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Construction skills

The focus of submitted proposals shall be on upgrading or setting up large-scale qualification and training schemes. Proposals are to address coordination and accompanying measures (e.g. voluntary certification schemes, accreditation, mutual recognition, incentives to encourage the participation of craftsmen, sustainability of the schemes, etc.). Running training actions will not be in the scope of the proposal. Proposals may also focus on setting up a mutual recognition scheme of qualifications and certifications among different Member States. Proposals should include a strategy to ensure that qualification and training schemes are sustained after the end of the project. For financial support to trainees, proposals should link to other sources of funding available at national level such as the European Social Fund, including the Youth Guarantee Scheme.

The objective is to increase the number of skilled building professionals and/or blue collar workers across the building value chain (designers, architects, engineers, building managers, technicians, installers[[The scope of this topic was modified, the change applies only to the action in 2017 call.]], blue collar workers including apprentices, and other building professionals) with a specific focus on the engagement of SMEs. Training schemes can also consider operation and maintenance activities. Ultimately, the aim is to improve the overall quality of renovations and new constructions, to accelerate the renovation rate and to ensure proper interactions between different trades and professions. The submitted proposals need to be focused and are not necessarily required to address the whole range of professions and crafts involved in the building sector.

Proposals should take note of the BUILD UP Skills initiative, in particular the strong links with National Qualification Platforms and the implementation of the recommendations of the national qualification Roadmaps, and taking into account the European Qualifications Framework (EQF). They could also be developed with consideration to Erasmus+ actions and in particular the Sector Skills Alliances, which are focused on vocational training. Proposals should develop and roll-out appropriate certification and accreditation schemes to continuously improve knowledge and skills of the building workforce and to increase the quality of construction.

Proposals should focus on improved multidisciplinary approaches and understanding across different trades, for example using BIM, and involving Open BIM initiatives at the national level. They should also focus on improved appreciation of the end user's needs including the quality of indoor environment (thermal and visual comfort, acoustics, air quality, etc.) and improved operation and maintenance. Proposals may include the entire design chain (e.g. manufacturers) and material life cycles and embodied energy in the required skills.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 0.5 and 1 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

In order to reach the EU's energy and climate targets, a qualified building workforce is needed. Improving the skills of middle and senior level professionals and blue collar workers in the area of sustainable energy efficient construction is therefore of key importance. This should be done throughout the entire value chain of the buildings sector. Professionals and blue collar workers also need to be aware of new upcoming challenges relating to nearly-zero energy buildings (for example new materials and, products; the integration of renewable energy sources; new systems or processes such as standardisation and common voluntary certification of buildings and use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) tools, etc.).

Proposals are expected to demonstrate the impacts listed below, using quantified indicators and targets wherever possible:

  • Creation and implementation of sustainable qualification and training schemes for building professionals and/or blue collar workers;
  • Plans for sustainability after the project's life and replication across the EU,
  • Increase in the number of skilled workers (building professionals and/or blue collar workers);
  • Improved collaboration and understanding across different trades and professional groups;
  • Demonstrated reduction in the gap between designed and actual energy performance through improved quality of construction in specific projects;
  • Measurable energy savings and/or renewable energy production resulting from improved skills;
  • Improved market recognition of skills in the building sector (industry standards).