Home Builders launch Skills Pledge to ease talent crisis

October 5, 2017 / Isla MacFarlane
Home Builders launch Skills Pledge to ease talent crisis

The Home Building Skills Partnership has announced that it will launch a Skills Pledge committing signatories to working with their subcontractors to recruit and train more people.

Over 50 HBF members have signed up including all its larger members and an increasing number of medium and small ones – meaning companies responsible for well over half the homes built in England are already committed.

The Skills Pledge is the latest initiative to come out of the Home Building Skills Partnership, a pan industry body set up to tackle the industry’s skills shortage.

The Home Building Skills Pledge has been developed by the HBF and its members in recognition of the need to collaboratively tackle the home building skills shortage, and the importance of future proofing workforce skills – via new entry routes as well as developing existing talent.

The Skills Pledge covers five key areas: Collaborate and share; Train to a standard; Engage and support; Champion diversity and inclusion; and Promote careers. By signing up to Pledge, companies will also be supporting the HBF’s Home Building Skills Partnership and working to its shared goals.

On a micro level, the Partnership is starting to make a real difference on the ground. In the last three months alone site managers and trainee site mangers have been put through over 200 training courses with another 550 planned for the next three months, whilst around 50 young people are currently being fast tracked into trade roles including bricklaying, dry lining and joinery.

Speaking at the launch of the Skills Pledge at HBF’s annual Housing Market Intelligence event in London, John Tutte, Group Chief Executive of Redrow Plc, and Chair of the Home Building Skills Partnership, said, “If we are to develop the capacity and build the high quality homes the country desperately needs, we as an industry must commit to recruiting and training the right people – now and in future. The skills gap, whilst acknowledged by the sector, requires a collective and committed response if we are to tackle it sustainably in the long term.

“The challenges posed by Brexit with regards to skills only make the need for effective collaboration more acute.

“It’s now the right moment to build on the achievements of the Home Building Skills Partnership over the last year and together send a powerful message, not only to the wider home building sector, but to government, education and careers providers, and of course, future recruits.”

Jenny Herdman, Director of the Home Building Skills Partnership, added, “It is extremely encouraging to see momentum building for collectively solving the housing skills crisis.  We face a huge challenge but also have a unique opportunity to make a difference, and be part of a combined demonstration that a career in house building provides huge opportunities and prospects.

“We want to see the whole industry getting on board in the coming weeks, and working to make the skills gap a thing of the past. We urge all home builders to join us and sign up now.”

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