The main outputs of the project were two reports namely:
National Status Quo report: This gives a snapshot of the current situation in the building industry with a focus on matters related to energy efficiency and RES. This report was essential as it enabled the partners as well as the stakeholders to better understand how the building industry operates and the barriers which prevent the industry from given greater importance to training and to energy efficiency.
The aim of the report is to map the vocational education and training (VET) provisions available locally as well as the skill gaps in the workforce for the green construction industry. The strategies to increase awareness of the cost benefits and investment in renewable energy sources and energy efficient practices have been analysed.
The report was based on the collection of primary data which consisted of interviews with a variety of industry professionals. The secondary data was collected through academic research, reports commissioned by the European Union, governmental departments and other institutions. Results have shown a lack of data about the green construction industry and low levels of awareness about RES and EE systems and the advantages of their use. Although the benefits are widely understood, the lack of awareness has caused companies to be cautious in investing in the relevant training. A sector composed of micro companies further aggravates this issue, as training would cause considerable strain on their human resources and financial capacities.
The other significant observation is related to inadequate enforcement of existing legislation. If enforced effectively, particularly Energy Performance certificates, this system could have a pronounced positive impact on the industry. Increases in both employment and economic activity would take place, together with a reduction in the energy demand of buildings.
Accreditation of the current workforce and the creation of a licensing system to easily regulate training of tradesmen could also be very beneficial to the industry. These would simplify the employment process, ease the comparison of skills and ensure attendance to CVET if required for the reissuing of the license.
On the basis of the outcome of the status quo report, it is estimated that between 523 and 698 workers per year over seven years will need to receive some form of training related to energy efficiency or renewable energy sources. This is considered essential to better enable Malta to meet its energy targets. Most of the training will be for the occupational profiles identified as part of the BUILD UP skills project but there will also be other occupational profiles which will receive some form of training at least on cross-cutting generic green skills.
Roadmap for Energy Training: This sets out the strategy and action plan for bringing the knowledge, skills and competences of construction workers to the level that will allow them to produce low energy buildings meeting the latest requirements and, therefore, contribute significantly to Malta’s energy reduction targets. It addresses not only the training and qualification issues, but proposes the associated measures required for successful implementation of the training.
The Roadmap for energy training has five main objectives:
1. Investigate EU policy documents, legislation and directives focusing on low carbon buildings and associated VET skills
2. Identify the knowledge, skills and competences needed for low carbon buildings
3. Evaluate critically the low carbon skill gaps that exist within the local VET scenario
For the first three objectives, the outcome is a skill gap analysis for six specific occupational profiles.
4. Analyse the barriers that might hinder local VET provision towards low carbon buildings. These have been structured into five main themes.
5. Formulate recommendations of how VET may be carried out to achieve low carbon buildings. Nine main recommendations are drawn up and for each a rationale and specific actions measures are proposed.
Consultations with stakeholders: Throughout the process, every effort was made to involve stakeholders, both public and private, by means of the Building Industry Consultative Council but also by means of seminars and one-to-one meetings.
The project is considered to be a success because of:
• Increased awareness amongst stakeholders on the need for training programmes and that these should be carefully planned to maximise their effect.
• Increased appreciation in the building industry of the importance of making building energy efficient
• A better understanding by policy makers and the building industry that energy target objectives will be compromised if workers are not properly trained.
• More networking between policy makers, vocational training institutions and building contractors.