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BEPE project progress report released by The Department of Work and Pensions

The Department of Work and Pensions has published the ‘Built Environment Professional Education Project: Report of Progress’ in which the role of the Construction Industry Council in the project is outlined.

A progress report for the Built Environment Professional Education (BEPE) project has been released by the Office for Disability Issues and the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) two years after its creation as part of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games legacy.

The report examines the progress so far and looks at the next stage in the hand over from government to the construction industry, via the Construction Industry Council. The next steps will look to embed inclusive design into education and training for built environment professionals at all levels.

The BEPE envisage that every newly qualified construction professional should be equipped with the requisite skills and knowledge to provide accessible and inclusive buildings, places and spaces. Further, the skills to do so should become second nature and teachers will be able to inspire students to gain the knowledge, confidence and commitment to standardise inclusion. This should lead to all construction industry professionals integrating the principles of inclusive design into all projects.

The CIC has been entrusted by the government with the job of widening the industry’s engagement in BEPE’s objectives and increasing awareness of the need for an inclusive environment through its current diversity, education and training projects, and its work streams.

They will be attained through professional institutions employing their inclusive design education and training commitments; the higher education (HE) sector will be helped to improve the student and educator approach to inclusive design education; by providing in-kind support to the Royal Society of Arts to run the Inclusive Cities Student Design Award in 2016/17; by encouraging the professional institutions, the HE sector, and others to develop additional educational resources for undergraduates, postgraduates and practitioners; by encouraging members to integrate BEPE project initiatives with initiatives being undertaken to implement the Department for Communities and Local Government’s (DCLG) Inclusive Environments Action Plan; by promoting the Disability Confident campaign among its members and with employers in the construction industry to become disability confident and; by putting in place arrangements to enable the BEPE project to be sustained in future years.

The CIC will hold quarterly meetings of the BEPE Project Board and give progress reports to the Minister for Disabled People twice in 2016/17 and to the Paralympic Legacy Advisory Group as required.

Looking to the future of the BEPE project, CIC will create a new Inclusive Environments Award to be presented at the Construction Industry Summit Dinner in Central London in September. This new award will pick a winner from among existing award winners for exceptional and inspired inclusive design in the built environment.