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Conservatives urged to focus on small builders

The Federation of Master Builders responds to David Cameron’s housing pledge, while there are growing calls to help more females enter the house building industry.

PROPERTYdrum

david_cameronConservative Party plans to deliver 200,000 new homes for first-time buyers has been warmly welcomed by the house building industry, but the Prime Minister David Cameron (right) is being urged to use a wide range of residential property developers, including small builders, to help deliver these properties if re-elected to Government in May.

The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has voiced its support for the ambition of the Starter Homes policy to improve options and affordability for first time buyers. The trade body firmly believes that this is a model which can be made to work, but only if it is delivered by a wide range of builders operating at different scales and that most of the Starter Homes built are additional to those which would otherwise be delivered.

brian_berry_fmbBrian Berry (left), Chief Executive of the FMB, commented: “Taken together, announcements on housing set out by the Conservatives over the last few days amount to a welcome set of proposals. The continuation of more relaxed rules on home extensions until 2020 will support extra work for small builders and provide them with greater long term business certainty. What’s more, these proposals are good for home owners as they give them greater freedom to improve their properties with the consent of their neighbours – it should be recognised that by and large these arrangements have worked well.”

Berry pointed out that moves to earmark brownfield sites for the delivery of custom built homes, for instance, could significantly increase opportunities for small builders, leading to more new homes and greater choice.

He added: “We are pleased to see the Conservative Party taking important steps like these to support smaller builders. We hope that focus will continue and that these policies will draw the support they deserve.”

Elsewhere, The National House Building Council (NHBC) Foundation is calling for a new industry-wide campaign to boost the numbers of girls and young women in house building as new research reveals that just one in ten are interested in building and construction careers.

New research by the NHBC Foundation reveals that while 37 per cent of boys and young men are interested in building and construction, only 11 per cent of girls and young women are interested, the lowest level of interest of any other job sector included in the study.

esther_mcvey_uk_employment_The organisation has pledged its support for UK Employment Minister Esther McVey’s (right) #notjustforboys campaign encouraging more women to consider careers in male-dominated industries. It is now planning to host a summit of leading industry representatives to discuss next steps to recruiting more young women.

mark_quinton_nhbcMike Quinton (left), NHBC’s CEO, said “House building provides exciting, varied and rewarding careers. We want to see more young people – including girls – actively considering a career in our industry to ensure we have a strong and balanced workforce to build the homes our country so desperately needs.

“Our research shows that just one in ten girls would consider a career in building and construction. However our research shows that, if as an industry, we do more to promote and champion the benefits, and challenge the misconceptions, then there are many roles in house building that are appealing to both young men and women.

“People often connect house building with hard physical work performed in all weathers. In reality, there’s a wide range of careers in house building that offer great career prospects, but many people are simply not aware of the interesting roles that exist.”

March 10, 2015

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