A quarter of Yorkshire and the Humber councils are failing to tackle the housing crisis

The Government has released its housing delivery test results, showing that a third of local authorities across the country are failing to address the housing crisis.

The results show that 108 local authorities delivered less than 95% of the homes their local community needs, with 21 being required to publish action plans explaining why they missed their targets and what action they will take.

The remaining 87, who delivered between 35% and 85% of their housing need, will be required to add 20% more homes to their five year land supply.

No area delivered less than 25% of their housing need, which means that no council will face the penalty of ‘presumption in favour of sustainable development’. However, the presumption penalty threshold will increase to 45% in November 2019 and to 65% in November 2020.

If the Government had not extended the deadline to meet the 65% threshold until 2020, 32 local authorities would have been subject to the penalty.

In Yorkshire and the Humber a quarter of local authorities failed to deliver enough homes, with four being subject to a 20% buffer, requiring them to add 20% more homes to their five year land supply.

Bradford, Kirklees and North Lincolnshire came close to falling below the future 65% threshold, delivering 76%, 75%, 73% respectively. Calderdale is in real danger of falling below the threshold in November 2019 as it delivered only 36% of housing demand.

The National Federation of Builders (NFB) understands the challenges local authorities face in meeting housing demand, but remains concerned that so many councils are missing their targets leaving us a shortfall of more than 220,000 new homes.

As local developers, NFB members would have liked to see local authorities in control of their own housing destiny. However, given their frequent failures to meet housing demand and accurately assess housing need, we welcome the blunt instrument that the Government is wielding.

Richard Beresford, Chief Executive of the NFB, said:

“Since the carrot of meeting housing need themselves is not enticing enough for local planners, the Government’s stick of penalties and buffers is clearly required. We have a housing crisis and the Government is taking appropriate steps to fix it.”

Rico Wojtulewicz, Head of Housing and Planning Policy at the House Builders Association (HBA), said:

“We’re not building enough homes in Yorkshire and the Humber and some areas are in danger of facing Government control by the end of 2019. A warning has been given and we must act now to make sure all development opportunities, from the smallest to the largest, are being enabled.”

ICE President visits Yorkshire

The Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE) President, Andrew Wyllie CBE, on a visit to the recently opened Integrated Civil and Infrastructure Research (ICAIR) Centre in Sheffield, where he met with sixth formers, graduates and students taking part in a #transport#infrastructure breakfast.

He said,

“It is great to engage with young people, as they are the future of the industry, and to do so in a state-of-the-art facility is fantastic. It is often easy to forget that civil engineering is essential to day-to-day life. Watching these young people experiment with something as vital to modern society as sewerage or drinking water, and to understand the role civil engineering plays in that is wonderful. They were truly engaged and inspired.”

Wyllie also joined Harry Gration MBE, of BBC Look North, to take part in a future of transport panel event at the University of Sheffield, where they presented their ideas on the city could thrive as a #NorthernPowerhouse.

You can watch more here.

NFB Awards 2019 open for entry

The awards event will take place on Thursday 4 April 2019, at the prestigious and award-winning Belfry Hotel and Resort located in the Midlands.

The National Federation of Builders (NFB) has launched its eighth annual awards to celebrate the high quality work and commitment delivered by members to improve the built environment.

The awards reflect the dynamic nature of the construction industry and provide a unique opportunity for NFB members to showcase and be recognised for their work. Commenting on the awards, NFB chief executive Richard Beresford said:

“We are delighted to offer NFB members the chance to be recognised for the contributions they make to the UK construction industry. We are thrilled to again celebrate experience, enthusiasm, creativity, and skill across the industry as we pay homage to both individuals and teams who work seamlessly together. In past years entrants have shown us that, despite well-publicised obstacles relating to planning, procurement, skills shortages, and late payment, the delivery of excellence can still be achieved without compromise.”

This year, two award categories are open to the industry so entry is not restricted to NFB members; the Inspirational Individual Award and Training Programme of the Year Award. In addition, a Construction Employer of the Year category allows employees can nominate the company that they work for.

Entries will be accepted for projects completed between January 2017 and December 2018.

All categories are £30 + VAT to enter with the exception of Construction Employer of the Year which is free to enter. All categories are free to enter for A – C band members of the NFB. Entry closes at midnight on Friday 15 February 2019, and finalists will be announced week commencing 4 March 2019. Application packs and further information can be found here.

For further information please contact the NFB on 03450 578 160 or email.

A more skilled society needs employers who train

The Social Mobility Commission has released a report on the adult skills gap in the United Kingdom.

The report, entitled ‘The adult skills gap: is falling investment in UK adults stalling social mobility?’, highlights how the poorest adults with the lowest qualifications are the least likely to access adult training.

Key findings identified that:

  • more women are completing training than men;
  • more people from Black and Black British ethnic backgrounds are completing training than from white backgrounds;
  • more young people are completing training than older people.

Those who do complete training are more likely to come from professional or managerial backgrounds, with men in manual occupations least likely to have done training regardless of age.

National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) had some of the lowest wage returns to education, whereas Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC) qualifications had the highest, especially those in construction and engineering. Employers and government training schemes made up the largest proportion of manual training.

The National Federation of Builders (NFB) welcomes the research, as it brings awareness on the need for more funding in adult education and an increased focus on those industries that are performing better than average.

In construction, additional training is typically enabled by career experience. This is particularly prevalent amongst SMEs because apprentices may begin in one field, such as bricklaying, and throughout their career have an opportunity to retrain, for example, as a site manager. Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB, said:

“Training is a great indicator of social mobility and the report highlights that more must be done to help adults develop their careers. In construction, staff retention is vital and most companies encourage training. However, with 66% of apprentices being trained by SMEs but only 27% of homes built by them, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep investing in new and existing staff. If we want more social mobility, we must enable the companies who train to win work.”