The European Construction sector faces unprecedented challenges to achieve ambitious energy efficiency objectives, that can be met only if successful training initiatives and supporting policy instruments are put in place, acting as a springboard to stimulate the demand for energy efficiency skills.
The INSTRUCT project, implemented since June 2020 by the Consortium of 8 Partners from 7 European countries, aims to act at a market level by providing an operational framework and set of services serving to:
- raise awareness of stakeholders in the construction value chain about environmental challenges, benefits of sustainable energy skills and the need for skilled workers in Energy efficiency in the construction sector at large,
- increase the number of skilled building professionals and construction workers along with the whole value chain,
- pave the way to legislative changes by supporting public authorities and industrial stakeholders for the development of new legislative frameworks.
The new services will serve a generation of skilled and certified workers and fitters and together with dissemination activities will foster collaboration in the construction value chain and stimulate competitiveness and market growth in Europe, in particular thanks to an increased awareness of building owners and managers, as well as investors, about the needs and added value of skilled workers in energy efficiency in the construction sector at large. This will lead to an increased demand for energy skills across lifecycle and supply chains and in consequence, contribute to improving the energy efficiency of European buildings which is a key step in achieving the 2030 and 2050 EU energy and CO2 emission targets.
Within the first year of the project implementation project Partners worked on the following technical achievements:
- deliver the industry and academic evidence that corroborates and reinforces the correlation between skills and education, and energy performance and quality,
- establish a taxonomy of current energy efficiency training available in the EU,
- define skills, qualifications and learning outcomes matrix necessary to meet the EU energy agenda,
- elicit requirements and devise recommendations for the promotion of new tools and instruments that increase energy efficiency skills recognition across Europe and
- plan and implement dissemination and communication activities.
The work performed included interacting with key projects and stakeholders at a national (participating countries, including Build-Up skills initiatives) and European wide level to evidence positive links between training (education) and energy efficiency and understand the complexity of the training landscape in energy efficiency. The analysis of the results confirms the posited hypothesis on the correlation between training and energy efficiency. However, a number of policy measures have been also pointed, including the need for adapted instruments to promote mutual recognition of energy skills and qualifications in the European construction sector. The detailed outcomes are included in a report entitled: Evidencing the correlation between training and energy efficiency and available on the project website.
Development of the taxonomy of current training offers for energy efficiency in the EU which defined the common ground for INSTRUCT partners to address the demonstration pilots, with a focus on training and skills requirements. Besides, the meta-framework, a methodology aiming at embracing a large set of training initiatives, and associated qualification frameworks, with a focus on digital skills and BIM have been set. The outcomes are presented in a report entitled “Taxonomy of current training offers for energy efficiency in the EU” available soon on the project website.
Definition of qualifications (i.e., learning outcomes) for energy efficiency informed by the earlier project results with regards to the understanding of the correlation between training and energy efficiency, and the training landscape for energy efficiency across Europe. These learning outcomes were then benchmarked between the countries involved in the INSTRUCT project (France, Finland, Luxembourg, Poland, and United Kingdom), extended to other European countries using the INSTRUCT Stakeholders network. European level learning outcomes were used for the specific roles along with the related EQF levels. Learning outcomes were then defined in a specific order forming eight groups which have been described in detail in a report on the Skills and Learning outcomes matrix available soon on the project website.
Definition of the requirements towards skills-enabled new instruments. An overarching requirement was identified in the need for a widely accessible and trusted digital platform that can allow training organisations to register their training offers and associated learning outcomes, accreditation organisations to assess these and publish their accreditation outcomes, white and blue workers to register their skills and trainings, and employers to search and recruit the skilled workers most suited to their job across Europe. Further outcomes are analysed and presented in a report on the requirements for new instruments available soon on the project website.
The further results, to be delivered until the end of the project, include providing the construction industry with a set of tools and instruments facilitating the mutual recognition of energy skills and qualifications in the construction sector; showcasing the usefulness and ease of use of these in real-world demonstrations; paving the way to new legislative frameworks enabling reliance on skilled workers in public or private procurement and continuous dissemination and awareness raising actions at European level.
The 8 demonstration cases in 7 countries representing different geographical, cultural and social regions in Europe, will give measurable evidence on energy savings, RES increase, investments, certification, collaboration, market acceptance, legislative changes and reduction of gap between designed and actual energy consumption as well as reduction of GHG emissions.