What is BorntoBuild.org.uk?

Posted by on Aug 12, 2014 in careers, Uncategorized | 0 comments

What is BorntoBuild.org.uk?

Every now and then, I find something ‘career-related’ that really stops me in my tracks – Borntobuild.org.uk did just that a few weeks ago. I found Born to Build interesting from the start. The whole site is focused on sharing experience, with individual people telling personal career stories. Plus the whole BtB approach supports our twin career passions of exploring and learning. All this meant I had to find out more, so I got one of the very friendly people behind Born to Build to answer a few questions and tell us some more. Enjoy!

1. What is Born to Build?

“Born to Build is primarily a social media campaign targeted at young people between the ages of 14 and 19.  It will challenge outdated perceptions to portray construction as a dynamic, exciting industry at the forefront of technological innovation. It aims to provide an opportunity for young people to find out more about the range of career choices within construction and to hear directly from those already enjoying successful careers in the industry.
The heart of the campaign is a variety of young people working in UKCG companies telling their own story about how they got into the industry, their ambitions and what excites them about the world of construction.  The stories are being supplemented by straightforward and practical career advice.”

2. Where did the idea for BtB come from?

“For a number of years UKCG and industry partners have run an annual Open Doors Weekend where sites are opened across the UK to both school children and the general public. Last year, almost 100 sites opened with over 3000 people visitors across the weekend.
It aimed to showcase the construction industry and the careers available.  This will continue again in March 2015.  However, through Open Doors it became clear that while the public/ teachers were amazed by construction sites, they were unaware of the types of roles available and how to get further careers advice.
Open Doors weekend is just one weekend a year so we decided it needed to be supplemented by adding further information of real people working in the sector, and careers information and advice targeted at young people which they could access at any time.”

3. Why did you choose real people sharing personal experiences?

“Before we finalised Born To Build we had thought we would pick a mix of people and projects to follow in the campaign. However, at the very beginning we ran a survey of young people working in the sector for the UKCG member companies.  We asked them what they would have wanted to hear about the sector before they joined etc.  Feedback from them steered us to focussing on a mix of young people following a variety of career paths.
We hope that having young people talking to their peers about their real life experiences in the industry and why they chose a construction career – will be something that brings the issues to life and be something people relate to.”

4. Who is your audience for the site?

“The audience is twofold (1) young people still thinking about career options and (2) their influencers – parents and teachers – in terms of careers advice.”

5. How is the construction industry changing?

“The old fashioned view of construction was of ‘dirty manual labour’ on building sites, and work for those who left school with no skills or qualifications. While that was never fully the case, the modern construction industry offers something completely different.
The modern construction industry is highly skilled, uses cutting edge-technology and is at the forefront of digital design.
For example, processes such as Building Information Modelling (BIM) allows construction firms to create interactive 3D models of buildings (using computer aided design) which help clients to visualise and shape the final designs, and also manage and communicate the information needed to plan and construct projects.
The industry has always built buildings and infrastructure such as roads and railways – but the technology has changed massively and provided new opportunities. A good example is the digging of tunnels under the Thames for Crossrail (shown on recent BBC documentary).
Brunel’s original tunnel (described as the Eighth Wonder of the World when opened in 1843) showed great ingenuity but involved men manually carving out the soil. The Crossrail tunnel used a technologically advanced 1,000 tonne tunnel boring machine – which required highly skilled people to operate the sophisticated control systems effectively, with some of the systems often based on computer gaming technology.”

6. Tell us something we don’t know about work in construction? (Perhaps something surprising you have learned?)

“The range of opportunities the industry has to offer. There are highly skilled roles on sites, but also professional roles for architects, engineers, surveyors and those who want to get involved in the commercial side of companies looking to bid and win competitive projects. There is something for everyone.
The range of roles means there are more women working in the industry (17% of employees in UKCG firms are women), while the development of IT and digital technologies means there are more opportunities for people to work flexibly around home responsibilities.”

7.What do people love about working in the industry?

“Whenever you meet people who work in construction, whatever age the thing that strikes you most is their pride in having been involved in the construction of an iconic  project (the feeling of ‘I did that’). Whether the Olympics, Crossrail or a hospital that will have a positive impact on local communities. This comes across in our Open Doors Weekend and also through the stories you read on the site: Dan Moran, Joe Eke, Philip Davies, Rupinder Gedhu, Sophie Goddard, Stacey Wilson, Tamara Denn, Tim Forbes, Tom Brook.”

btb logoBorn to Build: What do you think?

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