Mining Engineering work programmes lead to high employability among UP Mining Engineering graduates

Posted on November 19, 2019

The Department of Mining Engineering at the University of Pretoria (UP) has revealed that approximately 95% of its 2017 and 2018 graduates are currently employed in various fields of the minerals sector, as well as at consultancies and financial institutions.

Head of the Department, Professor Ronny Webber-Youngman, said: “The department is aware of the challenges our graduates face in the transition from being students to managers and leaders – especially so in a complex and rapidly changing world of cyber technology, Internet of Things and Industry 4.0.”

Students who enter the workplace often lack sufficient levels of self-awareness, interpersonal communication skills and the ability to work in multi-disciplinary settings and diverse groups spanning many generations. In this vein, the department set up a Mining Engineering Leadership Academy (MELA) 10 years ago to groom students for the workplace.

Final-year students attend the MELA programme, structured to help them to better prepare for their careers by establishing an awareness of the stewardship of being a Tukkie and a future mining engineering leader. MELA concludes in July with a Leadership Week where students are introduced to the 4.0D Leadership Model for Industry 4.0.  

Women in mining featured prominently during this year’s Leadership Week, with UP alumna Tarusha Moonsamy presenting a global outlook on mining as she took students on a tour of all her work sites in the United States and Australia.  She told students, “Don’t be in a rush, stop to smell the roses, create your balance … your career is a marathon, not a sprint.”

“In the context of teamwork during the mine design programme, MELA content focuses on team working, emotional intelligence and conflict management. MELA concludes with four-member teams embarking on an experiential and action learning teambuilding day to gain first-hand exposure to teamwork challenges similar to the workplace. UP is "educating and leading mining engineers to become imagineers", said Prof Webber-Youngman.

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