House-building recovery ‘reveals skill gaps’
According to experts from the National House Building Council (NHBC), activity in the sector has now reached its strongest level in seven years.
In total, some 107,017 house-building registrations were recorded by the NHBC between the start of the year and September. This represents a 6% improvement in year-on-year terms.
The result also represents the strongest year-to-date total witnessed by the organisation since the pre-recession days of 2007.
While this comes as welcome news, this surge in activity has laid bare skills shortages in the industry. The NHBC reported that bricklayers, carpenters and decorators are among the skilled workers which building firms are having difficulty recruiting in order to meet the demands of their workloads.
The report also showed that another potential threat to the industry’s growth relates to access to finance, with small building firms having recently encountered “risk-averse” lenders and they may be finding it tough to secure loans as a result.