Build Up Skills Spain: Can the EU help the construction sector?

Investment in construction in Spain has not only fallen dramatically since the beginning of the crisis, but it has also radically changed its composition. While until 2008 new housing was the hottest thing, followed by public works, in 2012 the sector was mostly devoted to rehabilitation. According to data of Ministry of Public works, a little more than 20,5 billion euros were spent in rehabilitation last year, while 17,4 billion were spent on new housing.

Rehabilitation is the only hope of creating jobs in this devastated sector. Last April 3% of the jobs were lost. Since last year it’s been employment in construction has been reduced by 18%. The government is only paying attention to rehabilitation, fueled by European energy saving laws. But only the best workers and technicians will keep their jobs, therefore they need to be specifically trained and adapted to the new technologies. These are the main conclusions of European project Build Up Skills Spain, “Construye 2020”, led in Spain by the Construction Labor Foundation with the Ministry of Development, the National Institute of Qualifications (Incual) and the Technological Construction Institute (Aidico).

The first conclusion is that an annual investment of between 28 and 60 million euros will be needed to form skilled workforce in energy efficiency in construction in Spain. The second, it is urgent to define a global education plan for 2014-2020, with the involvement of the public administrations, aimed to upgrade and requalify workers more directly related to energy efficiency and renewable energy. The third thing would be to establish a road map tailored to the needs and to structural features of Spain.

Build Up Skills Spain proposes to undertake new specific training actions, and makes several recommendations to ensure their gradual implementation: a new training itinerary on biomass installations; the development of competencies and certifiable training associated with geothermal energy; carpentry of aluminum and PVC training; energy efficiency and renewable energy campaigns; and more.

The report details a strategic plan that identifies priorities and actions with a subsequent monitoring and follow-up.

About the Author

The Corner
The Corner has a team of on-the-ground reporters in capital cities ranging from New York to Beijing. Their stories are edited by the teams at the Spanish magazine Consejeros (for members of companies’ boards of directors) and at the stock market news site Consenso Del Mercado (market consensus). They have worked in economics and communication for over 25 years.

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