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Home builders’ Brexit labour fears: One in five workers a migrant

  • 05/12/2017
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Home builders’ Brexit labour fears: One in five workers a migrant
Britain’s home builders are heavily reliant on foreign workers, with almost one in five from overseas, research has showed, ahead of Britain’s split from the European Union (EU).



In London, more than half of people working on sites hail from outside of the UK, research from the Home Builders Federation (HBF) has showed.

The trade body said the industry will need continued access to EU workers after Brexit, if ambitious government home building targets are to be reached.

It comes as the findings show that 15% of bricklayers alone are from outside Britain – in London the figure rises to almost 48%.

On a regional basis the lowest proportion of foreign builders are in Yorkshire and Humber, with almost two in 10 from overseas.

The HBF also stressed that an ageing UK workforce increases the need for younger migrant workers.

Around seven out of 10 EU builders are in the 20-39 age group, compared to only around a half of those born in the UK, the trade body said.


Secure EU construction workers for Britain

The HBF is now calling on the Government to secure the status for existing employees as quickly as possible and make sure house building roles are represented in future immigration arrangements.

Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the Home Builders Federation said: “The results of this census clearly demonstrate the reliance the industry currently has on non UK workers.

“Output is up a massive 74% in recent years but achieving the very challenging targets set by Government will require further big increases in workforce capacity.

“Whilst the industry is investing heavily in recruiting and training young people leaving our schools, colleges and universities, continued access to overseas workers is absolutely essential.”

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