The present is characterised by an unprecedented change, known as the Third Industrial Revolution, where new technologies such as renewable energies or digital tools for management and communication are being shaped and where the future professional development must be focused on, to avoid misalignment between job supply and demand. As far as the construction sector is concerned, we could approach the introduction of new technologies from three different aspects: energy efficiency and sustainable construction, digitalisation and organisational, management and communication skills.
On the one hand, the energy efficiency measures required by the institutions are increasingly demanding. According to the Sustainable Development Goals and the European Targets for 2030, energy efficiency must be increased by 35%, greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced by 40% and a renewable energy rate of 35% must be achieved. The new challenge for the building sector is to further expand knowledge and to integrate modern environmental technologies and to implement such energy efficiency measures in them in order to reduce consumption and to become more sustainable with the environment. Globally, buildings consume more than a third of total end-use energy and cause almost a one fifth of total greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing energy use in buildings is a climate change imperative, but it is also a business opportunity.
On the other hand, the construction industry is also rapidly evolving with digital technologies. Recently, the potential of BIM (Building Information Modelling) systems for the efficient management of construction projects is beginning to be exploited. This is a software able of representing the physical and functional properties of a building in such a way that a knowledge resource is obtained in a common technological environment where information is shared and constitutes a reliable basis for decisions during the project life cycle, from the earliest conception until demolition. This kind of tools allows to save many expenses and to speed up processes, so they will be essential in the imminent future and it is important that the trainees of the present are well acquainted with them.
Finally, the importance of management and communication skills at the organisational level must be emphasised. The way information flows in an organisation, across departments, between management colleagues, trainers and trainees is crucial. It is a complex process that takes a long time to build, maintain and continuously improve. Effective communication can make collaboration productive and mutually beneficial, especially for trainers. The use and implementation of digital technologies for communication, as well as social networks and virtual environments can also offer us efficiently the support needed for good communication and management in the field of construction work.
The CONDAP project aims to support the provision of vocational training for trainers in the construction sector by offering a comprehensive modular course that ensures easy and free access to relevant educational material and tools, thus responding to the needs of VET providers and trainees in the sector. After collecting the opinions of different stakeholders within the building and training sector with different surveys and desk researches, the project partners have developed three different thematic units for this purpose:
- LU1: Energy efficiency and sustainable construction
- LU2: Digitisation in construction
- LU3: Organisational, management & communication skills
This book includes the first teaching unit.
The consortium of this project is integrated by five partners from different countries and with different but complementary profiles in order to address the objectives of the project. The different partners come from the vocational training sector, research and the university world. Specifically, the consortium is composed of the following organisations
* INSTRUCTUS (www.instructus.org)- UK
* Vilniaus statybininku rengimo centras (www.vsrc.lt)- Lithuania * Universitat Politècnica de València (http://www.upv.es/)- Spain * EXELIA (www.exelia.gr/en) – Greece
* EBC (http://www.ebc-construction.eu/) – Belgium
This work has been possible thanks to the contributions of all the partners who are part of the CONDAP project, as well as the companies and organisations from which some of the contents of this work have been extracted.
This work has been carried out within the framework of the CONDAP “Digital skills for workplace mentors in construction sector apprenticeships.” funded by the European Union as part of the Erasmus+ programme and Key Action 2: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices (Strategic Partnerships for vocational education and training), Reference Number 2018-1-UK01-KA202-048122.