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07/11/2014

House building and apprenticeships secured under new deal

Words: Laura Edgar

Ministers and the building industry earlier this week agreed a deal that could provide tens of thousands of jobs and apprenticeships.

Although planning permissions have been granted for 230,000 new homes in the past year, house builders have suggested that a lack of skilled labour, including site managers, surveyors and planners, is a key problem.

On Wednesday 5 November, housing minister Brandon Lewis hosted a summit with skills minister Nick Boles and the Home Builders Federation (HBF) at which they agreed a plan that will ensure that more jobs and apprenticeships are available.

The government says this plan aims to ensure that building is viewed as an exciting career path for school-leavers.

The agreement included:

-       The house building industry will recruit tens of thousands of workers in the coming years;

-       The government will work with the industry to improve the image young people have of house building, including working with schools;

-       The industry will work with the military to increase the number of former members of the Armed Forces to move into house building; and

-       The industry and the government will work together to make sure apprenticeships and training standards meet the needs of the modern building industry.

Lewis said: “Our efforts have got Britain building over the past four years, creating thousands of jobs across the country. I want to make sure we maintain this momentum, and ensure that British workers – whether those leaving school, leaving our Armed Forces or considering a return to the industry – benefit from the new career opportunities available.”

Boles explained that the government has an important role to play in supporting the house building industry to ensure that the future generation is skilled in a variety of areas, including management, traditional trades and modern building techniques.

HBF executive chairman Stewart Baseley said: “The industry is committed to working with government to ensure more of our brightest and most talented young people become the house builders of the future and the actions we have agreed will help us achieve that.

“In the coming years we need to be building more of what are the best-designed, most energy-efficient homes in the world – and we need thousands of our brightest and most ambitious young people to help us deliver. In return, our industry has a wide range of fantastic opportunities for young people, with career paths both on sites and in the office ranging from bricklaying to engineering, commercial management and design.”

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