ConCOVE Tūhura to lead UNESCO construction training expert group

In a new UNESCO appointment this week, a New Zealand organisation will take a central role in determining the future of international construction trades training.

ConCOVE Tūhura has been appointed as Lead Expert for the UNESCO-UNEVOC Bridging Innovation and Learning in Technical and Vocational Education and Training Expert Group (BILT).

The BILT project is implemented by UNESCO-UNEVOC with support from the German Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) and sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

Leading the Asia Pacific region, ConCOVE Tūhura will be joined by representatives from Africa and Europe. Together, they will create practical recommendations and materials to help shape the future of building and construction education.

"We are thrilled to lead the UNEVOC-BILT Expert Group alongside our Co-Leads from Africa and Europe," said Katherine Hall, Executive Director of ConCOVE Tūhura.

"This appointment recognises the contribution ConCOVE Tūhura is making to reimagining vocational education. It will also create essential international connections to further advance construction and infrastructure training in Aotearoa New Zealand.”

The three areas of focus for the UNEVOC-BILT Expert Group are greening, digitalisation and migration impact for the construction industry.

ConCOVE will be working closely with BRANZ, the Building Research Association of New Zealand (BRANZ), for the ‘greening’ focus area, drawing from BRANZ’s research into building sustainability and zero-carbon construction.

“In partnership with BRANZ, we will contribute to, and learn from, global insights and initiatives,” says Katherine. “We’re looking forward to sharing insights and best practices from our research here and those undertaken internationally.”

Claire Falck, Chief Executive of BRANZ, says there are many existing research initiatives in construction trades training in Aotearoa New Zealand that will support ConCOVE Tūhura’s position as lead expert.

“BRANZ is already well underway with a multi-year project to upskill the building industry for zero-carbon construction, with learning initiatives about to be trialled across Aotearoa,” she says.

“We are so excited to work in partnership with ConCOVE Tūhura to bring these insights to international organisations, and to continue to support our local industry to prepare for the future.” 

Appointed alongside ConCOVE as co-leads are the Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON), representing Africa, and representing Europe is Cereq, a French public research institution under the supervision of the Ministries responsible for Education and for Labour and Employment.

The project will start this month, April 2024, and will run until August 2025. With the first part of the project expected to be delivered in August 2024, it aims to gather global insights and innovations across construction and infrastructure vocational education.

For more information, visit the UNESCO-UNVOC website: