UK HOUSE builders are investing in modern methods of construction to meet the need for hundreds of thousands of new homes per year.

There are a number of challenges ahead for the industry, according to the annual Lloyds Bank house-building report.

It points out that modern methods in the sector hold the potential to boost productivity and supply.

Firms are already investing in new building techniques, with 68 per cent using modular housing and 56 per cent concentrating on panel-based systems.

Housebuilders’ motivations to adopt these methods include improved efficiency, ease of build, better construction standards and in some areas increased margins.

As a result, firms’ investment in new building techniques has increased year on year from 20 per cent of current annual turnover to 24 per cent over five years. There is further investment in upskilling staff for the modern techniques.

An ongoing shortage of skilled workers continues to affect the sector, with 31 per cent of firms saying there is a skills shortage at a national level, while 29 per cent say they have trouble recruiting skilled workers in the regions where they operate.

The sector is tackling the skills shortage with specialist training. Some 69 per cent of firms are investing in staff training and 51 per cent are setting up apprenticeship programmes.

Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the Home Builders Federation, said: “House builders are investing significantly to address these challenges and ensure the industry has the capacity and skills to deliver even more, high-quality homes.”