Building it Green, an important research project of the Centre for the Study of the Production of the Built Environment, is part of a 4-year (2021-2025) research and development programme, led by Canada’s Building Trades Union (CBTU) and funded by the Canadian government. The aim of the programme is to ensure that the construction workforce is equipped with the expertise necessary to deliver zero energy buildings. ProBE is investigating good practice examples of climate and energy literacy in vocational education and training (VET) for apprentices and trainees and the current construction workforce. The examples will be drawn from UK and selected European Union countries, including Ireland, Denmark, Sweden and Germany, in particular occupations such as carpenters, electricians, plumbers and insulators. These cases will be analysed to evaluate:
- how climate and energy literacy has been incorporated into curricula
- whether and how occupational interfaces are addressed and interdisciplinary learning across different occupations facilitated
- the extent to which curricula seek to develop competences such as communication, team- working and self-management
- the challenges and barriers to developing and delivering curricula
- the role of stakeholders, including trade unions, employers, colleges and municipalities, and the ways in which these collaborate in developing and delivering effective VET in zero carbon construction.
The findings of the European-based research will inform the development of climate literacy in Canada and internationally. The outcomes will be disseminated and shared widely and provide a resource for training providers, educators, trade unions and employers.
The European component of the project is led by Professor Linda Clarke and Dr Melahat Sahin-Dikmen, accompanied by Professor Christopher Winch (Kings College, London). The team has long experience and expertise in employment and vocational education and training (VET) in the construction sector across Europe and recently completed a study on VET for low energy construction in ten European Union countries.