Opinion Former Article

CIOB: Space race students tour the Olympics

Not many 12 year olds could claim they learned how to build a space station to combat the world’s ever-increasing population; let alone toured the London 2012 Olympic Park as a result of their innovative thinking. Yet that’s exactly what happened to team ‘Kang’ from Fairfax School, Sutton Coldfield.

The team won the spring term ‘Innerspace 2050’ campaign created by the Chartered Institute of Building in conjunction with The b-live Foundation. The initiative is aimed at 11-12 year olds to enhance their employability prospects by developing their personal learning, functional math’s and thinking skills, whilst at the same time giving them greater knowledge about what a career in construction can offer.

“The b-live Employability Programme is an exciting mechanism for linking employers and those starting to think about what career to choose. Our Innerspace project enables young people to appreciate the things they like, and have a talent for, by being able to use them as work skills”, said Bridget Bartlett, Chief Operating Officer at the CIOB.

She added “Our ambition is to engage students with construction so they are better informed about the exciting opportunities this great industry can offer, that’s critical for us. By having a chance to see the Olympic Park in London they can see the possibilities that lay ahead for them if they chose a career in construction.”

Students from Team Kang at Fairfax Secondary School were judged to have produced the best solution to an over populated planet by creating a sustainable HQ for the future ‘Global Government’. Their design demonstrated a keen interest in sustainable solutions, creative thought, inventiveness and social awareness.

By winning the spring term competition the students and their teachers were awarded a special tour of the Olympic Park. Speaking about their visit the students said, “It was really interesting to hear about how it was all put together. Today’s visit has shown us different constructions and structures and the different materials that are being used at the venues, which might, had we seen the Olympic Park before the InnerSpace Project, seen us make different choices for our own design ideas.”

Tanja Kuveljic, Managing Director of The b-live Foundation said, “Projects like Innerspace are at the heart of The b-live Foundation’s work. Forming just one part of our wider programme for schools, these projects bring together young people, schools, employers and other relevant organisations to provide the fair access to a careers service and the support needed to ensure that all young people leave school employable and ‘work ready’. Allowing young people to test their skills in real-life situations helps increase their confidence and raises their career aspirations.

“By placing participants in the shoes of a construction professional in the year 2040, tasked with creating an environmentally-friendly Global Headquarters for the Global President – designed to orbit earth – not only allowed students to exercise invaluable maths and organisational skills, but afforded a unique insight into the career opportunities open to them within the construction industry. In keeping with the overall b-live careers and employability service this project integrated a real organisation [CIOB] helping to engage and excite the young people involved while supporting schools to raise attainment.”

The b-live Foundation created the Employability Programme as part of their ongoing commitment to help students gain work experience and; ultimately, employment. Already, their online careers site b-live.com helps 225,000 students in the UK providing them with, among other services, careers information advice and guidance, work experience opportunities and a CV building tool. By bringing some of the UK’s leading employers into the Employability Programme, the projects are more engaging and realistic for students to work on.



About the CIOB

The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) represents for the public benefit the most diverse set of professionals in the construction industry.

Our Mission

To contribute to the creation of a modern, progressive, and responsible construction industry; able to meet the economic, environmental and social challenges faced in the 21st century.

Our 7 Guiding Principles

· Creating extraordinary people through professional learning and continuous personal development.

· Promoting the built environment as central to the quality of life for everyone everywhere.

· Achieving a sustainable future, worldwide.

· Advocating exemplary ethical practice and behaviour, integrity and transparency.

· Pursuing excellence in management practice, and technological innovation rooted in evidence based science.

· Being socially responsible and working responsibly.

· Enabling our members to find an emotional resonance with the Institute; their success is our success.

We have over 47,000 members around the world and are considered to be the international voice of the building professional, representing an unequalled body of knowledge concerning the management of the total building process.

Chartered Member status is recognised internationally as the mark of a true, skilled professional in the construction industry and CIOB members have a common commitment to achieving and maintaining the highest possible standards within the built environment.

Further information is available by contacting Saul Townsend CIOB Press and Communications Manager on t: 01344 630 766 or e: stownsend@ciob.org.uk.

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