Anne Kemp and David Philp talk Generation Y: “We want to see a merging of the graduate talent”

Credit: Geospatial Media and UBM
Credit: Geospatial Media and UBM

Two of the most respected figures within the Building Information Modelling community have discussed the proficiency of young professionals currently graduating from university, and whether they are able to manage what is expected of them in relation to BIM.

New Civil Engineer spoke to AECOM‘s David Philp and Anne Kemp of Atkins to gauge their thoughts on what is expected of young people transitioning from their studies into graduate positions. As BIM is all about collaboration and connectivity between all project lifecycle stages, both BIM experts believe that those who showcase a combination of skills are those more likely to find work.

Kemp, who is also Vice Chair of buildingsmartUK, said that whilst graduates have adapted to constantly changing technology, it is the educational establishments who need to change their behaviours: “The ideal engineering recruit is someone who knows how to be a data scientist, information engineer and a design engineer all at the same time.

“Instead of having our core technicians in one corner of the office and all of our other professionals in the other – we want to see a merging of the graduate talent. It feels as if culturally they [the graduates] have changed the way that they’re engaging with the technology but the formal training at the universities hasn’t really yet caught on.”

Philp agrees with Kemp’s point-of-view, with him suggesting that universities are packaging graduates as one particular role or another. What is important to recognise is that young people may have many transferrable skills that be can be utilised to “deliver that whole project lifecycle”. The Head of BIM at BIM Task Group said:

“We’re quite guilty of putting individuals into silos at university level. We say they’re going to be designers, contractors, or a quantity surveyors pretty early on but the big thing about BIM is that it’s more holistic, more about the project life cycle.

“As we move towards Level 3 BIM there will be more of a need for companies like us that can deliver that whole project lifecycle. We’re looking for people to come in and look at how they drive operational outcomes at the asset level, or indeed how they drive social outcomes.”

Without a change in thinking from education and in industry, Kemp believes that the BIM sector will shoot themselves in the proverbial foot by having to rely on the same, smaller selection of individuals with the necessary know-how. She explained that a less reliance on the term ‘BIM Manager’ is necessary: “We need to get away from people thinking they can become a BIM specialist because that’s not really what we’re trying to do to transform the industry,” she says.

“Instead of managing all of the BIM models, I think the BIM manager should become the source of knowledge, the person who trains the graduate engineers and manages the roll-out of BIM.”

Young people have also been actively encouraged to attend more industry events relating to BIM. Adrem Group‘s Jason Claxton took part in a Crunch Time interview here on BIMcrunch where he also discussed more ways of ensuring that young people looking for BIM-related work are on the right track.

To read the rest of Philp and Kemp’s comments, click here.

RELATED: Anne Kemp: “Open standards organisations need the right people to come forward to help”