BUILD UP Skills Malta
The instrument was in operation from mid-2012 to 2013.
The instrument is no longer operational, as the intended aim of building up skills in the construction industry was reached.
Build Up Skills Malta mainly aimed to address the skills shortage in the construction industry by developing a national qualification platform that will mostly benefit young graduates.
The project aimed to address challenges in reaching the 2020 energy policy targets through the development of a roadmap to upgrade relevant skills for the building industry in Malta. The implementation of the Build Up Skills Malta project has helped to identify the national status quo when it comes to the construction industry, in order to upgrade the training and certification of the workforce in the same sector.
Build Up Skills Malta was focused on embedding training on intelligent energy solutions for buildings in the mainstream curricula, while at the same time provided skills practice of building professionals.
Aim of policy instrument
Main responsible body
Building Industry Consultative Council
Apart from the Building Industry Consultative Council, the partnership responsible for the Build Up Skills Malta project included the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST), the Malta Intelligent Energy Management Agency and the Malta Chamber Foundation. The Malta Chamber Foundation's main role was to analyse all the professions that are involved in the building industry, while taking stock of all the energy efficiency systems and the renewable energy technology. The Malta Intelligent Energy Management Agency's role was to provide expertise in EU projects participation and in issues relating to Energy Efficiency (EE) and Renewable Energy Sources (RES). The role of MCAST in the Build Up Skills Malta was to prepare the National Status Quo document, which provided the objectives and specifications of the project, existing VET programmes and the identification of target groups within the industry.
A total of €197,451 in funding were committed to this project, out of which 90% (€177,706) was funded by the European Union through the Intelligent Energy Europe programme of the European Commission, now the remit of Horizon 2020.
The intended beneficiary of the Build Up Skills Malta project was the construction industry as a whole, as well the country in-general. The construction industry benefitted from better skills in constructing low carbon buildings, while the country will be able to reach the 2020 energy goals at a faster rate, considering that the Maltese construction sector is one of the main industries that could help Malta reach better energy standards. These goals will be reached through the workers tied to the construction industry, which can reach up to 110 different trades. They will be the ultimate beneficiaries in that they will be the ones receiving the training.
Use of labour market intelligence
Firstly, a total of seven occupational profiles were identified as being of importance to the Roadmap that was being created. A skills gap analysis was conducted, where the skills required for each occupation were compared to the existing IVET courses related to construction and the built environment. In turn, from the data collected, a number of recommendations were made to address skills on energy when it comes to the built environment.
Financial incentives were offered to building contractors and SMEs that send their workers for training, however no specific numbers have been mentioned.
Frequency of updates
The policy instrument itself was not updated during the year of implementation, however several issues such as the professions, as well as the educational needs, were identified as the year progressed in order to be able to build a comprehensive Roadmap.
The approach taken by the partnership was not adjusted during the implementation of the instrument.
During implementation of this instrument, the Partnership responsible came across several barriers, namely structural, financial and participation challenges. During implementation it was found out that, better enforcement of legislative requirements act as a driver for increased participation rates, which in turn increase allocated financial resources. There were still structural challenges that remained during the implementation of the instrument.
The involvement of the most relevant stakeholders for the Platform, made it easier to get a well-rounded view of what a new national qualification platform should include. The small size of the country proved to be an advantage, since all interested stakeholders, whether building contractors, energy experts, researchers and lecturers, were able to meet face-to-face for a number of seminars and discuss the most pressing issues that they were facing.
A number of seminars and meetings took place to present new data on the construction industry and the effect on the 2020 energy goals, during which the Roadmap was designed, which addresses the skills requirements in the sector.
By managing to bring together all the construction-related stakeholders, including education institutions like the Malta College for Arts, Science and Technology and authorities like the Building Industry Consultative Council, the policy instrument had a clear starting point, as well as a focused end point and how this could be achieved. The good relations between these stakeholders led to the creation of a Platform responsible for such an initiative, even after this project ended in 2013.
Evidence of effectiveness
The policy instrument proved to be effective, as a number of recommendations made through it, such as the creation of the Skills Card, where implemented a few years later. The recommendation was put in the 'National Roadmap for Energy Training of Workers in the Building Industry' report, which was produced by the same stakeholders of the policy instrument. The implementation, as well as the end result of the policy instrument, has been beneficial both to the organisations involved, as well as the building contractors that were provided with better workers once training and skills were matched with recent building methods to preserve energy. Through the development of a national qualification platform in this policy instrument, stakeholders have also realised that there are certain gaps in the skills of construction workers, not just in energy, but also in other areas. The final report had mentioned this and led to a process in order to close this gap, including the creation of a Skill Card by one of the stakeholders of this policy instrument.
Engagement of stakeholders
The stakeholders were constantly being updated with the latest data when it comes to energy in the built environment, during the seminars organised by the Building Industry Consultative Council, where the Malta Chamber Foundation, the Malta Intelligent Energy Management Agency and the Malta College for Arts, Science and Technology also gave presentation on their research, which helped built the Roadmap towards better skills in the sector.
Due to the common climate conditions all around the island and the common building practises in Malta, the same initiative is not easily transferable to other EU Member States. At the same time, such initiative could be transferable and replicated at a regional level in other countries, where similar practises might be used.
The project has ended in 2013, however the Platform that was set up as a result of the instrument being implemented, is meant to continue function even after the project has reached its aim.