Welcome to the
Skills Academy CIC
What We Do
Welcome to our organisation.
We offer a diverse range of programs to help individuals and communities thrive. Our programs are designed to address various needs, from personal development and career advancement to community building and social impact initiatives.
C-Suite / Exec and Senior Leaders
It is essential that leaders lead in this new landscape of digital disruption and perpetual industry transformation. The need to adopt new, agile, data-driven business models within and across the construction and infrastructure sectors has become an imperative. At the DTSA we are a credible voice and recognised leader in the ‘thought-leadership’ space, with an innate ability to curate and deliver an array of services to fit [and surpass] the needs of Senior Management Teams. Along with our partners [see our partner page] we can flex to any size of team or business in our inclusive approach to the sectors’, global needs. Contact us to discuss your specific requirement(s).
Graduate and Mid-Management
Whether you have recently completed a full / part-time honours degree or have been in the industry for up to 10years post-graduation, we are here to serve you and ensure that you achieve your ‘Individual Potential’. Inspired by our lead partner – DiverseCity Surveyors – we focus on what it takes to be the best in an industry still trying to come to terms with cultural and systemic change management. With a focus on ‘soft and hard skills’ we work with BIM Academy and an array of partner universities to ensure that careers are ‘futureproofed’ through access to a constantly updated learning management system. Come and talk to us about your passion and desire to be the best in the sector and help us to help you shape a more impactful ‘service offer’ across the globe.
DTSA Programme (16-25yrs) and 50+
This is our signature offer at the DTSA, which was built on the myriad failures of the UK construction industry [i.e. Grenfell Tower] and is designed to support the entire sector (both public and private) on a journey of preparedness and acknowledgement of their new and inherent legal obligations, under the ‘new’ Building Safety Act [effective April 2023]. Co-curated with our global industry and award-winning partners, we have designed a three-step programme with a focus on ‘inner-city’ young people, who for an array of reasons have little or no understanding about the plethora of career opportunity in the newly emerging area of digital construction. Acknowledged by the CITB, and with a focus on those who are currently unemployed / economically inactive, we have teamed up with sector specialist – Primus Consulting Services CIC – to deliver an amazing, person-centric programme, designed to engage, inform and inspire, digital natives in the 16-25year age profile [and also the more mature, 50+]. With a guaranteed, person-specific outcome and the opportunity to join a DTSA ‘delivery team’, contact us to consider and/or begin, a career in ‘digital asset management’.
Schools Engagement Offer
Our Founder & CEO is passionate about ‘the development of young people’ and has maintained a commitment throughout his near 30 year career to engaging with the youngest minds, now required to see the world of ‘traditional’ construction and the built environment in the same way that they often see the world through online games such Minecraft. If you are a school or other learning institution equipping young people – from Year 1 to Year 6 – come and talk to us about our various initiatives, designed to empower and inspire the next generation of industry leaders who are leading the charge on our net zero ambitions.
The DTSA Ambassador Programme
If you resonate with ‘our why’, ‘our values’ and ‘our direction of travel’, contact us to discuss becoming an Ambassador.
Unlock Your Capabilities
The construction industry is at a crossroads in a post-Grenfell world. The legal requirement to register in-scope existing [Higher-Risk Residential Buildings] under the new Building Safety Act [BSA2022] came into force on 3rd April 2023, with a view to giving both residents of public [and/or privately] owned built assets the opportunity to have a greater say in the administration of their homes.
Having supported the work of the National Digital Twin Programme and the curation of the Digital Twin Toolkit, concluding with the production of the Gemini Papers [at the University of Cambridge via the Centre for Digital Built Britain], the Digital Twin Skills Academy has a very focussed activity in relation to the legal requirement for asset owners to comply with the new [BSA2022] legislation and principally for the benefit of the BAME [Black Asian and Minority Ethnic] communities, seek to address the common and day-to-day challenges experienced by all Young People. The Digital Twin Skills Academy CIC or ‘DTSA’ programme is a place based, social value offer, specifically designed to inform, inspire and equip young people [aged 16-25yrs] offering them a dedicated career pathway into digital construction, with a focus on digital twins.
Our offer is inclusive and designed to attract the more mature [50+] cohort, with their lived-experience, along with anyone who seeks a change in career. Through engaging and hands-on educational and work-place opportunities, the Digital Twin Skills Academy CIC continuously cultivates future industry leaders. If this is what you’re looking for, please don’t hesitate to get in touch to learn more about our opportunity in digital construction and a chance to join our growing DTSA community.
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Half of all large industrial companies were predicted to be using them [digital twins] in some form by 2021, which has largely been responsible for the circa. 10 per cent increase in their operational effectiveness. The engineering industry [as is the construction sector] is now cognisant of the need for and role of digital twins, with requirements and outcomes defined by six elements of development and contextualised as the era of systems thinking.
Was valued at USD $3.8billion in 2019
Expected to reach USD $35.8bn by 2025 [and due to exponential growth in 2022]
Could potentially be worth upto $156bn by 2030
Empowering the Future with Emerging Tech Skills and Diversity
The global pandemic which has defined 2020 and the world ever since, has unlocked the business case for the application of digital twins, and therefore, made the case for digital construction. According to the IET [the Institution of Engineering and Technology] the global digital twin market:
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Dr Bola Abisogun OBE (Hon DUniv, Hon MBA)
Change Maker, Disruptor, Servant Leader [delivering #DigitalConstruction]
Founder & CEO _ Dr Bola Abisogun OBE
A budding graduate PQS who had just qualified and completed his APC with RICS, and upon returning from his first business trip to the USA in August 2000, Bola was inspired to set up his first ‘traditional’ construction business [Urbanis Limited] following a face-to-face meeting with his idol _ Herman J Russell, in Atlanta, Georgia. Incorporated in January 2003, just as HJ Russell had done and continue to do, Urbanis set about securing public sector contracts in the ‘repairs and maintenance’ sector, across London, specifically undertaking void refurbishments and kitchen & bathroom upgrade programmes. Due to the size of the business, and in the absence of much needed ‘inclusive’ public-procurement tools [on the Client side] effective and accountable contract management and supply chain visibility, with a granular focus on ‘performance and conduct’, Bola rather reluctantly, became a sub-contractor delivering work, on pan-London basis for a handful of ‘Prime / Main Contractors’. Back in 2003, the business philosophy and core values of the Executive Team at Urbanis, predicated on ‘Service to Others’, was to utilise the public sector contract opportunity to reach out to the young people active [or not] within ‘urban inner city’ areas across London. By going into schools, colleges, universities [and prisons] and sharing his own journey into the construction sector he was able to engage, educate and empower young people [and other family members] to consider a career in the UK’s ‘traditional construction industry.
The ‘Urbanis-YP Model’ worked and there were many successes, but some huge failures too – the latter, instigated by a couple of clients and the same main contractors, that he had serviced for some 15 years – all of which led to the ‘technical’ demise of his own business in 2017/18. Although gravely disappointed at the prospect of losing everything that he worked for, up to that point, the irony was that, just as he had been ‘broken’ by the public procurement process and payment system and culture of the industry, as delivered by UK construction, it was destined that he did not leave the sector empty handed. Based in Nile Street, Hackney, and on the same day that he locked the rear door of his office for the last time in his fifteen year residence [it being secured by Bailiffs, just a month prior], Bola received a call – on 10th December 2018 – from the Cabinet Office, advising that he was to be awarded an OBE [by the late HMQEII in the New Years Honours 2019]. The honour bestowed onto him was for Services to Diversity and to Young People in the Construction Industry. This acknowledgement, was the sign, at least for him, that there was clearly a more compelling reason to continue to Serve others.
However, it was the tragedy of Grenfell Tower on 14th June 2017 that delivered the final straw that broke the camels back. Bola decided to leave the construction sector, for good, and try to fix it using his own business failures and that of the tragedy of Grenfell as a ‘use-case’ for Digital Twins. His body of work [which began in 1994] was embraced by the Executive Team, led by Alexandra Bolton, and crystallised at the Centre for Digital Built Britain ‘CDBB’ – a joint venture between the University of Cambridge and the former, UK Govt Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy [BEIS], now the Department of Business and Trade [DBAT]. Aligned to the overarching, passage of development of the Building Safety Act [which received Royal Assent on 28 April 2022] and with a focus on skills for the entire UK construction sector, Bola founded the Digital Twin Skills Academy CIC [‘DTSA’] as a ‘not-for-profit’ community interest company, which commenced trading in April 2023, on the same date as operational window of the Building Safety Act.
As the Digital Champion for RICS, a Chartered Quantity Surveyor by profession, and the Founder and President of the Digital Twin Skills Academy CIC, he maintains an over-arching intention, via his global industry initiative #PQS2030, to deploy digital twins into ‘regulated professional services’ with an unapologetic focus on cultural change. Appointed to sit on the Gemini Council at the Centre for Digital Built Britain he remains a co-author of the infamous Gemini Papers and the Digital Twin toolkit. He is a well-documented industry disruptor, a longstanding Member of the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) and an eminent Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). He is also the Founder & Chairman of DiverseCity Surveyors (DCS) – who are an Honorary Associate Member of the Construction Industry Council, promoting excellence and thought-leadership across the global, non-traditional talent pool. Bola was appointed Chairman of the DEI Committee by the Construction Industry Council in November 2022, and through his well-documented commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, he has successfully fused the intrinsic relationship between DEI and disruptive technology. Bola is Digital Director at BIM Academy and is working with their global sister organisation, Ryder Architecture to grow their international business, with a strategic focus on ‘outcome-based’ social value.
Amongst his wider commitments to ESG, young people and diversity, he supports and promotes, across the industry, an unapologetic focus on ‘digital construction’. In April 2022, he was appointed along with a number of high profile industry leaders, to serve on the City of London Corporations’ Taskforce set to shape and promote [by 2025] the ‘green skills’ required to decarbonise all commercial office buildings in the Square Mile and across the City of London / Central London Forward. He works tirelessly and extensively with the Mayor of London and the GLA and from inception in 2013 was the Chairman of the ‘Moving on Up’ (MoU) initiative, London Advisory Board (funded by Trust for London, the City Bridge Trust and supported by the Mayor of London).
Project Delivery Partners
According to recent research, the global construction sector is estimated to generate £10trillion annually, with a strong expectation that this annual output could reach as much as £13trn, by 2030. As we move towards a net/zero and decarbonised built environment, we have to deploy the use of digital twins to measure and monitor progress towards our various ‘carbon-neutral’ targets, that have been set by governments across the world.
“Digital disruption is here to stay in construction; it is no longer simple enough to view this as the province of the BIM practitioner, or exclusively view digital as something that can be model based. Data and technology offer a new opportunity to connect [and collaborate] and there is a growing body of evidence that digital can disrupt across all aspects of the project delivery life-cycle, from design to construction, all the way through to social value.”
“Digital represents an opportunity to truly connect our industry globally, but this requires a fundamental transformation in the way we work, moving away from the historical, paperbased processes of old to a new way of working that is digital in nature, exploiting data to improve speed and certainty of outcome in decision-making. These new disruptive methods will require different approaches to value, where scale is leveraged across multitudes of programmes to exploit data, and impact procurement methods and commercial contracts as much as they do, [different and new] ways if working.”
“A focus on [digital] skills is a fundamental enabler, from transforming and upskilling the professional of today to bringing in the digital natives of tomorrow. Leaders in the sector must look to the future and consider how workforces of tomorrow can drive the changes, that the construction and infrastructure sectors desperately need. The time to act is now and – for the bold – the opportunities presented are almost limitless” _ RICS – Digitisation in Construction Report