How Minecraft can Inspire the Future Generations

Published: Mar 13 2023

Minecraft, the popular sandbox video game, is not only a source of entertainment for millions of players, but also a potential tool for inspiring the future generations of scaffolders.

Ground breaking

In a groundbreaking initiative, the renowned HMS Victory is undergoing a £35 million conservation project, with its rotten outer shell being replaced by new oak. The 10 to 15-year endeavour includes structural repairs and a full re-rigging, protected by a fully enclosed scaffolding installation. This scaffold allows vital conservation work while ensuring public access to the iconic flagship at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard throughout the 12-year renovation process.

PHD Access recognises the challenge of attracting the next generation to the field. To address this issue, we’ve devised innovative and interactive training methods, breaking ground in engaging the youth. The evolving nature of work demands a fresh approach, and PHD Access is leading the way by leveraging the popular game Minecraft.

“We have a duty to showcase the exceptional essence of the construction industry, especially to newcomers embarking on their journey into this sector.”

Danny Dwyer, Managing Director

Minecraft: A Gateway to Scaffolding Design Careers

In early 2022, we conceived a dual-purpose solution involving Minecraft to showcase our project for the National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) and to promote careers in the scaffolding industry. Collaborating with content creators Superbeam, a Java version of Minecraft featuring HMS Victory as a playable area was developed.

Interactive Gameplay: Scaffolding Challenges

The objective of the game was for players to create a scaffolding structure around HMS Victory without touching the ship itself, utilising modified game elements. This presented challenges, forcing players to choose materials wisely and consider weight distribution. The game effectively mirrored real-world scaffolding intricacies.

Educational Outreach: Inspiring Future Engineers

We took the initiative further by reaching out to local schools near HMS Victory. The proposal involved introducing Year 8 and 9 students to the world of scaffolding, offering them a hands-on experience with the Minecraft game.

Tiernan Dixon from Superbeam and Henry Annafi from NASC visited two schools, exposing children to careers in the construction industry through the interactive game.

Positive Feedback and Success

The response was overwhelmingly positive, with students expressing enjoyment in the problem-solving and technical engineering aspects of the game. Teachers acknowledged the game’s impact, recognising the potential to translate industry technology used in the industry into a format understandable for students.

“They get to see how Minecraft can be used for real-life events not just for entertainment. It shows them what they can do when they’re older. So many opportunities.”

Mrs. White, Head of Department – IT & Computer Science

Future Prospects and Museum Integration

Following the success at the schools, NMRN requested the game to be featured at the Royal Navy Museum Visitors Centre at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard during October and February half terms.

The game became accessible to all visitors, showcasing the innovation and technical design required for bespoke access projects.

Closing the Talent Gap: A Dual Solution

PHD Access emphasises the urgent need to engage the next generation in the scaffold and access industry. Our Minecraft initiative proved to be a dual solution, not only showcasing the intricacies of the NMRN project but also spotlighting potential careers in scaffolding.

By demonstrating the transferability of skills from games like Minecraft to 3D design in the access industry, we are paving the way for a new generation of design engineers.