The Managing Director of Fundación Laboral, Enrique Corral, spoke on behalf of the 24 institutions of the construction industry, from 12 countries of European Union, which are part of the strategic consortium of the ‘Construction Blueprint’ project.
The European Commission’s Directorate-General for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs held the High Level Tripartite Strategic Forum on Thursday April 4th, in Brussels. This was a discussion meeting between Member States, stakeholders from the construction industry and representatives of European Union (EU) to discuss issues related to this productive sector.
This high-level forum, which has been held since 2013 in the Belgian capital, forms part of the “Construction 2020 Strategy” as a follow-up to the Strategy Action Plan. It provides an opportunity for industry stakeholders to express their views on the implementation of priority actions and the prospects for the evolution of the industry, which will serve as a basis for the future of the Strategy beyond 2020.
As in previous editions, the Managing Director of Fundación Laboral de la Construcción, Enrique Corral, participated in this high-level strategic forum. In addition, on this occasion, he took part as a speaker, representing 24 institutions of the construction industry, from 12 EU countries, which form part of the strategic consortium of the project ‘Construction Blueprint’, to talk about the Sectoral Cooperation Plan in the area of Training and rethink the strategy of professional skills and competences in construction.
For Enrique Corral, the ‘Construction Blueprint’ project combines two key instruments proposed by European Commission for the transformation of the construction sector in Europe towards a sustainable and competitive industry: the “Construction 2020 Strategy” and the “Skills Agenda for Europe”, now evolved into “A new Skills Agenda for Europe“. A transformation in which Spain is contributing a crucial reference role, through Fundación Laboral, with its presence in Europe and the development of strategic European projects.
Visibility, impact and competitiveness
Among the conclusions of the meeting, the need to enhance the visibility not only of the sector but also of the impact of the advances, innovations and results that are carried out, since they are either not attractive enough or are diluted because they are not visible.
The value of people as key figures in unlocking the potential of the sector was also put on the table, together with resource efficiency, the strengthening of the internal construction market and the promotion of more competitive positions of European construction companies on the world stage, recalling the challenge of the indispensable inclusion of microenterprises.
Public procurement was proposed as a lever for change towards compliance, better qualification of workers and sustainability of the sector. And the social dimension was a matter of concern at this meeting, as well as the approach to the needs of tomorrow’s citizens.
Confluence of different lines of action
With regard to the modernisation and updating of professional skills, the importance of the confluence of different lines of action, on which the Construction Blueprint project is working, was highlighted:
- Use of the European Erasmus+ programme as a source of funding and justification for the EU’s dual policy (Strategy and Skills Agenda).
- Work in key areas: energy efficiency, digitalization and circular economy.
- Adoption of approaches from other industries.
- Dialogue between EU strategic actors and Member States.
- Incorporation of other segments of the active population in the construction sector, especially young people and women.
Towards ‘Construction 2040’
The meeting in Brussels ended with a series of ideas to project the horizon of Construction 2040, preserving the strengths of the Construction 2020 initiative and intensifying it with improvements and aspects such as:
- Expanding the time horizon of the initiative to anticipate the future of competitiveness and cyclical challenges (such as the resilience of the sector itself, among others).
- Reinforcing the commitment between the community participating in Construction 2020: European Commission itself, the Member States, citizens, financial institutions, companies, professionals, etc.
- Taking advantage of the financial flows of European Union.
- Strengthening the participatory approach and dialogue with cities.
- Promoting the role of the High Level Tripartite Strategic Forum.
The results of this meeting reflect a common vision for improving the EU’s built environment, and the role and contribution of the construction sector to this vision.
Because as highlighted at this seventh meeting of the High Level Tripartite Strategic Forum: “The quality of the built environment is essential for health, well-being and productivity; so improving the way we build will improve the lives of European citizens”.