William Eichler 12 September 2018

Skills shortages ‘major’ barrier to building new homes

Skills shortages ‘major’ barrier to building new homes  image

Skills shortages in the building industry will overtake access to finance as a bigger barrier to building new homes, particularly after the UK leaves the European Union, warn small house builders.

The percentage of small and medium sized (SME) house builders saying that a shortage of skilled workers is a major barrier to their ability to build more new homes has risen to 44%, according to an annual assessment from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

This is up from 42% in 2017.

More than half (51%) of SME house builders view the planning system as a major constraint on their ability to grow and ‘inadequate resourcing of planning departments’ was rated as the most significant cause of delay in the planning application process for the third year in a row.

Nearly half of small house builders (46%) say access to finance is a major barrier to their ability to build more new homes.

A lack of available and viable land tops the list as the most commonly cited barrier (59%) to increasing housing delivery.

Almost two-thirds of SME house builders (62%) believe that the number of opportunities for small site development are actually decreasing (up from 54% in 2017).

When asked to look ahead over the next three years, more firms cited skills shortages as a likely barrier to growth than access to finance.

‘Nearly half of builders believe the skills shortage is a major barrier to their ability to build new homes,’ said Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB.

‘The construction sector is heavily reliant on EU workers with just under one in ten workers in the sector born in the EU. Brexit, coupled with the end of free movement, threatens to further intensify the skills shortages we already face.

‘Given that the UK will leave the EU in less than six months, house builders are understandably concerned that skills shortages could worsen and choke housing delivery.

‘In order to combat this skills crisis, the construction industry needs to encourage more entrants into the industry and develop higher quality qualifications.

‘It is critical therefore that the Government doesn’t pull the rug out from under the sector by introducing an inflexible and unresponsive immigration system.’

Pushing for real reform image

Pushing for real reform

The pandemic was a game changer for the central/local government relationship, says Joanne Roney, who has started her two-year stint as president of Solace.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Occupational Therapist - Recruitment Day

Essex County Council
£30906 - £42254 per annum
Occupational Therapist - Recruitment DayPermanent, Full Time£30,906 - £42,254 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Social Worker - Recruitment Day

Essex County Council
£30906 - £42254 per annum
Social Worker - Recruitment DayPermanent, Full Time£30,906 - £42,254 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Social Worker - Learning Disabilities & Autism Team North

Essex County Council
£30906 - £42254 per annum
Job summary and Responsibilities About the Role Working to support adults, and their families, who have complex social needs and are more vulnerab England, Essex, Clacton-On-Sea
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Commissioning Manager - SEND

Essex County Council
Up to £250 per day
Job PurposeCommissioning is a key function within ECC, working across the system to improve outcomes for Essex residents and bring about significant England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Senior CIL and S106 Officer

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£33,543 - £46,962
We are looking for an exceptional candidate to fill a Senior role within the Information and Planning Obligations Team. London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue