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BUILDER REDROW LAUNCHES UK’S FIRST HOUSEBUILDING DEGREE

Fri, 26-Jan-2018, 03:58
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Students will learn about housebuilding quality, project management, health and safety, negotiation, as well as aspects of law, mathematics and economics.

Builder Redrow is launching the UK’s first housebuilding degree as part of its efforts to help tackle the growing skills shortage faced by the construction industry.

Redrow said that the first students will start in September. The programme is currently only open to employees at Redrow, but it hopes to open the qualification out to other housebuilders in the future.

Students will learn about housebuilding quality, project management, health and safety, negotiation, as well as aspects of law, mathematics and economics.

The degree is being run by Liverpool John Moores University and Coleg Cambria, one of the UK’s largest colleges.

“The housebuilding sector has a real opportunity to innovate the way we develop and deliver skills training to ensure colleagues can fulfil their potential and progress in their careers,” said Redrow’s Karen Jones.

“Part of that means working in partnership with further education and higher education providers to develop new pathways that enable recruits to develop the aptitude, attitude and strategic nous to deliver communities at scale,” she added.

The construction industry currently faces a skills shortage because of an ageing workforce and a lack of new entrants who are put off by the volatile nature of the sector. There are also fears that Brexit could exacerbate the shortage if there is an exodus of foreign labour.

While the Government has pledged to build 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s in order to tackle the housing crisis, many experts believe this figure is unachievable due to the skills shortage.

A recent survey by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors found 63 per cent of surveyors reported recruiting problems in the third quarter of 2017.

And construction consultancy Arcadis estimated last year that Britain needs to recruit over 400,000 people annually to build enough homes to meet housing demand.

Brian Berry, chief executive of trade body the Federation of Master Builders, said that while Redrow’s degree was a welcome step in the right direction, more action was needed from the Government to address the current skills crisis in construction.

“One of the reasons for the construction skills shortage is the fact that for too long, the Government and society more generally have held academic education in high esteem while looking down on those who pursue vocational education routes,” said Mr Berry.

“The Government must stick to its mission of increasing the quality of vocational training as it’s the only way we’ll improve the image of vocational education, attract more people into the industry and solve the construction skills crisis once and for all,” he added.

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