Digitalisation of Energy Renovation to boost Youth Employment

JOINT PRESS RELEASE

Brussels, 29th March 2018

With an ageing workforce in the construction sector, and persistent youth unemployment across the EU, the digitalisation of the energy renovation sector is the ideal tool to address both issues, by creating a more attractive sector for the younger generation”, explained Adrian Joyce, Director of the Renovate Europe Campaign, speaking at a joint Renovate Europe – Youth Intergroup event on Wednesday 28th March in the European Parliament.

Indeed, as collaborative robots, drones, prefabricated materials (often involving 3D printing) and other automotive processes sweep through the energy renovation sector, the construction industry is rapidly shedding its traditional image of muscular manual workers battling tough weather outdoors, in favour of a digitalised, innovative and safer working environment.

Digital solutions have the great potential to reach women and young people, nowadays underrepresented in the sector, by alleviating burdensome physical tasks and creating new high qualified jobs”, explains Eugenio Quintieri from the European Builders Confederation (EBC). “In order to exploit this potential, digitalisation needs to become massive. This will only be possible by developing digital solutions that are affordable, easy to access and that constitute a real added value to construction SMEs and craftsmen, that represent the vast majority of the sector”

The multiple benefits that will flow from such a transformation are undeniable, but there is a need to support this transformation to ensure that it is inclusive and entails enhanced collaboration across the value chain, highlighted Domenico Campogrande from the European Construction Industry Federation (FIEC). 

MEP Brando Benifei, Vice-Chair of the Youth Intergroup and host of the joint event, was clear about the crucial role that the post-2020 MFF has to play to upskill our youth and support our SMEs so they can rise to the challenge and stand at the frontline of the digitalisation curve. He emphasised that The European Parliament will be united in pushing for more support for SMEs and investing in the workforce. We’ve been pushing for structural funds, especially the European Social Fund to be used more specifically for digital literacy and [retraining for] new jobs”.

The European Commission’s DG Employment agreed that there is a huge potential in the post-2020 EU Budget to support the digitalisation of energy renovation in order to boost youth employment.

Fulvia Raffaelli from DG GROW reminded the audience that digitalisation is not an end in itself but has to be understood as a tool to reach a clear objective, in this case a highly energy efficient building stock which will boost employment, prosperity and wellbeing among EU citizens and businesses. She emphasised that “Construction has to be perceived as a process and renovation must be fully part of it”.

Renovate Italy, one of the national partners of the Campaign, was also present at the event, speaking about the direct market experience of one of its supporting companies, ‘Teicos’. It is an SME specialised in energy renovation, which is implementing an innovative business model based on digital management techniques for the construction process. It is proving to be highly attractive for young people and has helped the company to grow at a significantly faster rate than its more traditional competitors.

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Relevant documents:

Download the Poster and Agenda of the event

Download the one-page infographic on the topic: How can the Digitalisation of the EU Energy Renovation Sector boost Youth Employment?

Download the 6-page briefing on the topic: Digitalisation, Disruption and the Energy Renovation Sector

Download the PPT presentations: Joint event with the Youth Intergroup – 28th March

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About Renovate Europe

Renovate Europe is a political communications campaign with the ambition to reduce the energy demand of the building stock in the EU by 80% by 2050 compared to 2005 levels through legislation and ambitious renovation programmes. This will bring the energy performance of the entire building stock in the EU to a Nearly Zero Energy (NZEB) performance level. Renovate Europe brings together 36 partners from across the building value chain (trade associations, companies, trade unions, city networks and 14 national partners). Learn more: www.renovate-europe.eu @RenovateEurope

About the YOUTH Intergroup:

The YOUTH Intergroup is a cross-party grouping of over 120 Members of the European Parliament working together for better youth policies in Europe.