BUILD UP Skills FORCE: Energy training for builders in Latvia
The project ended in 2016, but all the main goals were reached with a high level of sustainability.
The action aims at creating preconditions for overcoming barriers and identifying skills gaps in various professions, in order to meet the 2020 targets in the building sector related to increased energy efficiency of buildings.
The long-term objective of the action is promoting the increase of the capacity of the building industry workforce for the delivery of high-energy efficiency renovations. In the short-term, the action will promote the increase of the number of qualified workers in the building industry in Latvia. Within the framework of the action, two continuing education programmes and training materials were elaborated for the building industry workforce: one for energy efficient engineering systems and one for energy efficient envelopes. The programmes were licenced in six training institutions. A training of trainers was carried out, thus creating preconditions for the availability of skilled building workers for building energy efficient buildings in Latvia. The project is a strategic initiative that is part of the European Union’s “Intelligent Energy - Europe” programme and is aimed at improving the knowledge and fill the skills gap of those who work in the construction industry. The goal was achieved by:
- preparing and licencing two professional improvement training programmes.
- preparing high-quality/modem training materials.
- training professional instructors in the area of professional training (train the trainers) and organising pilot training for on-site construction workers, as part of the new programme.
- using experience from the project to draft proposals on the sustainability of professional training programmes in Latvia.
The project objective was not only to create preconditions for overcoming barriers and identifying skills gaps, but also helped to deal with elaboration of educational programmes and preparation of trainers (train the trainers).
Aim of policy instrument
Intelligent Energy Europe - European Union programme.
Main responsible body
Riga Planning Region
Main project partners are: Riga Planning Region, Kurzeme Planning Region, Vidzeme Planning Region, Zemgale Planning Region, Latvia Association of Civil Engineers, State Service of Education Quality and Latvia Environmental Investment Fund. Other stakeholders and involved organisations are the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Education and Science, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, the Ministry of Welfare, State Employment Agency, the Latvian Builders Association, Association of Building Materials Producers, Association of Heat, Gas and Water Technology Engineers of Latvia, the Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, six vocational education competence centres representing all regions of Latvia, and others. Riga Planning Region is responsible for overall project implementation. Other stakeholders are acting as an observers, labour market information and prognosis providers (MofW, MofE, SEA).
Project was co-financed by EU Intelligent Energy Europe Programme (€480,000).
The Construction industry in a broader sense, as well as all the EU and state financed projects with energy efficiency initiatives. It can be expected that given the financing granted and the European Union and government demands levelled in relation to improving energy efficiency, the construction sector will have an increased demand for knowledgeable and qualified workers.
Use of labour market intelligence
There were signals from the building sector about the lack of qualified construction workforce in the field of energy efficient building. Also the prognosis of the labour market (MofE, MofW, SEA) indicated that the building/construction sector will be on the rise during next periods.
The project was co-financed by EU Intelligent Energy Europe Programme (€480,000). There were no additional financial schemes involved.
Frequency of updates
The sectoral players (state and private partners) are constantly keeping an eye on the development in the building industry and can react accordingly if necessity arises.
No, the project did not encounter any problems.
The thorough cooperation of all involved parties played a crucial role in success of this project - NGO, building sector, governmental organisations (ministries, VET certification bodies etc).
Enrolment in the educational courses are observed on a regular basis. Possible employment level declines and problems are monitored by State Employment Agency.
Even if the project was not absolutely innovative (many EU countries are participating in Build Up SKILLS initiative), the innovative moment was the involvement of so many sectoral professionals, social and commercial partners, governmental institutions. This involvement allowed to rapidly implement necessary changes in building sector.
Evidence of effectiveness
Delivered results are:
- The establishment of 15 expert groups for elaboration of the training programmes.
- 2 continuing education programmes and training materials elaborated for provision of training for building industry workforce: 1 for energy efficient engineering systems (2 modules; 160 hours total) and 1 for energy efficient building envelope (3 modules; 240 hours total).
- Licences issued for two continuing education programmes to at least 6 training institutions.
- 35 trainers selected and trained to become providers of elaborated training programmes.
- The continuing education programmes tested and 50 workers trained.
Engagement of stakeholders
The Ministries of Economy and Welfare (via State Employment Agency) carry out the assessment of high growth sectors, and the other involved parties (sectoral) are consulted as part of the process. Employers are engaged in an ongoing process. They report to their respective professional associations about skills mismatch or employment levels disbalance. Associations then put the problem into the agenda of meeting with governmental institutions.
The success of the project was nationwide sectoral elaboration of professional development educational programmes to enhance energy-effective building skills. In order to implement such programmes and introduce them into educational system, it should be ensured that necessary regulatory basis and financing measures are in place. There also has to be profound involvement of VET certification institutions and partners from industry.
As the project was funded by EU project, it ended in 2016, but the system still works fine. All the implementation infrastructure is in place and VET can be easily adjusted to labour market demands.