Organisations in Bizkaia consider the challenges facing the construction sector in terms of talent
- The conference was attended by the Provincial Council of Bizkaia, Bizkaia Talent, the employers’ association Ascobi, IDOM, the Eraikune cluster, Tecnalia, UPV/EHU and Viuda de Sainz.
Last Monday, 5 July, the Euskalduna Palace in Bilbao hosted the Construction and Talent conference. Organised by the Department of Infrastructures and Territorial Development of the Provincial Council of Bizkaia, in collaboration with Bizkaia Talent and Bilbao Metropoli 30, the event served to clarify the requirements for talent in the construction sector and to set out the roles and functions required of highly qualified professionals to meet the challenges of the future.
The day began with a speech by the Provincial Councillor for Infrastructures and Territorial Development, Imanol Pradales, who provided an overview of the situation of the sector’s labour market and the demographic challenge facing the Basque Country.
Iñaki Urresti, the Secretary General of Ascobi, the Association of Builders and Developers of Bizkaia, added that the challenges facing the sector depend on its capacity for recovery. “Multi-billion dollar investments are being made at the European level in activities such as renewable energies, mobility and smart cities. This interrelationship will mean that the sector will experience counter-cyclical growth for the first time. We are therefore going to need a lot of talent,” said Urresti.
The managing director of Bizkaia Talent, Ivan Jimenez, highlighted the importance of construction in contributing to employment in the Basque Country, although he also underlined the consequences that the demographic problem is having on the sector, due, among other factors, to the drop in the number of people graduating from our universities in the last two decades.
Álvaro Rey, Managing Director of IDOM, emphasised the importance of talent in the expansion plans of companies in order to remain competitive. In fact, he stated that the Bizkaia-based engineering company has an active policy of attracting international talent, which it combines with local training in order to maintain the essence of the organisation without losing its roots.
In the second part of the day, a round table discussion was held, which was attended by Iñigo Casas, Head of Projects at Eraikune; Jesús Cuadrado, Lecturer and researcher in the area of Construction Engineering at the Bilbao School of Engineering (UPV/EHU); Eneritz Barreiro, Urban Ecosystem Manager at Tecnalia; and José Manuel Baraibar, Technical and R&D Director of Viuda de Sainz. With Ivan Jimenez as the moderator, they discussed the challenges facing the construction sector in terms of talent management (such as, for example, the integration of diversity, the need to generate multidisciplinary teams, the need to start incorporating international profiles that specialise at our universities, excellence in project management and collaboration between all the members of the value chain), as well as the type of profiles that the sector is expected to need and the shortage of highly qualified talent that the sector will have to address in the coming years.