Scholarship Partner - WSP Opus



James Brown – WSP Opus 

As New Zealand's most renowned design, engineering and environmental services consultancy, diversity and inclusion is paramount at WSP Opus. 

In June last year, the WSP Opus leadership team established its Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Plan to Action. 

A key area of focus for this plan is to support employment opportunities and initiatives for Māori and Pasifika, Head of Talent Acquisition James Brown says. 

“As a result of this Plan to Action, First Foundation was identified as an ideal partner,” he adds. 

First Foundation believes all young people should have the opportunity to achieve their dreams, irrespective of socio-economic status – this belief underpins its Scholarship programme.  

This closely aligns with WSP Opus’ drive toward an inclusive culture that respects and maximises the contribution our people from different backgrounds bring to WSP Opus, James says.

“This has a benefit for our clients, employees and wider communities.” 

Historically, the engineering and infrastructure industry has not always been diverse and inclusive. 

“It is good to see greater diversity in gender, ethnicity and thinking represented.

“In order to create positive and lasting impacts in our communities, we must embrace the range of approaches and life experiences a diverse workforce brings. 

“That’s how we’re going to design the unthinkable and create places where our friends, families and neighbours can thrive.” 

First Foundation Scholars who undergo work experience at WSP Opus will gain many benefits as the organisation spans every discipline, James says.

It can support students by matching assignments to projects, so they can incorporate real-world examples. 

“Our work impacts our cities and our families for generations – that is why it’s so important to have young people who are passionate about the work they do.

“Our people can share their expertise and with students and provide them with real-world examples, matching against their assignments.”  

A number of WSP Opus’ people have been the first in their family to go to university, James says.

“They have been able to share their insights and mentor First Foundation Scholars through some of the common challenges.”  

While the Scholars are enriched from their experience and support by WSP Opus, the staff at the organisation benefit from supporting the First Foundation. 

“It provides opportunities for our Hiring Managers to mentor talent they would not normally be exposed to through traditional channels. 

“Including students from different backgrounds brings a new perspective and approach to projects, which is of huge value.” 

The Head of Talent Acquisition says increasing diversity at WSP Opus will help the organisation build closer links and greater understanding with its communities. 

“This provides a unique opportunity to diversify our talent pool by providing opportunities for these students.” 

Above all, WSP Opus strongly believes in creating what matters for future generations and welcomes the opportunity to help students realise their full potential.

“This provides a unique opportunity to diversify our talent pool by providing opportunities for these students.”