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Cardiff Innovation Campus – Education and engagement with Bouygues UK

9 January 2019

Guest post – Nick Toulson, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Advisor, Bouygues UK

 Education Interactions during the Construction Phase

As with any major construction project, community benefits are now either a client requirement or a key performance indicator. Cardiff Innovation Campus (CIC) is no different in this respect with educational interaction forming a key part of the wider community benefits profile.


Bouygues UK and its partners are continually running sessions, activities and developing ways to change the perceived image of the industry and promote the industry as a viable career path for young people.

Our education delivery, directly linked to the construction of the new campus over the next 2 years, focuses on the undergraduate student experience at Cardiff University, but also extends to local Primary, Secondary and Further Education.

SkillsCymru, Cardiff, October 2018

Nine Bouygues UK staff including our trainees, graduates and managers attended the annual, 2-day Careers Event for schools from South Wales. Discussions with pupils and students focussed on technical careers within the industry including Civil Engineering, Site Management, Quantity Surveying and Building Information Modelling (BIM).

Construction work on the Cardiff Innovation Campus project provided the opportunity to showcase Augmented Reality, BIM and Virtual Reality models to provide examples and kick-start conversations with pupils.

Over 7000+ pupils attended the 2-day event, with BYUK staff directly providing advice to 300+ pupils during that time.

Cardiff University Civil Engineering Undergraduates

Over three separate site visits, 142 Year 1 Civil Engineering undergraduates attended the Cardiff Innovation Campus construction site to gain an insight into the project and the piling operation stage.

It was great to hear the feedback from the students:

“I thought the experience was a positive one. I learnt about the fact that the purpose of buildings has to be considered even when designing the foundations.” –  Jack Winkles

“The indoors explanations were very interesting and it was great to understand the struggles engineers constantly face and all the factors they must have in count before doing anything.” – Arthur Charpentier

“Overall I thought it was very interesting and I look forward to revisiting further along the project.” – Daniel Incorvaja

Further visits for the Year 1 students will be scheduled in over the next 2 years, so that they can follow construction progress during the different construction phases.

Visits for Years 2, 3 and 4 are being programmed in to look at the groundworks and reinforced concrete frame stages of the build. Session delivery was provided by Balfour Beatty and Bouygues UK site staff.

Work Experience and Training Placements are also a key areas for development, with the first programmes due to commence in early 2019.

Setting the context of construction for young people

Cardiff Commitment’s Open Your Eyes Week provided Bouygues UK with the chance to deliver two Junior Aspirations sessions with Year 5 and 6 pupils at St Joseph’s Primary School. These interactive sessions aim to provide context of the construction industry relative to the pupils’ learning and highlight the many careers paths and breadth of jobs within the industry.

A Bouygues UK Building Aspirations session held with a cluster of Years 10 and 11 pupils at Cathays High School.  This was an initial introduction to the world of construction, which also covered the technical and digital side of the industry. Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Augmented Reality were used to highlight new developments and job roles within construction.

Stimulating interest in the technical and digital aspects of the industry that link in with the Digital Competency Framework will form part of the next set of interactions with the school.

The construction industry has recognised that reaching out to younger age groups, through multiple interactions, rather than one off events or activities, is one of the best tools to dispel some of the common myths and to help young people understand the opportunities that the modern construction industry can provide.

Going forward

We will continue to work with Cardiff University and our partners to engage with students and communities and to offer opportunities to work with and learn from the CIC project.

If you have any questions about the opportunities available or would like to work with us to provide further opportunities, please contact