The QualiBuild programme, which was established in November 2013 as part of wider efforts to create employment in the sector and to assist Ireland in achieving the EU 2020 energy efficiency target, is also working with Governmental Departments and relevant agencies on its proposal to make it a requirement for all Irish building construction workers to undergo training and up-skilling at a National Level.
The BUILD UP Skills QualiBuild project addresses one of the main issues identified within the Irish Build Up Skills (BUSI) Roadmap i.e. Many construction workers lack the core knowledge in relation to low energy buildings.
This is being carried out by:
a) Developing a Foundation Energy Skills Programme for the target group
b) Implementing a Train the Trainers programme to increase the knowledge and competency of trainers involved in construction training
QualiBuild is funded by the European Commission Build Up Skills Initiative and is being managed and coordinated by Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) with partners Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), Blanchardstown Institute of Technology (ITB), the Irish Green Building Council (IGBC) and The Construction Industry Federation (CIF). The project has secured €1.1m in funding to implement the actions identified through an earlier project, Build Up Skills Ireland (BUSI).
A core principle which influences all aspects of the BUSI Roadmap is one of Quality Building. By focusing on Quality Building, of which low-energy buildings is a priority theme, it is proposed that this creates greater opportunities for the construction supply chain to take ownership of the issue. It is envisaged to develop and implement an integrated Quality Building Training Registration Scheme, which will be backed by the construction industry.
Under the National Energy Retrofit Programme (NERP) it is proposed that more than one million buildings nationwide must be retrofitted by 2020. This figure includes 26,100 buildings in Limerick, 20,700 in Clare, and 13,500 in Tipperary. The pilot ‘Train the Trainers’ and ‘Foundation Energy Skills’ programmes focus on the quality of build and energy efficiency of new construction and retrofitting practices, and challenge the way building construction workers work, process and understand the end goal.
QualiBuild implemented a ‘Train the Trainers Programme’ in November 2014 to increase the knowledge and competency of 100 trainers involved in construction training at Fetac level 7. It is also developing a Foundation Energy Skills Programme for 200 building construction workers at an equivalent QQI level 5/6, which will roll-out in Autumn 2015.
Meanwhile, QualiBuild has launched a Quality Building Information and Awareness Campaign providing guidance to decision makers involved in procuring construction services about the value of addressing quality when completing low energy building projects. The campaign has kicked off by informing all relevant bodies and organisations involved in the construction and energy sectors around Ireland, about QualiBuild. A joint conference was held in November 2015 with another EU funded project ‘Sustainco’ and details can be viewed on the events section on the Home page or click on Better then Best Practice
For more on the BUSI project see www.lit.ie/projects/BuildUp.
Major outputs & expected results
The major outputs from BUILD UP Skills QualiBuild will be
a) A Foundation Energy Skills Programme targeted at all construction workers and operatives with content available in hardcopy and on-line (NFQ Level 5 and 6).
b) A Train the Trainers programme (NFQ Level 7) which will increase the knowledge and competency of trainers involved in building construction training in Ireland with content available in hardcopy and on-line.
c) A proposal for a Continuous Professional Development (CPD) scheme for trainers in the construction sector.
d) A Quality Building Training Registration System, driven initially by industry, which will provide a transparent means of demonstrating the level of competency and knowledge craft workers/operatives have in relation to low energy buildings
e) A Quality Building Communications Campaign, focused on the theme of low energy buildings, which will target all consumers, builders and workers. Promotional materials can be found here.
f) A National Roll Out Plan which reinforces and ensures the sustainability of the BUSI Roadmap actions, while also addressing actions post-2020.
g) Active engagement of all stakeholders in the construction sector in the definition and implementation of the core BUILD UP Skills QualiBuild actions
The key results from the project will be:
- 200 building construction workers/crafts completed the Foundation Energy Skills training programme by Month 21
- 100 trainers trained under the Train the Trainers Programme by Month 15
- A Quality Building Registration System piloted, with 2,000 workers registered by Month 26 of the project
- Mobilisation of €1m of additional funding resources by the end of the project for additional training and support activities
- 10% increase in number of construction workers who perceive quality as being at the core of achieving low energy buildings
- 10,000 unique visits to web portal and 30 Video Interviews with relevant stakeholders as part of a Quality Building Communications Campaign
- A transfer of pilot actions from BUILD UP Skills QualiBuild partners to relevant National bodies and agencies which ensures the BUSI Roadmap is sustainable and targets achieved
- Promotion and exchange of the BUILD UP Skills QualiBuild experience Nationally and within the European Union.