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The CIBSE Yorkshire Committee
January 2018

Design Engineer Construct - Schools engagement

Dear members

At a time when the construction industry is weathering the pain and angst of recession it is easy to forget that we need to look into the future and ensure that, as an industry, we retain the ability to attract and retain the most talented individuals to deliver our future.

As chair of CIBSE Yorkshire Region, I have been pleased to be involved with a company called “Class of Your own” (COYO) who have developed a fantastic programme for educating young people (previously known as kids!) to GCSE and A Level equivalent, in a construction-centred study programme called “Design Engineer Construct”.

What is Design Engineer Construct?

A fantastic programme that embraces young people at a key point where we can really start to make a difference. It nurtures their enthusiasm for working in the fantastic industry that we know as “Construction” and supports them in gaining crucial knowledge and skills.
How does it work?

Put briefly, schools adopt the programme, and look for sponsorship from industry to deliver it. COYO act as a facilitator and offer all the course material and training to the teachers to get the programmes established. Industry sponsorship can be in time, supporting the teachers and pupils through mentoring/talks/site visits etc, and/or financially, by helping cover the running costs.
What are the key benefits?

·         The programme nurtures future talent at a key stage and hugely approves STEM knowledge

·         Our industry is better understood by pupils and teachers, due to the training provided by COYO and the industry involvement.

·         The industry gives back and invests in education, enables recruitment of talent to apprenticeship programmes

·         Promotes Building Services Engineering as a fantastic lifelong career full of opportunities

·         Employers can sign up to support individual schools fully or as part of a CIBSE led consortium

·         CIBSE charitable fund will provide additional support in the regions.
CIBSE HQ adopts local school…

I am extremely pleased to see that CIBSE HQ (and some other key institutions/organisations) have already embraced this programme, with direct sponsorship and support.

CIBSE HQ’s Charitable trust have financed running a programme for the 2 year min required, and will be monitoring/assisting moving forward.
NG Bailey adopts local school...
Further to the above, I am happy to report that NG Bailey, through their charitable giving policy, have also agreed to sponsor a school in Yorkshire.
Hopefully this will encourage other employers/engineers to get involved.
How can our region get involved?

It would be fantastic if we could support this initiative and sponsor at least one (ideally many more) school in our Region – or outside if industry sponsors prefer.

The basic cost to sponsor a school is £6k per year for a 2 year programme, and industry sponsor/s would also need to agree to providing mentoring support for the programme.
Recognising that £6K, and the provision of staff support, is a substantial commitment for individual employers, CIBSE HQ have discussed/agreed with COYO a “consortium” support mechanism where employers can get involved at whatever level they are able, and jointly support a school.

In terms of larger employers, CIBSE are suggesting that they don’t support individual schools, rather that they put money into “consortium pots” to support a number. Sounds a great idea to me, and CIBSE HQ are also providing Yorkshire (and other regions) a starter pot of £1k to get programmes started.

As a region, direct from our funding, I have agreed to be co-sponsor for a school in East Yorkshire, which is already up and running with the programme. CIBSE HQ have also endorsed the "top up" £1k as above so in total CIBSE is endorsing £2k towards the £6k cost.
Questions and support…

If you feel you are able to get involved, please contact me in the first instance, either by email () or phone , and I would love to chat through possibilities further. Further information can be found on COYOs website
and also on RICS website

For CIBSE HQ guidance please contact Neil Walsh on
I shall also publish further info/support info on this website. as it comes available.

I’d love to hear from you shortly
Mark Connor
Yorkshire Regional Chair.

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