Arcadis successfully hosted a four-week work experience programme with a group of high-school students from the Swiss International Scientific School in Dubai. The structure was based on the award-winning “Design Engineer Construct” (DEC) learning programme developed by Class of Your Own, a social business in the UK, who are aiming to inspire the next generation of high-school students to pursue a career in the digital built environment.
The DEC programme was accredited in 2012 in response to a growing challenge facing the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) fields. In many parts of the world, there’s a looming talent shortage or a pressing need to develop new skills as the way in which projects are designed and delivered begins to change due to digital disruption. This is the first time the DEC programme has ever been completed outside of the UK, in a fast-track manner, and offers a template for further adoption across the UAE and in other international markets.
Throughout the four weeks, the students completed a series of modules spanning the full lifecycle of a construction project from design, through to build and operations. Some of the subjects covered included sustainable design, the application of digital solutions, best-practice procurement, and how to build the benefits case for a project. At the end of the programme, the students worked together to produce a Revit model based on a design they created for an ‘eco-classroom’. The innovative design was founded on the principles of sustainability, flexibility, user experience and modular construction.
Alison Watson, Chief Executive, Class of Your Own said: “I was delighted to work with Arcadis and all of the other partners to introduce the DEC programme outside the UK for the first time. The curriculum offers students a unique medium to apply their knowledge of STEM subjects and consider their impact on their local community and planet in an exciting and contextual arena that also enables them to see the diversity of career opportunities available within the built environment. The inaugural programme has been a tremendous success and has resulted in lots of interest from other local and international schools in the UAE.”
Tim Shelton, Associate Director, Arcadis Middle East said: “Over the next five years, our industry will go through significant change as we seek to capitalise on the opportunities provided by digital solutions, and address legacy issues around productivity. This will require new skills and fresh ideas, and, in this regard, we’ve learned a lot from hosting the students. They’re digital natives who look at buildings and their environment in a different way, and their insights will enable us to offer another perspective to our clients, who are ultimately building with this generation in mind as they’ll be the long-term users and owners of the assets being created today.”
Arcadis hosted the DEC programme alongside a selection of eco-system partners including Autodesk, Aconex, Class of Your Own Ltd, Heriot-Watt University Dubai, Sublime, Topcon, as well as local government sponsored initiatives like the Dubai Future Foundation and Dubai Future Accelerators. The scheme was hosted in the UAE, but with support from subject matter experts from across Arcadis’ global network.
For more information on the DEC programme please visit: https://designengineerconstruct.com/.
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