The European project ‘Women can Build’ kick-off for equality in VET and the inclusion of women in the construction industry

An initiative led by Fundación Laboral de la Construcción, which involves partners from Germany, Belgium, France, Italy and Portugal and, by Spain, also the Agency for Employment of the City of Madrid

During the 14th and 15th of December, the kick-off meeting of the European project ‘Women can Build’ -led by the paritarian institution since last September, took place at the headquarters of Fundación Laboral de la Construcción.

In July 2017, the Spanish Service for the Internalization of Education (SEPIE), under the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport, awarded 34.9 million euros for innovation projects and exchange of good practices, within the European programme Erasmus+, of which 293,121€ have gone to fund this initiative focused on the re-conception of Vocational Training towards an equal construction industry, in which partners from Spain, Germany, Belgium, France, Italy and Portugal, belonging to the international network REFORME, join forces to break down persistent barriers for gender equality in the industry. In addition, the Agency for Employment of the City of Madrid accompanies Fundación Laboral de la Construcción in this common objective, as a Spanish partner.

Awaken consciences with clear actions

In the three years foreseen for the implementation of ‘Women can Build’ –from September 2017 to August 2020, to work for equality in the training and employment of women in the construction industry, the following activities will be carried out:

  • MOOC courses (Massive Open Online Courses) and a training manual focused on the gender equality competence development for trainers and mentoring skills for tutoring women in the construction sector, providing a recognition system to give value to this competence.
  • Guidelines for VET centres to adjust internal mechanisms and training offer and methodologies within a global process of organisational gender equality competence development.
  • An Action Plan with a roadmap and support services for companies towards gender balance, promoting an equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.
  • A “learning-by-doing” model through an immersive training experience, in which a group of women will carry out the construction, on a small scale, of a nearly Zero Energy Building (nZEB), enhancing their employment options by learning “green” issues, as an important employment niche in the sector.

Although it is not the first time that effort is being done to integrate women in the construction industry and for gender equality, usually acting in local areas though, with the ‘Women can Build’ initiative, main sectoral VET providers -linked to public authorities and participated by social partners of the industry, team up for going beyond national roadmaps towards a change of paradigm in construction sector at a European level, likelihood of being transferred to other sectors, countries or institutions with the same casuistry.

The meeting, in pictures
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