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The PPS engineering survey

Posted By Chris Reay, Wednesday, 14 December 2016

The most recent survey carried out by PPS on the views of a wide spectrum of engineers identified some serious concerns as well as some encouraging ones.

Of these, the item that is reasonably positive is that 75% of the Engineers surveyed were confident about the future of their profession over the next five years, primarily due to expected financial viability and contributing to society. Of the 25% who were not inspired by the future, the most negative factor is the political climate.

64% would encourage their children to study engineering, but 94% are concerned about the standards of maths and science at the tertiary level. The pessimistic 25% regard the lack of good jobs and retrenchments as the cause, and many are concerned that good Engineers are considering leaving the country.

87% are worried by the brain drain on the profession, and 54% are considering emigrating, with politics being the main driver. Countries of choice are the USA and Australia. 65% of employers offer internships to graduates.

Reasonably positive

On the question as to whether the government is delivering on its promises to create infrastructure, 96% voted a solid no on this.

According to the National Development plan, more efficient and competitive infrastructure is needed to meet the objective of the plan. By 2030 key services such as commercial transport, energy, telcoms and water has to be strengthened to ensure long term sustainability. 91% believe this will not be met.


When we consider the skills and experience that are needed to design, build, operate and maintain infrastructure, the low level of confidence exhibited by this survey should be considered in a serious light by government as well as private developers. As to what factor would have the most impact on the profession over the next three years, the economy got the biggest vote at 62%.


Investment savvy


83% of engineers believed that they are investment savvy, but only 44% had an established plan in place and 51% had a combination of financial products, so only 5% have no structured financial plan in place. On work/life balance, 50% consider it as average while 33% said good and 13% said poor.

Overall, what can we conclude from this survey? It is accrued from the top levels of the profession who give the government and policy a distinct negative vote. How else is the country going to tackle the challenge of economic growth with the belief that so much engineering talent is being misused?

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