The European Builders Confederation, representing construction micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in Europe, joined the #Skills4Climate campaign launched this week. Initiated by the European Electrical Contractors’ Association EuropeON (formerly AIE), the campaign calls on EU and national policy makers to strengthen the skills base in the electrical and construction sector.
With the ambition to enable the enterprises to roll out the clean energy technologies needed for the transition to a decarbonised built environment, #Skills4Climate focuses on five areas of action: Intertwine Climate and Skills Strategies; Strengthen Public-Private Partnerships; Incentivize Technical Education; Incentivize Apprenticeships; and Incentivize Re- and Up-Skilling.
Eugenio Quintieri, EBC Secretary General, explains the motivations of EBC’s participation in the campaign: “EBC supports the #Skills4Climate campaign because the construction sector and its electrical trades are facing a shortage of qualified workforce in the field of green skills. With the ambition to contribute more efficiently to the achievement of the overall climate objectives, we consider that greater support should be provided at national and EU level for learning opportunities in our sector, both for the active professionals who are already being asked to continuously demonstrate new capabilities in a fast-changing technological landscape and for the potential newcomers and apprentices wishing to develop in our businesses”.
Knowledge transfer and vocational training have always been major concerns for EBC and its construction SMEs, more than ever today as the construction sector faces drastic transformations related to digitalisation and environmental issues. On this, he added: “EBC is also a partner of the EU co-funded project Construction Blueprint, which aims to establish a new framework for skills in the construction sector in Europe, by enhancing the matching between the companies’ needs and the programmes offered by training centres as well as anticipating skills’ needs in the fields of digitalisation, circular economy and energy efficiency”.
On the context of the campaign, Giorgia Concas, EuropeON Secretary General, said: “Electrification hinges on the availability of skilled electrical contractors, and the needed skills are continuously evolving. Climate and energy plans need to take the number and level of skill of the professionals involved in decarbonisation efforts into account if current targets are to be met. We therefore call on policy-makers, at EU and national level, to intertwine skills and climate policies, to foster public-private partnerships in setting up education programmes, and to incentivize technical education, re- and up- skilling, and apprenticeships”.
Hosted by EuropeON, the launch event of the campaign was held in Brussels on 20 November 2019 (photos below). For more information on the #Skills4Climate campaign, visit the EuropeON website page dedicated to it.