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New study shows that the house building industry can deliver increased supply – University of Reading

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New study shows that the house building industry can deliver increased supply

Release Date 08 September 2005

An independent report undertaken by Michael Ball, Professor of Urban Property Economics at the University of Reading, demonstrates that labour and skills shortages identified in the Barker Review do not risk the industry's ability to significantly increase the rate of house building. The study, commissioned by CITB-ConstructionSkills and the Home Builders Federation, includes research into the number of skilled jobs required to increase supply and a survey of 20 house builders, responsible for around 30 per cent of annual housing output. Analysis of the size of the workforce required to meet Kate Barker's two scenarios for greater output show that: • An output level of 250,000 new homes would require 20,000 new UK entrants to the housebuilding workforce. • An output level of 300,000 new homes would require 80,000 new UK entrants to the housebuilding workforce. The report concludes that: "these numbers are substantial but not impossible to achieve. While training issues are important in the expansion of housebuilding, it can be concluded at the same time that skills shortages are unlikely to represent a barrier to expansion of the housebuilding industry." • "The intake of new entrants to skills programmes is currently quite good." • "Despite identifiable recruitment problems, many firms reported that most occupations could be recruited with relative ease providing that at least the going wage/salary rate was paid." • "All firms said that they were keen and able in terms of production capacity to expand significantly the number of dwellings they were producing." • "Instead of labour availability, they virtually unanimously identified land shortages, planning constraints and associated delays as the key constraints on producing more housing." Robert Ashmead, Chief Executive of the Home Builders Federation, said: "This analysis clearly demonstrates that the industry is not only keen - but also able to deliver - the rates of increased building recommended by Kate Barker. We know that we need to invest further in skills and training and I am confident that new initiatives being undertaken will make important progress. It is now up to the Government to help create the conditions whereby the industry can deliver." John Cowley, CITB-ConstructionSkills Corporate Services Director, added: "We're pleased to have supported Professor Ball's report on skills issues in the housebuilding sector. This study assists our work with the wider construction industry, on effective skills profiling and capacity planning." end Notes to editors About HBF The Home Builders Federation (HBF) is the principal trade federation for private sector house builders and voice of the house building industry in England and Wales. The HBF's 300 member firms account for over 80% of all new houses 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. The Home Builders Federation is leading a number of initiatives to increase training and skills levels in the industry. This includes: working with the subcontractor supply chain to increase significantly the number of training places for skilled trades within the industry; promoting the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) with the aim of the larger companies having a fully carded workforce by the end of 2007; and developing a new flexible qualifications structure for the management of house building developments. About ConstructionSkills ConstructionSkills is a partnership between CITB-ConstructionSkills, CIC and CITB NI. It is one of the Sector Skills Councils tasked by the Government to implement UK wide Sector Skills Agreements between the bodies responsible for delivering training in the UK and those that demand it. For further information, contact: Katie Thompson HBF Press Office T. 0207 421 6120 M: 07866 590 747 Paul Howlett CITB-ConstructionSkills T: 0207 367 9801 M: 07917 183 874

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