Paul Moore
Recognition PR Business Team

Member Article

Housing and skills must be on the election agenda - starting now

Housing and skills have to be high on the agenda of politicians as the country counts down to the 2015 General Election, says the boss of construction and development firm Southdale.

As the housing industry meets this week in Manchester for the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) Conference, less than a year before the country goes to the polls, Paul Moore fears the debate will be led by political positioning, rather than focusing on real areas of need.

According to the Home Builders’ Federation, 2012/3 saw one of the lowest house building rates in England since 1923, with around 108,000 completions. Projections for 2011 to 2021 suggest at least 220,000 new homes need to be built every year.

Mr Moore, Managing Director of Southdale, which operates across the North of England, said: “Two of the things everyone in this world needs are a roof over their heads and the chance to earn a wage, so it is important that the country’s housing and skills needs should be high on the political agenda in the run-up to the General Election.

“We are still a long way off the supply of housing meeting demand and the issue of a bubble in the property market is greatly skewed by inward investment in the London and the South East. A lot needs to be done to get the housing market right in the UK and the debate needs to start now.”

Mr Moore said: “In terms of skills, particularly in the construction industry, we are still some way off where we need to be. When the sector was badly hit by the recession, many of those who found themselves out of a job decided they couldn’t afford to hang around, so they retrained, or even went abroad. Now, we have a significant gap to fill. The latest report from the TUC show rapidly decreasing job prospects for many young people who are outside of full-time education, and it is clear that with the right course of action, government can turn this around and address the skills gap at the same time.”

Southdale, which was founded in 1992 and has survived two recessions, has its head office and Yorkshire regional base in Halifax, while its Western Division is headquartered in Warrington and its North East office in Darlington.

Mr Moore added: “During the course of the year, we in the housing industry need to press the case for housing and skills to be at the forefront of politicians’ minds as they make their case for government. That is starting now at the CIH Conference and we must keep pressing the case, right up until General Election day.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Recognition PR Business Team .

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