The 2023 European Vocational Skills Week (EVSKW), launched this Monday and closing on Friday, is embedded in the European Year of Skills (EYS), which takes place from 9 May 2023 until 8 May 2024.
The focus of this edition are the opportunities vocational education and training (VET) can offer to people of all ages to develop and improve skills for their careers and personal development, and the centrality of VET for Europe’s efforts to respond to economic, climate and social challenges of today and of the future.
In the context of the EVSK, EBC intervened in two important initiatives: the European Association of Institutes for Vocational Training EVBB EU Policy Camp 2023 and the High-Level Construction Forum (HLCF) session dedicated to skills in the construction sector.
First, on Monday 23 October, EBC Secretary General was invited next to other industries representatives to address the educational experts of the European Association of Institutes for Vocational Training EVBB at the occasion of their in-presence EU Policy Camp 2023. This 5-days EVBB program aims at acting as a platform for collaboration, learning, and innovation, ensuring that VET policies match the demands of the job market, this year including an exchange on the trends in the construction sector.
Today, the High-Level Construction Forum (HLCF) organized a webinar to address these hot topics with a specific focus on two flagship initiatives, the Blueprint for Skills and the Pact for Skills, and their link to the pledges of the Transition Pathway for Construction. Opened by Katharina Knapton-Vierlich, Head of Unit Construction in DG GROW (European Commission), the event started with a broad presentation of the main outcomes of the Construction Blueprint for Skills in construction by the Spanish paritarian institute Fundación Laboral de la Construcción. This Erasmus+ project launched in 2019 and completed last February aimed to contribute to the establishment of a new strategy and roadmap for professional qualifications in the construction sector by enhancing the correspondence between the training needs demanded by companies and the training programmes offered by training centres.
Then, a session devoted to the Pact of Skills (PfS) followed, where EBC, FIEC and EFBWW presented the PfS in construction and illustrated its state of play and challenges. The PfS in construction aims at getting public and private stakeholders together and encouraging them to make concrete commitments to upskilling and reskilling the construction workforce. Regarding obstacles to improve the skills situation in construction, the current PfS signatories have emphasized challenges in relation to technological changes, the segmentation of the labour market, the attractiveness of the sector and the communication between the horizontal and vertical operational levels. Additionally, to give a boost for the PfS in construction, its current signatories highlighted that regular communication between the European actors, the signatories and other stakeholders, building stronger relations between construction representatives and training providers, or providing better information toward the fragmented landscape of construction companies are actions that could be implemented to improve its outreach.
Finally, DG GROW concluded the event by reminding about the Skills block in the Transition Pathway for Construction, co-created by the HLCF and the Commission, to outline necessary actions for achieving a resilient, competitive, greener, safer, and more digital construction ecosystem.
EBC looks forward to exchanges on the critical challenge of attracting, retaining, upskilling, and reskilling the construction workforce in the context of the European Year of Skills, as qualified construction professionals in quantity are needed to deliver on the green and digital transition of buildings and homes.