The roofing sector, a construction industry sub-sector with an annual turnover of ~80 billion euros in 2019, is projected to reach 114 billion euros by 2027, registering a compound annual growth rate of 4.6%. This growth is primarily fueled by the emergence of technological innovations, new market niches (eco-friendly materials), and stricter environmental regulations.
Nonetheless, the advent of new installation techniques (green roofing, solar panels), computer-aided processes (design software), roofing material upgrades, combined with new product/material requirements (e.g., Construction Product Regulation) and ambitious energy efficiency targets for buildings (e.g., Green Deal – Strategy for a Renovation Wave for Europe) has transformed this “traditional” industry, resulting in new workplace requirements and leading to a shortfall of qualified workers.
The growth of the sector is not supported by an equally stable growth in available skilled labour. Labour shortages rank as a top concern for contractors in the commercial roofing industry, as experienced workers retire and the replenishment level remains relatively low. The industry also notes a gap between the skills/knowledge acquired by workers through VET and especially work-based learning (WBL) that is an indispensable part of sectoral training provision, and those needed in the workplace.
As the changing landscape has raised the demand for qualified roof technicians, the need to equip existing & future industry roof makers with new and improved (technical & non-technical) competences/skills has become more evident than ever. Growing talents through a dual VET system (combining vocational education & apprenticeship) is regarded as the most effective and long-term solution to attract young workers and address the prevailing shortage in skilled, qualified technicians.
1. Update occupational requirements for roofers that reflect current needs & shortages in green, digital & safety skills
2. Develop and pilot-test a novel curriculum and tailored training content for dual vocational training on green roof installation/maintenance techniques, ICT tools and safety
3. Introduce contemporary, flexible training delivery methods & open-access pedagogical resources to support self-paced skills acquisition, and improve organisational learning
4. Support VET providers to integrate project materials and adjust their WBL & VET offerings to new skills needs
5. Foster the capitalisation of ROTES results in VET practice, through the validation, recognition & integration of relevant occupational requirements into competence frameworks & certification schemes.