The project has published a «Status Quo Report», with the aim of analysing the current situation of the construction industry in the contributing countries. This analysis will be used as a background for the preparation of the Sectoral Skills Strategy
At the end of the last year Construction Blueprint published an «Status Quo Report on Sectoral Skill» with the aims of showing the discrepancy between current and future skills, in order to establish the training needs of workers in the sector in the short and medium term. The first step to address this work was the «PESTLE Analysis Report» to define the Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental factors that may affect skills in the sector of several European Countries: Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Slovenia and Spain.
This document constitutes the secons step on the designing of a Sectoral Skills Strategy, in which includes a Strategic Action Plan and a Roadmap -deployed during the life-time of the project and beyond its finalization.
The purpose of the present report is to identify the major trends at a European level, in order to bring the development of a methodological framework for a prospective study of trades and training.
Looking around building
One of the main conclusions of the currently construction industry was that this sector plays an important role in Europe’s economic growth -acoording to the ‘Construction 2050. Building tomorrow’s Europe Today’ report, construction generates about 9% of gross domestic product (GDP) in Europe and provides 18 million direct jobs-; despite the crisis suffered by the countries analysed during 2008-2015.
However, in every country, the construction sector has experienced growth over the latest years. The countries where the sector is growing the most are Ireland and Slovenia. However, in other countries such as Greece, the sector is advancing very slowly because of the crisis that hit the country.
The report highlight three key areas that constitute the main challenges of construction: digitalisation, circular economy and energy efficiency:
- About digitalisation, the document emphasizes that the analysed countries were focused on BIM, and in a future they are going to cover other digital technologies such as robots, automation, 3D printers and scanners… Actually, the European construction industry is not digitalising at the same pace as other industries, which are adapting to technological challenges faster. This call on an effective digitalisation training programmes, which should be introduced in national training systems in order to ensure that workers’ skills are fit-for-purpose.
- In every country analysed, the circular economy is considered to be one of the main drivers for the national action plans. In order to cover the lack of specific skills, waste management training should be introduced in national training systems, as well as specific information on the impact of construction products on the environment.
- Energy efficiency is other new skills driver in the construction industry. Many European initiatives are being developed that stress the need for continuous education and training on energy efficiency and renewable energy in buildings.
Skills gaps and training needs
In terms of skills gaps and training needs, the Status Quo Report shows that technological advances bring a number of new and emerging practices that are likely to change the landscape of the construction sector. The development of “green” buildings and sustainable waste management, as well as the energy sector will be demanded specific skills for construction workers. Therefore, one of the main measures to solve these obstacles was the development of training actions, which should increase the number of workers with medium and high qualifications.
After the analysis, partnership have grouped the barriers in different macro areas: Political / legislative; Economic / Social; Structural; and, Education, which are the main gaps that Construction Blueprint have to solve in order to design a Roadmap and Action Plan to establish a new Strategy on Construction Skills.