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DCS partner with NLCC to deliver digital skills for Young People, across London

We are now in excess of five years following the tragedy called Grenfell. Care of Dame Judith Hackett and her infamous review ‘Building a Safer Future’, a new legal instrument called the Building Safety Act has recently received Royal Assent (on 28.04.22), giving rise to a whole host of new fire safety measures. As a well-documented industry disruptor and UK government advisor, our very own Bola Abisogun OBE FRICS, Founder & Chairman of DiverseCity Surveyors has remained close to this evolving area of industry change, which will fundamentally seek to positively influence the way that built assets [specifically high-rise residential buildings ‘HRRB’s’] are designed, built and maintained over their whole life cycle. In some cases the whole-life cycle of a residential asset can extend to some 50 years and beyond, although any period is hugely dependent upon a number of different and significant variables.

The legacy of the Grenfell Tower tragedy has introduced a new legal requirement called the ‘Golden Thread of Information Management’ which has simultaneously introduced much by way of ‘new’ priorities for asset owners, other stakeholders, with a focus on the planning / design, construction and handover; also known as the ‘three gateways’.

Credit: North London Community Consortium 'NLCC'

But where are the ‘emerging’ opportunities for the construction sector and specifically [‘hard to reach’ / ‘disenfranchised’ and/or ‘disadvantaged’] young people? In fact, what ‘new’ skills are going to be required to“create, hold and maintain the golden thread”, and how can this legal requirement provide ‘new’ career options that enable grassroots / community-led organisations to deliver the #digitalskills [and #net-zero] agenda to young people?

Located in the London Borough of Barnet, based at the North London Business Park and cited within the old Council HQ building, is the North London Community Centre, ‘NLCC’. A timely introduction by industry specialist, NessaA Primus, Director of Primus Consulting Services CIC, was made to the ‘community legend’ known as Nigel Allan, a man who successfully led an immensely important and purposeful initiative during the recent global pandemic.

Nigel and his team [along with an army of ‘community’ volunteers] was delivering upto 20,000 meals per month across the North London area.

Credit: North London Community Consortium 'NLCC'

The London Borough of Haringey was just one of the boroughs to benefit from his remarkable effort.

In addition to his main ‘pandemic, food parcel’ effort, which also involved the learned contributions and distribution skills of many local young people

Credit: LB Barnet / Social Services

His wide and varied connections with Social Services, has strategically positioned Nigel, via his retail establishment called Allotmentz to offer something of a ‘wrap-around’ pastoral service to local young people. In fact, Allotmentz – located at 61 Friern Barnet Road, London N11 3EH – actually doubles up as a ‘safe space’ for local young people who are seeking support, which was observed first hand.

Credit: DiverseCity Surveyors

It was interesting to note Nigel’s current ambitions to extend his offer to Care Leavers and to this end, with an array of strategic priorities aligned to those of DiverseCity Surveyors, we are keen to support him with access to Employment [and Digital Skills] opportunities, in an area of growing demand and importance _ i.e. Information Management and Building Information Modelling / BIM.

Credit: DiverseCity Surveyors / Allotmentz N11

A recent visit to his commercial premises was a very humbling experience, and alongside some amazing Caribbean cuisine, it was clear that Nigel was and remains a pillar of the local community, with customers drawn from all corners of the world; a truly inclusive and representative establishment, with young people offering themselves up as volunteer staff, acquiring many useful ‘life-skills’.

Credit: North London Community Consortium 'NLCC'

With a much better appreciation of the ‘man behind the machine’ and one who is clearly on a ‘self-less’ mission to serve young people, a further invitation was upheld by Bola on 19.08.22, who agreed to meet Nigel at his office space over at the North London Business Park.

Credit: North London Community Consortium 'NLCC'

A direct consequence which, continues to have a disproportionate effect on ‘disadvantaged’ youth is the provision of ‘un-encumbered’ access to employment and careers advice and support. Add to that, the likelihood of securing ‘relevant work experience’ and the reality for many is one of abject pessimism and, in many cases, blatant discrimination.

Credit: DiverseCity Surveyors / North London Community Consortium 'NLCC'

Care leavers, although supported by a suite of agencies [in an ideal circumstance] can often find themselves wanting in many areas when it comes to seeking ‘local’ employment and many are desirous of sector specific support in seeking to identify and pursue their CHOICES.

Credit: North London Community Consortium 'NLCC'

With the demonstrable capability to cater to a wide and growing cohort of young people, the specialist areas on offer by the NLCC, from their Barnet offices, will include a fusion of both the creative and digital sectors

As mentioned earlier, the Golden Thread of Information Management [encompassing the whole life-cycle of any development] has been defined as: "both the information that allows you to understand a building and the steps needed to keep both the building and people safe, now and in the future". In essence, the Golden Thread, lends itself neatly to an emerging socio-technical paradigm called the National Digital Twin programme, which essentially is an eco-system of structured data-flows, based upon the Gemini Principles; which represent the 'conscience of the digital built environment'.

As a key member of the Gemini Council at the Cambridge / Centre for Digital Built Britain, Bola supported the development and co-authorship of the Gemini Papers and the Digital Twin Toolkit, respectively.

From an [existing and new-build] asset management perspective, the digital twin solution [amidst the vast number of ‘use-cases’] conveniently resides within the eco-system, commonly referred to as the National Digital Twin programme and remains a game-changer, with the potential to yield multi-faceted economic, social and environmental benefits.

Credit: DiverseCity Surveyors / North London Community Consortium 'NLCC'

The overarching ambition of the emerging partnership between NLCC and DCS is to deliver better outcomes for society and tangibly facilitate a 'wrap-around' holistic service offer for ALL members of the local community with a focus on young people [including care leavers] that are keen to participate in the emerging 'digital construction' sector, across London.

Credit: LB Barnet / Job Centre Plus

Led by NessaA Primus of Primus Consulting Services CIC, we look forward to working with Nigel, his team at Allotmentz and the wider NLCC; where we will be looking to engage as many young people into our core delivery ‘the provision of #digital skills and information management’, with demonstrable value creation for both LB Barnet ‘the Council’ & Barnet Homes [including their residents].

Credit: DiverseCity Surveyors

More to follow; do sign up to our newsletter [link here] to stay abreast of future updates.


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