Offsite Alliance & MOBIE invite industry to define offsite housing skills

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The Offsite Alliance and Ministry of Building Innovation and Education (MOBIE) have invited the housebuilding industry to help define offsite housing skills

The Offsite Alliance C.I.C formed in 2019 has brought together the offsite housing sector, in a bid to revolutionise the way we build our homes.

Through collaboration with the Ministry of Building Innovation and Education (MOBIE), the Offsite Alliance is bringing a team of experts to help define the skills that we need for a modern housebuilding industry.

More and more houses are being built using Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) and by the end of the decade it is estimated that MMC housing could comprise nearly 20% of all housebuilding in the UK.

If we are really to transform the way we think about, design and construct homes in the UK we need to attract a diverse workforce to develop the necessary skills to deliver this transformation.

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MOBIE has assessed the skills requirements that the offsite housing industry needs, based on industry feedback and its experience of delivering housing design, construction and manufacturing skills to young people. It is asking the new industry expert group to review its findings to test:

  • Whether the right new skills have been identified and to point to what is missing?
  • Who, if anyone, is teaching these skills now? and;
  • How identified gaps can be addressed?

The group will validate and refine the skills required and recommend further action.

‘The skills we need for the future’

Mark Southgate, director of the Offsite Alliance and chief executive of MOBIE, said: “The skills required to build housing using Modern Methods of Construction are different to those required for traditional construction methods.

“Design for Manufacture and Assembly requires different design approaches, manufacturing skills that are more closely related to other sectors such as car and aeroplane manufacture and specialist site assembly skills.”

He added: “Digital skills are also set to become an increasing requirement of the future construction professional, whether they work in traditional or modern methods of construction.

“It is, therefore, vital that the industry defines the skills it needs for the future so that we can ensure these are taught to the next generation of home builders. Our new group will help us do this.”

Gaynor Tennant, founder of the Offsite Alliance, said: “One of the biggest challenges facing the construction industry is the lack of uptake as a profession.

“Our school children are not taught about the endless career opportunities across the construction sector.

“We don’t teach our children they could be architects, project managers or engineers.

“Building high-quality homes in a manufacturing environment offers a vast range of new skills, exciting skills, skills that can inspire our youngsters and build a strong workforce of tomorrow.

“The industry knows what is needed to grow their businesses they understand the constraints and limitations of our current workforce.

“We need to work together to define the skills needed for the future harnessing a vast array of secure and exciting careers to inspire our next generation.”

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