CITB Wales’ Nation Chair Leigh Hughes
One of the biggest challenges the construction industry faces is appealing to young people.
Changing industry perceptions and highlighting the range of opportunities – both on and off site – has long been a sector priority.
I’m delighted to say, as CITB Wales’ Nation Chair, that a huge step towards nurturing and attracting the construction talent of the future has been introduced in Wales.
In January Wales’ Minister for Education, Kirsty Williams AM, launched Go Construct Educate at Willowtown Primary School in Ebbw Vale.
These resources mean construction modules will be part of the Welsh curriculum for the first time.
It’s fair to say that Go Construct Educate is a milestone in Welsh education; a chance to start a pipeline of talent from the classroom to employers.
As part of the Go Construct initiative, resources, covering numeracy, literacy and digital competency skills, will be available to every school, teacher and pupil across Wales aged from five to 16.
Teachers will be provided with a series of learning projects, lesson plans and interactive resources to use with each year group.
And the resources will all be on Hwb, the education online platform available to all 1,456 schools in Wales. The resources will be available to all industry companies, too.
Ahead of January’s launch, schoolchildren across Wales were invited to road-test the three Go Construct Projects in ‘Buildathon’ events at Coleg Cambria in Deeside, Parc y Scarlets in Llanelli, and Sophia Gardens, Cardiff.
Feedback was excellent. Pupils were assigned roles as project managers, architects and construction managers, and were asked to design and build a rugby or cricket fan village using the popular construction programme Minecraft.
Former Wales rugby player Rupert Moon attended these events to talk to the children about the importance of experiencing different careers from an early age.
Crucially, teachers who have worked with the Go Construct resources say it is a great way to connect with the new curriculum.
At the launch event with the Minister, Emma Thomas, Acting Headteacher at Willowtown, said:
“We want to future-proof our learners, to give them skills that will help them succeed. Engaging with the Go Construct Educate project fits perfectly with our STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) ethos.
“We ran Go Construct Educate successfully across the school last year. We found it was an excellent way to engage with the new curriculum. The resources are clear and detailed for teachers to use and they are purposeful and interactive for the children.”
Ahead of the launch the learning and technology company Aspire 2Be worked with the Welsh Government to ensure the lesson plans and resources are aligned with the new curriculum in Wales.
Their work means each module will be integrated in various school subjects, to align with the Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Maths (STEAM) and will cover the Six Areas of Learning and the Four Purposes.
On launching the resources, funded by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and co-developed with Bouygues UK and a consortium of industry partners, Minister for Education Kirsty Williams said:
“I’m grateful to the CITB and their partners for launching Go Construct – Experience, Educate and Engage resources.
“Using these within the classroom and as part of work experience will help schools to recognise and utilise the opportunities the construction sector can offer our learners.”
The Go Construct resources are a good example of collaboration in action.
Pupils, teachers, employers, schools, colleges and government combined to give the young people of Wales, along with their teachers and parents, a great chance to discover the opportunities construction careers have to offer.
Source: Business News Wales