“Further Vocational Training for Energy Service Technicians”  (VESTE)


  • Erasmus + Strategic Partnerships
  • Duration 3 years, between 1, 2015 and Aug. 30, 2018
  • 7 Partners from 4 countries


The need for energy saving and for use of renewable energy is particularly high in some Baltic Sea Region countries, given the very high proportion of old buildings greatly in need of refurbishment; e.g. until 1993 99 percent of the buildings built in Latvia had a very low energy efficiency.

SMEs in various sectors, especially the craft trades, are therefore predestined to function as an active contributor to this process, as they carry out such works in old and in new buildings and thus they fulfil important functions related to render assistance in direct contact with final consumers, such as information and consulting. SMEs in Germany and Scandinavia have systematically developed energy as a growth area. While SMEs in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Belarus and Russia are strongly interested in this area, however, a systematic business development is almost completely lacking in these countries.

According to the “build-up skills national reports” for individual countries, the number of concerned professionals has to increase up to 50 percent until 2020 in order to meet the EU’s energy goals. In addition, SMEs in all Baltic countries are in high demand for training on energy-related issues, particularly in Poland and in the Baltic countries.


SMEs account for 99 percent of all enterprises and almost 70 percent of all jobs. The existing shortage of skilled labour, which will increase in the future still strongly influenced by the demographic development, however, is increasingly becoming a major barrier to growth. The training of existing staff and the recruitment of qualified professionals is therefore the most crucial task for the promotion of SMEs in general, and in particular for the realization of the energy targets.

To secure skilled-labour supply and to increase skills in the energy sector in the Baltic Sea Region countries, the German advanced training model to enter the profession of “building energy consultant”, issued 2012 by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, may be particularly suitable. It is not just a 1:1-adaptation that matters, but the creation of opportunities in the Baltic Sea Region states and the set-up of comparable information and advisory services for energy conservation and for alternative energy sources, to make available a holistic approach, with a complete package of legal, technical and economic content, depending on national conditions and needs.

Studies on the development of economy, population, education and labour markets will be evaluated for the energy sector. In the partner countries qualification demand analyses are to be performed. On this basis, as well as based on the German “building energy consultant”, concepts for a dual training model are to be developed.


  1. a) A compact course with to 70 – 80 hours, a survey primarily addressed to company owners that may initiate an effective entry of companies into energy conservation and the use of renewable energies.
  2. b) A comprehensive course which consists of core and elective modules. The obligatory modules contain all relevant issues concerning the assessment of the building envelope and systems engineering, identification of potential savings, investment and profitability calculations, legal foundations and consulting expertise. Each elective module deepens the knowledge to execute building works, such as proper installation of insulation materials, installation and maintenance of renewable energies, etc. Depending on local conditions and needs, further training courses are to be combined with at least 300 hours of obligatory and optional modules. Target groups are managers and experienced professionals from the SME sector, architects and engineers.

For both courses, curricula, teaching materials, etc. will be developed. Tests and evaluations are planned in five countries in order to identify varied national conditions and to test all combinations of modules.

A “train-the-trainer”-program, targeted for lecturers of universities, chambers and other education providers, will be developed, tested and evaluated. The goal is to offer this program at universities on a permanent basis, so that teachers get qualified for the ongoing independent implementation of courses in all regions.

The project lead by the Baltic Sea Academy will be carried out together with six universities, chambers and training institutions from Germany, Poland, Estonia and Hungary. 70 chambers with their educational institutions as well as several educational institutions and universities from 13 countries are involved as associated partners. All project results, such as concepts, curricula, teaching materials, application notes, etc. will be published in a handbook and forwarded to the associated partners, advice will be given on the implementation. Diverse dissemination models will be implemented in various countries to achieve a sustainable demand for the courses aimed to secure supply of skilled labour and to increase skills in energy issues on a large scale throughout the Baltic region.