A computer game developed at Ulster University will be used to teach school children in Scotland about key aspects of the construction sector and promote careers in the industry, following significant backing from Morgan Sindall.
BeIMCraft, which is based on the Minecraft platform, has been created by Ulster University academics, in conjunction with an external consultant, to help young people better understand the built environment.
The game highlights the emerging role of technology in the construction sector and ensures young players consider planning issues, health and safety risks, structural aspects, sustainability and cost when creating their 3D world.
Morgan Sindall has confirmed a 12-month sponsorship package which will provide the company with exclusive rights to the game in Scotland.
David Comiskey, co-founder from Ulster University’s newly formed Belfast School of Architecture & Built Environment, said: “BeIMCraft was launched last year and we are pleased to see that well respected companies like Morgan Sindall recognise the value it has in encouraging pupils to consider roles in the construction sector from a young age.
“Through this partnership we will be able to roll out the game to four schools in Scotland this month, with plans for more in the future. As the economy continues to recover it is vital that we attract young talent into the workforce to help drive future growth of the construction sector. We are keen to play a central role in this activity at Ulster University.”
Professor Philip Griffiths, head of school, added: “Such initiatives demonstrate Ulster University’s civic contribution with society and its widening participation agenda. Engagement with communities, and breaking down barriers to a university education by widening young people’s aspirations, is central to our delivery of the university’s new strategic plan, 5&50.”
BeIMCraft closely aligns with aspects of the BIM process. Ulster University experts were recently invited to the European BIM Summit in Barcelona to present the innovative game to industry professionals.
Stuart Parker, managing director of Morgan Sindall Construction in Scotland, said: “We are pleased to confirm our partnership with Ulster University. We are always looking for new and innovative ways to encourage pupils to develop skills and understanding of the construction process.
“As a main contractor, it is vital we play our part in attracting the next generation to the industry. BeIMCraft is perfect for this as it takes something familiar to thousands of children and puts it to a new use. We are sure it will be a hit in our schools.”