Construction Blueprint celebrates two years of European cooperation to design a Construction Skills Strategy

Results, Synergies, Trends

The 24 partners of the project, coordinated by Fundación Laboral, are working to create the new training framework adapted to the new international challenges: energy efficiency, digitalisation and circular economy. They will launch the European Construction Skills Observatory in autumn.

Almost half of the countries in the European Union have been working side by side on the Construction Blueprint project since this Erasmus+ initiative – part of the Sector Skills Alliances action – was launched at the end of January 2019.

Under direct supervision of the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency  (EACEA) of the European Commission (EC), the main result of this project is the creation of the new training framework for construction in the EU, adapted to the competences set by the international challenges: energy efficiency, digitalisation and circular economy.

Fundación Laboral de la Construcción coordinates the representatives of the 24 partners participating in the project, from Spain, Germany, Belgium, Slovenia, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal and Slovenia. Confederación Nacional de la Construcción (CNC) is also collaborating on behalf of Spain, which together with eight employers’ associations from the construction sector from other countries, they represent a large part of the companies of the industry in the European Union (EU). European Construction Industry Federation (FIEC)European Federation of Building and Woodworkers (EFBWW) and European Builders Confederation (EBC) are among the European partners participating in the consortium. Twelve other leading providers of vocational training and higher education in the construction sector in their countries are also involved, among which we find Fundación Laboral.

Over a hundred professionals

Employing over 60 professionals from the consortium (over a hundred including experts from the National Advisory Groups (NAGs)) and constantly adapting to the changes caused by the international pandemic in the work processes and in the initial approach of the project itself, the project has achieved the following results in its first two years of operation:

  • Pestle Analysis: Report on the political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental factors affecting the construction industry that may in turn be affecting skills shortages, gaps and mismatches.
  • Status quo report on sectoral competences: Study on the current situation of the sector in the participating countries of the project, providing an overview of the sectoral competences of the construction industry. It will later be completed with the discrepancy between current and future skills and the estimation of the number of people that should be trained in the industry.
  • Roadmap and Action Plan: Roadmap report with the strategies, measures, activities, outcomes, results and the action plan to be implemented to adapt the current skills demand and supply, both of which are part of the Sectoral Strategy and will also be a key part of the deployment of the new Strategic Approach for the construction industry.
  • Interactive Map:  Digital resource compiling good practices and innovative initiatives to address skills gaps and mismatches. It includes 124 geo-referenced cases on energy efficiency, digitalisation, circular economy and health and safety, which have been identified by the partners in the participating  countries and their respective regions.
  • Web: Creation of a complex and comprehensive project website, translated into eleven languages, where all the information, results and progress of the project can be accessed.
The opinion of 2,000 companies on the European Observatory of Construction Skills

In the second part of this Erasmus+ initiative, which will run until the end of 2022, the European Construction Skills Observatory will be launched, as well as training curricula in three different areas – energy efficiency, digitalisation and circular economy.

For the creation of the Observatory, a survey will soon be launched to 2,000 companies in the countries belonging to the consortium. It will be repeated in 2022, in order to find out the needs companies have to face the new jobs in sustainable construction, to adjust professional competences to the demands of the labour market, and to make training and business go hand in hand.

A beta phase of the Observatory will be launched starting next June, to allow partners and experts from the NCGs to review all the information and the functioning of the Observatory. The public launch is planned for autumn.

Regarding the training curricula to be designed in the three areas of sustainable construction, the partners are carrying out a preliminary study of all existing training in the different countries, on the basis of which adaptations will be made to the new competence approaches. The design of these three curricula is foreseen for this summer and the trainings are addressed to workers/students of level 4 and 5 EQF (European Qualification Framework).

Following this analysis and design of training, efforts will also be made to describe the professional profiles and occupations that need skills upgrading and to readjust them accordingly.

Moreover, in this second period of the project, the consortium will continue to strengthen alliances with other European initiatives and other Blueprints projects. Also, different awareness campaigns will be carried out to generate the appeal of the construction industry and to promote actions to attract young people and encourage the incorporation of women in the sector.

The next meeting of the 24 Construction Blueprint partners will take place on 12-13 April for the consortium’s fifth meeting.