Real estate

Housebuilding recovery on shaky foundations as demand exposes shortage of skills

A lack of bricklayers, electricians and plasterers has emerged as one of the biggest obstacles to overcoming Britain's housing shortage. Figures from the construction industry show that the swift recovery in housebuilding has exposed a scarcity of people with the requisite skills. John Tutte, chief executive of housebuilder Redrow, said: 'There is no question that we are facing a skills shortage in the sector. We can't get away from the fact we have an ageing workforce, lack of broad investment in education and vocational training, as well as a cultural hangover.' An estimated 240,000 houses a year need to be built to meet demand according to an estimate by the Town and Country Planning Association, but in the year to September only 117,000 were built.


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