Educational barriers to the built environment at pre HE stage

Sarah Birchall asks how we can attract talent to the industry

The Built Environment is and will continue to be an important sector around the world. To meet the future productivity demands of this sector the young people of today – the next generation of industry professionals – need to be inspired to pursue a career in the built environment. The question is how can this be done effectively?

The impressions of and choices made by young people at the age of 16 or earlier can have a huge impact on their future opportunities, chances of getting onto their preferred courses at university, and career path.

The pure Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) academic subjects, although a core part of the curriculum, need to be updated to the latest construction industry practices and not taught in a silo-based environment as they often are. Even at a young age, students need to get a real-world view of what the industry offers. This will enable them to appreciate first hand how the skills and interests they have today could relate to their future career opportunities.  Schools also need to work more closely with industry in educating, advising and preparing young people for work in the built environment, increasing their knowledge of the sector so that they can provide an informed opinion.

The BIM2050 Group is exploring what the future of education within the built environment should look like and the effective ways to educate people about the industry. We are exploring the opportunities created by interventions at each level of learning including; pre higher education, apprenticeship routes, university and continued professional development.

ClassOfYourOwn deliver the Design, Engineer, Construct! (DEC!) curriculum, which is a learning programme aimed at secondary-school age students. They use project-based approaches to teach and inspire their students through a more hands on and realistic programme, which not only gives young people a better understanding of how the industry operates, but also provides them with recognised qualifications that will increase the opportunities available to them. Tomorrow’s Engineers is another information resource aimed at inspiring the next generation of engineers.

Watch this space for updates from the BIM2050 Group and their findings from the education workstream!

Useful resources:

http://designengineerconstruct.com/

https://www.tomorrowsengineers.org.uk/Grown-ups/

KingsParkSchool copy

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