Housebuilders and subcontractors need to work better together in order to meet housebuilding targets and solve the construction industry’s skills crisis, reveals new research.

According to the latest Home Building Skills Partnership report, critical shortages in ground workers, plumbers, electricians, bricklayers, carpenters, plasterers, roofers and painters is holding back the sector, with only half of subcontractors confident they can meet housebuilders needs.

Based on 150,000 workers from 20 UK housebuilders and 204 subcontractors, ‘The case for collaboration in the supply chain’ report says providing subcontractors with better visibility on future work, prompt payment, and sharing training resources will help them to grow and increase industry capacity.

The report is the first major research to be undertaken for the new Home Building Skills Partnership (HBSP), a pan industry body set up by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and Home Builders Federation (HBF) in June to ensure the industry has the skills it needs to deliver.

Despite housing output increasing by one third in two years to around 155k homes a year, that figure is still short of the estimated 230k homes required – with more skilled workers also needed.

And while two thirds of subcontractors want to grow through housebuilding, the report also notes the recruiting challenges currently facing the sector. Despite 60 per cent of subcontractors wanting to take on apprentices this year, around 40 per cent have difficulty recruiting or keeping hold of them.

Speaking at the report launch, John Tutte, chair of the HBSP said: “The industry faces a huge challenge in the years ahead as it looks to attract and train the people required to build the homes the country needs.

“The relationship between homebuilders and subcontractors is absolutely critical in terms of how the industry recruits and delivers and it is imperative we work more closely together.

“The report provides some key insight into how we can collaborate more effectively to deliver improved training processes and ultimately increase capacity. We will now work closely with industry stakeholders to act on the recommendations as part of our wider drive to tackle the skills challenge we face.”

Steve Radley, director of policy at CITB, said: “This research provides new insight into homebuilding supply chains and how they work, which is a critical first step to tackling the skills challenge in homebuilding.

“The new partnership and the evidence it has brought together offers the best opportunity in years to foster much closer working in the sector, which will improve skills, help companies become more productive and cost effective, and ultimately help us build the homes we need.”

Via Builder and Engineer. View original article here.