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Builders pledge to recruit and train workforce

Words: Laura Edgar
Constuction apprentices / Shutterstock_303640871

A Skills Pledge has been launched by the Home Building Skills Partnership to recruit and train more people to tackle the continuing skills shortage.

More than 50 members of the Home Builders Federation (HBF) have signed the Skills Pledge, including all of its large members and an increasing number of medium and small companies, said the representative body for the home building industry.

The Home Building Skills Partnership is part of the HBF. The Skills Pledge was set up by the HBF and its members in an attempt to tackle the growing building skills shortage and to future-proof workforce skills.

The Skills Pledge covers five key areas:

  • Collaborate and share;
  • Train to a standard;
  • Engage and support;
  • Champion diversity and inclusion; and
  • Promote careers.

Speaking at the launch of the Skills Pledge at HBF’s annual Housing Market Intelligence event in London, John Tutte, group chief executive at Redrow plc, and chair of the Home Building Skills Partnership, said: “If we are to develop the capacity and build the high-quality homes the country desperately needs, we as an industry must commit to recruiting and training the right people – now and in future. The skills gap, whilst acknowledged by the sector, requires a collective and committed response if we are to tackle it sustainably in the long term.

“The challenges posed by Brexit with regard to skills only make the need for effective collaboration more acute.”

Jenny Herdman, director of the Home Building Skills Partnership, added: “It is extremely encouraging to see momentum building for collectively solving the housing skills crisis. We face a huge challenge but also have a unique opportunity to make a difference, and be part of a combined demonstration that a career in housebuilding provides huge opportunities and prospects.

“We want to see the whole industry getting on board in the coming weeks, and working to make the skills gap a thing of the past. We urge all home builders to join us and sign up now.”

Housing and planning minister Alok Sharma said: “This government is committed to building many more homes in the places people want to live across the country. To do that we need an industry that has the right skills to build, including new and innovative methods.

“The Home Building Skills Pledge shows the industry working collaboratively to ensure they’ve got a sustainable supply chain, and I look forward to seeing it result in even more skilled workers on the ground ready to build the homes this country needs.”

Image credit | Shutterstock