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"Innovation in the construction industry inevitably involves the training of the sector workers"

This was the main conclusion of the I Conference on Innovation in Training in the Construction Industry, held on September 25th, at the Campus Madrid Google Space, which presented the results of seven European projects for learning, with the participation of SEPE general director, Gerardo Gutiérrez Ardoy, and the managing director of Fundae, Ignacio Fernández Zurita.


On Tuesday, September 25th, Fundación Laboral de la Construcción held the "I Conference on Innovation in Training for the Construction Industry" at the Google Space Madrid Campus, in which it became clear that "training is an indispensable cornerstone of innovation", in a sector that is on a full digital transformation.

Innovation is one of the essential values of the peer entity, which leads the introduction of new technologies in learning processes, especially through the development of innovative tools in the frame of European projects and programs in which it has participated for a decade.

Enliven by the expert lecturer on digital transformation Diego Antoñanzas, the results and the tools of the seven European projects developed from Erasmus+ programme (Arfat, ARCW, Soft Skills for Hards Hats -SSHH-, WinApp, H&S Games and Construction Inheritance) and another from Interreg Sudoe programme (Rehabilite) were presented at the event.

Health and Safety, Competencies and Rehabilitation

Divided in three main topics, the event firstly approached Health and Safety issues through two applications based on Augmented Reality (AR): one applied to formwork and scaffolding (Arfat) -launched at the end of the year-; and another, to curtain wall work (ARCW).

Concerning next topic, Competences, the following results were presented: an interactive course for training in social competences (Soft Skills for Hard Hats -SSHH-); a procedure for training in competencies oriented to work processes (WinApp) -launched at the end of the year-; and an educational game for learning competences in Safety and Health (H&S Games).

The third area was focused on Rehabilitation, where an App 360° for training in traditional processes for the restoration of historic buildings (Construction Inheritance) was presented -which was selected as an example of good practice in the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018- and a series of massive and open online courses (MOOCs) on energy rehabilitation and its financing, through autonomous management of learning (Rehabilite).

Training as an indispensable driver for the growth of the industry

Ignacio Fernández Zurita, managing director of Fundación Estatal para la Formación en el Empleo (Fundae), accompanied by Enrique Corral Álvarez, general director of Fundación Laboral de la Construcción, opened the conference.

During his presentation, Fernández Zurita quoted the report published by the Economic and Social Council on the future of work, "which shows that training is an indispensable tool for any worker or company, specially in such a moment of change and digital transformation we are living in". In fact, the managing director of the Fundae assured that "if there were more training, the construction sector would grow faster".

Enrique Corral valued the international projects in which Fundación Laboral participates and leads and the results of the new tools for training, as they show the commitment of the Foundation for innovation. "Innovate is to change the way to do things right and this is one of the Foundation's value: to contribute to the construction sector transfrmation", he said.

After the presentation of the technological tools, a round table was opened under the title: "New technologies applied to training and learning in the construction industry: perspectives of key players -students, teachers, developers, companies-", which was moderated by the Director of Training of Fundación Laboral, José Antonio Viejo, and in which Carlos Valdés Sauras, director of Via Celere Foundation; Gabriel César Jiménez, manager of GA Consultores; Juan Lobaco Antolín, lecturer and head of Studies at Fundación Laboral de la Construcción of Aragón, and Félix Siloniz Cuesta, student at Fundación Laboral de la Construcción of Madrid took part.

The closing speech was given by the general director of the State Employment Public Service (SEPE), Gerardo Gutiérrez Ardoy, who highlighted the construction industry's commitment to training, through Fundación Laboral de la Construcción and the provision of its own centres and resources. 

Also, Gutiérrez Ardoy emphasized: "The labor market has changed enormously in the last years. From SEPE we offer accompaniment throughout people working life, which can benefit from advisory services by specialized people about the competences that they more need".

The general director of SEPE announced "new short-term challenges in training", especially in the development of 30/2015 Law on training for employment that will be known before the end of the year, especially "to expand new training specialties and be able to respond to new labor market demands".

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