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Skills shortage holding back house building – RICS

  • 10/01/2014
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Skills shortage holding back house building – RICS
The level of house building across the UK is being constrained by a lack of suitable skills in the workforce, a report by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has claimed.

The trade body said the level of house building had continued to grow during 2013 but the sector was already being hit by labour and skills shortages, alongside a lack of suitable materials.

More than a third (36%) of construction firms surveyed said labour shortages meant they were building fewer homes than they would like to. In addition, more building firms were reporting issues over sourcing relevant skills than at any time since mid-2006.

It said bricklayers were the scarcest type of tradespeople and almost 40% of respondents said brick and concrete blocks were also in short supply.

The housing market recovery has now spread to most areas outside London and the South East with RICS reporting strong growth in northern regions.

Alan Muse, RICS Director of Built Environment, said: “With the economy having turned a corner in recent months, it would seem that the construction industry has followed suit and activity is up right across the country.

“More homes are being built, infrastructure is being upgraded and each part of the UK is benefiting from this more positive picture. However, with recent estimates stating that over 230,000 new homes need to be built just to keep up with population growth, further initiatives from the government will be necessary to get close to this target.”

In October, surveyors confirmed higher levels of home building across the UK, with 41% reporting growth in privately-funded housing projects in the third quarter.

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