Report on the European training roadmap to promote sustainable construction sector

The European project Construye 2020+ transforms the dialogue between Academy and Business into a debate between more than 70 experts from five areas of society: Politics, Education, Economy, Culture/Social and Environment. As a result, a report for the updating of professional competencies in Energy Efficiency (EE), Renewable Energy Systems (SER) and Near Zero Energy Consumption Buildings (EECN).

For more than 40 years the Academy and the Company have been in dialogue in order to approach, understand and adjust competencies and professional skills to the real needs of the labour market.

When the point of balance is reached in this ongoing debate between the supply of skilled professionals and the demand from employers, the knowledge, skills and attitudes learned by students in training centres become real drivers of employability and a determining factor in accessing the labour market.

In this line of dialogue, the Construye 2020+ project consortium has developed, for six months, a fundamental part of this European initiative to promote ‘green’ employment in the construction industry, promoting professional training and accreditation in Energy Efficiency (EE), Renewable Energy Systems (SER) and Near Zero Energy Consumption Buildings (EECN – better known as nZEB). This is the application, implementation and evaluation of the Fivefold Helix Methodology, in which more than 70 experts from five areas of society participated: Politics, Education, Economy, Culture/Social and Environment. This practice has resulted in the “Training Roadmap for Sustainable Construction. Modelo de Quíntuple Hélice”, an interesting report that is already available in Spanish.

Useful results for the future of construction

The results obtained are useful for:

 To identify the strategic training of professionals that the construction sector needs in order to take advantage of the potential for saving and improving energy in buildings and the consequent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

 To guide the design and review of the training in accordance with environmental criteria for the correct execution of work that allows the disconnection between the design of energy saving measures in a building and their proper execution, which irremediably limits their effectiveness. According to some studies, 40% of the energy efficiency of a building depends on the correct installation of insulation, which is related to the worker having an adequate professional qualification.

 To recognize the importance of valuing work in the construction industry and the training of its workers.

It is not in vain that both the leader of this project belonging to the Horizon 2020 programme –Fundación Laboral de la construcción– and its partners –Instituo de Ciencias de la Construcción Eduardo Torroja, dependent on the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC); Fundación Estatal para la Formación en el Empleo (Fundae); Instituto Nacional de las Cualificaciones (Incual), dependent on the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training; Centro de Investigación de Recursos y Consumos Energéticos (Circe); and Instituto de Robótica y Tecnologías de la Información y la Comunicación (IRTIC), attached to the University of Valencia– will continue their work in the following phases of the initiative: creation of two eight-hour cross-cutting courses on energy efficiency, aimed at operators and middle managers; and the holding of ten workshops with SMEs and companies specialising in EE and other pioneers in the industrialization of the trade, to transmit sustainability values. Both lines of action will be completed during the summer.

In this way, the application of the Fivefold Helix Methodology and its results will allow the Construye 2020+ project to adequately reflect the needs of the sector in terms of energy efficiency and become a reference framework for the preparation and articulation of training offers, as well as for their updating.

Undoubtedly, the holistic approach of this methodology makes it possible to contribute to the necessary adjustment of the supply and demand for sustainable construction and to improve, in short, the quality and coherence of the Vocational Training system -regulated and non-regulated-, with the needs of energy saving and environmental protection.