Professional Reference Centre for Construction
The Centre is part of the employment plan for Brussels residents, and the Contract for Economy and Employment (C2E). A collaboration initiative between the government authorities and the construction sector, its goal is to improve the employability of low-skilled workers in the construction sector. Specifically, the Centre evaluates educational needs and trains unqualified personnel in the areas of eco-building and renewable energy. Among the most highly demanded training areas are insulation, airtightness, eco-materials and photovoltaics. In collaboration with experts from the construction sector, the Centre launched a study of trades in transition. The study aims to shed light on the new skills that today’s construction professionals need in order to work in the sustainable sector. One of the main goals of this research is to pinpoint the most urgent training needs in construction.
CDR also is a platform, which offers a global view on construction. This is essential for a good approach. Heavy emphasis is placed on integration of all actors, and the creation of links between a variety of stakeholders. Capitalization on past experiences is also key for success.
There are four important obstacles in training that CDR aims to tackle. First, it is hard to see the concrete impact of the training in the sector. Second, there is resistance to change in the construction sector. Third, there is a lot of renovation work done in Belgium without a contractor and an architect, with which it is very difficult then to follow up. Fourth, educating youth about the advantages of passive building is crucial, yet drawing teenagers to teaching in passive and sustainable construction remains a significant challenge.
School kit elements of CDR’s insulation/airtightness training