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Effective teamwork key to increasing number of new homes

Better collaboration between housebuilders and subcontractors holds the key to solving the major shortage of skills in the housebuilding sector which is crucial to wider efforts to boost the supply of much needed new homes, according to a new report.

The research report, ‘The case for collaboration in the supply chain’, which was compiled by Skyblue Research Ltd, suggests that residential property developers should provide subcontractors with better visibility on future work, issue, prompt payment, and share training resources to help enable them to grow and so increase industry capacity.

The report is the first major piece of work to be undertaken for the new Home Building Skills Partnership (HBSP), a pan industry body set up by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and Home Builders Federation (HBF) to ensure the industry has the skills it needs to deliver much needed new build 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 one million 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.

Commenting on the new report, John Tutte, chair of the HBSP, said: “The industry faces a huge challenge in the years ahead as it looks to attract and train the people required to build the homes the country needs. The relationship between homebuilders and subcontractors is absolutely critical in terms of how the industry recruits and delivers and it is imperative we work more closely together. The report provides some key insight into how we can collaborate more effectively to deliver improved training processes and ultimately increase capacity. We will now work closely with industry stakeholders to act on the recommendations as part of our wider drive to tackle the skills challenge we face.”

Steve Radley, director of Policy at CITB, added: “This research provides new insight into homebuilding supply chains and how they work, which is a critical first step to tackling the skills challenge in homebuilding. The new partnership and the evidence it has brought together offers the best opportunity in years to foster much closer working in the sector, which will improve skills, help companies become more productive and cost effective, and ultimately help us build the homes we need.”

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