Right to link housing and skills

The Labour Party’s proposal to link up housing and skills policy would be the right approach for a post-Brexit UK, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has said in response to the publication of the Labour Party’s manifesto.

Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, said: “Labour’s pledge to integrate housing and skills policy is the right approach to tackling two of the key challenges we face in the building industry. We are building too few homes in every part of the UK and this problem is exacerbated by the construction skills shortage.

“Jeremy Corbyn has said that freedom of movement would end under a Labour government and it is therefore right that the party has a clear plan to build the homes we need and train the people we need to build them.”

Brian also pointed to Labour’s focus on apprenticeships and high quality training.

“The commitment to doubling the number of NVQ Level 3 apprenticeships by 2020 will be well-received by small construction firms,” he said. “The sense of a decline in the standard of construction apprenticeships has reduced the attractiveness of taking on apprentices for many SMEs. SME construction firms still carry out two thirds of all apprenticeship training and nearly three quarters of construction SME bosses say they would be more likely to take on an apprentice if the standards to which apprentices are trained improved.

“A higher level skills base is key to increasing the UK’s productivity which trails behind other leading economies.”