Climate jobs: major shortage of technical professionals in the construction industry for insulation, solar panels and heat networks

To achieve the climate goals in the construction sector, technical professionals are especially needed. This concerns, for example, mechanics who can install insulation, solar panels and heat networks, but also supporting professions such as designers and floor layers, people who advise on energy and sustainability employees at municipalities. This has been mapped out by the UWV benefits agency.

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Construction is one of the sectors on which climate agreements have also been made. For example, in order to reduce CO2 emissions, the more than 7 million existing houses and 1 million buildings in the Netherlands need to be better insulated, disconnected from natural gas and connected to sustainable heat and energy sources. Until 2030, the aim is to make 1.5 million existing houses more sustainable. In addition, the government’s ambition of building an additional 100,000 homes per year. They must also all become energy neutral, according to the UWV.

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Many professionals will be needed for all this work in the coming years, according to the UWV. In addition to technical personnel, there is also a need for people who support sustainability. This concerns, for example, ground workers, floor layers and designers, work planners and calculators (people who make calculations for construction costs). In addition, countless other professionals are also needed, from communication advisors who can create support for the energy transition, to policy officers at municipalities who make plans and grant permits.

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According to the UWV, there is currently a major shortage of the necessary professionals, because there is also too few of this type of personnel, regardless of the climate targets. In the third quarter of 2021, the number of vacancies for these types of technical professions reached 46,000. Most job openings are open to construction professions, such as planners and calculators, plumbers, carpenters, and electricians and mechanics. In order to recruit more staff, various training and retraining programs have already been started.

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The UWV conducted the research into the professionals together with the Cooperative Organization for Vocational Education in the Industry (SBB) and a department of the Social and Economic Council (SER).

Author: Jobly