Faster shift to MMC could save the construction industry recruiting 200,000 new staff

With huge shortages of skilled trade and manual workers, the industry is currently falling far short of the government’s target of building 300,000 new homes a year. Innovative offsite building methods like those employed by ilke Homes offer a lifeline for a sector stretched to breaking point.

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has revealed that faster adoption of MMC could avoid the need to recruit 200,000 new construction workers.

With huge shortages of skilled trade and manual workers, the industry is currently falling far short of the government’s target of building 300,000 new homes a year. Innovative offsite building methods like those employed by ilke Homes offer a lifeline for a sector stretched to breaking point.

Lisa Avins, Learning and Development Manager at ilke Homes said: “Just over 18 months after we began manufacturing homes at our factory, ilke has grown rapidly and now employs more than 350 staff, of which over 220 work on the factory floor.

“85% of these factory floor workers had no previous construction industry experience highlighting that MMC doesn’t just add housebuilding capacity to the sector – it also provides much needed additional workers.

“The controlled nature and safe indoor environment of MMC means that housebuilding can be broken down into many, smaller, self-contained tasks. That makes learning much quicker and means we can define individually-targeted training programmes for each new recruit. As such ilke Homes has been able to attract a diverse workforce encompassing career switchers such as ex-military personnel right through to people above the retirement age.

“CITB’s conclusion that MMC could help the construction industry avoid a giant recruitment headache couldn’t be more accurate. While we hope this rallying call is heard by the government and the industry, perhaps more importantly, we hope it attracts prospective employees and provides further evidence to career changers that MMC offers an exciting career with long-term prospects and supported progression.”