The newly formed Engineers Registration Board (ERB) is struggling to recruit new members, its Registrar, Dennis Olaotse, has revealed. With over 5 200 members to date, Olaotse believes there are a lot more qualified engineers who are yet to register, especially fresh graduates from tertiary institution who need the services and support provided by the organisation.
Olaotse was speaking at the launch of ERB's Discipline Specific Guidelines (DSG’s) in Gaborone last week. The DSG’s are developed for graduates and professionals in the engineering field, and are intended to support an initial professional development and industry work experience through good practise elements.
Another challenge identified by Olaotse besides reluctance to register with the association is that they do not appreciate the benefits of registering with ERB. “Failure to register with ERB is direct ignorance of the law and that in itself is tantamount to a crime,” he warned.
The four different fields of Electrical, Civil, Mechanical and Mining Engineering will each have a Professional Standard Setting Committee (PSSC) that will set local industry standards as well as ensure the local industry adhers to the best international engineering practice standards.
Olaotse lamented that the engineering field is negatively affected by theoretical and practice mismatch where the learners never get to explore most of the material they learnt in school. “Most often than not, engineers practice only 4% of the material they have learnt at school,” he noted.
On behalf of the trainers, New Era College Dean of Faculty of Engineering, Maurice Mzwinila also said there was a need for industry to meet the trainers halfway in order to ensure the industry gets the best graduates who are ready for work.