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Centre for Digital Built Britain

Boy using VR headset

The Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB), as part of our work within the Construction Innovation Hub, is working to inform and inspire children and young people about careers in design, construction and asset management and encourage them to gain the knowledge and skills for the industry of the future.  

The Construction Innovation Hub is working with Class Of Your Own (COYO) - a UK social business and education consultancy, established in 2009 to inspire young people to discover technical and professional roles in architecture, engineering and construction, to raise awareness among children, their parents and teachers about COYO’s Design Engineer Construct!®  Learning Programme.

Aimed at secondary and further education students, Design Engineer Construct! (DEC) is an accredited learning programme that focuses on digital building and infrastructure design, engineering and construction. Through a project-based approach, DEC applies pure academic subjects to modern industry practices.   

The Future Capabilities report (on Skills Readiness and Modern Organisational Design) by Turner Harris was commissioned by CDBB in 2018 to inform the UK’s research landscape on the skills required for the digitally-enabled creation and through-life management of built assets and infrastructure. The report observed that although people with the requisite digital skills are now entering work they are not being hired into the construction industry.  

The Kier report ‘Averting a £90bn GDP crisis: a report on the image and recruitment crisis facing the built environment’ revealed that 73% of parents would not want their child to consider a career in construction 54% of teachers and parents believe that there is a lack of career progression and that the industry is associated with lower skilled workers. 62% of teachers and careers advisors held negative views of the construction industry as a route for their students to pursue.

To highlight the benefits of DEC and help to overturn these misconceptions we are producing a short video aimed at inspiring parents, teachers and young people. The film will highlight our vision for a digitally built Britain and show the range of inspiring careers that the modern construction and infrastructure sectors offers, focused on COYO’s pioneering work with schools in Liverpool.

Schools in Liverpool are to pioneer the digital design, engineering and construction of Liverpool City Council’s Stonebridge Cross housing development, a 'carbon-neutral community' of modern, energy-efficient homes co-funded by Homes England and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority as a major housing site of regional significance.

Local secondary school pupils will imagine Stonebridge Cross in their not-too-distant future. Using cutting-edge technology, they will design homes and transportation links for the local community and explore renewable energy sources to power their innovative solutions. This will support the evolution of the scheme prior to any plans for the site being produced and will be one part of a wider approach to engaging with local people.

Alison Watson, Chief Executive of Class Of Your Own, said, “COYO is thrilled to support Liverpool’s vision, aims and values for its communities. DEC: Stonebridge Cross puts young people in the driving seat of sustainable thinking, inclusive design, engineering problem-solving and digital construction. We hope that by showcasing this work that we can help to change the perception amongst teachers, parents and children about careers in construction and excite them about the opportunities that the industry offers. We are delighted to be working with the Centre for Digital Built Britain and the Construction Innovation Hub to do this.”