Construction Blueprint project – 5th international meeting

The 5th international meeting of the Construction Blueprint project took place on 12 and 13 April 2021. It was the occasion for the 24 partners to take stock of the progress made during more than 2 years (over an overall 4-year period), in terms of the skills transition in digitalisation, energy efficiency and circular economy.A construction skills observatory, the identification of new professional profiles, and a series of updated training materials for Vocational Education and Training centres are in the pipeline.

The 3 EU sectoral partners (FIEC, EFBWW and EBC) also presented the progress of the Sectoral Skills Alliance which promotes synergies between the various actors of the construction industry in the EU and is supporting, evaluating and endorsing these various developments. All construction-related parties interested in this project are invited to join the #SectoralSkillsAlliance!



Explosion of construction material prices

In recent months we have observed a significant increase in the price of some important construction-related raw materials such as metals, plastics and oil. As a result, companies are facing a major economic burden for ongoing contracts. This evolution will further reduce companies’ margins, which had already been severely squeezed in 2020. When it comes to steel for example, this price increase has resulted from a sudden unexpected increase in demand from the construction sector in China. In addition, there has been a shortage of supply due to closures of production sites due to the pandemic.

Hungary and China plan €1.5bn construction project

Next one please. And further proof that Chinese State-owned companies are not intending to generate any local added value. Hungary is planning the construction of a Chinese university campus in Budapest, to be financed almost entirely by a Chinese loan and built by a Chinese State-Owned Enterprise with Chinese workers and Chinese building material. No competitive bidding process is foreseen due to a bilateral agreement designed to bypass EU procurement rules.

We are eager to see the European Commission’s proposal on foreign subsidies in the Single Market.