Home building industry investing more in skills and training, study finds
The home building sector is investing more in skills and training as new build demand reaches its highest level since 2008.
That's according to a new report which reveals that 50 per cent of all builders and 80 per cent of housing associations are taking on an apprentice this year.
The report published by the Home Builders Federation (HBF), National House Building Council (NHBC), Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and the Zero Carbon Hub also found that 33 per cent of home building companies want to increase spend on training and 73 per cen of the existing workforce would describe current skills levels as 'good'.
All home builders provide some form of training to sub-contractors onsite and more than 25 per cent are spending more on training than five years ago. Still, 45 per cent of the home building industry believe more needs to be done to ensure the sector has the right skills in place when industry returns to growth;
Almost half of the home building sector has been given some form of training in the last 12 months and the industry believes a 'mastercraftsmen' qualification to go past NVQ3 is required. The report also revealed that better links between house builders, educational establishments and the construction industry are needed and the sector must promote itself better to attract school leavers and the best apprentices.
Mike Quinton, chief executive of NHBC, said: "Everyone has known for some time about the ageing workforce and the impact of the recession on our industry's ability to attract and retain skilled workers. As the home building industry shows the first signs of growth after several years, we are now hearing increasing alarm about the availability of the right people with the right skills to allow us to maximise these opportunities for growth."
Worryingly, the report also revealed the impact the economic downturn has had on the home building sector; causing 40 per cent of jobs to be shed from the industry and leading to a third of companies spending less on training than five years ago.
It was also noted that with the general economic climate improving, and the constraints on supply being addressed, Government initiatives such as the 'Help to Buy' scheme were helping to revive the home building industry, which in Q1 2013 saw output increase 29.5 per cent on 2012 and 0.2 per cent on 2008 levels.
Steve Geary, skills strategy director, CITB said: "This research reinforces the need for the industry to be working with CITB on a skills action plan to meet the current and future needs of the homebuilding sector. With the emphasis on building more homes in the future to meet demand we need more focus on investment in training now if we are to avoid skills shortages."