Built Environment Skills in Schools (BESS) has launched the most comprehensive schools engagement tool for construction employers wanting to increase the reach and effectiveness of their efforts to inspire the next generation, using powerful gaming technology as a hook.
Entitled ‘Guerrilla Stakeholders’, the engagement tool provides 24/7 content and active information for schools through a multimodal approach to careers efforts. The focus and commitment behind the Guerrilla Stakeholders initiative is to go beyond simply isolated careers promotion, and create active citizens in the built environment. Construction employers are notoriously stretched for time and resources and Guerrilla Stakeholders has been designed to support employers of all sizes and disciplines to make their efforts effective and impactful, with content that can be adapted to all employers.
Kathryn Lennon-Johnson, founder of Built Environment Skills in Schools, said,
“Traditionally, the industry has tried to promote specific jobs in construction to young people, without explaining the context of those roles. With Guerrilla Stakeholders, students experience the fundamental significance of the built environment for themselves by contributing to its design and function. There is a huge movement towards active citizenship in the development of towns and cities, championed by organisations like Arup, encouraging young people to voice their ideas and ambitions. Guerrilla Stakeholders isn’t about teaching construction skills, its about changing perceptions of the whole industry .”
Guerrilla Stakeholders consists of eight pre-prepared lessons that are mapped to the core UK curriculum at Key Stages 3 and 4, focused on social and environmental themes, and contributing to the delivery of the Gatsby benchmarks. Using the powerful hook of gaming technology, Guerrilla Stakeholders puts young people at the centre of the learning and self-exploration about the careers and potential that construction offers, now and in the future.
In addition to the gaming elements of Guerrilla Stakeholders provided by Cities: Skylines and TeacherGaming.com, the careers tool also includes curriculum-based classroom activities, links to industry challenges and competitions, bespoke social media channels, careers events, interactions with employers, and opportunities to influence real-world local projects and initiatives. The Guerrilla Stakeholders tool incorporates the work of high-profile environmental influencers such as Greta Thunberg, Robert Downey Jr., and Ellen MacArthur, and actively promotes the recognised careers expertise of industry organisations like CIOB’s ‘Craft Your Future’ and COYO’s ‘Design Engineer Construct!’
It is widely recognised that impacting the skills shortage will only be achieved at scale, and employers are encouraged to actively participate with their digital content, school interactions and industry insights. The interaction of schools and students will provide trackable data for industry to measure progress against careers outreach and share best practice, which will be particularly beneficial to employers required to evidence their social value KPIs.
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Paradox Interactive’s Cities: Skylines is a city-building game that closely simulates the thrill and hardships of creating and maintaining a real metropolis. From construction to balancing budgets and passing policies, your students get to wield the tools that can make or break their vision for a 21st century utopia.
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