Housebuilding companies are recruiting new workers at their fastest rate since 1997 – thanks to government-led efforts that have got Britain buildin, said Lewis, but he has argued that we should do more to help nurture young talent and encourage school leavers to help get Britain building.
The 2008 housing crash caused a downturn in the construction industry which led to the loss of a quarter of a million jobs. This government has introduced a range of measures to try and reverse that and deliver new homes across the country, including Help to Buy, which has led to a surge in business to the construction sector, with private housebuilding up a third in the scheme’s first year.
And radical reform of the planning system has given communities a greater say over how their local area is developed – meaning planning permission was granted on 630 homes a day over the past 12 months.
As a result companies are now hiring construction workers at the fastest rate since 1997, with the UK predicted to generate over 180,000 full or part-time building jobs before the end of 2018. But housebuilders have made clear that the lack of skilled labour is one of the chief problems faced by their industry and are in need of a range of building skills as well as site managers, surveryors, planners and designers.
Brandon Lewis said: “Our efforts over the past 4 years have got Britain building, which means thousands of jobs – from plumbing to plastering, and from bricklaying to scaffolding – are now up for grabs.
“I’ll be bringing together the captains of our construction industry to make sure young Brits can benefit from these new opportunities, so we can nurture our home-grown talent and build the homes we need for years to come.
Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the Home Builders Federation said: “The industry is committed to working with government to ensure more of our brightest and most talented young people become the house builders of the future and the actions we have agreed today will help us achieve that. In the coming years we need to be building more of what are the best designed, most energy efficient homes in the world – and we need thousands of our brightest and most ambitious young people to help us deliver.
“In return, our industry has a wide range of fantastic opportunities for young people, with career paths both on sites and in the office ranging from bricklaying to engineering, commercial management and design. Our young people develop skills for life, earn whilst they learn, and at the end of every day go home knowing they have achieved something fantastic that is contributing positively to the nation’s future.”