Construction skills shortage for home builders

Construction skills shortage for home builders

Following initiatives such as ‘Get Britain Building’, Help to Buy and Shared Ownership schemes, demand for new housing has increased – and as a result more than 250,000 new homes need to be built this year alone to satisfy demand.

Whilst this comes as good news to house builders, many have recognised that this additional demand for housing creates a corresponding demand for more people with the skills to build them.  Joiners, bricklayers and other skilled workers are needed to turn development plans and impressive 3D models into bricks and mortar – and currently there’s a shortage of these skilled individuals. 

What’s being done?

Against the background of the Chartered Institute of Building’s most recent survey, indicating that 82% of respondents believed there to be a skills shortage in the construction industry, lack of quality training and insufficient government investment have been blamed.  To combat this, house builders are now offering internal apprenticeships designed to teach the skills currently in short supply.

The largest house builder in the country, Persimmon, is now training 200 ex-forces personnel to help satisfy the skills shortage – most of whom already have a variety of skills complementary to those needed in the construction industry. Because of this, many can be brought up to speed in half the time usually needed to teach the same skills as part of an apprenticeship.  This can reduce the time spent in training from three years to eighteen months (source: The Guardian)

School leavers looking to enter the construction industry are able to take advantage of programmes such as the Construction Apprenticeship Scheme, which can play a key role in securing additional funding for the training.  However, whilst the apprenticeship schemes are likely to increase the number of people with the skills needed to build these highly sought after new homes, with training programmes taking between eighteen months and three years to complete, it may be a while before the benefit of these initiatives really starts to be felt.