New initiative to increase skills in construction

By Catrin Jones18 February 2022

The European Construction Industry Federation (FIEC) and the European Federation of Building and Woodworkers (EFBWW), in cooperation with European Builders Confederation (EBC), has launched a Pact for Skills in Construction intiative.

The initiative is promoted by the European Commission in the framework of the “EU Skills Agenda”.

(Photo: Adobe Stock)

The pact calls for concrete commitments to be made by construction and education stakeholders at all levels.

It aims at mobilising a concerted effort among private and public partners for quality investment in vocational education and training, as well as in knowledge.

The EU construction industry represents 9.5% of EU GDP (€1,324 billion) and 6.1% of EU total employment (12.7 million workers active in about 3.2 million enterprises).

Construction companies are currently being confronted with difficulties in finding workers with the right skills and the sector remains less attractive than others to both young people and women.

To better promote current and upcoming career options in construction, FIEC, EBC and EFBWW have jointly developed this Pact for Skills in Construction and the initiative proposes that all construction and educational stakeholders share a concrete commitment to bring the pact to fruition.

The signatories at European, national, regional and/or local level, will choose the most appropriate actions to match their own needs in terms of upskilling and reskilling.

FIEC, EBC, and EFBWW will monitor their activity on a yearly basis – although the situation varies from one country to the other. The ambition is to upskill and reskill overall at least 25% of the workforce of the construction industry in the next five years with an aim to reach the target of 3 million workers.

Thomas Bauer, FIEC President said, “In the framework of the ongoing green and digital transition, our workers’ skills needs are evolving very rapidly.

“With this Pact, we therefore call all relevant stakeholders, both public and private, and at all levels, to join us and commit to putting in place the right conditions which will enable the upskilling and reskilling of the workforce. This is a prerequisite to achieve the goals of the EU Green Deal.”

Johan Lindholm, EFBWW President, said, “The construction sector is facing a labour shortage for many years. There is an urgent need to attract more young workers, more female workers, and skilled workers to the sector.

“The Pact for Skills is an opportunity to achieve it. Social dialogue has an important role to play: trade unions, employers and Governments need to work together to provide more and updated training to achieve better working conditions, and decent and direct jobs.”

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