Chancellor George Osbourne announced the 2014 Budget in Parliament yesterday and among it was some encouraging news for the housing market, with new housing supplies being a central theme.

Prior to the official announcement, the Chancellor had already revealed that the Government's Help to Buy scheme would be extended in 2020. This decision already guaranteed  that housebuilders would be needed to work on additional sites, with a projected 120,000 people estimated to be looking to purchase a home. However with Britain still climbing out of its recession, care has been taken to ensure that the market doesn't bite off more than it can chew. The Bank of England has been commanded to stay wary of house prices, long with further reforms put forward to ensure the building of these new homes goes smoothly.

While the larger house building corporations have the finances to put forward new build projects, the same can't always be said for the small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Which is why the Government is creating a £500 million Builders Finance Fund, intended to help SMEs that struggle with bank lending. In doing so, it is forecast that 15,000 stalled plots will now go into motion again. In addition to this, there will also be a £150 million fun to kick start regenerating housing estates through repayable loans.

In addition to this, a "Right to Build" scheme has also been proposed, which will give assistance to those wishing to build their own homes by giving them a right to a plot from the local authorities. This scheme is also backed by a £150 million repayable fund to help provide 10,000 serviced plots for custom house builds. Finally the Government continued its committment to 'zero carbon homes' that was previously mentioned last year by planning to have them implemented from 2016. A response to last year's consultation about it is to follow soon.

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British housebuilders Persimmon Homes is launching a recruitment drive across its 24 businesses to find tradesman as it prepares to build more homes across the country.

They are looking for subcontractors, labour-only subcontractors and direct employees to help the business meet demand from buyers. Since April the company has already taken on 286 trade and apprentice direct employees and is now targeting people who may have left the industry or are looking for a new career.

The campaign has also seen Persimmon undertake research looking the perceptions of tradespeople among the UK public. HR director Richard Latham says that although enlightening, the responses do not paint a totally true picture of working in a trade in 2013:

“Our research shows that 78% of people in the UK view the work of tradesmen as skilled, which is extremely positive, but worryingly, 70% don’t feel the job is rewarding and 82% don’t feel it has a competitive salary. In our experience, this is extremely wide of the mark.”

He believes that even more worrying is the fact that 48% of people feel that the negative stereotypes surrounding tradesmen stop young people from pursuing a career in the industry.

"Our research found that the majority of people in London (67%), the South East (65%) and West Midlands (62%) think that there are limited jobs available to them, whilst 54% of the North East and 40% of Scots admit that it is extremely hard to find jobs in their local area.

"Our apprentice campaign is extremely popular and we will soon be kicking off our search for over 100 more young people to join us in 2014. We see young people as the future of our business and we invest both time and money in one of the best training programmes in the industry. Many of our senior personnel, including our current chief executive Jeff Fairburn, started in the industry as an apprentice."

Steve Roche, Persimmon’s group communications director, added: "Demand for new homes is definitely on the up, partly thanks to the government-led purchase schemes, such as Help to Buy, and also due to the general improvement in the economy."

Via HVP Magazine

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Full story: Support for Housebuilding should be chancellor's priority says CBI

It was roughly three years ago when the Government announced there was a considerable sum of money that was to be used for social housing building programmes. At the time of the announcement I was uplifted to think that the prospect could bring about an end to the recession. And being a country that isn't known for production, the only way we can produce a financial economy that breaks a recession is by a large scale house building programme.

With all the products used to build homes and all the new products that go into them, the wages earned by the construction workers goes back into the economy. Throughout my career on the tools, I was fortunate to go through two bad recessions - one in the late 80s and then another in the 90s, both of which I was constantly working within the M25 area doing new build work. I personally feel that, and the CBI agree, our most instant way to relieve this recession is to undertake a 50,000 new build affordable home project. If the Government had started their own social housing programme back then, things wouldn't have turned out the way they are today.

- Mark Lewis