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Sustainable EnErgy Skills in construction: Visible, Validated, Valuable

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SEEtheSkills (Sustainable EnErgy Skills in construction: Visible, Validated, Valuable)

Reporting period: 2021-06-01 to 2022-11-30

This project stands in front of the challenge for energy-efficient construction of new and renovation of existing building stocks and to act at market level in order to stimulate the demand for previously developed and new or upgraded energy skills. It is based on the idea to build upon the good foundations of previous above mentioned actions, each of them notably successful on national level, in order to facilitate broader visibility and accessibility of energy skills and to enable their mutual recognition across partner countries, through their cross-validation based on learning outcomes. Thus, the goal is by acting through a novel 3V approach to tackle direct stimulation of demand of energy skills in construction, by acting on wide interregional level, in order to ensure easy uptake of project results not only in partner countries, but also beyond by replication in at least 3 member states. The 3V approach refers to: VISIBILITY of skills by creation of an on-line repository for skills registration i.e. Integrated SEEtheSkills area to make the skills visible, accessible and available on interregional level, between project partners and beyond; then enabling interregional cross VALIDATION of energy skills by making them comparable within SEEtheSkills area for management of knowledge&skills and through transferring and replication of training schemes between project partners; which as a final result will raise the VALUE of the skills and tackle their market demand internationally and globally, initiated by expressing the benefits of using energy skills in achieving sustainability of construction.

SEEtheSkills aims at uniting the best from BUS experiences in five countries: North Macedonia, Spain, Slovenia, Slovakia and the Netherlands. Precedent actions in each of the countries put a mark and become recognized by innovation and bravery to meet the challenges in introduction of new approaches in meeting needs for energy efficiency in building sector. As the actions within BUS initiative and follow-up H2020 Construction skills projects revealed different approaches in skilling and upskilling of building workforce, the best experiences will be a starting point to build upon in this action and will be a subject of iterative improvement, upgrading and implementation.

The overall objective of the proposed project is: Challenging market acceptance and act toward stimulation of demand of energy skills in construction through a novel 3V approach, to support need for energy-efficient construction of new and renovation of the existing building stock
O1 To make skills VISIBLE through the whole value chain in the building sector by implementing an Integrated register of energy skills as a cloud repository on an interregional level, based on good practices from ongoing and recently finalized projects, that will result with increasing the number of skilled building professionals and/or blue collar workers;
O2 To VALIDATE skills relevance to standardized EE construction and interventions in renovation, by matching and leveling skills and linking them to national and EU qualification standards, to enable mutual recognition;
O3 To emphasize skills VALUE in order to stimulate market demand for energy skills in design, construction and maintenance of buildings and manufacturing and installation of EE construction materials.
As SEEtheSkills is dedicated to act toward higher visibility, validation and valuing of energy skills, the methodology to reach this ambitious goal is based on a few stages. Currently, the actions resulted with two general outcomes:

In-depth research on the status of energy skills. This was done with a very comprehensive literature review resulting in over 500 resources that give answers in the Energy Efficiency (EE) and Renewable Energy Systems (RES) areas, going both wide, by trying to identify as many different examples as possible, and deep, by digging into the examples themselves. Additionally, a general survey in all five different countries (NL, ES, SL, SI and MK) was conducted, where collectively over 400 responses from individuals and representatives of companies that operate in the field of EE, were obtained. Some general conclusions are toward the need of visibility of skills, identification of the existing training schemes and the skills gap and finding mechanisms to express the value and to raise the demand for skills.

The concept of the web-based Integrated Register of Energy skills, is developed, as a very ambitious idea, aiming to interconnect three different types of databases, all related to energy skills. The 3 different databases refer to the database of training schemes, then the database or register of skilled workers and the third database is the database of construction materials and products, along with the corresponding companies. Designing a novel tool to integrate those databases into Integrated Register of Energy skills, which will be available on EU level, is the underpinning idea of the SEEtheSkills, which will link all of this very diverse data in on single, easy-to-access and use, cloud-based repository. The proposed structure of the Integrated Register is enriched with multiple functionalities integrated within it. It includes offered e-learning platform for easy upskilling of the professionals, a tool for self-inspection of skills, but also a digital tool for validation of prior learning, leading to certification. These functionalities are raising the value of the Integrated Register, and are making it unique on the interregional level.
In the following period, the Integrated Register of Energy skills will be put in place and enabled across project countries. All functionalities will be enabled, thus going toward reaching the ultimate objective - raising the value and increasing the demand of energy skills.

As the Integrated Register of Energy skills aims to be available on EU level, it will be promoted widely and also will be replicated in several countries different form the project partner countries. This is expected to serve as a direct promotion of this digital solution as a single place where energy skills may be obtained, certified, found, and made accessible and valuable.

The direct impacts f the successful implementation of project activities spread across different areas:
-20+ harmonized certification schemes in the scheme’s database
-2500+ skilled workers in the database
-1000+ mutually recognized professionals /
-5+ “micro” roadmaps for legislation changes offered to governments
and this includes the indirect expected impacts, like:
-RE production triggered of 2,75 GWh
-triggered investments in sustainable energy of 4,8 million Euro

So far recognized wider implications of the project go toward the more louder pronouncement that there are many and different actions already taken to develop and increase energy skills, but the thing that is lacking is higher visibility and structuring of all the available outcomes and achievements, which make it no so easy to access all the possibilities. This lead to the not recognized value of energy skills and not expressed demand for skilled professionals. The common actions of similar projects and joint activities are the key to getting wider attention to the issue and more significant socio-economical impact.
1st EB meeting in Barcelona
The visit of recycled concrete factory
Online CM
2nd EB meeting in Rotterdam
Kick off meeting day 1
Kick off meeting working panel