Mark Clare, Chief Executive of Barratt Developments, has warned that a shortage of skilled workers could prevent the country from tackling the housing crisis.

A lack of skilled workers will prevent the country from delivering the homes needed to address the housing crisis, according to Barratt Developments boss Mark Clare.

He said: “If we are to hit the kind of numbers that are often used by politicians in terms of where we should be, we need 150,000 more people working in the housebuilding sector at all levels.

“Wage rates are going up very substantially for certain trades which is fine and a large company we can stomach that for a while.

“But if there is a finite number of bricklayers then there is a finite number houses that can be built and somewhere in the supply chain there will be housebuilders that won’t be able to deliver to the level that they might have hoped.”

The warning follows an announcement earlier this week that Barratt had seen pre-tax profits of £390.6m due to house price inflation and a growth in demand. The company also saw the average price of homes rise by 12.9 per cent to £241,600.

The improvement in performance, according to Clare, was due to investing £3.8bn in land over the last five years, as well as the recovery of the housing market.

He said: “We effectively secured 40,000 plots over the last two years so we really have taken advantage of a really good land market from a buyers point of view.

“We are seeing some good benefits coming through from strategic land too, very much generated by improvements in the planning system.”


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