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The B1M | 10:09
THE B1M has today released “Now Hiring: The World’s Greatest Industry” - a inspiring new film that highlights the impact of the construction sector and some of the incredible people choosing to build their careers here.
Developed in association with Bluebeam, the documentary demonstrates the role that people in construction play in shaping our world – taking decisions that mould our homes, schools, workplaces and cities.
The documentary was last night screened to a sold-out crowd at Everyman Cinema in London's Kings Cross. Several thousand people watched a simultaneous live broadcast of the event on YouTube.
Above: A panel representing students, technology providers, academia and industry employers discussed the challenges of attracting people to the architecture, engineering and construction sectors.
Following the screening, a panel discussion explore some of the opportunities and challenges raised by the film in more detail.
Panellists included David Milne of main contractor BAM, Bo Mahs of KEA Copenhagen, Niya Borissova, currently studying at UCL and Emily Heppard who leads Bluebeam's Academic Programme. You can watch the full discussion back in the video below.
Above: Re-watch The B1M's live broadcast from the exclusive London screening event.
A CRITICAL JUNCTURE
Most of us will spend the majority of our adult lives at work.
To do something truly fulfilling, that goes far beyond paying the bills to positively touching the lives of others, is a goal that many strive for.
Construction is the primary way that human beings impact this planet. From the spaces that we call home and the environments where our children develop, to our hospitals, the places where we work, the roads, railway lines and airports that enable our travel, the infrastructure that generates our energy and our vast cities – our society simply could not function without this industry.
The importance of construction at this moment in time, cannot be overstated. Despite centuries of progress, several factors have brought our world to a critical juncture.
The global population is larger than it has ever been and is rising faster than at any time before. More than half of us now live in cities and millions more are migrating into urban areas. Several nations are grappling with housing crises and cannot construct homes for their people fast enough. Our climate is changing and are buildings now account for 40% of all greenhouse gas emissions.
Above: More than any other sector, construction has the ability to overcome these challenges and make a positive difference.
The people who chose to work in this industry have immense influence over the shape of the world that billions of us experience every day.
Almost every other job role is enabled by construction, and while those job roles may be impactful in their own right, the work of the building industry lasts for generations and touches more of the population than any other.
At a time when our world faces such challenges and with a socially conscious young generation who value our planet and the direction of society arguably more than any other before them, a new wave of young people around the world are now choosing to build their careers in construction.
Niya Borissova, a first class alumna from London South Bank University and Thomas Jean Buntzen Elsgaard, a student at KEA - Copenhagen School of Design and Technology, exemplify this.
Above: Niya sees construction not as a "man's world," but one of possibilities that anyone can have access to.
Niya explains how she wanted her profession to be something that motivates and inspires her daily, and decided that construction would give her the
best way of using and developing her skills.
What attracted Thomas to the industry was the opportunity to take charge of some great projects, which he is now getting the chance to do through his education.
Throughout their development, Niya and Thomas have been supported with access to Bluebeam technology, made available under the Bluebeam Academic Programme.
In an industry currently being disrupted by technology, with many workflows becoming digital and with project teams sometimes widely spread across different geographic locations, the need for new talent to have a high-level of digital literacy is critical and investments like this, from leading organisations like Bluebeam, are key.
But the next generation have grown-up immersed in technology and in many cases, access to Bluebeam has had a greater impact, catalysing and giving oxygen to their talent, helping them achieve more and develop broader skills.
For all of the technology now coming into use, construction relies on people and the communication and collaboration between them in order to succeed.
Above: Using Bluebeam at such a formative time has developed collaboration skills within young people.
According to Simon Leung, a senior lecturer at London South Bank University, the industry needs to embrace technology more, as it will help enable collaboration between different partners, such as architects, engineers and planners.
While both Niya and Thomas, and the mentors who support them, are strong examples of young people coming into the world’s greatest industry, they are in a minority and more needs to be done to attract talent in our ever-noisier world.
To a large extent, the construction sector has not shouted about its successes, while mistakes, delays or cost overruns often lead the news.
Many people misunderstand this broad sector and have different pre-conceptions of what it means to work in it. The issue has become compounded with the rise of social media, 24-hour news and the increasingly media-rich environments surrounding us that construction has failed to compete in. The solutions can be found amongst these challenges.
The issues facing our world, combined with a socially conscious young generation, the rise of cutting-edge technologies and many mediums through which to broadcast to millions create the perfect list of ingredients for fundamentally changing the perception of construction on this planet.
By showing an already concerned young generation – and their parents and influencers – the true nature and power of construction we can start to shift the way this sector is seen, attracting more talent.
The result will be the very best people taking decisions that affect us all.
Above: Thomas and his generation of construction professionals will shape our cities, plan our homes and design the environments that our children will spend their formative years in.
For Niya, her hope is to motivate others like her to start a career in construction, showing that it doesn't matter where you come from, who you are or your gender - there's a place for everyone.
Thomas' biggest goal is to focus on green building - combining different materials and improving resource efficiency across the sector.
So, in our overwhelming, noisy world, don’t be told that you are less than you are.
Don’t be told that your skills are needed in industries that perpetuate our challenges. Don’t waste your potential.
Be known for having made a difference. Be celebrated for your positive impact. Be proud of your remarkable achievements. Be awed by your own creations, every day. Be surprised by what you are capable of.
Be a part of construction.
Our thanks to Bluebeam, KEA, London Southbank University, Niya Borissova, Thomas Jean Buntzen Elsgaard, Thomas Wiil Andersen, Bo Mahs and Simon Leung. Narrated by Fred Mills. We welcome you sharing our content to inspire others, but please be nice and play by our rules.