New Homes Debate champions diversity in housebuilding

February 20, 2018 / Isla MacFarlane
New Homes Debate champions diversity in housebuilding

The New Homes Debate will challenge industry perceptions with a diversity debate, it has been revealed.

The WhatHouse? New Homes Debate, in partnership with Show House Magazine and the NHBC (National House-Building Council), will return on March 15th 2018 at London’s Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel.

Building on the success of last year’s WhatHouse? New Homes Debate, this year’s event will ask how the industry can address the skills shortage and inspire the next generation of housebuilders. There will be four panels debates, which will tackle apprenticeships, training, diversity and leadership.

The debate will once again be chaired by Lord Hague, the former home secretary and leader of the Conservative Party, discussing the key issues with leading panellists in front of an invited audience of housebuilding delegates.

The debate will seek to identify practical solutions to help policymakers and decision-takers nurture a new generation housebuilders.

“The skills shortage and recruiting and training young people is the single biggest issue facing the housebuilding industry. Everybody recognises this and as Rob Perrins, chief executive of Berkeley Group, said, collaboration between schools, colleges, training providers and the industry is vital,” said Rupert Bates, editorial director of Show House Magazine and its online jobs site

“The debate will look at the crisis from all angles, talking not just to leading industry figures with the heft and passion to make things happen, but to those starting their careers – the apprentices who represent housebuilding’s youth vote and must make their voices heard by both their peers, their employers, trainers and government,” said Bates.

“The debate will also focus on training, talking to universities, colleges and industry bodies who can deliver the courses and the qualifications, while diversity will be another key plank of the discussions, shaping how housebuilding can be a fruitful career for all, across a whole range of professions and skill sets.”

Panellists include:

  • Dr Neil Bentley, CEO, WorldSkills UK;
  • Ashley Terron, Site Project Manager, Redrow;
  • Tanja Smith, Technical Director, Gradon Architecture, Chair of Construction, Institute for Apprenticeships;
  • Emma Wright, Graduate and Apprentice Manager, Berkeley Group Plc;
  • Geoff Mann, Industry Training Manager, NHBC;
  • Jenny Herdman, Director for Home Building Skills Partnership, HBF;
  • Anthony Wilkinson, Head of Talent Development, Crest Nicholson;
  • Alison Cotgrave, Subject Head – Department of Built Environment at Liverpool John Moores University;
  • Kelly Hector, Head of Human Resources, Churchill Retirement Plc;
  • Barry Cullen, Diversity & Inclusion Director, RICS;
  • Andy George, Head of Talent Management, Barratt Developments Plc;
  • Isla MacFarlane, Editor, Show House News;
  • Nicola Barclay, Chief Executive, Homes for Scotland;
  • Stewart Baseley, Executive Chairman, HBF;
  • Helen Moore, Managing Director, City & Country;
  • Rachel Roxburgh, CEO, Dallaglio RugbyWorks.

To find out more about the New Homes Debate, including commercial partnership opportunities, please email Rupert Bates –

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