Comments from our CEO, Steve Errington
Far from the landslide victory for the Conservatives that many predicted, the snap election called by Theresa May resulted in a hung parliament, with the Conservatives remaining the largest party but falling short of an overall majority.
The Prime Minister has now stated that she intends to form a government with the backing of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).
It is a critical time for the future of the UK, with Brexit negotiations due to start in only a few days’ time, so we hope that the government will be formed imminently and can then get on with addressing the important issues at hand.
For our industry, the key promise in the Conservative manifesto was for a million homes between 2015 and 2020, and another 500,000 by 2022. This would go some way to addressing the shortfall, so we hope that housing will remain a top priority.
The government should remember that house builders play a crucial role in communities, supporting local economies as well as delivering new homes. Story Homes will build a landmark 1,000 homes this year and, according to figures from the Home Builders Federation, that will support the employment of more than 4,000 people.
In terms of the growing skills shortage in the house building industry, we had welcomed the government’s proposed introduction of T-level qualifications to help young people develop the technical skills that our industry needs, so again we would like to see this go ahead. At Story Homes, we have taken our own steps to develop our future workforce by introducing an apprenticeship scheme, but we and others in the house building sector need to have the government’s support to help close the skills gap.
We will be watching developments unfold with interest over the coming hours and days. We would urge the government to deliver on the promises made during the election campaign and prioritise addressing focal issues such as the housing shortfall and the skills gap in our industry.