Skills shortage risks slowing down Chancellor’s ambition to get Britian building again, warns FMB

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  Posted by: electime      9th July 2024

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rachel Reeves MP, proposals to deliver much needed housing and planning reforms are welcome news but there is a serious question about how these initiatives will be delivered given the current skills crisis in the building industry, says the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB commented: “There are many positives to take from the new Chancellor’s announcement today for the nation’s local house builders. The restoration of mandatory local housebuilding targets will be crucial to meeting Labour’s ambition to build 1.5 million more homes, and it is essential that SME builders are included in this process, so that market diversity in can be restored. More information on Labour’s much-trailed ‘Grey Belt’ proposals are also welcome as land to develop upon is in short supply. However, the UK is currently experiencing a construction skills crisis, and there are serious questions to be asked about how deliverable any of this is, without a long-term training and skills plan to ensure the workforce is in place.”

Berry concluded: “The Chancellor’s confirmation that a new draft National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) will be published before August, including enhanced presumptions in the planning system in favour of sustainable development is a positive step forward and one that should help local house builders. To pull this off will require government departments working in tandem to ensure we have the skilled workers available to deliver these plans. The Government now needs to address how the skills shortage will be tacked.”