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NHBC: upgrade housing stock to save skills

The National House Building Council has suggested the UK’s existing housing stock should be upgraded to preserve skills in the construction sector.

Speaking at the Chartered Institute of Housing South East’s annual conference and exhibition, NHBC chief executive Imtiaz Farookhi said that the loss of skills and capacity in the sector meant the industry might not be able “to build to the standards we have set ourselves”.

Mr Farookhi suggested a programme of retro-fitting was needed.  He said:  “The focus is on new homes, but our second hand stock has been neglected. There’s a real opportunity over the next few years to do this efficiently as part of a national programme. What better time to do it - it would be very good for skills and we will have to do it sometime.”

Developer Lovell’s head of business development Peter Quinn said: “The drip, drip effect of job losses in house builders and its supply chain of carpenters, electricians etc. will reduce capacity. It will be years before they come back into the industry, making it hard to crank up house building once you’ve lost the workers.”