Strengthening Energy Efficiency Skills and Certification Schemes for Building Workers in Croatia (CROSKILLS)

Strengthening Energy Efficiency Skills and Certification Schemes for Building Workers in Croatia (CROSKILLS)

Source of funding

European Commission

Name of client/donor

University of Zagreb Faculty of Civil Engineering

Overall project value

EUR 869,041


June 2012 – August 2017

Beneficiary countries


Number of staff


The project was implemented in two phases, both of which were funded through the Intelligent Energy Europe Programme and implemented in the framework of the European Union BUILD UP Skills initiative, which involves more than 20 European countries. The joint aims of the BUILD UP Skills initiative include upgrading the existing and future education and training of building workers and renewable energy source (RES) system installers at construction sites; increasing the number of qualified building workers and RES system installers equipped with energy efficiency skills for the retrofitting of buildings Europe-wide; establishing life-long education for building workers in the field of energy efficiency; and creating national certification schemes for building workers.

The second phase of the project built on priority measures from the National Roadmap for the Lifelong Education of Construction Workers in the Field of Energy Efficiency (2013), which was endorsed by 23 national institutions and organisations in the education, construction and energy sectors of Croatia.

The main goal of the first project phase, implemented by a consortium of eight partners, was to define and quantify needs and possibilities in the Croatian building sector in the context of its contribution to the achievement of ambitious national energy efficiency targets in the framework of the EU initiative to boost the energy skills of Europe's building workforce. This phase resulted in the National Roadmap for establishing a system of lifelong energy efficiency education for building workers.

The goal of the second phase, which involved six partners, was to establish a large-scale qualification and training scheme for Croatian building workers, based on the recommendations and priority measures defined in the National Roadmap, as well as the systematic market evaluation of qualified workforce, both in Croatia and Europe-wide, thus enabling the mobility of workers.

The project targeted Croatian workers, whether qualified or unqualified, employed or unemployed, and with or without work experience in construction, who are interested in acquiring new energy efficiency skills in construction; energy experts in the construction sector as potential trainers; professional associations and chambers in the construction sector; vocational schools; and authorities in the construction, education and energy sectors.

The project focused on the ongoing training of building workers (artisans and blue-collar workers) already in the job market, covering all aspects of work on the building envelope (excluding RES workers). It therefore targeted all six priority professions identified by the National Roadmap: bricklayers, plasterers, roofers, carpenters, house painters and prefabricated construction fitters, taking into account the relevant European Qualifications Framework levels. It included the development and testing of training modules, and the development of a functioning certification scheme. An initial set of 11 training centres were accredited country-wide, and preparations made for ensuring the institutional and financial sustainability of the system beyond the project framework.

The Croatian team working on roadmap implementation actively participated in European activities, exchanging experiences and best practices with other countries implementing similar qualification roadmaps. 

  • Analysing the national status quo and organising consultations with focus groups.
  • Establishing a system of lifelong energy efficiency education of building workers in the form of the National Roadmap.
  • Providing for the endorsement of the National Roadmap, thereby ensuring a system of market evaluation for qualified workforce.
  • Developing comprehensive training materials and training curricula for six priority building professions, in the context of energy efficiency.
  • Accrediting an initial set of at least 10 training providers/training centres.
  • Implementing pilot trainings for 330 building workers country-wide.
  • Establishing a national certification scheme for building workers for six priority professions in line with the National Qualifications Framework, with a view to expanding and linking to other professions related to the building sector, such as RES workers.
  • Establishing mutual recognition of the Croatian certification and training scheme with other European countries.
  • Developing a sustainability plan for the continuation of the workers training and certification schemes outside the project framework.

Activities carried out by the REC included:

  • Coordinating communication and visibility activities.
  • Facilitating the National Qualifications Platform.
  • Organising and facilitating consultations with focus groups.
  • Co-leading the work package on sustainability planning. 
  • Communication and visibility activities
  • Capacity building
  • Preparation of training materials and awareness-raising publications
  • Events management
  • Cooperation and networking
  • Information dissemination
  • Project management