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CIOB use Minecraft to attract new construction generation

The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) has developed a construction game targeted at 12-14 year olds that takes place within the world of Minecraft.

‘Craft your Future’ enables young learners to discover the methods and skills to become a construction manager, introducing them to a career in construction.

As over 400,000 workers within the construction industry are due to retire between 2018 and 2023, the skills shortage may become more acute and the need to attract a new generation into the sector even more vital.

In a series of four freely available Minecraft Education Lessons, that can be downloaded by teachers anywhere and accessed via the Minecraft Education Platform, students confront a range of issues that reflect construction challenges in cities today.

The lessons take place in Newtown, a specially created virtual city in Minecraft, to design, plan, collaborate and build solutions that develop a sustainable future for all its citizens. Exercises also include real life scenarios like the challenge of restoring Battersea Power Station.

Bridget Bartlett, Deputy Chief Executive at the CIOB said: “Combining Minecraft and a thorough curriculum for the teacher makes for a unique and immersive experience and will help reveal why the industry is important and why a career in construction can be so rewarding. There are 70 million people playing Minecraft and just like Lego it has the capacity to inspire and attract a new wave of construction managers into an ever-increasing digital industry.

“What is exciting is that these young learners will not only have fun but also develop their communication, team working and mathematics skills; skills that construction has a high demand for. The lessons are designed to be teacher friendly and we hope construction employers will also want to use them in schools as they bid to switch the next generation onto a career in construction.”

Jennifer Macdonald, BIM Researcher, Consultant and Lecturer in Construction Project Management at the University of Technology Sydney told UK Construction Online that the use of Minecraft could play a key role in encouraging children into thinking about a career in construction. She said: “Minecraft is a very interesting game and it seems to attract girls as well as boys; it’s not seen as a boy’s game or a girl’s game and I think that’s something that’s really positive about it.

“Minecraft is great because it encourages children to play around with virtual worlds and build things from their imagination.

“Any game that encourages children to think about the world around them and how they can make a positive difference has to be a good thing.”