Government launches skills drive for Gordon Brown’s housing reforms

The government has announced a renewed skills drive to help deliver its ambitious housing reforms, published earlier this week.

Housing minister Yvette Cooper announced an £8bn programme of investment for affordable housing to meet prime minister Gordon Brown’s recent announcement of creating three million more homes by 2020.

The Departments of Innovation, Universities and Skills Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Communities and Local Government and Children, Schools and Families, are joining forces to ensure the skills system can support housing growth.

This will include work to boost the number of apprentices in England, and exploring a new employment and skills approach with the industry.

Skills gaps in the construction industry are particularly acute, particularly in professional disciplines such as project management and design.

The government will also explore whether it needs to focus on skills development to support the drive towards jobs specialising in carbon management.

Meanwhile, manufacturers’ organisation the EEF welcomed the unveiling of Specialised Engineering Diplomas for 14 to 19-year-olds.

The diplomas offer a new model for learning and developing new skills, and have the potential to increase the numbers of young people developing the skills that industry needs, the EEF said.

Director general Martin Temple said: “The new diplomas are a key element in providing relevant practical skills to employers and developing employability among students.”

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