CIBSE (the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers) supported Design Engineer Construct! learning programme is now approved for the Department for Education's 2016 performance league tables.
Thanks to industry support, the qualifications will provide transferable skills required by the people who will look to employ them.
Part of the initiative established by social business Class Of Your Own, the new curriculum works with industry members to help educate young people about how science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills are used when designing sustainable buildings. With the use of professional 3D modelling software, students are challenged to consider the needs of energy efficient buildings and design their own to an impressive standard.
Programme creator and managing director of Class Of Your Own, Alison Watson, said: 'I'm so very pleased to see professional bodies taking the lead to encourage active engineers to enthuse young people and their teachers as they discover our amazing industry. Thanks to CIBSE and its members, children can now understand the critical role of building services engineering and its relationship to other aspects of sustainable design. Engineers are right there in the classroom, supporting an extensive, progressive learning programme, all the way through secondary school.'
CIBSE president George Adams expressed the importance of opening the students' minds to consider potential careers within the built environment sector and to understand what the roles of architects and engineers are within the construction industry. Children will also become more thoughtful about environmental issues and energy efficiency. The programme comes at an important time where more new routes into professions such as the Technician Apprenticeship Scheme, more STEM graduates and more environmental awareness is needed.
CIBSE is the key agent encouraging firms to sponsor local schools for the project. The Institution has supported the Graveney School in Balham whose team presented their work alongside George Adams at a Class of Your Own event earlier in the year. In addition, CIBSE region chairs will be organising more collaborations throughout the country following the success of Bradford's Buttershaw College sponsorship with NG Bailey, organised by CIBSE Yorkshire Region.
The curriculum also encourages a more holistic view of design for the students, which is identified as a key advantage to create more sustainable buildings going forward.