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    Background of the “BUILD UP Skills” Initiative and the BUS-GR Project

    The targets set by the European Union as regards climate and energy – the so called "20-20-20" targets - provide for the reduction of CO2 emissions by 20%, reducing the energy consumption by 20% and increasing the use of energy from renewable energy sources in the final energy consumption by 20% by 2020. The large contribution expected from the building sector to the 2020 energy and climate change objectives is a major challenge to the construction sector and to industry as a whole, which needs to be ready to deliver high energy performing renovations, as well as new (nearly zero energy) buildings.

    More specifically, a huge effort is necessary to increase the number of qualified workers in the market (today in the EU there are 1.1 million skilled workers, but it is estimated that by 2015 2.5 million will be required), as well as for measures that will facilitate decision making on energy related construction issues by the building owners. As training and gaining of new qualifications are "upstream" measures, it is now time to act so that a better qualified workforce will be in place to deliver by 2020.

    With these in mind, the «Intelligent Energy Europe» Programme, of the D.G. for Energy, introduced the BUILD UP Skills Initiative, in order to support the Member States:
    • to assess the training needs for the construction industry, and
    • in formulating and implementing strategies for the continued training of artisans and workers in the construction sector, and of the installers of Energy Saving technologies and renewable energy systems in buildings, with the objective to improve their skills after their basic training.

    In the Call for Proposals for Pilar I (“National qualification platforms and roadmaps to 2020”) of the BUILD UP Skills Initiative, in Greece the proposal entitled BUILD UP Skills Greece (acronym: BUS-GR) was submitted (in the 2nd Call of February 2012), and – after the typical evaluation and negotiation procedures – it was accepted for funding and its implementation started in the beginning of June 2012 (total project’s duration:18 months).

    As with all the other projects approved in the 30 European countries participating in Pillar I of the Initiative, the ultimate objective of BUS-GR is the development of a national roadmap to embed the training on intelligent energy solutions for buildings in the mainstream curricula and practice of building professionals targeted by the initiative (craftsmen and other on-site workers). Based on a complete analysis of the national situation, the roadmap should take into account the expected contribution of the building sector to the national 2020 targets and the requirements for ‘nearly zero-energy buildings’. In addition, the national roadmap should be endorsed by relevant authorities and stakeholders with a commitment to carry out and implement the proposed strategy.