Bridging the gap – housing, skills & beyond

Published 19th September 2018

You can’t have escaped the news everywhere about the shortage of affordable housing and the rise of private rentals. Demand has outstretched supply, prices continue to rise and therefore many simply can’t afford to buy their own homes. The bottom line is that the gap in the housing market is becoming too big to fill.

In the light of the current housing shortage, the Government has set ambitious targets for house-building and announced further investment in the sector. In a recent tweet Theresa May comments;

“I’m pleased the Government is investing £2 billion in new long-term funding to build more affordable and social homes. Everyone deserves a decent and safe place to live. And I want to see social housing that is so good that people are proud to call it their home.






However research in to this industry reports annual rising build costs and a widening skills’ gap. The tide is turning to more innovative and efficient forms of construction but are we ready? The modular construction market is becoming increasingly popular and the market is recognising there is a very real need for this more radical type of building process.

Despite modular construction being very much the buzz word of the moment – this isn’t a new concept. At DEWCO we’ve been working with modular and off-site manufacturing clients for over 25 years.

Modular Accommodation DEWCO Rollalong






DEWCO have collaborated on hundreds of projects using off-site volumetric techniques, including extensive projects for the MOD, Education and Residential markets. Renowned for their well managed operations and precise delivery, our highly experienced, skilled team design and produce all aspects of mechanical building services including heating, plumbing, ventilation and air-conditioning systems.

Modular projects are often fast paced, high volume and require all the trades to work together in a seamless manner. It is essential that a close relationship is developed between the building and services designers so that most of the services can be installed during the manufacturing process, minimising on-site fitting out times.

At DEWCO we take full advantage of the controlled environment ensuring quality and safety, reducing snagging and in turn saving on both time and costs.

We are also able to prefabricate many of the component parts of our installations, which allows us to meet the very demanding time schedules associated with modern modular building contracts.

Right from the project onset, our BIM accredited designers through to the off-site installation team, plan everything in meticulous detail and co-ordinate to achieve efficient turn-around times and programme certainty.

Therefore whilst perhaps modular or off-site construction is reducing the pressure on the traditional labour force as skills are easier to acquire, the trades they work with need to up-skill their services to meet the heavy programme demand. This is why at DEWCO we offer a comprehensive apprenticeship scheme for school leavers, providing nationally recognised qualifications. We pride ourselves on training our own direct labour force and as a result have excellent staff retention levels. Some of our senior Directors that are with us today have moved up the ranks since their own apprenticeship days. Mark Wright, pictured below with a couple of our new apprentices, started with us in 1979 as a fitter and is now our Contracts Director.

DEWCO Plumbing apprenticeships

If you’d like to know more about our staff training programmes, apprenticeship schemes or our expertise in modular construction; please email