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Solution sought for skills gap 07 Dec 2017

CECE News Release

Demographic change, too few women on jobsites, lack of engineers, fierce competition, little interest in STEM disciplines, a bad image of the sector and growing demand for digital skills were considered the biggest challenges facing the construction industry at the recent discussion between the Committee for European Construction Equipment (CECE) and key stakeholders hosted by MEP Brando Benifei at the European Parliament in Brussels.

MEP Brando Benifei
MEP Brando Benifei

“CECE is determined to address the skills gap by providing a comprehensive review of the situation and developing solutions together with its partners,” said Riccardo Viaggi, Secretary General of CECE. “It requires a strategic and collective approach from key stakeholders in and around the construction and equipment industries.”

Discussions centred around training and upskilling and skills initiatives presented included the British Primary Engineer which focuses on training primary school teachers and the German Think Big project which is encouraging young people into the sector. EU Commission representative Lucilla Sioli stressed that the skills gap was a severe problem throughout the EU and said it was essential to raise more awareness in the member states.

Sioli mentioned that one out of three citizens in Europe does not have any digital skills and introduced the Commission’s new digital opportunity scheme, a pilot project that supports students to work in technical departments or on jobsites. With an increasingly digital age, lack of skills in this sector was seen an inhibitor to growth.

In the future it is felt that the tasks of operating and maintaining construction equipment will become more complex and require advanced skills in engineering and ICT, and understanding of operating software and automation of machines.

Throughout Europe there is also the challenge of attracting and recruiting enough young workers with the right skillset. “The effort that goes into the competition for newcomers in the sector is immense, especially among the technical disciplines,” said CECE President Bernd Holz. “We must inspire young people to find the sector attractive.”

The Committee for European Construction Equipment represents the interests of 1,200 construction equipment manufacturers through national trade associations in 13 European countries. CECE manufacturers generate €40 billion in yearly revenue, export a sizeable part of their production, and employ around 300,000 people.

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