Moving to home building

Currently we're experiencing a major housing shortage in the UK. As a result, house building is one of the biggest problems the country faces.

Each of the main political parties agree that something needs to be done to increase the supply of houses in order to catch up with demand and help reduce prices. The problem cannot be solved by house builders alone, but we will undoubtedly play a vital part in helping to solve the issue.

So we’re able to meet the challenge we must ensure we have the skilled workforce available to build the homes the country needs.

Part of that means encouraging school leavers and graduates into the industry. However, it’s also important that we attract the best talent that’s already working within the construction sector. There are also a number of qualified or part-qualified individuals who left the industry during the economic downturn in 2008 who could restart their career in house building, being reintegrated into the workforce and retrained to current industry standards.

There are many different routes into house building, which are accessible regardless of whether you have prior experience in the industry or not. 

Career returners

If you are re-entering the industry, you will need to obtain a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card or a Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) card for plant and machinery operators before starting work onsite.

CSCS and CPCS cards are increasingly demanded as proof of occupational competence and health & safety awareness.

For a handy guide on how to get your CSCS card, see the video below.

You can book your Health, Safety and Environment test online. Alternatively you can call the information and booking line on 0344 994 4488. The cost of the test is £17.50.

Once you have passed your Health, Safety and Environment test and know which card you need to apply for, you should complete and return an application form with the necessary documents.

If you have a minimum of five years’ experience and do not need any further training, you may wish to take the Experienced Worker Practical Assessment (EWPA). It combines the key criteria of the NVQ into one practical assessment, together with work-based evidence and employer endorsement, which must be completed within a specified time.

Career changers

Many adults will find they can transfer the skills and knowledge they have acquired in another field of industry into the construction sector. This is in addition to a wide range of Employability Skills which are useful and sought after by employers.

Some examples of sectors that might be relevant to the craft sector include:

  • Land based industries - e.g. landscaping and agriculture
  • Manufacturing
  • Engineering
  • Armed Forces
  • Stage/Theatre construction 
  • Some relevant transferable skills may relate to specific aspects of other sectors. For example an adult who has been working as a rigger in the entertainment industry may have developed knowledge, skills and experience which are relevant to becoming a scaffolder.

With the increasing popularity of off-site manufacturing in construction, companies are also employing staff from the manufacturing sector.

Off-site manufacturing plants often rely on a range of skills and experience which people may have originally acquired elsewhere, such as car plants.

This includes skilled and semi-skilled operatives, maintenance, design and production engineering, supply chain, team and production leaders and a range of commercial and administrative roles.

Job Variety

The process of building a home is very complicated and involves many different stages. This means that house builders have a lot of departments that do very different jobs. To find out more about what each department does, just click on the picture!

Variety of locations

The map below shows you where house builders have their main offices and regional branches. We work extensively right across the country in villages, towns and cities, and as a result we are working on thousands of sites at any one time. So don’t worry if you can’t find an office near you, there’ll be a development close by.

Retraining opportunities

To find out more about different employment opportunities and retraining schemes, go to our House Builder Directory for all the relevant contact details.

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