international newsletter
  No. 25  -  May 2013
Accueil > International Newsletter No. 25 > Expertise - ISSN 1957-7184
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Stakeholders ready for 2020


There are major challenges involved in terms of professional practice, precision and compliance with the steps involved in a renovation project to improve the energy efficiency of buildings.

ADEME is coordinating the French response to the European “Build Up Skills” initiative that aims to improve building industry craftsmen’s and on-site construction workers’ energy efficiency skills.

The European Union has set ambitious energy efficiency policy targets. By 2020, the EU aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 20%, improve energy efficiency by 20% and increase the share of renewable energy in its total energy consumption to 20%. To achieve these targets, the European Commission is relying on the IEE (Intelligent Energy Europe) programme aimed at promoting various initiatives. One such initiative started in 2012 is Build Up Skills designed to improve building craftsmen’s and on-site construction workers’ energy efficiency skills. Its main target is to establish a roadmap of the various actions needed to improve the qualifications and skills of building sector workers in these areas. This roadmap, approved by further education sector decision makers, will address all aspects of skills acquisition from content to funding. It will be presented in November 2013 to the European Commission.
In France, where buildings account for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions, the challenge of thermal renovation and the development of renewable energies imply the need for a massive training programme involving several hundreds of thousands of worksite operators. Initiatives have already been undertaken by numerous stakeholders in the field. Professional associations have a significant role to play here. “There are major challenges involved in terms of professional practice, precision and compliance with the steps involved on a renovation project to make sure a building is energy efficient”, explained Christina Nirup, Manager External Training at ADEME. “Workers must understand why they are doing what they are asked to do and the processes involved. And there needs to be a better dialogue between worksite designers and those who actually work on them.” The consortium combining AVE (Urban Employment Alliance), AFPA (France’s adult vocational training association), CSTB (France’s scientific and technical centre for the construction Industry) and ADEME is coordinating the deployment of the first phase of Build Up Skills called “Pillar 1”. The consortium’s expertise in the areas of energy efficiency, renewable energies and training means it is ideally placed to provide the link between the sector’s various stakeholders.

“ADEME has the advantage of being a neutral party in the building sector”, emphasised Christina Nirup. “We can just as easily talk with professional associations as with unions, government ministries and training organisations. We can improve communication between the various stakeholders.” These 70 stakeholders often meet together at the national qualification platform to analyse the situation and develop recommendations for the roadmap. They work in plenary sessions, theme-based working groups and interregional meetings, where the proposed recommendations are compared against what’s actually happening in the field. The roadmap’s implementation will form “Pillar 2” of the Build Up Skills initiative. The European Commission will co-fund for three years the organisation of training systems for building industry professionals that are designed to help meet the 2020 objectives.

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Build Up Skills runs from June 2012 to November 2013. The first stage involves establishing the situation and presenting it to the members of the national qualifications platform. Concurrently, six theme-based groups representing the building industry stakeholders started to meet to sketch out the roadmap that is compared at interregional meetings with what is actually happening in the field.
Once this roadmap has been discussed by the national qualifications platform and approved by the steering committee, it will be presented to the European Commission which will launch phase 2 of Build Up Skills in September which will involve funding actions designed to improve the qualifications of building industry workers.

For more information about the European project to improve the skills of construction industry workers: