Saturday, June 24, 2017
The Myanmar Times
The Myanmar Times

Few engineers join ASEAN initiative

More local engineers ought to register with the ASEAN Engineer Registry, which aims to allow local engineers to take part in projects in other countries, according to officials from the Myanmar Engineers Society.

Strand Road construction workers scoop up a shovel-full. Photo: Kaung HtetStrand Road construction workers scoop up a shovel-full. Photo: Kaung Htet

Not all engineers say joining up is necessary to work abroad, though it may help those with no international experience get work in other ASEAN countries.

Some 426 Myanmar engineers have registered over the last 12 years, with about 90 engineers registering in the last year, the society’s statistics show.

“If Myanmar engineers register at the ASEAN level, they have a chance to take advantage of the free flow of service in other ASEAN countries,” said Daw Si Than, vice president of Myanmar Engineers Society.

“But here, engineers are not used to registering, even though engineers participating in the Engineering Society has some knowledge about the benefits,” she said.

Registering with the ASEAN body is not as simple as putting a signature on paper. Engineers must have graduated from a university with an engineering degree, must have seven years’ experience, and must write a test and submit their work experience to the society.

“An engineer who wants to join the ASEAN Engineer Registry must be at the ASEAN level, that’s why we have to scrutinise the applications,” Daw Si Than said. “Some are engineers but don’t work in engineering, and others are working engineers but do not formally study the subject.”

However, some engineers said they were not aware of the registry, adding they did not see the benefit of the institution.

Ma Swe Zin Htun has worked as an engineer in Singapore for about seven years, but added that with her existing credentials she was not problem working in any country she wants.

“I have joined the ASEAN Engineer Registry and I don’t think it’s required. There are many [Myanmar] engineers in Singapore and Thailand already.”

Ma Swe Zin Htun said Singapore has likely the highest standards in ASEAN for its engineers. However, for Myanmar engineers looking to move abroad, the registry may help them find foreign work, she added.

Myanmar Engineering Society joint secretary general U Winn Maung said joining up will be particularly useful when the ASEAN Free Trade Area and ASEAN Economic Community kicks in next year.

Engineers will then have more opportunity to relocate around the region.

Another body called the Myanmar Engineering Council is also set to manage the engineers who are allowed to work on high-rise projects. The council aims to allow those who are able to join the ASEAN Engineer Registry to take part in high-rise construction, said U Winn Maung.