Construction industry spokespeople in the UK have expressed fears over a potentially huge labour shortfall if Britain leaves the European Union following the shock referendum result last week.
The government must clarify what will happen to the EU construction workers in the UK, as they are currently filling the gap left by our skills crisis. We need to recruit a million workers into the industry by 2020, and putting EU migrants off coming here will only exacerbate this problem– Richard Beresford, National Federation of Builders chief executive
They say that unless the government can agree a new immigration system that provides the industry with the skills it needs, the government’s own targets for home-building and infrastructure may not be met.
"The UK construction industry has been heavily reliant on migrant workers from Europe for decades now – at present, 12% of the British construction workers are of non-UK origin," said Brian Berry, chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders, reports GCR’s sister publication, Construction Manager.
"The majority of these workers are from EU countries such as Poland, Romania and Lithuania," Berry added. "It is now the government’s responsibility to ensure that the free-flowing tap of migrant workers from Europe is not turned off. If ministers want to meet their house building and infrastructure objectives, they have to ensure that the new system of immigration is responsive to the needs of industry."
National Federation of Builders chief executive Richard Beresford said: "The lack of skills for the pipeline of work we have is the defining structural issue for the industry. Until now, we have developed home-grown talent and, when that was not enough, we turned to the EU to make up the shortfall.
"The government must clarify what will happen to the EU construction workers in the UK, as they are currently filling the gap left by our skills crisis. We need to recruit a million workers into the industry by 2020, and putting EU migrants off coming here will only exacerbate this problem."
Alan Brookes, UK chief executive officer of construction consultant Arcadis, said: "In the future, European labour may no longer be the safety valve it has been, so we must plan to use the workforce differently. Using more offsite components and investing in skills and the management of projects will now prove absolutely vital."
- See Construction Manager for more UK industry reaction.
Surely the whole idea is keep out extremist elements on the one hand and to defuse any form of extremism from within so as to keep an effectively strong hand on your national peace and security! Indeed
the end result could more than justify the means!!??
The Construction Industry in Gibraltar relies on EU labour mainly from Spain & Portugal. The Spanish Caretaker Foreign Minister is campaigning to make our life impossible once UK exits the EU by suggestions of Border closure, paying entry fees if we want to enter Spain, and is trying to exclude us from negotiations with UK so he can discuss Joint Sovereignty which we have totally rejected by Referendum. Approximately 9,000 persons daily cross the border to work in Gibraltar and the inhabitants of areas near Gibraltar rely on working in Gibraltar and are extremely worried as unemployment is approximately 40% in this Spanish region. Where is the labour going to come from unless an agreement is reached that does not exclude Gibraltar.
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