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Under Construction 3

Under Construction 3 - Supporting Active Ageing and Young Workers in Construction SMEs

Under Construction 3 focused on Active Ageing and Young Workers in Construction SMEs and involved 11 national partner organisations from 8 European Member States. The project is organised similar to the “Under Construction 1 and 2” projects which were run by EBC as well. 

Under Construction 3 ran from July 2011 to June 2012, receiving a co-financing grant from the European Commission (budget heading Industrial Relations and Social Dialogue). EBC was the coordinator. 


Europe’s population structure changes - the working force shrinks and more and more people are entering retirement. This fact is of particular importance in the construction sector and causes significant impacts on employees, craftsmen and young workers. 

Employees: Due to the high physical demand of the work, the sector has more difficulties than others in retention of its older employees. Especially smaller enterprises cannot easily diversify competences among other colleagues, keeping in mind that over 92% of all construction enterprises have less than 9 employees.

Craftsmen: Craftsmen often cannot sell their company when they enter retirement and therefore have to liquidate a profitable business. This causes job losses and unemployment for the workers within the company. 

Young workers: Fewer and fewer young people are entering the construction workforce. The image and the physically demanding work of the sector do not seem to be very attractive, especially concerning career opportunities. Furthermore, financial institutions and governments hinder young potentials and entrepreneurs in ensuring the continuity of becoming a craftsman/craftswoman of a small construction business through high credit rates and little confidence in their success.

As 2012 was the European Year for Active Ageing, “Under Construction 3” also cooperated in several actions related to the European Year initiatives and presented results of the project.


   •  Contributing to the 2012 – European Year for Active Ageing

   •  Organising an exchange of Best Practices and information among construction SMEs associations through seminars and meetings to support active ageing and attract young workers in construction SMEs

   •  Contributing to the promotion of the construction sector among young European citizens through project partners and/or cooperation with training organisations

   •  Strengthening the sectoral social dialogue in the construction sector, through a closer cooperation between construction SME associations and trade unions in supporting active ageing & attracting young workers in small and medium construction firms

The Best Practices

   •  Tutorship

   •  Financial benefits for older workers

   •  Supporting business transfers

   •  Trade and Skills competitions

   •  Paritarian institutions for active ageing 

   •  Improving working conditions