As the industry gears up to deliver further increases in output, the Home Builders Federation (HBF) and the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) have launched a new £1 million scheme to train non-construction staff.
The big increase in the number of homes built over the past two years has seen the industry recruiting and training tens of thousands of new people. This new fund, which will run throughout 2016, is aimed at ensuring the thousands of non-construction related staff – such as in sales and marketing or business development employees – are, like their construction counterparts, getting the required level of training to ensure the industry can deliver more, high quality homes.
The fund will help HBF members to target training to employees, graduate scheme trainees and those on undergraduate placements to ensure that best practice is applied and high standards upheld. A portion of the fund has also been set aside to fund further training for sales and marketing staff. Driving up levels of customer service is a particular area of focus for the industry as more potential customers visit sales offices and more homes are sold.
Commenting, Stewart Baseley, HBF Executive Chairman, said: “The past two years have seen tens of thousands of new people recruited into housebuilding and a significant increase in the number of homes being built. As we look to increase output still further it is imperative we continue to increase industry capacity and develop the skilled workforce required to build the high quality homes the country needs.
“The house building process is an extremely complex one requiring a great number of people with very different skills. If we are to provide the high quality homes and the level of customer service today’s new build customer demands we need to ensure every member of staff in every part of the process is trained to the best possible standard. This scheme we are delighted to launch with CITB will enable HBF members to provide more of their employees with further training and development.”
Steve Radley, Director of Policy at CITB, says: “Industry told us that more needed to be done to address the range of skills challenges in the housebuilding sector. Working with HBF, this new pilot fund is a first step in addressing that important issue and testing how this approach could be employed in other parts of construction. This £1 million pot of money will boost technical skills in the sector to ensure that we can build the homes the country needs.”