Social Science

LIFE-2022-CET-BUILDSKILLS - BUILD UP Skills – Strategies and training interventions enabling a decarbonised building stock

Grant Overview

Launched in 2011, the BUILD UP Skills initiative[1] is supporting the upskilling of building professionals across Europe, to deliver building renovations offering high energy performance as well as new Nearly Zero-Energy Buildings (nZEBs). This effort needs to be sustained through the development of strategies and the rollout of ambitious training and qualification interventions aligned with EU..

Grant From

European Union

Applicants From

European Union

Disciplines

Social Science

Grant Description

Objective:

Launched in 2011, the BUILD UP Skills initiative[1] is supporting the upskilling of building professionals across Europe, to deliver building renovations offering high energy performance as well as new Nearly Zero-Energy Buildings (nZEBs). This effort needs to be sustained through the development of strategies and the rollout of ambitious training and qualification interventions aligned with the EU Green Deal, the EU’s 2030 climate objectives as well as the EU’s long-term strategy of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

The first objective (Scope A) is to support the revitalisation of the National Platforms created in the first phase of the BUILD UP Skills initiative (2011-2012, ‘Pillar I’)[2], gathering all key national stakeholders. Since the first platforms were established ten years ago, projects should aim at expanding their scope by involving new stakeholders. The rebooted National Platforms should update the Status Quo Analyses and National Roadmaps to reflect the new realities of the building sector. This should be done by addressing the necessary skills development activities related to e.g. digital technologies, smart buildings including e-mobility, resource efficiency, circularity, integration of renewable energy technologies, heating and cooling, industrialised deep renovation, Life Cycle Carbon Assessments, etc., while taking into account the wider EU recovery context.

The second objective (Scope B) is to increase the number of skilled building professionals at all levels of the building design, operation and maintenance value chain. There is a need to increase efforts in upskilling and reskilling professionals on the critical skills needed for, e.g. the successful uptake of (nearly) Zero Energy Buildings, the upscaling of ambitious renovation interventions, the roll-out of efficient renewable-based heating and cooling, in particular heat pumps, the phasing-out of fossil fuels-based boilers as signalled in the framework of the REPowerEU plan[3] to phase out EU dependence on fossil fuels imports, while achieving a holistic vision of the decarbonisation of the building stock. This calls for the upgrading of existing training and qualification schemes or the development of new ones.

Scope:

Proposals should address one of the two scopes below. The scope addressed should be clearly specified in the proposal's introduction.

Scope A: Rebooting the BUILD UP Skills National Platforms and Roadmaps

With a view to ensure sufficient traction at national level, Scope A is expected to be addressed through applications covering a single eligible country. One action per country is expected (exceptions possible). Proposals under scope A may be submitted by a single applicant.

While prior involvement in BUILD UP Skills funded projects is not a requirement, applicants should demonstrate a good knowledge of the initiative as well as the ability to mobilise relevant stakeholders and target groups.

Proposals submitted under this topic should be supportive of the work done within the European Construction Blueprint[4], which focuses on vocational education and training primarily for ’blue-collar’ professionals (targeting a level up to 5 in the European Qualification Framework). In case an application under this topic focuses on one of the countries covered by the Blueprint initiative[5], applicants should demonstrate complementarity and added-value of the proposed activities with those being developed under the Blueprint.

The focus of this topic is on all relevant skills needed to enable the Clean Energy Transition, in particular the EU Renovation Wave, the mainstreaming of nZEBs, and the inclusion of resource efficiency considerations. The initial BUILD UP Skills Status Quo Analysis and Roadmaps focussed on on-site workers and craftspeople (‘blue-collar’ professionals). These documents need to be updated as regards ‘blue-collar’ professionals and upgraded with new content mapping the skills needs for ‘white-collar’ professions (e.g. architects, designers, engineers, building managers, product manufacturers, etc.), thus reflecting the reality and needs of the entire building value chain.

Proposals should be comprehensive in terms of the professions addressed, covering level 1-8 in the European Qualification Framework.

The proposed activities should align with the “Pact for Skills in Construction by the EU sectoral Social Partners, EFBWW and FIEC in cooperation with EBC”[6] as part of the European Skills Agenda.

Proposals should address the need for reskilling workers and professionals previously or currently active in fossil fuel related sectors and regions.

Proposals are expected to consider measures to make the renovation and construction sectors more attractive for women.

The updated National Status Quo Analysis must be delivered within the first 9 months of activity of the rebooted National Platform. Each Status Quo Analysis should compile all the necessary information on the current situation of the national building sector regarding continuing education and training, energy performance and contribution to the EU’s 2030 targets as well as existing barriers and gaps, thus providing a sound basis for an informed discussion among the stakeholders.

The updated National Roadmap should explain how to overcome barriers and identified skills gaps in the various professions in such a way that the EU’s 2030 targets in the building sector can be met. Each National Roadmap should notably provide: a set of priority measures related to the various professions to meet the defined targets; an action plan for the identified measures until 2030; an identification of actors and resources needed to drive the implementation; measures to monitor the progress of the proposed activities.

To ensure long-term sustainability, projects should seek formal endorsement of the updated Roadmap by relevant national stakeholders, including public authorities, and promote these results widely.

Projects are expected to carry out at least the following activities, as far as they are not already addressed through the European Construction Blueprint for the country covered in the application:

  • Relaunching of the National Platform, through dedicated communication channels and regular meetings.
  • Market research and data collection (Status Quo Analysis).
  • Evaluation of the effectiveness of the first National Roadmap implementation.
  • Targeted interviews with relevant national stakeholders and target groups.
  • Participatory workshops with relevant national stakeholders and target groups.
  • Updating of the National Roadmap, including measures to 2030 and policy recommendations; endorsement by relevant national stakeholders.
  • Promotion and communication of the results.
  • Active participation in European exchange activities.

Applications addressing a country represented in the European Construction Blueprint should also focus on further expanding the activities developed in this frame and supporting their long-term implementation, while also covering the areas, skills and professions not being tackled by the Blueprint.

The expected project duration is 18 months, to ensure that results are available sufficiently early to support the next phases of BUILD UP Skills.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 0.4 million would allow the specific objectives to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Scope B: Upskilling and reskilling interventions enabling a decarbonised building stock

Proposals should develop new and/or upgrade existing training and qualifications for all types of professionals involved in the building value chain ('blue collars' and/or 'white collars'), addressing one or several of the following focus areas:

  • Skills for delivering building deep renovation, including through modular and industrialised solutions.
  • Skills for new and existing nearly Zero Energy Buildings (nZEBs) and bridging the gap towards Zero Emission Buildings (ZEBs).
  • Skills for integration of renewable energy and efficient heating and cooling technologies, including in particular heat pumps roll-out; skills for installers to deliver heating and cooling upgrades as part of renovation projects.
  • Skills related to whole life carbon (via the assessment of Global Warming Potential), circular construction and resource efficiency, and leveraging the Level(s) framework.
  • Digital skills supporting greater energy performance of buildings, in particular through an enhanced use of Building Information Modelling.
  • Skills for upgrading the smartness of buildings for greater energy performance (based on the Smart Readiness Indicator), looking in particular at sensors, building controls and building management systems.

Activities should also include the training of trainers, as well as the development of mechanisms ensuring the recognition of trained professionals.

All professional profiles involved in the building value chain, at all educational levels (European Qualification Framework levels 1-8) can be validly addressed. Proposals do not need to address all profiles and educational levels but should clearly justify the choice of the profile(s) and educational level(s) targeted.

The main focus of proposals should be on continuous vocational education and training (or professional training) of professionals, i.e. after their initial, compulsory education and training or after they have entered working life. This can include the retraining of professionals from other sectors with skills transferable to construction. Proposals may however address other parts of education and training (e.g. initial education and training, higher education), provided this is justified based on needs detected in the countries targeted.

Proposed activities should contribute to an increased understanding between different trades and professional groups, by promoting a vision of the building as a system.

Proposals should develop attractive and up-to-date training programmes and demonstrate how low-skilled workers could be motivated to take up training for upskilling. In this perspective, applicants should aim to bring together employers, trade unions as well as education & training providers in order to work on feedback mechanisms ensuring that training programmes and curricula are labour market-relevant and proactively integrate emerging skills.

Proposals should address the need for reskilling workers and professionals previously or currently active in fossil fuel related sectors and regions.

Proposals are expected to consider measures to make the renovation and construction sectors more attractive for women and young talents.

While proposals should foresee a pilot phase for the new or upgraded schemes developed, the actual, long-term, running of training and qualification schemes is not covered by this topic. Thus, a key element of the proposed activities should be a strategy ensuring that the schemes will be sustained after the end of the project, linking to available sources of funding at national and EU level.[7]

The proposed activities should align with the Pact for Skills in construction by the EU sectoral Social Partners, EFBWW and FIEC in cooperation with EBC”[6] as part of the European Skills Agenda, as well as with the European Blueprint for sectoral cooperation in construction.[9]

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 1 million would allow the specific objectives to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

With a view to increase mutual learning between countries, applications by a single applicant or applications covering a single eligible country are not considered appropriate under scope B. Therefore, the Commission considers relevant that consortia gather a minimum of 3 applicants from 3 different eligible countries.

Expected Impact:

Scope A

Proposals should result in a robust set of measures to upskill building professionals towards the EU’s 2030 targets, endorsed by relevant national stakeholders.

Proposals should quantify their impacts using the indicators listed below, where relevant, as well as other project-specific performance indicators:

  • Upgraded National Platform involving key national stakeholders.
  • Quality of the updated National Status Quo Analysis, identifying current and future skills needs, gaps, barriers and opportunities.
  • Quality of the measures presented in the updated National Roadmap reflecting the new needs and realities of the national building sector by 2030.
  • Number of people directly engaged through the project activities.
  • Number of relevant national stakeholders endorsing the updated Roadmap.
  • Primary energy savings triggered by the project (in GWh/year).
  • Renewable energy generation triggered by the project (in GWh/year).
  • Investments in sustainable energy renovation triggered by the project (cumulative, in million Euro).

The impacts of the proposals should be demonstrated during the project and within 5 years after the project lifetime.

Scope B

Proposals should result in an increased uptake of sustainable energy skills in the building value chain.

Proposals should quantify their impacts using the indicators listed below, where relevant, as well as other project-specific performance indicators:

  • Number of professionals with increased qualifications and at which level of the European Qualification Framework (EQF).
  • Number of requalified professionals and at which level of the EQF.
  • Number of trained professionals.
  • Number of trained trainers.
  • Number of training/qualification schemes developed or upgraded.
  • Improved market recognition of skilled professionals in the building sector.
  • Primary energy savings triggered by the project (in GWh/year).
  • Renewable energy generation triggered by the project (in GWh/year).
  • Investments in sustainable energy renovation triggered by the project (cumulative, in million Euro).

The impacts of the proposals should be demonstrated during the project and within 5 years after the project lifetime.

[1]https://www.buildup.eu/en/skills

[2]https://www.buildup.eu/en/skills/bus-projects

[3]Communication from the Commission of 8.3.2022 to the European Parliament, the European Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, REPowerEU: Joint European Action for more affordable, secure and sustainable energy, COM(2022) 108 final

[4]https://constructionblueprint.eu

[5]Spain, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, Slovenia, Poland.

[6]https://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=1534&langId=en

[7]E.g. https://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=1530&langId=en

[8]https://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=1534&langId=en

[9]http://constructionblueprint.eu

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Grant Info:
  • Deadline:Nov. 16, 2022
  • Funding: €6,000,000.00
  • Grant Type:Europe Union
  • Financial Coverage:Fully Funded
  • Status:Closed

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