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23rd June 2017
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House builders' views on their supply chain: from the Jablite round table debate
Jablite recently hosted a round table debate to ask: "Is the house building supply chain fit for purpose?"
The answer from the panel of house builders and representative organisations came back loud and clear, the supply chain is fragmented and the communications links are weak. Richard Lee, managing director of Jablite sums up some of the key subjects covered in the discussions:
"I heard a lot of concerns being voiced by our house builders. The skills and labour shortage is biting deep for them.
"This clearly impacts on the quality and variety of the homes they are able to build. Their dependency on sub-contractors makes this an area they have little or no control over.
"The lack of technical expertise in sub-contractors and in consultancies including engineers, surveyors and architects was also raised.
"There was a strong feeling that there needs to be more done to inform school leavers, university graduates and people leaving the armed forces about the career opportunities in the construction sector.
"During the debate Andrew Burgess from Churchill Retirement Living mentioned how on one site, in return for planning permission, they were 'forced' to visit schools and arrange site visits to inform the local community about career opportunities. Although this was not welcomed at the time. The results had been good.
"I think this is a good example of how innovative thinking can be driven and the points raised have put the issue of recruitment, training and apprenticeships higher on the Jablite agenda.
"In addition, I was very interested to hear about off-site developments and how Swan Housing are investing in this. The reaction to a question about innovating new products was mixed! We had both positive and negative reactions from the house builders on our panel which I think reflects the sector.
"It confirms our view at Jablite that construction product suppliers' innovations must be customer-led and relevant and that collaboration is best the way to develop more complex or long term products.
"On that front, we hope to continue the conversation that started and would be very interested in hearing from any house builders who would like to join us for future, more informal get-togethers."
28th April 2017