MILLER is taking on increasing numbers of directly employed staff to help meet demand at its contracting arm.
Miller's contracting operation edged pre-tax profits up £100,000 to £1.7 million in the first half of this year on turnover of £141 million - up £21.6 million - and has a record £330 million order book.
Chief executive Keith Miller said: 'There's a general shortage of good skills and we're addressing that with more direct employment and apprenticeships.'
The housing arm at Miller, which employs 2,000 people, hoisted pre-tax profits £10.5 million to £47.1 million.
The average price of the 1,776 homes sold by Miller in the first half - up from 1,061 - slipped £12,000 to £183,000 due to selling more homes in the north of England after it bought Fairclough Homes.