Home Building Skills – Action Plan to 2020

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

People from across the home-building industry are being called upon to respond to a consultation to help tackle the skills agenda – one of the biggest challenges facing the industry over the next decade. While this agenda impacts across the construction sector home builders are at the forefront.

‘Home Building Skills – Action Plan to 2020’ has been developed by NHBC, Zero Carbon Hub and ConstructionSkills. The initiative will identify key issues, potential impacts on the home building sector and ways of addressing the short, medium and longer term skills challenges.

“History has shown that as the industry emerges from recession there is likely to be a surge in building levels, which puts strain on an already depleted workforce,” said Imtiaz Farookhi, Chief Executive of NHBC.

“As we come out of this latest recession, the challenge of increasing supply will be amplified by the pressures of building homes that meet tough sustainability targets,” Farookhi continued. “It is crucial, therefore, that the industry is united in defining and confronting the knowledge gap that may otherwise hinder its progress towards the challenging targets of 2020.”

Following an initial in-depth research phase conducted with industry experts and representative bodies, the industry is now being urged to respond to a consultation launched at this year’s Eco Build (2nd – 4th March). The consultation will be live online until 31st May 2010.

Alistair Collin Head of Future Skills at ConstructionSkills, explained:

“Many companies are unable to articulate what they specifically need but definitely know their needs are changing. This means that training providers and assessment centres are also unable to determine specific needs and develop tailored solutions in response – this work will help clarify needs and inform the skills and training response.“

Neil Jefferson, Chief Executive of the Zero Carbon Hub, added:

“To build low and zero carbon homes, we must ensure that we transform people’s skills at the same time as we are expanding our knowledge and technical expertise in sustainable development.

“Housebuilders have made great progress towards the zero carbon target, but it is now vital that we work together to identify the skills gaps and work to fill them at the same rapid pace the industry is changing the way it designs and builds our new homes.”

Once the consultation closes the findings will be developed into an online hub, which all those involved in home-building – whether site managers, architects, bricklayers or others – will be able to use to establish what training support they need, and where to find it.

The consultation has now closed but the site will be kept open and is available to view at http://www.homebuilding-skills.com/.

Ends

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Notes to editors:

NHBC is the leading warranty and insurance provider for new homes in the UK. It was established more than 70 years ago as a non-profit distributing company. NHBC's primary purpose is to help raise standards to protect homeowners. NHBC's ten-year 'Buildmark' warranty covers around 80% of new homes built in the UK and currently protects approximately 1.7 million homes.

ConstructionSkills is the Sector Skills Council for construction. It represents every part of the construction industry, from architects to bricklayers, in every part of the UK. It covers every part of the skills agenda - from grants to college places. It understands what the industry wants and needs; it tells that directly to Government, and it has the power to get things done