Edinburgh Napier University are working with a series of international academic partners active in offsite research via the Built Environment Exchange (beX). The objective is to provide an education platform partnering University and construction industry partners internationally.
beX is a platform approach to accelerating change in construction culture by developing dynamic talent and delivering experiential learning opportunities. beX provides innovation internships, master scholarships and employment opportunities. beX also provides entrepreneurship and leadership training support and encourages diversification. The beX scholars ‘go back to school’ and mentor school kids on the Design Engineer and Construct (DEC) programme to inspire the next generation and create an improved pathway for inclusive sustainable growth.
This connectivity facilitates student mobility for enhanced experiential learning activities geared towards undergraduate, early career postgraduate and doctorate students. The opportunity will be open to students from all areas of study in order to widen the pool of available talent to not only tackle the construction sector skills deficit and diversification challenges, but also to harness the new skills required for changes in construction delivery (i.e. offsite manufacture, lean and integrated delivery, reliance and low carbon construction, BIM and other technology integration). This will attract some of our most talented graduates to the sector and lead to future sustainable communities of tomorrow whilst decarbonising the economy. Importantly this supports a cultural shift in the construction sector skills base in addition to supporting international knowledge exchange.
beX was created in order to address the challenges of the construction sector which is adversarial by structure, overly complicated by design and flawed on delivery – by offering an alternative collaborative approach to education capable of harnessing top talent and providing them with the education and skills needed to deliver a more sustainable built environment.
“A new way of thinking is required if we are to attract our top talent to the construction sector and the challenges of shaping our built environment,” says Dr Robert Hairstans, Head of Centre for Offsite Construction + Innovative Structures at Edinburgh Napier University (ENU) and founder of beX.
“The best and brightest are not queuing up to earn a living in the cold, damp, miserable workplaces of popular imagination. Let’s focus instead on the type of place where people want to work. Somewhere clean, safe, collaborative, diverse and multicultural. A place that has at its core people who are forward thinking and unafraid to innovate. A place where entrepreneurship is encouraged and there is a sense of strong collective leadership doing the right thing to ensure this and future generations are not consuming too much energy and producing excessive waste.
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