|BSE: Local engineers need more opportunity|
Guardian Business Reporter
Published: Jun 22, 2012
Bahamian involvement in local engineering projects is one of the key objectives for the new head of the Bahamas Society of Engineers (BSE).
President of the BSE Melanie Roach said tapping into the local pool of talent, as opposed to seeking out foreigners, will prove to be more beneficial. The opportunities available for Bahamian engineers are not as great as they could be, she added, and ensuring that locals in the sector are fully prepared to capitalize will be a priority.
“There’s some concern with engineers not being able to get full participation in some of the projects that are going on in the country,” Roach said. “It’s a challenge, but we’ve seen improvement. And we want to make sure that Bahamian candidates are in a position to take advantage of these opportunities.”
Roach mentioned that the BSE keeps up to speed with jobs that become available in the engineering field and informs members of the opportunities as they surface. Although employment conditions in general have not greatly improved, she thinks job vacancies exist where Bahamians can get a bigger slice of the pie.
From an expertise standpoint, she is confident that locals in the field are fully capable of carrying out jobs now filled by foreigners. In some cases, Bahamians even have the upper hand.
“From a technical standpoint, the playing field might be level when you compare Bahamian and foreign engineers,” Roach said. “But Bahamians have the advantage in the sense that they are familiar with the area and have prior experience on working on the projects in the country. That first-hand experience could help them maximize the projects they are involved in and yield better results.”
Roach, who was elected as the BSE president last month, added that the organization will undergo a number of initiatives to ensure that local engineers are well positioned to maximize performance. Some of the plans include providing training for recent graduates and professionals, along with scheduling a number of visits to various engineering sites. Additionally, the BSE is seeking incorporation as a nonprofit organization and establishing a northern Bahamas chapter.
“We want to take a more active approach and continue to grow the society as much as we could,” Roach said. “We are the voice for engineers in the country and we are confident that we can increase our exposure.”
The BSE is holding its monthly luncheon on June 27 at Graycliff Hotel, where Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Works and Urban Renewal Phillip Brave Davis, along with his parliamentary secretary, Renward Wells, will deliver remarks.