The event is part of Health & Safety Blueprint, an initiative that Easme Agency of EC commissioned to the joint entity, and which complements Construction Blueprint project
Around 30 representatives of European construction sector met on 3 October in Brussels for the first stakeholder meeting “Sectoral strategy on qualifications: support measures for the construction sector”, organised in a coordinated effort between Fundación Laboral and European Commission (EC). The event is part of the European project Health & Safety Blueprint, which has been implemented by the joint entity since December 2018 under the management of Commission’s Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (Easme).
Fulvia Raffaelli, director of Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs department of EC, opened the event by recalling the Community objective by which Europe aims to become the first continent to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. In this ambitious goal, construction plays a crucial role, as pointed out Raffaelli, who also indicated that technological and environmental advances require an improvement in the skills of workers in energy efficiency, digitalization and circular economy to increase the skilled workforce.
This change in work patterns, the application of technologies and innovative materials carries emerging risks and requires an updated training framework in Safety and Health.
More than just a challenge, an opportunity
From Fundación Laboral, Javier González, head of International Projects, presented the advances that H&S Blueprint initiative has achieved in Health and Safety issues to improve professional skills in ‘green’ jobs in the construction sector. These results will be implemented in an updated and complete training framework that will address the new emerging needs in this area.
Brenda O’Brien, director of the Office of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in the Belgian capital, who defended that “green jobs will only be sustainable if they are safe and healthy”; and Jan Cromwijk, Project Coordinator at the Dutch ISSO Construction Services Knowledge Centre, who spoke of the need for training in ‘green’ jobs.
The round table, moderated by Laura Mesa, International Projects Technician at Fundación Laboral, was attended by representatives of Joint Construction Prevention Bodies (OPPC) from Spain, Italy and Germany, as well as representatives of European sectoral organisations, such as the European Federation of Builders and Woodworkers (EFBWW), European Builders Confederation (EBC) and European Construction Industry Federation (FIEC), partner institutions of Construction Blueprint project.
The debate focused on the need to offer workers specialised training in Safety and Health for new ‘green’ jobs. A challenge that the experts pointed out as an opportunity to increase the attractiveness of the sector and generate a better qualified workforce, helping the sustainability of the planet.