Since joining China State Construction International Holdings (CSCI) in 2006, Amelia Cheng Wai-chung has worked in various projects and acquired the skills necessary for an aspiring engineer.
"You face different challenges on different construction sites and learn new things every day," says Cheng, a former graduate engineer at the company who was recently promoted to the role of engineer.
"For example, there are certain standard procedures governing public housing projects, while each private residential project is different in terms of the features and materials used, not to mention the differences between building malls, hotels and hospitals."
Cheng says the intensive, four-year training she received as a graduate engineer prepared her for the chartered qualification examinations she will sit for and helped pave the way for a career in the field.
Aside from offering young engineers the chance to learn technical know-how, the company provides training in soft skills such as leadership and team-building capabilities and the ability to communicate and negotiate with others. The trainees have mentors who give them pointers at work and review their progress regularly.
CSCI hires 30 to 40 university students for the graduate engineer programme a year. "The scheme nurtures the most talented for management positions, and is an important part of our succession plan," says Eva Leung Yuk-ling, the company's deputy general manager of human resources.
Leung adds that the company - already operating in Dubai and India in addition to the mainland - is building its presence in Southeast Asia. "We look for professionals who are flexible and able to adapt to different cultures," she says.
The company recruits assistant engineers, assistant quantity surveyors and safety and environmental officers all year round. Individuals with a university or higher diploma qualification in a related discipline are welcome to apply.
According to Leung, young people who start off as assistant engineers may become engineers and senior engineers, before moving on to the role of project manager.
She says assistant engineers receive training that helps them enhance basic technical skills, while gaining on-the-job experience on construction sites and developing expertise in different aspects of a construction project. They are welcome to participate in other soft skills training offered by the company.
They can also apply for the graduate engineering scheme and are given many opportunities to work abroad. "As long as they have the passion and right attitude, and are committed to the profession, they will benefit from what the company has to offer," Leung says.
Building a talent pool
As a corporate citizen, China State Construction International Holdings offers opportunities to young people who are less educated
Last year, the company hired 60 Institute of Vocational Education graduates
It has also set up 19 scholarships at the institute