Pictured at the DASBE Transforming Construction Skills Conference (L to r): Seamus Hoyne, TUS; Catherine Wall, Tipperary Energy Agency; Anne Molloy, Irish Green Building Council; and Jimmy Fahy, ATU.

Critical education, research, and industry leaders in the construction sector attended the Transforming Construction Skills Conference organised by Digital Academy for the Sustainable Built Environment (DASBE) in Portlaoise on 09 May. DASBE is a hub for upskilling in the construction sector, providing blended education in critical areas needed to upskill the construction and retrofit sectors. The Transforming Construction Skills Conference explored the impacts of the DASBE initiative and discussed the future of construction skills in Ireland.

Over 40 DASBE academic programmes

Seamus Hoyne, Dean of Flexible and Workplace Learning at the Technological University of the Shannon (TUS), introduced DASBE and outlined how the initiative has successfully developed over 40 new academic programmes in the past three years, all of which are industry-relevant and accessible with the majority delivered in a blended or online format. This has taken ‘extensive engagement’ with industry, and new collaborations are constantly being developed.

Speaking further on the ‘DASBE Transformation Journey’, he explained how new technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality, drones and Building Information Modelling (BIM) are being used to ensure students are exposed to cutting-edge technologies.

Seamus Hoyne commented: “The impact of DASBE has been significant, as are the requirements for skills and resources in the built environment. We need to continue to collaborate and develop solutions to meet industry needs.”


Renovation Wave Strategy

The keynote session was delivered by EuroACE secretary general Adrian Joyce. EuroACE works with European institutions to help Europe move towards an efficient use of energy in buildings.

Adrian Joyce said: “From an EU perspective, there is a growing awareness that the challenges associated with delivering the renovation wave strategy on the ground are strongly linked to the development of closer cooperation between educational institutes, industry, and government agencies to ensure that we have a reinforced and upskilled workforce in the efficient buildings sector. At EuroACE, we are working with our 16 members on achieving this goal.”

New ways to learning

Delegates were also addressed by TUS President Prof Vincent Cunnane. He explained: “We need to work together to design and develop new ways in which people can access learning and create education, training and career pathways for learners. Attracting more people into the sector is key if we are to reach our housing and climate targets, and it is clear it is an exciting and evolving sector to be involved in.”



DASBE is a partnership between two higher education institutes, the Technological University of the Shannon (TUS) and Atlantic Technological University (ATU), along with industry partners the Irish Green Building Council and Tipperary Energy Agency and is funded by the government’s Human Capital Initiative Pillar 3. It provides blended education in critical areas needed to upskill the construction and retrofit sectors.

For more information on DASBE programmes, micro-credentials and virtual reality tools, visit www.dasbe.ie

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