The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) has welcomed proposals in the Liberal Democrats' manifesto, which announced an ambitious target to build 300,000 new homes each year, as well as recognising the need to expand and increase quality vocational training to achieve this.

John Newcomb, managing director of the BMF, said: “Together with local level policies such as ‘affordable land’ plots for self-builders, prioritising development on Brownfield and town centre sites, and ensuring that local authorities have clear 15 year plans to lead development in their local areas, we are encouraged by the potential for meeting the UK’s housing needs and the 300,000 target.

“Alongside this and essential to its successful delivery, is ensuring that quality vocational training for trade professions is delivered. The BMF, which has already recognised this need, currently delivers builders’ merchant focused formal qualifications such as NVQ Apprenticeships and Foundation Degrees, to ensure that our members have the most highly qualified and knowledgeable workforce available to provide quality guidance on legislation, government policy and financial aid to build sector customers when considering building materials.”

Mr Newcomb concluded: “Finally, we welcome plans to offer Council Tax reductions to resident’s whose homes have an energy saving improvement, which provides a welcome incentive for homeowners to meet energy efficiency requirements. Our members will be well placed to assist consumers in making such improvements.”