The institution, which has more than 32,000 members – including over 15,000 of whom are of corporate membership grade – will be onsite at the Career Forum to talk to students about engineering careers and professional qualifications.
The HKIE’s “Scheme ‘A’ Training” is tailored for graduates and structured to give a broad introduction to the engineering discipline. It lasts between two and three years and enables trainees to become corporate members within a minimum period of four years.
“Scheme ‘A’ Training provides trainees with the opportunity to integrate their theoretical knowledge with practical skills,” Chan says.
He adds that the scheme not only develops students’ technical competence, but also their managerial and leadership abilities, business communication skills and understanding of ethical and professional matters.
He also says that the standard for engineers has risen over the years, so graduates should consider further studies in their original discipline, or related ones, as needed. “The HKIE Young Engineers Arthur and Louise May Memorial Scholarship supports young engineers who wish to further their studies.”
Those that are considering engineering as a career should have several qualities, Chan points out. These include the ability to creatively solve problems, a curiosity about how and why things work, good communication and presentation skills, and sound analytical skills. In an age of heightened environmental awareness, engineers also need to be mindful of eco-friendly principles.
One way the HKIE is supporting the new generation of engineers is via its President’s Protégé Scheme, a year-long initiative in which young engineers shadow Chan to gain useful insight on how a senior figure in the industry operates.
Public activities such as last year’s “Engineering and You” programme are also aimed at motivating young talent to join the engineering profession via a series of exhibitions, lectures and site visits.
“By participating in these events, we hope students will have the opportunity to broaden their insight into different engineering disciplines and understand the contributions engineers have made to society,” Chan says.
Graduates planning to work overseas should note that the institution is widely recognised internationally, having signed agreements for reciprocal recognition of professional qualifications with engineering authorities in mainland China, the UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Ireland.
“Since our establishment, the HKIE has continuously expanded its global network by concluding mutual-recognition agreements with our engineering counterparts around the world, and has also set up overseas chapters to keep in touch with members who have moved abroad,” Chan says.
“We now maintain mutual recognition agreements with 24 engineering institutions from different countries and have three overseas chapters in Canada, the UK and Australia.”