Title SKILLS - Steel construction industry lifelong learning support
Project Number 2011-1-FR1-LEO05-24391
Project Type Transfer of Innovation
Marketing Text Throughout Europe, construction is facing its biggest ever challenge as National Standards are replaced by the Eurocodes. Their preparation has been a massive strategic exercise in European harmonisation to increase the efficiency of European construction and cross-border trade. SKILLS will assist training providers in France, Poland and Spain meet the substantial needs of the steel construction industries in these countries, arising from changes in working practices. Tried and tested training modules will be developed to demonstrate practical Eurocode application in steel building design, in both English and national languages and aligned to national priorities. An indirect, albeit important impact of the project will be to support steel fabricators, designers and checking authorities by minimising the ‘cost of change’, enhancing the uptake of relevant best practice in key aspects of steel construction and improving the value and uptake of VET in a traditional industry.
Summary Following a number of routine industry seminars which gave partners the opportunity to promote SKILLS and to obtain feedback and evaluation amongst its target audience, SKILLS recently organised a series of high profile launches during three national construction conferences and exhibitions which have taken place in Poland, Spain and France during the past few months. During the recent Assises in Cachan, the theme of the conference was to promote partnerships between steel construction SMEs and universities. This attracted more than 200 participants and the audience was made up equally from the world of education and the steel construction profession. Examples from the SKILLS training modules were shared with the audience. To date 10 modules have been signed off in English, 8 of which have been localised and translated into French, 7 into Spanish and 6 into Polish; two further modules have been developed in French and Spanish; a guide to Sustainable Construction has been drafted in English; an information map defining supply chain relationships has been prepared for France; two pieces of software have been translated from French into Spanish and several souces guides have been translated and localised for Spanish and French markets. Each course has been developed in a harmonised manner with same format for presentation, each allowing a lecture of 2 hours, with the possibility to divide it into two sub-modules of 50 minutes. A second project brochure was published earlier this year which contains a brief description of each training module with its availability in different languages. This can be downloaded from the websites of partners along with the training modules. In order to ensure the widest possible dissemination in Europe, the results will also be published on the multi-lingual portal of the international steel company ArcelorMittal at www.constructalia.com
The aims and objectives of this project are to assist the relevant VET frameworks in France, Poland and Spain meet the substantial training needs of the steel construction industries in these countries, arising from changes in working practices due to replacement of National Standards by the Eurocodes. If these industries cannot respond efficiently, they will lose competitiveness, threatening employment. The starting point for the project will be the latest guidance on European best practice in steel construction, published in English in 2009 under the SECHALO project. Its relevance will initially be validated for the three national markets and modified as necessary to reflect national conditions. It will then be translated and used to create training materials for delivery by national VET networks. Each step in this process will be subject to trial usage, review and improvement. Each country team has been carefully selected to encompass, for steel construction, the leading academic and industry bodies. The tangible outcomes will be training materials, in tried and tested formats, aligned to national priorities and in national languages, for delivery by the national VET frameworks. The project will also have several important intangible benefits. It will increase the relevance of the national VET frameworks to industry in all partner countries and will strengthen the framework in Poland, which is currently in its infancy. The impact of the project will be to support steel fabricators, designers and regulators by:
• minimising the ‘cost of change’ that they will inevitably face in the next few years
• enhancing the uptake of relevant best practice in key aspects of steel construction in three important European economies
• improving the value and uptake of VET in a traditional industry and strengthening the national relationships between VET and the steel construction industry.
• improving their employability and mobility
Product information Thirteen training modules in each of the partner national languages, plus ten in English, covering the full structural steel design process for single storey buildings, with complementary worked examples. A guide to sustainable steel construction; information maps defining supply chain relationships in each of the partner countries; two pieces of software translated from French into Spanish; five full length source publications localised and translated for the French market and two for the Spanish market to facilitate uptake of EN 1090 for execution and fabrication of steel structures in the working environment.