Wednesday 21 March, 2018
US-based engineering and design firm AECOM has cancelled most of their graduate outreach program to avoid facing questions and protests regarding their work on the Adani Carmichael coal project railway line.
Of the 19 graduate career information or networking sessions scheduled for this month across Australia, while applications for AECOM’s graduate program are open, ten were cancelled and another six faced protests, with questions on Adani and AECOM’s role in the coal industry dominating the question time.
AECOM also pulled out of the James Cook University career fair in Townsville on 13 March due to planned protests from students and the local #StopAdani group.
Early on in the outreach program, students mobilised to leaflet attendees at AECOM’s sessions and ask questions of staff, to ensure that AECOM was unable to pull the wool over students’ eyes regarding their work with Adani, which was not mentioned as part of the official presentation. This occured at a number of universities in the first week of March, including UNSW, UWA and RMIT. However, after the information session at the University of Melbourne on 13 March, where AECOM staff tried to shut down questions related to AECOM’s work for Adani, all subsequent events were cancelled, including those at universities with major engineering faculties like Monash, University of Sydney and ANU.
AECOM seems to have made the decision that it would rather not have any face-to-face contact with university students if it meant having to justify its work expanding the coal industry.
This brings up two important questions - is AECOM ashamed of its work on this environmentally destructive project? Is it worried that it is undermining its brand by helping set off one of the biggest carbon bombs on Earth in the midst of dangerous climate change?
Michael Green, Director of Bradman Recruitment, who specialises in finance, energy and engineering positions was asked to comment on the potential impact of AECOM’s work with Adani on graduate recruitment.
Mr Green said, "Any company in Australia working with Adani will probably find it more challenging to recruit young and new talent because of the strong national sentiment against this coal mine project. Most young people care deeply about climate change and to associate your brand with an unpopular coal project could cause it real damage with that demographic.”
“Maintaining a strong and well-respected brand is vital for any company, particularly when it comes to hiring the best new talent which is critical to long-term success. Let's face it, given the choice, most people have no interest in devoting their working life to a company whose name has to be whispered in hushed tones around the dinner table."
Any prospective employee of AECOM needs to know that they would be working with one of the few remaining companies in the world that thinks it’s ok to open up a massive new thermal coal basin while the clock rapidly ticks down on our chances to avoid catastrophic climate change. AECOM’s willingness to cancel its graduate outreach program to avoid students finding this out shows how sensitive the company is about Adani.
Take action. Contact AECOM using the form below and ask them to walk away from the Adani Carmichael coal project: