The local building industry “will require extra staff from off island” if hundreds of homes are to be constructed each year, according to the President of the Guernsey Building Trades Employers Association (GBTEA).
Steve Roussel told Express that its members are still grappling with capacity and staffing issues but will work to help deliver the necessary private and social housing projects as directed.
The Committee for the Environment & Infrastructure released its models on Monday afternoon showing that around 1,500 new homes will be required in the next five years to meet the needs of people who do not have suitable housing.
This number is likely to be higher since necessary key worker accommodation does not form part of the forecast.
“The building industry is currently very busy, and many builders have experienced difficulty recruiting extra staff to meet market demand since the Covid pandemic,” Mr Roussel said.
“In the short term if the local building industry is going to deliver the extra housing units identified in the report, it will require extra staff from off island.
“GBTEA members have a track record of building both private and social housing and will be keen to discuss future projects with GHA and private developers.”
Pictured: GBTEA provides a voice to various construction trades in the Bailiwick.
Despite the clear challenges, Mr Roussel welcomed the report from E&I and said securing suitable housing for future generations could bring about net benefits to the industry.
“In the medium to longer term there is an opportunity to grow the construction workforce through the Guernsey Institute Apprenticeship scheme and other training initiatives,” he said.
“Providing sufficient first buyer homes is also vital to ensure that young islanders see staying on the island and working in the construction industry as an attractive and viable career and life choice.”
He added that the new strategic housing indicator would go some way in developing “a clear plan from the States for both major infrastructure projects and housing”, which would assist the construction industry.
Around 1,500 additional homes by 2027 to meet needs
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