BUILD UP Skills is a strategic initiative which started under the Intelligent Energy Europe (IEE) programme to boost continuing or further education and training of craftsmen and other on-site construction workers and systems installers in the building sector.
Its final aim is to increase the number of qualified workers across Europe to deliver building renovations which offer high-energy performance as well as new, nearly zero-energy buildings. The initiative addresses skills in relation to energy efficiency and renewable energy systems and measures in buildings.
The BUILD UP Skills Initiative contributes to the objectives of two flagship initiatives of the Commission’s ‘Europe 2020’ strategy — ‘Resource efficient Europe’ and ‘An Agenda for new skills and jobs’.
The two phases of the BUILD UP Skills initiative
The first call for BUILD UP Skills proposals took place in 2011 and 2012. Projects across 30 EU countries (EU-28, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Norway) were funded to work on national roadmaps for qualifying their building workforce for the 2020 challenges. These projects developed national qualification platforms and roadmaps that would serve to successfully train the building workforce in order to meet the targets for 2020 and beyond. This phase is known as Pillar I.
As a follow up, new calls for proposals were launched in 2012, 2013 and 2014. A total of 22 projects have been funded to help implement the roadmaps developed in their countries. This second phase, known as Pillar II, consists of designing and piloting new qualification and training schemes and/or upgrading existing ones, based on the roadmaps developed in Pillar I.
Throughout the duration of the initiative, regular exchange activities have been organised at EU level to promote the European dimension of this important initiative and to foster learning between the countries. Project coordinators are brought together twice a year at EU Exchange Meetings. The most recent EU Exchange Meetings took place in Brussels in January 2016, in Budapest in June 2016, and in Athens in December 2016. The next EU Exchange Meeting is scheduled for 30-31 May 2017 in Rotterdam.
Follow-up by Horizon 2020 Construction skills
Five transnational construction skills projects (BUStoB, ingREeS, MEnS, PROF-TRAC and Train-to-NZEB) have been supported by the construction skills strand of the European Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. This strand is a follow-up from the BUILD UP Skills initiative and is intended to help support and further develop multi-country qualification and training schemes. The Coordinators of these projects also participate in the BUILD UP Skills EU Exchange Meetings, which allows them both to exchange experiences with the BUILD UP Skills project coordinators and to create synergies amongst the five projects.