15th December 2017

Kier has underlined its commitment to recruiting and training the next generation of house builders by committing 1% of its workforce as Kier Career Ambassadors.

Kier has underlined its commitment to recruiting and training the next generation of house builders by committing 1% of its workforce as Kier Career Ambassadors and signing the Home Builders Federation’s (HBF) Skills Pledge.

The Career Ambassadors pledge is part of the new Shaping Your World campaign by Kier, it will see employees from a range of roles and backgrounds engaging with 10,000 students across the UK in the next 12 months, challenging misconceptions that the industry is muddy, male dominated and poorly paid, while highlighting the breadth of interesting jobs available in the built environment. Kier has installed a number of Virtual World Plaques™ on house builder sites across the UK, allowing local communities to find out more about a development, the people behind it as well as some interesting facts about the area.

The HBF’s Home Building Skills Pledge – a set of five key actions developed through its Home Building Skills Partnership and members - seeks to bring together the whole home building sector to ensure workforce skills are passed on to the next generation. The Skills Pledge seeks to engage, educate, train and support new recruits to ensure that quality homes can be built where and when they are needed.

This comes at a key time for the housing market, with the government pledging £44bn overall in housing in the autumn budget. The abolishment of stamp duty for first time buyers purchasing a house up to £300,000 and councils given more powers such as compulsory land purchases, looks set to see the housing market radically change. In order to cope with demand, thousands more skilled workers will need to enter the sector. John Anderson, executive director, Kier Living, said: “As a country, it’s well publicised that we’re not building enough houses. We need 300,000 new homes a year and right now we are building less than 200,000 so it’s vital that we bring the next generation of talented people into our industry, provide them with training to ensure we move forward while nurturing the traditional skills we need.

“We’re proud to sign the HBF’s Skills Pledge, which reinforces our commitment to addressing the skills gap, alongside our1% pledge. We’re looking forward to working with our peers to inspire young people to join us and shape the communities of the future and build the homes our country desperately needs.”

Cameron Elliott, 22 from Sinfin, Derby took part in a Kier apprenticeship on the Manor Kingsway development. He says: “I really enjoyed working on this development. It provided me with a real insight in to how a live site works and the people involved. I was given excellent training, guidance and support and as a result I looking to pursue a career in the built environment.”

Jenny Herdman, Director of the Home Building Skills Partnership, added: “We are delighted that Kier is committed to collaboratively tackling the skills gap in our industry by signing up to the Home Building Skills Pledge. Inspiring the next generation of future home builders by engaging with students and developing a network of home building ambassadors will be a key focus for us in the coming months. Kier’s commitment is a great example of how the industry can embrace this challenge. We look forward to closer working with them on this critically important agenda.”