HBF secures funding to boost roll out of brickwork and roofing masterclasses

31 Oct, 2023

Thousands of brickies and roofers will receive advanced training to upskill the home building workforce

Bricklayers and roofers across England, Wales and Scotland are set to benefit from a major upskilling initiative that aims to tighten up the skills gap and address common defects, as part of the industry’s ongoing commitment to building quality homes.

The Home Builders Federation’s (HBF) Home Building Skills Partnership has secured CITB funding to deliver hundreds more brickwork masterclasses and roll out brand-new roofing masterclasses, that will enhance the skills of thousands of bricklayers and roofers within the industry’s workforce.

The masterclasses have been developed in partnership with expert bodies, NHBC, the Association of Brickwork Contractors (ABC) and National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC), to deliver practical skills and knowledge on common issues found by NHBC Inspection teams.

The initiative was initially launched in 2019. Since then, more than 1,100 training sessions have been delivered by NHBC Building Inspectors to more than 10,200 brickies. To support uptake and reduce disruption to the working day, the training is delivered face-to-face at participants’ sites across England, Wales and Scotland.

The training is being funded by CITB as part of its £3 million investment into initiatives to support the Home Building Sector Skills Plan. These initiatives illustrate new ways of working to improve skills, training, and recruitment in the home building sector.

Neil Jefferson, Managing Director at HBF, said: “Investment in the home building industry’s workforce is fundamental to ensuring much-needed homes can be delivered to the quality standards customers quite rightly expect.

“By delivering practical training on the sites where work is taking place, this initiative has already successfully upskilled thousands of tradespeople. This new funding award will supercharge the roll out of training and support home builders to deliver the high-quality new homes communities need.”

Tim Balcon, CITB Chief Executive, said: “I’m delighted to see the Home Builders Federation secure this funding, enabling thousands of workers to upskill and, crucially, help meet the needs of the homebuilding pipeline. This initiative supports the wider Homebuilding Sector Skills Plan, delivering an exciting programme of sector-specific skills initiatives, which will truly put employers in the driving seat.

“By responding to the needs of the sector and working collaboratively with a range of partners and stakeholders, CITB continues to support the construction industry to have a skilled, competent and inclusive workforce, now and in the future.”

Darryl Stewart, Head of Commercial Services at NHBC, said: “It is important we provide easily accessible training to the supply chain and SME sector and this funding will help us to continue this.

“Delivered by our experienced NHBC Building Inspectors who conduct more than one million site inspections each year, these courses are designed to deliver practical skills and knowledge on the most common brickwork and roofing issues.

“Our goal is to help builders get homes right first time and we are committed to supporting house builders and their supply chain, equipping them with the skills to build high quality new homes.”

James Talman, Chief Executive Officer at NFCR, said: “We welcome this award to the Home Builders Federation and the specific requirement to support the continuous development of roofing skills to support the sector. We look forward to assisting with its delivery.”

Eve Livett, Chief Executive Officer at ABC, said: “It’s fantastic news that the Brickwork Masterclasses are to continue. With so much change happening across the sector, these sessions are a great way to keep bricklayers up to date.”

The brickwork masterclasses are live for booking now via the NHBC website, with the roofing masterclasses to follow in the coming months: Fully funded Brickwork Masterclass - NHBC Shop.