SIR – Your Jobs column (November 27) is right to highlight the growing skills gap in the the UK’s engineering and manufacturing sector.

Skill shortages also seem certain to grow further in many other sectors, for example NHS and social services both of which are of particular concern in localities with ageing populations such as Malvern Hills. Unfortunately the area has high housing costs.

It is for this reason that the new charity EngageMalvern ( has identified amongst its pilot projects for the medium term the desirability for private businesses and public organisations in the area to improve their employment packages for young adults by including access to truly affordable housing.

‘Truly’ here means rents at 50-60 per cent market value for rental over a period of up to say 10 years.

Community Housing Trusts as community-led charities in other parts of the country are now providing such low-cost and fully eco-friendly housing.

EngageMalvern as a member of the local Chamber of Commerce is inviting businesses and organisations to join a consortium to support creation of such a Housing Trust in the area to help financially-disadvantaged young adults with good quality and relatively low-cost housing, to include young  private and public employees, and also to provide housing for some older people seeking down-sizing who are willing to transfer or loan their larger properties for use by the Housing Trust.

The pilot project  will be a challenge, but a successful outcome would be extremely beneficial to young and old and private-public enterprises in the area.

Interested parties should email

Barry Jones