HBF hosts parliamentary event championing new entrants into the home building industry

12 Mar, 2024

HBF hosts parliamentary event championing new entrants into the home building industry

The Home Builders Federation (HBF) hosts a parliamentary reception to highlight the diverse range of training opportunities and entry routes available in the home building industry.

The ‘Skills showcase’ event took place on Tuesday 12 March and was attended by MPs and Lords from across the political spectrum, who were able to meet apprentices, trainees and graduates in the industry as well as representatives from a range of developers across the country.

The event, sponsored by Northampton South MP Andrew Lewer, also highlighted the ongoing work by HBF and its members to develop the qualified workforce needed to construct high-quality and energy efficient new homes.

The industry is a major source of training, apprenticeships and employment, supporting over 800,000 jobs and encompassing an extensive and varied mix of skills. Skills range from design and architecture to engineering, construction and sales.

However, a growing and severe shortage of workers in the home building industry is hampering efforts to deliver the homes the country needs. The shortage is primarily due to a shortfall in the number of recruits entering roles through the education system and a severe loss of skills following the 2008 financial crisis, in which 40-50% of skilled labour left the industry.

25% of the homebuilding workforce is also aged over 50, meaning the sector is facing the prospect of a retirement cliff edge and a growing shortfall of workers at a time when housing supply needs to be drastically ramped up.

Research undertaken by HBF’s Home Building Skills Partnership has found that for every 10,000 new homes the industry builds, 30,000 new recruits are needed, included but not limited to:

  • 2,500 bricklayers
  • 2,500 groundwork/plant operatives
  • 1,000 carpenters

The parliamentary reception provided an important opportunity to highlight the need for further support for apprenticeships and routes into the home building industry amid the ongoing skills shortage, as well as highlighting the contribution and successes of new entrants to the industry.

HBF has supported the development of new skills and the workforce of the future through its Skills Partnership, which has provided initiatives including the Future Talent Group, the Home Builders School Outreach Service, and the Women into Homebuilding programme.

However, the industry has been calling for greater support to be provided on an ongoing basis through the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) to help home builders increase apprenticeship recruitment, and for an overhaul of further education to expand routes into home building and develop practical skills.

Stewart Baseley, Executive Chairman of the Home Builders Federation (HBF), said:It is great to see so many Members of Parliament, apprentices and trainees join us to highlight the great work new entrants into the industry are doing.

"The development of new skills for the construction of high-quality and energy-efficient new homes is a key priority for our industry, and this has been a great opportunity to showcase this work.

"However, whilst significant progress is being made there is much more to do. More support from Government is needed to expand the workforce and equip new entrants with the green skills they need for the future.

"HBF’s Skills Partnership will be doing all it can to help raise awareness of the opportunities available to young people considering a career in the industry, including via our Future Talent Group."

For more information on industry-led skills and talent attraction initiatives, contact HBF's Skills team at skillspartnership@hbf.co.uk.

Photographs from the event are available to download now. Please ensure photos are credited to HBF and/or tag our social media handles:

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