Former construction workers urged to return to the industry
14:21 18 July 2014
One of the region’s largest homebuilders is calling on construction workers who left the industry during the downturn to pick up their tools to help meet the booming demand for new homes in Norfolk and Suffolk.
Persimmon Anglia said it needed more tradesmen and women to help with construction work including bricklayers and carpenters.
The call comes as figures from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) show that in the East of England the industry needs to attract 5,150 new recruits to meet demand and also attract 4,000 new apprentices. The situation is compounded by the fact that in the next five to 10 years 400,000 people working in the industry are due to reach retirement age.
And there were particular shortages among the wood trades, plumbing, and painters and decorators.
Persimmon Homes is currently working on hundreds of new homes in Norfolk and Suffolk, with new sites coming soon in Sprowston, Lingwood, Bradwell, Mildenhall, Lowestoft and Ixworth.
Developments already under construction include Brook Park in Hoveton, The Pastures in Brundall, Becket’s Grove in Wymondham, The Poppies in Harleston, Greenacres in Diss and Weavers Meadow in Hadleigh.
Shaun Marjoram, construction director for Persimmon Homes Anglia, said: “The housing industry really is booming at the moment and we have new build developments going up right across Norfolk and Suffolk.
“However, we need more tradesmen and women involved in all aspects of housebuilding to meet the current demand.
“The rates of pay have risen back to where they were before the recession and we’d be delighted to hear from anyone who would like to get back on site.
“Housebuilding plays a vital role in the economy with so many people working in so many different areas.
“We are looking for talented people to jump on board with Persimmon.”
A spokesman for the CITB, said: “There are a whole load of competing issues going on.
“A lot of people left the industry during the downturn and no doubt many have found jobs that they want to stick with.
“Attracting people back into the industry is one of the things we are aiming at, but the industry has to get to grips with engaging with young people and getting more women into the industry.
“It’s also very difficult to get construction on the agenda with careers advisors, who don’t look beyond traditional building sites.”
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