Building homes during a skills shortage

There is a very clear requirement for more homes to be built, and an article by Planning and Building Control Today presents a change in attitude for Build to Rent, saying designing and building purpose built rental developments that people want to live in is a key way of rapidly increasing much needed high quality housing capacity. Going on to highlighting that “the scale and repeatability of Build to Rent lends itself to modern methods of construction, such as build offsite, which means that rental units can be built at speed.”

A call for evidence into skills, materials, and technology in the housing sector has been launched. CIOB, as part of the National Housing Taskforce, have been charged with addressing issues in the construction labour market, with an additional review of materials and new technology, primarily off-site manufacture and modern methods of construction (MMC). The call for evidence closes Friday 9th September.

At the same time the Communities and Local Government Committee are conducting an inquiry in the capacity in the homebuilding industry. “The Committee will cast a critical eye over the major homebuilders, examine the decline of small and medium-sized developers and look closely at the skills shortages, planning delays and finance issues hampering the industry.”

After the vote to leave the EU, a survey by RICS shows a slowdown in construction employment. A shortage of skilled labor has been an on-going issue for some time for the construction sector. The survey reveals revealed 59 per cent of firm having problems filling vacancies for bricklayers and a shortage of quantity surveyors is having an impact on 57 per cent of firms.

In an interview with Graham Hasting-Evans, UK Construction Media discuss the shortage of civil engineering apprenticeships, as well as the apprenticeship levy. Currently the government is seeking views on its plan to boost apprenticeships, with a levy on larger business and training subsidies for smaller firms.

UK Construction Media also interviewed founder of Class of Your Own, Alison Watson. She presents the Design Engineer Construction programme, for secondary school children. And in a more recent interview considers how best to reach primary school children, encouraging girls into construction and how video games like Minecraft can play a key role.

The Considerate Constructors Scheme has launched an online training portal with guidance and case studies to help constructors improve standards. The Best Practice Hub provides a series of free courses, eligible for CPD to help improve understanding of the CCS’s Monitors’ Checklist and provide a range of ideas to help prepare for Monitors’ visits. And finally the NBS have produced an article and video on The 10 reasons you need a specification – at-a-glance. In a blog for CIMCIG Saint-Gobain Pam UK present lessons learnt from listening carefully to the needs of customers and their supply chains. Nowhere is this more crucial than in the area of developing new products and services.

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