CECA calls on Government to protect post-Brexit migration landscape

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Civils contractors have backed CITB’s recommendations calling for greater simplicity and breathing space on the planned visa restrictions after Brexit

Migration and Construction, published yesterday (4 October) by CITB, found that just 3% of employers in the construction sector have the necessary experience in handling visa applications.

The report calls for an extension of the UK government’s post-Brexit immigration white paper proposal for a ‘low-skilled’ visa of a year to be extended to 24 months and recommends that non-UK born workers entering the UK on a ‘low-skilled’ visa be allowed to transition to a ‘high-skilled’ visa while working in the UK.

You can view more of our coverage on CITB’s report here.

Chief executive of the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA), Alasdair Reisner, said: “The construction and infrastructure sectors have been facing a looming skills gap for some years, and it is deeply concerning that after the UK has left the European Union restrictions may be put in place to prevent non-UK born workers contributing to our industry.

“Currently, non-UK born workers account for 14% of UK construction’s workforce, rising to 54% in London.

“Industry is in the process of moving towards recruiting an extra 44,000 British-based people in construction by 2025 to meet projected demand.

“However for UK construction to achieve this goal while delivering the significant pipeline of projects the UK government has planned, those who currently contribute to our industry and the economic and social wellbeing of us all must be given the opportunity to continue to do so.

“That’s why we are calling on the government to take steps to ensure industry is ready for the post-Brexit migration landscape, by extending the period in which existing non-UK born workers are able to ‘train to remain.’

“Employers in the construction sector are actively working to grow the domestic workforce, but it will take time to do so.

“Unless the UK Government changes its position, industry will be hamstrung in the immediate post-Brexit period, to the detriment of its ability to drive growth and deliver for the UK economy.”

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