With a backlog of almost half a million homes across England still waiting to be built despite receiving planning consent partly because of a construction skills shortage in the housebuilding industry, the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and Home Builders Federation (HBF) have teamed up to form a major new partnership to help tackle the housing skill needs.
More than 45,000 new homebuilding workers will be trained by 2019 to help tackle the nation’s housing shortage through the Home Building Skills Partnership – a £2.7 million training initiative designed to help boost the supply of new build homes.
The shortage of skilled labour in the housebuilding sector is pushing up the price of hiring tradesmen.
The financial crash of 2007-08 bears some of the blame as it led to thousands of people leaving the construction industry. Now that demand has returned, there is a skills shortage, with bricklayers, carpenters and joiners in short supply.
Brian Berry, Chief Executive, FMB, said, “We’re already seeing housing developments starting to stall because the cost of hiring skilled tradespeople is threatening to make some sites simply unviable. Unless we see a massive uplift in apprenticeship training in our industry, there won’t be enough pairs of hands to deliver more housing on this scale.”
Thankfully the new partnership between CITB and HBF will support over 3,500 construction businesses and, by 2019, train 45,000 new entrants and 1,000 experienced workers with new homebuilding training qualifications, which will hopefully create long-term skills solutions to meet the Government’s target of 1 million new homes by 2020.
Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis (left) said, “The number of new homes is up 25 per cent in the last year because the country is building again and delivering the homes the nation wants.
“That’s why the Home Building Skills Partnership is an important initiative and will help deliver the training of skilled workers we need to get the job done and to improve quality across the industry.
“Construction offers an exciting and rewarding career and we need to build a new generation of home grown talented, ambitious and highly skilled construction workers.”
Stewart Baseley (right), Executive Chairman at HBF, added, “The industry has delivered huge increases in supply over the past couple of years. To enable us to continue increasing output, such that we can deliver the high quality new homes the country needs, it is absolutely crucial we build up industry capacity. To allow us to do it is essential we have a clear focus on delivering the training the industry needs. The partnership will enable us to develop targeted training that meets the specific needs of our industry in a structured way so we can grow steadily and sustainably.”