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In pictures: ICE Wales Cymru Engineering challenge

UWTSD’s Construction Wales Innovation Centre was delighted to welcome 70 pupils from local schools to take part in a day of civil engineering fun, learning and a bridge building challenge as part of the ICE Wales Cymru Engineering Team Challenge.

The event, one of a number being held across the country, helped celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) in Wales.

ICE Wales Cymru worked with CWIC, CITB Wales, CIOB Wales, Tidal Lagoon Power, CECA, Careers Wales, Regional Learning and Skills Partnership South West & Mid Wales, Atkins and Dawnus to help organise the event on November 8.

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The event included talks by Professor Michael Fernando, Dean of the Faculty of Architecture, Computing and Engineering at UWTSD and Ioan Jenkins, Development Director at Swansea’s Tidal Lagoon.

CWIC Director Gerald Naylor said:

“CWIC was delighted to host this exciting event for the first time at the new CWIC Hub and it was clear the school pupils not only enjoyed the experience but learnt a lot about the civil engineering industry and the range of job roles.”

Luke Cook, event organiser said: “I was delighted to help facilitate an event that demonstrates the commitment of the construction industry in Wales to developing and nurturing those young people who will shape the industry for years to come. It was also especially heartening to see the significant number of girls who participated in the day, suggesting that old preconceptions are being challenged by both the industry and educational institutions.”

The year 9 students from Bishop Gore, Bishop Vaughan, Morriston, Llangatwg and Dwr-y-Felin Comprehensives, Ysgol Gyfun Ystalyfera and Ysgol Gyfun Hirwaun also got some hands on experience during a tour of the Faculty of Architecture, Computing and Engineering in the University’s new IQ building.

CWIC is a landmark agreement between the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and a consortium led by UWTSD supporting future workforce needs, skills development and innovation in the Welsh construction sector.

The new centre, which opened last month in SA1, provides state-of-the-art facilities and training for individuals and construction companies, with CITB investing £6.5m. The CWIC hub is home to a ConstructZone, classrooms, dedicated IT suites and conference facilities. A dedicated scaffolding training facility will also be sited close by.

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CWIC is already delivering courses across Wales through partner colleges, Coleg Sir Gâr, Coleg Cambria, Coleg y Cymoedd and Coleg Ceredigion as well as the Building Research Establishment (BRE).

It is estimated that 1,200 students will be trained through CWIC facilities across Wales each year.

The official opening was attended by representatives from across the construction and education sector, including CITB Board Chair Peter Lauener, CITB CEO Sarah Beale, UWTSD Vice-Chancellor Professor Medwin Hughes, DL, and UWTSD Council Chair, The Venerable Randolph Thomas.

The event also marked the launch of the Construction Skills and Innovation Roadmap for Wales. The roadmap has been produced to highlight the need for an integrated strategy for workforce development over the next decade for the sector.

CWIC, through its pan-Wales Hub and Spoke delivery model is ideally placed to oversee the delivery of this strategy in conjunction with the CITB and UWTSD.

The latest CITB Construction Skills Network research predicts the Welsh Construction industry is set to grow quicker than any other part of the UK – with over 12,000 new roles set to be created in the industry by 2022. The new centre along with its partners, will help meet the skills needs for future projects including the South Wales Metro, Wylfa Newydd and major construction activity that will follow, regional, city and growth deals across Wales.

Last month two new Higher Apprenticeship programmes in Construction Management and Quantity Surveying were launched to meet construction growth in Wales.

The University is working directly with industry partners and in collaboration with the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), The Construction Wales Innovation Centre (CWIC) and the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) to deliver these programmes at The Faculty of Architecture, Computing and Engineering.