Construction Blueprint. Sectoral strategic approach to cooperate on skills in the construction industry

The Construction Blueprint project focuses on how to match the current and future education and training offer with the rapidly evolving skill demand in the construction industry, especially in the fields of green and digital skills.


Start date, 01/01/2019; end date, 31/03/2023


Construction (NACE codes F41, F42, F43)

Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain
Scope of the project

The project is mainly focused on the skills identification and provision in the areas of energy efficiency, circular economy and digitalisation in the construction industry. Main beneficiaries are construction workers/students (EQF levels 3-5), Vocational Education and Training (VET) providers, companies.

  • Developing specific innovative instruments to address skills shortages and gaps and to match skills demand and supply, especially in the areas of energy efficiency, circular economy and digitalisation.
  • Upgrading professional occupations in terms of green (energy efficiency and circular economy) and digital competences.
  • Creating a Sectoral Skills Strategy supported by a Sectoral Skills Alliance.
  • Creating a Skills Observatory for anticipation and matching of skills supply and demands in the construction industry.
  • Identifying occupational profiles that should be upgraded to reflect the new trends in the construction industry (focusing on energy efficiency, circular economy and digitalisation).
  • Designing specific training plans, through which the needed skills will be covered.
  • Promoting attractiveness of the sector through dedicated outreach campaigns addressed towards youngsters and especially women.
Short description

The green and digital transitions have become crucial for Europe’s economy and post-COVID recovery; in this context, the Construction Blueprint project focuses on how to match the current and future education and training offer with the fast development of skill demand in the construction industry, especially focusing on green and digital skills. The project was launched in January 2019 under the coordination of Fundación Laboral de la Construcción (Spain), with 24 partners: three EU sectoral organisations, nine national sectoral representatives and twelve VET providers. This approach is based on the creation of a Sectoral Skills Alliance involving the main market players in the fields of education, society, economy, policy, culture and environment, to get the maximum possible support to this initiative.

The general objective of the project is to develop innovative instruments to address skills shortages and gaps and to match skills demand and supply, as well as to upgrade professional occupations in terms of green and digital skills. For this purpose, the main advantage and benefit of this project brings together the construction industry and the VET providers, to establish a strategic approach for the coming years.

Key findings

Sectoral Skills Strategy. The main result of the project so far is the creation and implementation of a Sectoral Strategy on Skills for the Construction Industry, intended to support the overall growth strategy for the sector, especially regarding improved matching of employer skill needs with the skills provided by training centres. This Strategy is made up of a Roadmap and an Action Plan comprising the main strategic measures, activities, milestones to be applied to match the company’s demand for skills, the workers’ qualification, and the current training offer.

For the development of the Roadmap and Action Plan, it was necessary to determine the factors that may affect the context of skill needs, influencing the status of qualification frameworks as well as affecting VET offer in each country. For this purpose, a series of activities have been carried out:

PESTLE analysis, which consider Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental issues. The revision of these factors has been key to understand the construction industry context, as they provide relevant knowledge about current and future trends, therefore, allowing to define in advance the sectoral skills strategy to be followed. The analysis has consisted of documentary research for the identification of the topics and trends to be considered per factor and around 80 personal interviews with related experts, that provided valuable first-hand relevant information.

Status Quo of sectoral skills, whose aim is to set the scene and the state of play of the construction industry in the countries involved in the Construction Blueprint project, especially focusing on skills and competences.

Skills needs analysis, including the skills needs identified in the consortium countries, especially in the fields of energy efficiency, circular economy and digitalisation. This is an approximation to some of the current and future skills identified by the Construction Blueprint partners, that will potentially be necessary by companies and workers to comply with the European requirements regarding climate change, sustainability or digital transformation.

The resulting Roadmap and Action Plan have been designed and structured into different strategic lines, coincident with the factors of the so-called Quintuple Helix model (Policy, Education, Economy, Culture/Society, Environment). Each Strategic Line is composed of different Objectives, which, in turn, are subdivided into several actions/recommendations.

  • Identification of occupational profiles to be upskilled. Comparative research carried out in the countries of the consortium allowed to identify the relationship of skill gaps to job profiles. The information identified is closely interrelated with the findings of other project outputs (see above) and has served as a main reference for the design of new European training curricula on energy efficiency, circular economy and digitalisation in the European construction sector for the occupations identified as the most in need of upskilling in these topics (bricklayer, carpenter, electrician, plasterer, plumber, site supervisor).
  • New training curricula. Once the main occupational profiles were identified, a series of new training curricula focused on energy efficiency, circular economy and digitalisation mainly addressed to these occupations were designed. These new training programmes are common for all the European countries, but may be adapted to the national realities and needs.
    For each curriculum, a series of training material has been elaborated. This material will be tested in three pilot courses that will be organised in each country of the consortium. It is foreseen that at least 600 workers/students will participate in these training actions. Also, a Moodle platform has been made available with different training modules for all interested in self-study in the mentioned topics.
  • European skills observatory for the construction industry. The skills observatory is a tool complementary to the European Construction Sector Observatory (ECSO), focusing on the skill needs identification and anticipation. It includes, among other aspects, the results of the two editions of a survey completed by European construction companies on their main skills needs. 
  • Interactive map of good practices. Identification of different good practices and innovative initiatives (at regional and national levels) dealing with skill gaps and skills mismatches in the topics of Energy Efficiency, Digitalisation, Circular Economy or Occupational Health and Safety.
    These good practices have been described in factsheets, detailing information such as organisation in charge, aims, target groups and impact of the initiative. All these have been collected in an indexed database with more than 100 concrete examples which are deployed online in an interactive and georeferenced map. Users can apply filters to find the exact information they are looking for and download results.