Developers in the UK are actively looking to address the major shortage of skills in the housebuilding sector as part of wider efforts to boost the supply of much needed new homes.
It is estimated that around 50,000 homes across England alone are still waiting to be built despite receiving planning consent partly because of a construction skills shortage in the residential development industry.
The widespread labour shortage places the government’s target of building 1m new homes by the end of this parliament at risk while also adding to the widening supply-demand imbalance in the market that has placed significant upward pressure on house prices in recent years.
The Board of the Home Building Skills Partnership (HBP) has met for the first time to start work on plans to attract and train tens of thousands of new workers.
Led by Redrow Homes CEO John Tutte and comprising a strong group of leaders from across the housebuilding sector, the HBP aims to develop, grow and sustain a programme to provide the workforce the industry requires to deliver the further increases in housing supply the country currently requires.
The Board, made up of representatives from housebuilders, warranty providers, training and trade bodies will guide and direct the Partnership and define its operational parameters and priorities. It will also oversee the recruitment of a dedicated team that, in collaboration with the wider supply chain, will drive forward the initiatives on a day-to-day basis.
The ultimate aim is to develop an improved public identity for housebuilding, influence the development of a more professional, fully trained workforce, increase productivity and the value added per employee, improve the quality and relevance of industry training and co-ordinate the tackling of common workforce challenges.
Tutte commented: “The housebuilding industry is totally committed to increasing output and meeting the housing needs of the country. The Partnership will help us attract and train the people we need to deliver more, high quality homes in the coming years. The broad experience of the Board we have recruited will help us put in place the building blocks we need to succeed. Over the coming years the Partnership will help secure tens of thousands of skilled employees for housebuilders and the wider industry who will help us solve the housing crisis we now face. More quality people will enable us to deliver more quality homes.”