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Boost for housebuilding jobs and apprenticeships

Tens of thousands of new housebuilding jobs and apprenticeships will result from a new deal that has been reached between the government and industry.One of the main challenges faced by housebuilders is a lack of skilled labour, with building skills in demand as well as site managers, surveyors, planners and designers.A plan has been agreed by ministers and the Home Builders Federation that will address these issues and help to sustain the current level of housebuilding.Tens of thousands of new workers are to be recruited by the industry in the coming years, including apprentices, graduates and ex-military personnel, as well as school leavers. Efforts are to be made to improve the image of the housebuilding sector, with industry representatives being invited to work with schools to explain the range of opportunities available.Closer cooperation between the industry and the military will help to encourage former members of the Armed Forces to move into housebuilding, as well as looking at how more people who lost their jobs in the 2008 housing crash can rejoin the industry.Finally, the agreement will ensure apprenticeships and training standards meet the needs of the modern building industry, taking into account new methods such as off-site construction.Skills minister Nick Boles said: "Government has an important role to play in supporting the industry to develop the next generation of housebuilders - from management skills, to traditional trades, to modern building techniques."Through top quality employer-designed apprenticeships and industry-led training programmes, we want to help firms across the country to develop and invest in home-grown talent and get the skills they need to succeed."In the last year, planning permission has been granted for 230,000 new homes and private housebuilding starts are at their highest for seven years.A number of developers are already increasing the number of jobs and apprenticeships they offer. Persimmon has formed a team to encourage former soldiers into housebuilding, while Crest Nicholson adds up to 60 new apprentices onto their payroll every year. 

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