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LGA calls for skills and employment powers to solve housing crisis

Whitehall needs to devolve funding and responsibility over employment and skills to councils to help solve the demand for skills in the construction industry and meet the government’s ambitions for housebuilding, according to the Local Government Association.

Gary Porter 90x105mmThe new chair of the LGA, Conservative Cllr Gary Porter, is to use his first keynote address to the organisation’s annual conference as to warn of a growing skills shortage in the construction industry which he will claim is holding back housebuilding.

According to the LGA demand for skills within the construction industry is up 54% since 2013, but there are 58% fewer completed construction apprenticeships today than in 2009.

This could result in the construction industry being left without the skilled employees needed to deliver on the government's ambitions for housebuilding, Cllr Porter will say.

To solve this crisis, the LGA wants funding and responsibilities over employment and skills services to be devolved to local areas.

Cllr Porter will say: "The government has expressed a clear ambition to build more affordable homes and help more people own their own home. Local government has a central role to play to make this happen.

"Central to this is lifting housing borrowing limits to allow us to invest in new housing, giving us the freedom to set Right to Buy discounts and retain 100 per cent of the receipts locally.

"For too long there has also been a mismatch of centrally-set training and skills needed locally. We've trained too many hairdressers and not enough bricklayers.

"The solution is a wider devolution of public services and we need that sooner rather than later. Devolution will allow us to do more for our people. And we need all parts of the country to have the chance to play their part.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email [email protected]


Peter   01/07/2015 at 09:12

Utter tosh. I thought Conservative doctrine was to leave these things to the market. If building companies need skilled employees, then they should pay for the training programmes needed. Why should taxpayers support them to make even more money?

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