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Member Briefing: Publication of the report on skills and training in the home building supply chain

Date: 05/09/16

Skills and training in the home building supply chain

HBF has today published the report it commissioned to look at skills and training issues in the home building supply chain.

The report - The case for collaboration in the supply chain’ – was undertaken for HBF by Skyblue Research Ltd. Please click here to view the full report in more detail. HBF’s press release on the report launch can be read here.

We are most grateful to the HBF members who contributed to the research and also assisted us with introductions and contacts in their supply chains. The report provides an important input to the work of the Home Building Skills Partnership (HBSP), with skills in the supply chain being one of the Partnership’s three main work streams.

The report is based on research conducted with 20 large UK housebuilders and 204 subcontractors, who in total employ up to 150,000 workers. It reveals that: 

  • Two thirds of subcontractors want to grow through house building
  • Builders and subcontractors have mutual objectives – profitable work, positive reputations, safe and productive sites
  • 57% of subcontractors are planning to increase direct employment in the next year
  • Only 50% of subcontractors are confident they can meet house builders’ needs
  • Critical shortages include ground workers, plumbers, electricians, bricklayers, carpenters, plasterers, roofers and painters
  • Without greater collaboration supply chain capacity increases will be limited

The report goes on to make a series of recommendations. These include for:

  • Housebuilders to give greater visibility to their future pipeline of work at regional levels; to reduce the half year and year end pressures; pay promptly; make the training infrastructure they have in place available for subcontractors; consider mandating subcontractor training.
  • Subcontractors to proactively engage with house builders and the HBSP over workloads, recruitment and training.

Next steps

Follow up to the report will be considered by the Partnership’s Activity Group on the Supply Chain. We would welcome members’ feedback on the research and involvement in this further work through the HBSP. Please let us know therefore if you would like to be involved in the Partnership’s work on the supply chain and also if you can suggest supply chain contractors who may be interested to take part.


John Slaughter

Director of External Affairs