Housing minister announces plans to create 3,000 more apprentices as council home funding is released

Housing minister John Healey has invited councils to bid for funding to build 1,200 council homes.

Addressing the Labour conference in Brighton, Healey said he was inviting bids by the end of next month, and hoped to give the go-ahead for successful schemes before the end of the year.

He also confirmed plans previously announced to make the use of apprentices a condition of public funding for any housebuilding, whether by developers, councils or housing associations. Healey said the move would see the creation of 3,000 more construction apprentices over the next two years.

Healey said: "We believe we have a duty to help when people are struggling. we believe in using the pwoer of government to protect the poorest and disciplne the market. We believe in the progressive power of public investment."

He added: "If the Tories had their way, there would be no special help on mortgages, no extra jobs and apprenticeships, no boost for building affordable homes."