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2011 - European Sector Skills Council in the Construction Industry

In 2010, the Commission Communication "An agenda for new skills and jobs” [COM(2010) 682] mentioned amongst its priorities the need for strengthening the Union's capacity to anticipate and match labour market and skills needs, in particular through the setting up of the relevant Social Partners of sectoral skills councils at European level.

Sector councils are platforms at sector level where stakeholders seek to gain insight into the likely developments in employment and skills needs, with the aim of assisting policy making within or for this sector. Transversal councils are similar to sector councils, but cover trends and developments in two or more sectors of the labour market.
National Sector Councils exist under various names and in various forms in the EU and all these bodies have one common objective, namely to improve the match on the labour market between demand and supply in quantitative (jobs) and/or qualitative (skills and competencies) terms.
To gather appropriate input, in order to decide whether or not to proceed with the setting up of a possible European Sector Skills Council for construction, the EU sectoral social partners FIEC and EFBWW, requested BAQ Forschungsinstitut für Beschäftigung Arbeit Qualifikation, Bremen (Germany) to draft a report on the issue. The project was co-financed by the European Commission, Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion General Directory.
The report presents the results of a feasibility study concerning the possible setting up of a Sectors Skills Council in the construction industry at European level. It is based on an evaluation of the overall study presented by ECORYS on Sectors Skills Councils in Europe in general, a survey among the respective affiliates of the EU social partners of the construction industry, the European Construction Industry Federation (FIEC) and the European Federation of Building and Woodworkers (EFBWW).
The main outcome of this feasibility study is that a vast majority of the affiliates of the social partner organisations of the sector which took part in the study would welcome a Sectors Skills Council in the construction industry (ESSC) at the European level. Such an ESSC is seen as a platform for discussion and exchange of information on vocational education and training matters (VET) beyond their national scope, for getting information from other countries, for discussing with other stakeholders and for sharing information across the EU. The respondents expect such an ESSC not to be dominated by particular interests (of countries, of groups, etc.) but an instrument in support of the EU Social Partners for the construction industry. However, the respondents also expect that an ESSC should produce results, which will be of use for the participating organisations and for the work of other stakeholders at the national level.
The study shows that establishing a Sectors Skills Council will need a certain efforts which cannot easily be undertaken solely by the social partners at European level. Thus, a decision will be needed regarding which model will be best suited to respond to the interests of the concerned stakeholders.

The study is available in English, French, German and Italian:
Download the English version
Download the French version
Download the German version
Download the Italian version