The SKILLCO Erasmus+ international construction project 2017-20 was successfully completed with 923 individuals participating in the pilot training sessions for four previously identified as missing sectoral skills in three partner countries (Slovenia, Germany and Hungary). The project also resulted in the development of the SKILLgApp mobile application with SkillCO teaching materials to assist learners in training.
Four missing sectoral skills identified
Partner countries identified the needed skills (EQF level 4) through desk and field research, including analysis of different sectoral skills surveys and previous research. Subsequently, plans were drawn up for a 3D model SKILLCO House, which resembles a simple residential building. The SKILLCO House helps develop skills of planning the building and reading plans. Students can view the outside of the house and walk around the interior using VR glasses to learn about the four sectoral skills identified:
- green construction skills and building skills: reuse and correct handling of construction waste material;
- occupational safety and health skills: prevention of musculoskeletal disorders for construction workers;
- numeracy skills: construction cost calculations;
- literacy skills: reading plans and time scheduling.
The project aimed to fill the four identified skill gaps through education programmes, teaching materials, and training programmes for students and construction workers who are already employed. To this end, two European training modules were developed and implemented: module (a) a supplemented curriculum with programmes for the identified skills needs for students; and module (b) practical training for construction workers.
The project helped to modernise the learning content to respond to the new knowledge requirements, enabling students and construction workers to upgrade existing and acquire new skills and useful knowledge. They were aided by SKILLgApp, a new innovative mobile application featuring a variety of learning materials (manuals, tests, quizzes, pictures, videos, etc.) created as part of the project.
The three-year project consortium brought together national regulatory authorities, employers' associations in the construction sector and training providers from Germany, Hungary and Slovenia, as well as FIEC, the umbrella organisation of EU construction employers in Brussels.