Introduction to a certification system of skills of workers in the construction sector
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AuthorLloreda Aresti, Carlota
ABSTRACT: The construction sector is one of the most important sectors within the European Union as it provides building and infrastructure, which is the base of all the other sectors of the economy. Besides, it has been estimated that the construction sector influences, in one way or another, around 26 million workers in the European Union. At the same time, it is necessary to notice that the construction sector has always been characterized by a large share of Small and Medium enterprises. Even though most of these small companies related to the construction sector operate principally at a local or regional level, the markets’ internationalisation is importantly influencing the industry. In the recent years, the labour market has suffered significant alterations and factors such as the knowledge-based economy, the increasing speed of technological developments and the new technologies have influenced the need to improve people’s working skills. As a result, certification systems of skills arise and become a necessary tool to suit the new trends of the labour market. Furthermore, the construction sector influences considerably sustainability and climate change issues. So, as its environmental impact is quite important, sustainability can be seen as a long- term matter in terms of legislative and political demands in addition to the competitive factor for the companies. In this regard, sustainable related requirements will highly influence the skills demands of the sector. Moreover, economic, social and environmental factors have to be considered when analysing the upcoming trends and needs of the construction industry as these problems are considerably affecting the construction industry. One of the consequences of the economic decline is a big impact on the supply of skills within the construction sector. The construction industry is facing a shortfall in terms of skills and labour so it is essential to address this issue if the industry wants to keep up with the current and future demand and trigger the desirable change towards sustainable development. Therefore, there is a need of a qualified building workforce. It is essential to improve the skills of middle and senior level professionals and blue collar workers in the area of energy efficiency and sustainable construction. Workforces should be aware of new upcoming challenges related to nearly-zero energy buildings. Consequently, this research seeks to come up with a solution to deal with the lack of knowledge of the labour force in relation to sustainability and energy efficient construction and, if possible, to create a connection with new methodologies as it is Building Information Modelling. It is expected to create a EU-criteria for a certification scheme that can help workers to prove their competencies, no matter where they have been acquired, and improve their mobility within the European Union. Moreover, blue collar workers will be aware of the latest trends and technologies of the construction sector so it will improve their employability and productivity. This research will be especially advantageous for the small and medium size enterprises as they need to improve their energy efficiency and BIM skills if they want to keep up with the digital and sustainable development of the construction industry. To sum up and in order to clarify the outcomes obtained through the research, a list with the “10 golden rules for a Certifications System of skills” has been drafted.