CLC calls for competence frameworks in five retrofit ‘super-sectors’

The construction industry needs to develop competence frameworks for retrofitting in five new super-specialisms, according to a report by the Construction Leadership Council (CLC).

The report, released today (7 May), laid out six core transferable competencies and seven overarching technical competencies for retrofit.

In addition, it laid out key actions that need to be taken by three different stakeholders: government, industry, and education and training providers.

The 64-page report is authored by CLC people and skills industry sponsor Nick Roberts, and CLC skills for a modernised industry workstream lead John O’Connor.

In the joint foreword they said: “With the impact of climate change looming large, the need for competent retrofit workers has never been more pressing.

“To accelerate progress, a concerted focus on enhancing workforce competencies is imperative.

“Embedding the change that is needed requires collective action across the sector.”

The CLC is working to define five “super-sectors” of installer specialism covering envelope; engineering services; interiors; civils; and structure.

“This provides the structure to roll out the development of competence frameworks at scale across all installer disciplines,” the report said.

Core sector-wide transferable competencies are: retrofit advocacy, communication, collaboration, commitment to excellence, continuous improvement and digital.

Overarching technical competencies for retrofit are regulatory landscape; client needs and advice; cost; property assessment; technology and design; coordination and integration; and evaluation and manufacturing.

The report said that the construction industry needs to develop sector-specific frameworks; introduce minimum competence requirements; and emphasise to planning authorities the urgency of retrofit requirements and skills.

Government policymakers need to introduce incentives or schemes that encourage clients to undertake retrofit, it said, and education and training providers need to work with accreditation bodies to validate qualifications and courses.

Retrofitting homes aims to reduce carbon emissions, improve energy security and address fuel poverty, as well as bring wider benefits to the health and wellbeing of occupants.

For the UK to meet its 2050 net-zero target, 27 million homes across the country need to retrofitted and decarbonised, according to the report.

This, it said, requires attracting more people into the industry and making sure they are competent and equipped to carry out their tasks safely and effectively.

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