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Imagining a Digital Competency Management Ecosystem Approach to Transforming the Productivity of People in the Built Environment

   School of Science, Engineering and Environment

About the Project

It is vital to ensure that individuals, teams, and organisations have the necessary appropriate knowledge, skills, abilities, experience, behaviours, and attitude at work, i.e. ‘competence’, to carry out tasks/activities they are appointed to perform. It is also vital for clients when appointing individuals, teams, and organisations, to undertake construction operations, to ensure they are ‘competent’ to be able to conduct the work appropriately. However, a competence problem exists within the construction sector resulting from the lack of effective strategies for competence definition, development, management, mediation, and, importantly, assurance. The Dame Judith Hackett (DJH) (2018) report entitled, “Building a Safer Future”, that followed the Grenfell Fire tragedy, concluded that competence development and culture change are required to support the delivery of built assets that are safe now and in the future.

While the importance for a people-centric, digitally-enabled approach to competency and its management to facilitate the digital transformation of the construction sector and wider built environment is acknowledged by the strategic digital transformation agenda (e.g. ‘Transforming Infrastructure Performance: Roadmap to 2030’ report by the Infrastructure and Project Authority to the Cabinet Office and HM Treasury, Cambridge Centre for Smart Infrastructure & Construction ‘Flourishing Systems’ report), the digitisation/digitalisation of work activities, people, and their competences are still not centre stage, despite the Hackett report and the sector’s future recovery post-Covid.

This research proposes to further build on previous work commissioned by Centre For Digital Built Britain and led by the University of Salford (Pedagogy and Upskilling Network) to explore this area and begin to inform positioning such an approach to effectively address the upskilling and reskilling challenge, centre stage of the strategic digital transformation agenda and action plans (top-down). In addition, establishing the current landscape in relation to the disconnect between the sector’s SME stakeholders and the high-level strategic digital transformation agenda and action plans (bottom-up).


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