The project No. 101104419 “Academy for Transitional Skills in the Build Environment” (BuildSkills Academy) is financed under the Erasmus+ program, co-financed by the European Union. The project started on the 1st of June 2023 with a total budget of 3,938,490.00 Euro. The coordinator of the project is “Cleantech Bulgaria” Ltd. The consortium brings together 17 educational, industrial and exploitation partners from 7 European countries (Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Germany, France), 2 associated countries (Serbia and Norway) and 1 country not associated to the programme (Bosnia and Herzegovina), who will work together to achieve the main goal of the project – creating a pan-European framework and scheme for certification and upgrading of knowledge and skills for the so-called “twin” transition (green and digital) with a focus on the construction sector.

An important role in the project is played by organizations providing vocational education and training and their main task will be to update and adapt the services offered to the emerging new needs in the field of green and digital skills. Within the framework of the project, a BuildEnrichedSkills methodology will be prepared to promote the offering of training related to the real needs of the labor market when applying the “lifelong learning” approach, incl. through reskilling and upskilling. A procedure will also be developed to support vocational education and training centers to boost the rapid adaptation of the workforce to the twin green and digital transition. Another leading objective is the creation of a certification framework for the recognition of skills and competences corresponding to the needs of the twin transition, which will serve as a reference at the global level for the improvement and certification of VET services.

The project duration is 48 months (until 31.05.2027) during which 3 main work packages are going to be implemented by the consortium:

Design and verification of the BuildEnrichedSkills methodology

Based on the taxonomy for green skills of ESCO (European Skills, Competences, Qualifications and Occupations) essential and optional skills, competences and knowledge in specific occupations will be identified. They will be positioned in a matrix of transitional skills and competences enriched with the market needs for re-skilling and up-skilling. Those skills and competences will be integrated:

  • with the priorities of the Smart Specialisation strategy (S3) and the National Recovery and Resilience Plans (NRRPs) namely what are the specific interventions foreseen according to these strategies and plans in the domain of building skills and competences in the construction sector (digitalization, green building etc.);
  • into the existing VET courses enriching the content and the VET provision formats in construction with a transitional element.

Strong quality assurance mechanisms compliant with the EQAVET (European Quality Assurance in Vocational Education and Training) framework will be established in order to transform VET centres into COVEs (Centres of Vocational Excellence) that act as catalysts for local business investment, supporting recovery, green and digital transitions. Based on that a process for quality assurance of the courses enriched by the BuildSkills Academy will be designed.

Stepping on the list of skills and competences for each occupation a BuildEnrichedSkills methodology will be designed for boosting the provision of labour market relevant skills including those necessary for the green and digital transitions in a lifelong continuum approach. It will be validated through verification of its strategic fit and industrial relevance with a wide range of stakeholders.

Design and verification of the Certification framework

Certification schemes for curricula, training materials and individuals who acquired transitional skills and competences will be developed based on ISO 17024 (Conformity assessment – General requirements for bodies operating certification of persons). A certification framework will be designed with the objective to represent an umbrella certification for recognizing and validating course content on transitional skills and competences provided by VETs on an EU level. This represents the most important outcome of the project and aims to bridge the gap between different certification frameworks in the Member States.

Vocational excellence for transitional skills and competences

Pilot testing of VET courses in 6 countries will be organized as well as 3 master classes. Active integration of the so-called Knowledge Triangle (education, research and innovation achieved by industry) representatives will be in place through engagement with industry and showcase of good examples of innovative processes/products from the innovation ecosystem. Cross-referencing of the results from the implementation of the courses between the different partner countries and within different ecosystems will take place. The pilot testing and its outcomes will be evaluated based on the quantitative indicators from the EQAVET framework. The outcomes of this evaluation will be transferred back to the VET providers and improvements in the courses will be implemented followed by compliance check with the certification scheme.

The main project deliverables include:

  • List of skills and competences for different occupations and EQF levels in the construction sector;
  • Process for quality assurance of enriched VET courses incl. mechanisms based on the EQAVET methodologies;
  • BuildEnrichedSkills methodology for integration of market relevant skills necessary for the green and digital transition in VET courses with focus on the lifelong learning;
  • Syllabus for 12 courses;
  • Procedure for adaptation of learning provision to evolving labour market needs;
  • Certification schemes of the curricula and training materials and of individuals;
  • 12 courses certified;
  • Certification framework for transitional skills;
  • 12 pilots implemented in 6 countries.

The dissemination and exploitation of BuildSkills Academy results are of critical importance for achieving the expected impact of the project and ensuring its sustainability and continuation afterwards. Therefore a strategy containing long-term action plan for the progressive roll-out of the project outcomes and deliverables after the project end and towards 2031 will be developed.

The project “Academy for Transitional Skills in the Build Environment” is co-funded by the European Union ERASMUS+ Programme under Grant Agreement number: 101104419