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22 March, 2016

CITB and HBF: major new partnership to tackle housing skill needs

Over 45,000 new homebuilding workers will be trained by 2019 to help tackle the nation’s housing shortage through a £2.7 million initiative announced today by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and Home Builders Federation (HBF).

The first of its kind, the Home Building Skills Partnership – working with research on their needs from some 40 UK home builders - will bring together firms of all sizes to ensure that the industry has the skills it needs to build more homes.   This will include initiatives to promote collaboration on skills across the supply chain, so that the industry can better plan for its future needs.

The partnership will support over 3,500 construction businesses and, by 2019, train 45,000 new entrants and 1,000 experienced workers with the new homebuilding training qualifications. 

The housebuilding industry has delivered unprecedented increases in house building over the past two years. The latest figures show that 181,000 new homes were provided last year – up 25% year on year - with the largest companies increasing their output by 50% since their troughs. With the industry looking to meet Government ambitions to increase output still further, whilst maintaining high levels of build quality and customer service, it is imperative industry capacity is increased.

This new partnership will use industry insight to understand skills needs and develop new training and qualifications ideally suited to the modern homebuilding sector. It will create long-term skills solutions to meet the government’s target of one million new homes by 2020.

It will be overseen by a Board that will be chaired by Redrow CEO John Tutte and include a range of senior industry representatives and CITB.

The initiative will launch today at HBF’s Policy Conference, which the Housing Minister Brandon Lewis will address. 

Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis said:

 "The number of new homes is up 25% in the last year because the country is building again and delivering the homes the nation wants.

 “That’s why the Home Building Skills Partnership is an important initiative and will help deliver the training of skilled workers we need to get the job done and to improve quality across the industry.

 "Construction offers an exciting and rewarding career and we need to build a new generation of home grown talented, ambitious and highly skilled construction workers."

Initiatives throughout the four year programme will include:

  1. Research led by HBF and employers, to get a better understanding of the barriers faced by the home building sector.  
  2. Design and delivery of a new Homebuilding Training and Developmental Needs Analysis tool. This will ensure the right training is delivered to ensure the sector’s skills needs are met, now and in the future.  
  3. Establishment of a framework that will set common standards for skills and training in the home building sector. This will deliver a more relevant and valued curriculum and ensuring the safety and satisfaction of homebuilders and their customers.

Stewart Baseley, Executive Chairman at HBF, says:

“The industry has delivered huge increases in supply over the past couple of years. To enable us to continue increasing output, such that we can deliver the high quality new homes the country needs, it is absolutely crucial we build up industry capacity. To allow us to do it is essential we have a clear focus on delivering the training the industry needs. The partnership will enable us to develop targeted training that meets the specific needs of our industry in a structured way so we can grow steadily and sustainably.”

Steve Radley, Policy Director at CITB, says:

“Homebuilding faces major skills challenges and we will only meet them through new ways of working. Homebuilders have said they want to work with CITB to anticipate their skill needs, to get closer to their supply chains and to ensure training provision and qualifications meet their needs. 

“The Homebuilding Skills Partnership will deliver the infrastructure, the tools and the funding to meet the industry’s skill needs.  We look forward to playing an active role in the partnership to create the skilled workforce that Homebuilding needs.”

John Tutte, Group Chief Executive at Redrow, says:

“I’m delighted to have been asked to head up this exciting initiative to improve quality and productivity across the industry. The Home Building Skills Partnership will bring together and build on the industry’s excellent work and commitment to tackle the skills shortage. The partnership will work to ensure we have a qualified workforce to deliver the high quality new homes the country needs.”

- ENDS -

Notes to Editors:

  1. CITB is the Industry Training Board for the construction industry in Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales). CITB works with industry to ensure that construction workers have the right skills in the right place at the right time, by investing funds and providing a wide range of industry-led skills and training solutions.  For more details please visit: www.citb.co.uk.  
  2. The Home Builders Federation (HBF) is the principal representative body for private sector home builders and voice of the home building industry in England and Wales. HBF member firms account for some 80% of all new homes built in England and Wales in any one year, and include companies of all sizes, ranging from multi-national, household names through regionally based businesses to small local companies: www.hbf.co.uk
  3. The HSP is currently estimated to cost a total of £3,825,000. CITB will contribute £2,728,000 via its Structured Fund.
  4. The HSP is one of 20 projects that successfully won bids to receive funding from CITB. We will be releasing full details on all the projects shortly.
  5. It has been funded via the CITB levy. To find out more visit http://www.citb.co.uk/levy-grant/about-levy/
  6. CITB has revamped its employer funding to respond to what industry has told it. There are now three routes – programme-based funding through its Structured and Flexible Funding of £60m over three years and  its Grant Scheme which will pay out £140m in 2016.
  • Flexible Fund – This fund provides up to £500,000 for short-term projects that are ‘quick and adaptable’ in meeting industry skills needs. The range of activities supported includes innovative pilots and prototypes, development of training resources and incentives to support investment in the most needed skills.
  • Structured Fund – This fund provides up to £3 million for long-term projects of up to five years. The fund supports projects that develop skills infrastructure, encourage funding. The fund can be accessed by employers, training groups, federations, trade bodies and trade unions.
  • Grants Scheme – This fund provided support for apprenticeships, upskilling and other forms of training.  We are working with employers to modernise the scheme.
  • For more information about HBF’s Policy Conference please visit http://www.hbf.co.uk/events-meetings/event-display/view/hbf-policy-conference-2016/

For further information or to request an interview, please contact:

Andrea Blumire, Press Officer, CITB andrea.blumire@citb.co.uk tel: 0300 456 5433.

Or Steve Turner, Director of Communications, HBF steve.turner@hbf.co.uk  tel. 0207 960 1606