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A new boost for green jobs, growth and sustainability

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - Construye2020_Plus (A new boost for green jobs, growth and sustainability)

Reporting period: 2019-12-01 to 2021-12-31

The contribution of the building sector to meet 2030 targets is crucial, since buildings are estimated to be 40% of the European Union's energy consumption and 36% of CO2 emissions. Former Build Up Skills (under IEE initiative) and Construye 2020+ projects are both based on the conviction that worker's training is a basic pillar for the sector to successfully move towards sustainability.

Construye 2020+ overall objective is to boost the transition to a sustainable and competitive energy efficient construction industry by the definition and development of an updated training and accreditation scheme of green skills. This scheme has been addressed in an articulated way: professional, market and customer barriers that stand in the way for the consolidation of Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy Systems and nearly Zero Energy Buildings.

The training courses developed, tested and launched to the market, have been based on on-site and on-line methodology, transversally incorporating BIM and LEAN concepts, and based on EQF principles.

The main conclusions are exposed hereafter:
• The use of the participatory Quintuple Helix methodology has granted Construye 2020+ the potential to share common objectives and concerns among key actors from different fields of expertise and from both the private and public spheres. This has contributed to foster mutual understanding, giving the network built during the project the agency to create something bigger.
• The current Renovation Wave makes updating green skills more necessary than ever. It is still indispensable to keep supporting initiatives aiming to increase the number of qualified workers in the construction sector.
• Trainings should meet the company’s needs, but also workers’ expectations (a post job). Two proposals with a high impact and easy to carry out would be a) to inform construction companies about the funding available for training, and b) to connect training centers and construction companies.
• There is still a lot of work to do regarding BIM and LEAN construction training among SME and blue-collar workers. These concepts are complex and thus difficult to explain and difficult for trainees to grasp. It is important to break down initial barriers and reluctance to use these systems, especially in blue collars.
• In Spain, few construction trades are regulated. Initiatives like the green skills recognition scheme – Green tag, provide the sector with a standard scheme that responds to the urgent need of workers qualified in green skills.
Construye 2020+ has achieved the involvement and multidisciplinary interaction of the main market players for a sustainable development under the concept of Quintuple Helix innovation Model, which is based in the active interaction of the main market players (Academia, Business, Government, Civil Society, Environment) taking up opportunities to make the best of their talents from a holistic approach.

Following the Quintuple Helix methodology, two sectoral reports have been produced:

A) Training Roadmap for a sustainable construction. It gathers the know-how of close to 70 stakeholders. It includes 30 proposals with a training and pedagogical approach, addressing different target groups and seeking a fine-tuned training scheme for a sustainable construction.
B) Business greening strategy. It gathers experiences in construction industrialisation, digitalisation and circular economy. The report concludes in 16 recommendations to SMEs to encourage green innovation and leadership potential of SMEs.

Cross-cutting training: Energy Efficiency for operators and Energy Efficiency for middle-managers. They are short courses (8 hours) to train blue collars and middle level professionals regarding the most representative key actions for the energy efficiency in buildings. Both courses were piloted, achieving 316 trainees altogether. These courses are in process of being officially included in national cVET plans, initiated in 2022.

Specific training for construction trades -which are considered key for the energy efficiency in buildings, through the updating of 6 Build Up Skills courses: Insulation, Windows, HVAC, Geothermal, Biomass and Calculation of the energy performance. This updating has consisted of: a) the conversion to a blended training (in Moodle platform), b) the inclusion of nZEB, BIM and LEAN concepts, c) the integration of Ontological Flip Teaching methodology; d) the increase of number of graphic resources; and e) the development of games that supports the theoretical concepts. These courses reached 1771 trainees in 2021.

Endorsed by a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Partnership, the Green Tag is a recognition of green skills scheme under the Spanish non-formal training framework. It is a long-lasting certification tool linked to the 8 project training courses, that allows construction workers to achieve a Green Tag after evidence that s/he has own basic, intermediate or advanced green skills.

According to the Royal Decree 56/2016 (transposing Directive 2012/27/EU), one of the training requirements to be an Energy Auditor, was a worker trained in an official Vocational Education title based on a qualification from the National Catalogue of Professional Qualifications. Construye 2020+ has developed this new and core qualification, following formal proceedings, which has been published in the National Official Gazzete in January 2022.

The Virtual Route Construye 2020+ managed 15 regional webinars across Spain with the aim to disseminate the benefits of the energy efficiency. At a regional level, a group of representatives of social agents, construction companies, training centers and public administration debated about the regional challenges in sustainable construction, focusing on the implementation of Next Generation funds.
The “stoppers” to the green transition in the Spanish context, initially identified in the proposal, have been confirmed and addressed by Construye 2020+ activities.

From the skills prospect: new sectoral skills, the energy audit qualification and certifications schemes like the green tag have impacted the Spanish training system in gauge able ways. Reaching both formal and informal recognition among all types of institutions of the construction sphere and official regulatory institutions. This formal and informal recognition schemes guarantee the relay of the project results well beyond its lifetime.

From the market perspective: its collaborative dimension, the sectoral reports and the emphasis on awareness and knowledge transfer throughout all the implemented activities, have impacted working practices of companies and workers. Once again, creating a multiplier effect: increasing quality standards and the demand for low energy consumption and sustainability criteria in construction.

The expected socio-economic impact of the project results goes well beyond its initial target groups and objectives. This is due to its alignment with European climate change mitigation goals.
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