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Retrofitting and Training Challenge

1.6m Irish homes need to be renovated or retrofitted. Upskilling our workforce is key.

Facts:

  • Ireland has to reduce its total energy use by 20% before 2020.
  • Buildings account for over 40% of total energy use.
  • Significant changes to the Building Regulations and Standards
  • Construction Workers have the skills but need the knowledge.

Renovation Challenge

An EU funded report on the status quo of the construction workers in Ireland was carried out in 2013 known as the BUSI Roadmap. A number of recommendations were proposed:

“………funding for the up-skilling of construction workers have been limited to the unemployed….There has been no acknowledgement of the importance……..to up-skill construction workers that are still employed….”

“Typical dwelling retrofit projects….will rarely sustain the engagement of traditional building design professionals …… The onus, therefore, will be on the building contractor or craft workers and installers to apply newly introduced principles and technologies to a multitude of different building types.”

“Trainers in this sector are usually employed on the basis of trade related qualifications…………. the majority have been employed in education prior to the implementation of new building standards, therefore may have limited awareness or experience of the changes that are occurring onsite

So where do we start:

Prepare the construction workforce for the move to low energy buildings by:

  • Up-skilling trainers of construction skills
  • Improving the knowledge of construction workers
  • Improving consumer awareness of the importance of quality and qualified workers
  • Provide a framework and pilot for a skills register for workers (CWSR)
  • Support a national roll out of actions that go beyond the life of the project

And that’s what we hope QualiBuild succeeds to achieve.

So the next steps:

It is hoped that further FES courses will be held in the Autumn through LIT and ITB on a short term basis around the country, in conjunction with interested education training boards, other IoTs and private training providers.

We intend to provide a platform for the courses on the website so interested construction workers can apply.

We will carry out further negotiations with the Departments and relevant organisations to keep the training going at an affordable cost for the construction worker.

So watch this space.

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