Review to focus on brownfield skill set

A national review of skills needed to reuse brownfield land and fulfil government housing growth targets was announced last week.

The review, to be carried out by the Academy for Sustainable Communities (ASC) on behalf of English Partnerships, could help meet housing green paper targets to build 60 per cent of homes on brownfield sites.

It will seek to identify the true extent of the skills gap in the brownfield sector and offer a detailed analysis of skills shortfalls that could hinder reuse of sites.

It will also examine current gaps in education and training delivery and how to provide professional development accreditation.

ASC director of learning and skills Trudy Birtwell told Planning: "This is about understanding the information that already exists. The problems are the smaller projects, in which only two to three people are involved, and the fact that you need a different set of skills at different stages."

She added: "We are looking at how to tackle shortages in recruitment because we want to make it an inclusive role rather than having to rely on specialists."

Birtwell said the study would also look at housing market renewal pathfinder areas and growth points.

A consultation on a national brownfield skills strategy, published by English Partnerships and the ASC, is due to close towards the end of next month.

Findings from the review will partly inform the strategy, which will be published early next year.

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