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Construction and Built Environment Challenge – CABEC

CABEC group photo 2018

On Thursday 11th January, ten schools from across Edinburgh and the Lothians arrived at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange ready and eager to compete at this years CABEC final.

The Construction and Built Environment Challenge (CABEC) is a yearly challenge that raises the awareness of job opportunities within the construction and built environment sector. Opening second year high school pupils eyes to an array of different practical jobs and different college and universities that offer courses in these subject areas.

The ten schools competed in small groups from 6-10 pupils, completing a range of tasks provided by different colleges and universities that attended. The groups were marked on their team working, communication and problem solving skills.

SRUC’s Landscaping and Horticulture department attended with two separate tasks. The first task named “Doing the Twist”, which pupils had to copy a complex twisting brick structure that could be used as a well or a feature within a garden. In the second, pupils configured a garden arch, this task was named “Arch Rivals”.

SRUC Landscaping Lecturer, David Millar said “CABEC is a great opportunity to raise the awareness of SRUC and the practical subjects we teach”.

SRUC had previously held heats 9 and 10 within the landscaping department at Oatridge campus in West Lothian. The winners of the mini heats all successfully succeeded onto the final at the Corn Exchange.

Alongside SRUC, Edinburgh College, West Lothian College, The Scottish Electrical Charitable Training Trust, Edinburgh Napier University and Herriot Watt University all attended the final. Offering tasks from Roof Tiling to designing a road for 2049. The tasks were delivered by the experts and were the ideal opportunity for pupils to find out more on a course or get any questions answered.

Nicola McKeema, teacher from Linlithgow Academy in West Lothian said “CABEC is an eye opening day; staff are able to see new and fun tasks that they could introduce into their lessons. I have spoken to Napier to organise a visit around their facilities –  this is great for the pupils to see what it would be like at college or Uni . As schools can only provide limited resources in subject areas such as design and manufacturing this is a great place to introduce yourself to other institutions.”

The CABEC Final is an actioned packed day with each task taking approximately 30 minutes. Each team is marked out of 50 at each station. The team with the most points overall receives the winning prize of £300. The first runner up receives £200 and the second runner up wins £100.

Second runners up was awarded to North Berwick Highshool.

North Berwich HS CABEC 2018

First runner up was awarded to Balerno High School. They were 2017 CABEC finalist winners but this year they missed out in retaining their title by a fine margin.

Balerno HS CABEC 2018

Congratulations to this years winners – the all girl team of NewBattle High School. This team showed tremendous communication and problem solving skills. They were a tight knit and great team that deserved to take back the 2018 CABEC Winners title #girlpower! A real step ahead as currently girls only make up only 12.2% of the workforce in this sector.


This event would not run without the enormous effort SECTT put into organising this each year. We would like to thank SECTT and the pupils in making this another great event!

 Anne Galbraith, Chief Executive of SECTT said “I have been involved with CABEC since the beginning and have been managing it for many of its 18 years!  I am extremely grateful to the challenge providers who have taken part.”

“This year’s school teams were superb, there was a great atmosphere and they showed such enthusiasm and team work.  CABEC fits well into the Scottish Governments STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) initiative and offers a taster for different jobs within the Construction and Built Environment industry.”

“The following schools all won their individual heat and went through to the final: North Berwick HS, Castlebrae HS, George Heriots, Beeslack HS, Linlithgow Academy, Deans CHS, Balerno HS, Gracemount HS, Newbattle HS, Newbattle CHS and Ross HS.  I was delighted that Newbattle HS were the overall winners – it was well deserved.”

CABEC is sponsored by the following organisations: Edinburgh Napier University, The City of Edinburgh Council, Edinburgh College, CITB, SNIPEF, SELECT and EETF – Electrical Engineering Training Foundation.

Beeslack CHS 2018 CABEC

Beeslack CHS 2018 CABEC

Balerno HS CABEC 2018

Balerno HS CABEC 2018

Beeslack CHS CABEC 2018

Beeslack CHS CABEC 2018

NewBattle HS CABEC 2018

New Battle High School

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