On October 5th and 6th, Fundación Laboral de la Construcción organized the fourth meeting of partners of this project of the Erasmus+ programme, in which a new strategic approach on professional skills in the construction industry is developed for the European Union.
Fundación Laboral de la Construcción was the virtual host of the fourth meeting of partners of the Construction Blueprint project, which was held on October 5th and 6th, attended by more than 45 professionals from twelve countries, as well as representatives of the European Commission.
The coronavirus crisis has disrupted work environments, modifying plans and schedules. These disruptions have also affected the development of Construction Blueprint. Therefore, for two days, the partners analyzed the consequences that Covid-19 is having for the continuation of this Erasmus+ initiative, reviewed the achievements made in these almost two years of project and recomposed the work for the second part, which will begin in January 2021.
The meeting was also attended by Mr. Pavol Krempaský, project manager for the Management of programs and activities in Unit A2 – Erasmus+: Platforms, competences and innovation of the European Commission; Roman Horvath, policy officer at the Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Enterprise and SMEs – belonging to the Directorate General for Growth – of the European Commission; and Felix Rohn, policy officer in the Unit for Competences and Qualifications, belonging to the Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion of the European Commission. The representatives of the European Commission (EC) highlighted the meeting as “a very constructive meeting” and assumed the modifications and adaptations in a positive way, offering also contributions for improvement.
Results and next steps
Some of the results achieved by the Construction Blueprint project are the following:
- PESTLE Analysis: A report on the political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental factors affecting the construction industry, which in turn may be affecting shortages, gaps and mismatches in skills.
- Interactive Map with more than 120 European good practices identified in twelve countries as innovative initiatives, which address the gaps and mismatches of skills in the areas of energy efficiency, digitization, circular economy and / or Health and Safety at Work, available on the project website.
- Project website translated into nine languages: English, Spanish, German, Slovenian, Finnish, French, Greek, Italian and Lithuanian (soon, also in Polish and Portuguese).
- Launch of the Construction Blueprint Sectoral Skills Alliance: through the LinkedIn group ‘Construction Blueprint Sectoral Skills Alliance’ and other initiatives. The Alliance is increasing its membership. Professionals, companies and other entities related to the training of the construction sector can participate in it. Last September the first event was held by the Slovenian partner.
Others that are already underway and will be ready during the second stage of the project are
- Observatory of training needs in the construction industry: design of a prospective European observatory of the skills needs of construction companies in the areas of digitalization, circular economy and energy efficiency. This tool, based on big data and forecasting methodology, will be implemented at national and transnational level and will offer an added value to the European Construction Sector Observatory (ECSO) and the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop).
- Specific training in the fields of Energy Efficiency, Digitalization and Circular Economy.
Health and Safety Blueprint
On the other hand, Miguel de Gracia, Head of International Projects of Fundación Laboral de la Construcción, presented to the Construction Blueprint partners the results of the Health and Safety Blueprint project, which the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) entrusted to the joint entity in December 2018, to complete the strategic approach for the improvement of Health and Safety training in the construction industry.
The H&S Blueprint project has developed an updated and comprehensive training framework to address new emerging Health and Safety needs related to energy efficiency and sustainable materials in the construction sector, especially with regard to new building and insulation materials, and technologies and individual processes. The training program, which will be available soon, consists of eight modules on Insulation and Sealing Materials; Finishing Materials; Bituminous Materials; Sustainable Materials; Insulation Operations; Inverted Green Roofs; Renewable Energy Systems, and Waste Management.
What is a Blueprint?
Since January 2019, Fundación Laboral de la Construcción has been leading the Construction Blueprint, an Erasmus+ project whose main objective is to develop a new strategic approach to professional skills in the European construction industry, and to improve the match between the needs of companies and the skills provided by the Training Centres. To successfully achieve this challenge, the initiative brings together three European sectoral organizations, nine national sectoral representatives and twelve Vocational Education and Training (VET) and higher education providers from twelve countries of the European Union.
As the Construction Blueprint, there are other ‘sectorial Blueprints’ that are based on the Strategy for Cooperation in Sectorial Competences, one of the key initiatives of the New Agenda for Europe’s Competences.
Under this strategy, stakeholders cooperate in vertical sector consortia, also called Sector Skills Alliances, to develop and implement strategies to address skills gaps in these sectors. These sector alliances bring together key stakeholders, including: companies, trade unions, research institutions, education and training institutions, and public authorities.
The purpose of the strategy is to address skills shortages and unemployment, and it builds on previous work by the European Commission and partners to address skills gaps in the sectors.
Thus, in a first wave initiated in 2018, the European Commission launched Blueprints in the automotive, marine technology, geospatial information, textile, clothing, leather and footwear and tourism sectors. In the second wave (2019), the sectors were additive manufacturing, construction, maritime transport and the steel industry. The third wave (2020) includes the sectors of bioeconomics, new technologies and innovation in agriculture; batteries for electromobility, defense technologies, energy value chain-digitalization, energy-intensive industries/industrial symbiosis, microelectronics manufacturing and design. And the fourth wave will include the Blueprints of the sectors: blockchain, cultural heritage, cyber security, supply and rail transport industries, social enterprises for labour integration and building management.