Bootcamps

Northumbria Uni launches bootcamps to boost digital construction skills

digital construction skills
© Ballakhim

Northumbria University has launched new skills bootcamps to plug the digital skills gap and support the expansion of the digital construction sector

The Institute of Coding (IoC) is a collaborative national consortium of industry, educators and outreach providers that are working together to respond to the UK’s digital skills gap through the delivery of employer-led digital skills education.

The IoC consortium, which is led by the University of Bath, was announced by Government as a provider for the Department for Education’s (DfE) Skills Bootcamps.

Skills Bootcamps are flexible courses of up to 16 weeks, giving people the opportunity to build up tech skills and fast-track to an interview with an employer.

The Skills Bootcamps will provide learners with best-in-class digital skills education and deliver resilient pathways to work, with learners receiving the opportunity to interview with an employer upon the successful completion of their Skills Bootcamp.

As part of this provision, Northumbria University has been awarded £800,000 to deliver a series of two, 16-week long Skills Bootcamps, entitled ‘Cloud Computing and Data Analytics and Software Developer/Engineer’.

The Cloud Computing and Data Analytics course is targeted at those working within the construction industry, with a focus on digital construction.

The Skills Bootcamps will teach data science technologies and techniques, covering the following subjects:

  • The role of coding in the construction industry
  • Understanding Building Information Modelling (BIM)
  • Big data analytics, Machine Learning
  • Internet of Things, Blockchain
  • Artificial Intelligence Algorithms, Neural Network Learning

The Software Developer/Engineer course is aimed at architects, engineers, technicians, technologists, and anyone interested in advanced digital model authoring and manipulation. It will cover:

  • Understanding Building Information Modelling (BIM)
  • Industry-specific software training
  • Getting under the skin – opening up the SDK
  • Introducing Dynamo and Python
  • Workforce Skills Training – presentation skills, employability skills, etc.

Both courses will also focus on presentation skills, case study development and training, employability skills, and interview technique.

The Skills Bootcamps will take place online initially and will include a mixture of pre-recorded instructional material and timetabled live sessions.

‘Digital skills are critical for delivering on future challenges’

Lucy Winskell OBE, pro vice-chancellor (employability and partnerships) at Northumbria University and chair of the board of the NELEP said: “We are delighted to be supporting the delivery of the government’s Skills Bootcamps.

“Northumbria’s expertise in digital construction research, combined with our reputation for innovation and entrepreneurism, and our strong industry partnerships, means we are extremely well-placed to provide this vital training.

“Along with our regional partners, we are committed to ensuring the North East economy remains resilient in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, and we look forward to helping to plug the digital skills gap and supporting the expansion of the digital construction sector in our region.”

Professor Becky Strachan, deputy pro vice-chancellor for the Faculty of Engineering and Environment at Northumbria University, added: “We are delighted to be working with the University of Bath and the wider IoC consortium to offer these Skills Bootcamps tailored to support the construction industry to build its human capability around digital technologies.

“These bootcamps bring together our expertise at Northumbria in digital technologies and the built environment and build on our strong partnerships in the region and across the UK around digital construction.

“We are looking forward to seeing the tangible benefits that participants and employers will reap from this great skills initiative.”

Tim Bailey, chair of Constructing Excellence in the North East, said: “Congratulations to Northumbria University and their partners. This funding is warmly welcomed and has arrived at a key moment for the region’s construction industry.

“Growth in digital construction skills is critical for delivering on the challenges of the near future. Constructing Excellence in the North East are delighted to support this important initiative as it advances the objectives of the region’s Construction Strategy.”