CITB starts training how to sell houses as well as build them

The Home Builders Federation (HBF) has joined forces with the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) for a training drive for commercial staff.

The HBF and CITB have launched a £1m scheme to train non-construction staff, such as those in sales and marketing or business development roles

HBF members who are in-scope for payment of the CITB Levy and registered with CITB can apply for a share of the funding.

The traditional role of the CITB is to teach people to build; this scheme is for teaching people to sell.

Specifically, the fund will support:

Training of employees on sales and marketing courses

Training of non-construction under graduates

Training of non-construction graduate scheme participants

Achievement of non-construction qualifications. The qualifications must be management, technical or professional qualifications such as a Marketing degree, or Cert IPD.

This new scheme will not support NVQs, however, as this training can already be claimed through the main CITB grant scheme.

The HBF said that driving up levels of customer service was a particular area of focus for the industry to manage visits to sales offices by potential customers.

HBF executive chairman Stewart Baseley said: “The past two years have seen tens of thousands of new people recruited into housebuilding and a significant increase in the number of homes being built. As we look to increase output still further it is imperative we continue to increase industry capacity and develop the skilled workforce required to build the high quality homes the country needs.

“The house building process is an extremely complex one requiring a great number of people with very different skills. If we are to provide the high quality homes and the level of customer service today’s new build customer demands we need to ensure every member of staff in every part of the process is trained to the best possible standard. This scheme we are delighted to launch with CITB will enable HBF members to provide more of their employees with further training and development.”

CITB policy director Steve Radley added: “Industry told us that more needed to be done to address the range of skills challenges in the housebuilding sector. Working with HBF, this new pilot fund is a first step in addressing that important issue and testing how this approach could be employed in other parts of construction.

“This £1m pot of money will boost technical skills in the sector to ensure that we can build the homes the country needs.”