Experts from across the built environment and education sectors have joined forces to launch a fully accredited virtual work experience programme open to all Year 10 (England and Wales), Year 11 (Northern Ireland) and S4 (Scotland) students in UK secondary schools.
Led by public sector procurement specialists the Scape Group, Learning in Lockdown is a free to join, week-long programme created by Class of Your Own, Learn Live, EDT (The Engineering Development Trust) and Industrial Cadets.
The programme will run from 18-22 May and will be delivered by a panel of industry experts, spanning some of the UK’s biggest contractors and consultants, and include daily sessions with industry and career insights, mentoring and fully moderated live chat to engage and inspire the young learners.
Learning in Lockdown will also be supported by students from Heriot Watt University’s School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society (EGIS), providing additional advice to participants.
Developed by Class of Your Own, the Learning in Lockdown syllabus will be based around a team design challenge - the Esteem Pavilion Challenge - that will use the full breadth of STEM subjects, focusing on design, engineering, construction and sustainability.
The students will learn and put into practice an array of real-world skills, from creative thinking and team collaboration, through to building design and project management. While attending online advice and guidance sessions throughout the week, participants will work together virtually in small groups, alongside industry mentors, to deliver a fully detailed design proposal for the real-life construction project, with prizes available for exceptional teams.
Learning in Lockdown is fully audited meaning students that complete the programme will have completed 30 hours of accredited work experience, and by submitting an Esteem Pavilion Challenge entry, they will receive the Industrial Cadets – Silver level Award. Students will become part of the nationally recognised Industrial Cadets accreditation network and open a door to further exciting opportunities for themselves.
The Social Value Portal will also monitor and report upon the social value generated throughout the whole initiative, supporting the construction industry’s shared goal of delivering “more good” in communities.
The firms supporting Learning in Lockdown include:
- National Association Construction Frameworks (NACF);
- Balfour Beatty;
- Morgan Sindall;
- Willmott Dixon;
- The Social Value Portal;
- Plus more tbc.
Mark Robinson, Scape Group chief executive, said: “Work experience is vital in exposing young people to the variety of career opportunities and tangible rewards that exist in construction. Naturally, this is an activity that has had to cease, at least for now, due to the current social distancing measures in place, but we wanted to find a digital route that would still allow us to inspire the next generation.
“We put a call out to all our industry partners, and we were inundated with ideas. Within just a few days, and with the support of our fantastic collaborators, we were able to develop this first of its kind programme, able to serve thousands of young people and hopefully leave a lasting legacy across the UK.”
Alison Watson MBS, chief executive of Class of Your Own, added: “Class Of Your Own has worked with schools and industry for over a decade to ensure children and young people have access to an excellent curriculum and a wide range of other authentic learning experiences, both in school and at home. We have a track record in creating extraordinary opportunities for the next generation of construction professionals and so I’m delighted to support this exciting campaign.”
Learn Live will provide the broadcast and fully moderated, interactive online experience to deliver the programme. Alongside the syllabus, Class of Your Own will provide learning resources and guidance for teachers, students, and the industry professionals who will support them.
While Learning in Lockdown already has a fantastic roster of experts that will shine a light on the variety of career pathways that exist in construction, there’s still time for more organisations and volunteers to take part, including those currently furloughed.