The construction industry is very important to the EU economy. The sector provides 18 million direct jobs and contributes to about 9% of the EU's GDP. It also creates new jobs, drives economic growth, and provides solutions for social, climate and energy challenges. The goal of the European Commission is to help the sector become more competitive, resource efficient and sustainable.
The construction sector has been hit particularly hard by the financial and economic crisis. The main challenges facing construction are:
The objectives of the European Commission is to help the construction sector meet challenges by:
Up to 95% of construction, architecture, and civil engineering firms are micro-enterprises or small and medium-sized enterprise (SMES). Initiatives in EU countries on energy efficiency have a significant potential for job creation in this sector.
Another approach used to create jobs is the promotion of apprenticeships in the construction industry.