Skills and knowledge in context
Experience tells us that the quality of new homes could suffer as we emerge from a recession. Previous recoveries in the new build market have coincided with increases in delays, faults and claims and this can, at least in part, be attributed to a loss of experience during quieter times, leading to an industry which struggles to recruit enough of the right people with the right skills and knowledge to meet rising demand. Add to this the tightening of regulations and changes to processes and specification; it is clear that there is a case for managing potential risk of an increasing demand for new homes.
Home Building Skills
In 2009 CITB, The Home Builders Federation (HBF), NHBC and Zero Carbon Hub came together to establish the Home Building Skills initiative.
The aim was to identify the most likely changes that would affect the UK housebuilding industry in the next 10 years, and the potential impacts of these changes on the skills and knowledge required by the main groups of professionals, trades people involved in this industry.
The collaboration wanted to identify the skills and knowledge needed by the whole home building supply chain to cope with, and thrive in, an intensive period of change.
In 2010, through a process of research, interviews and consultation a set of ‘best guess’ scenarios were developed to paint a picture of home building in the milestone years of 2010, 2013, 2016 and 2020. These do not offer a detailed route map, but they do provide a collective view of travel of the industry.
What is clear is that there will be a growing and enduring need for a general upskilling of all parts of the construction industry and its supply chains to address the location, planning, design, construction and operation of low carbon, highly energy efficient buildings, and the way they fit into the larger of neighbourhoods and towns.
The 2010 work developed a set of six recommendations, these were:
- Work must not stop with publication of the 2010 report
- An online portal should be developed to help signpost individuals and organisations to the training providers, colleges and universities that offer courses and qualifications to meet future skills and knowledge needs
- Training providers should, wherever possible, ensure any training provision is accredited on the Qualification Credit Framework
- Qualifications and curricular offered by learning providers must respond swiftly to the needs of the home building industry and standards must be kept high.
- Support must be given to the communication of case studies, exemplars of both best practice and practical solutions offered by peers within each professional and trade group
- Ensure adequate awareness of the challenges at the highest levels across home builders and the supply chain
Further details of the work can be found on the homebuilding-skills website.