Hard Brexit will cost construction 215,000 workers

Grant Prior 3 years ago
Share

Construction sites could lose almost 215,000 workers in the event of a ‘hard’ Brexit.

A report from consultant Arcadis warns the skills gap could turn into a skills gulf as the number of EU construction workers entering the country sinks between now and 2020.

Hard Brexit could see the points-based system currently in place for non-EU migrants extended.

That would hit construction hard due to the number of unskilled and semi-skilled migrant workers currently filling site vacancies.

Even a ‘soft’ Brexit scenario of migrant quotas would see the industry missing out on as many as 135,000 workers.

Arcadis is warning that the slowdown in migrant labour from the EU could potentially see costs rise and homes and infrastructure projects currently on the table delayed or even cancelled.

The consultant is urging the industry to rapidly modernise and accelerate use of technology and off-site manufacturing to plug the skills gap.

James Bryce, Arcadis Director of Workforce Planning, said: “What started as a skills gap could soon become a skills gulf.

“The British construction sector has been built on overseas labour for generations, and restrictions of any sort – be it hard or soft Brexit – will hit the industry.

“Missing out on over 200,000 people entering the workforce could mean rising costs for business, and much needed homes and transport networks being delayed.

“In recent decades, there has been a massive push towards tertiary education which has seen a big drop in the number of British people with the specific skills we need. If we cannot import the right people, we will need to quickly ramp up training and change the way we build.

“Be it hard or soft Brexit, we need to take back control of the construction industry.

“The likes of robotics and off-site manufacturing have never been taken as seriously as they should, but they could well prove the difference.

“So, too, could training. Working with schools and colleges is one way of taking control but this takes time.

“In the short term retraining and turning to the unemployed and underemployed could be a significant benefit to an industry under significant pressure.”

Screen Shot 2016-11-29 at 22.39.49

Latest news

Kier dropped from major Leeds and London schemes

Struggling Kier dealt blows on Caddick and British Land schemes
3 hours ago

Mace Construction Director joins Torsion

Mike Armstrong becomes Torsion Operations Director as group turnover set to hit £117.5m
25 mins ago

Accident rates among electrical contractors fall 90%

Another year of improvement as rates show remarkable decline since 2001
14 mins ago

Crossrail cost tops £14bn with 16 months at least to go

Latest construction cost updates confirmed in Parliament as Crossrail burns through £4m a day
17 hours ago

Profits halved at piling specialist Van Elle

"Quiet start" to the new year as transition plan yet to deliver
2 hours ago

Galliford Try starts £55m revamp at Marble Arch

Mixed use rebuild for The Portman Estate opposite famous monument
2 hours ago

Battle starts for £1.5bn YORbuild major works deal

Major works framework follows success of the YORbuild2 in the Yorkshire and Humber region
22 hours ago

Teenage brickie falls through unguarded stairway opening

Contractor in court after young worker suffers fractured ribs and contusions
18 hours ago

First contracts signed starting £8.7bn highways bonanza

Osborne and VolkerFitzpatrick bag first deals under new Highways England partnership
1 day ago

Six firms win £1.5bn Oxford Uni framework

Morgan Sindall secures place on all key project lots
1 day ago

Prater lands roof and cladding deal at London City Airport

Specialist wins full envelope package on £500m airport revamp
1 day ago
Prater

Major players dominate CITB training grant league table

Total training grants fall by more than half as skills body publishes latest accounts
2 days ago

Interserve bags 8th school project this year

Project haul rises to £50m after West Midlands academy win
1 day ago

O’Rourke boosts tech leadership team

EDF chief digital officer set to join contractor
2 days ago

Boost your online presence – join the Enquirer Directory

Site for suppliers and buyers showcases products, services and latest stories
1 year ago

Highways England to start 26 schemes this year

Roads agency confirms ambitious starts programme this year
2 days ago

Training hub shut as industry crying-out for new workers

Local contractors baffled as successful on-site training centre lies dormant
2 days ago

New homes must contain “hedgehog highways” and swift bricks

Developers ordered to protect wildlife during and after construction
2 days ago

Go-ahead for eight storey student scheme in Derby

Godwin Developments gains planning for latest project
2 days ago

Stricken fit-out firm bought out of administration by rival

Dimension Shopfitting hit by woes of retail and dining sectors
5 days ago

Killed track workers “unaware” of train until it hit them at 50mph

At least one victim was wearing ear defenders
5 days ago

Council parts company with Kier after road cost row

New contractor hunt starts after dispute over £26m project estimate
5 days ago

Piling specialist Van Elle issues another profit warning

Ground engineering giant also dampens hopes of recovery this year
5 days ago

Construction’s best performing “ultra sites” revealed

Considerate Constructors Scheme reveals supply chain excellence winners: Full list
5 days ago

Latest winners unveiled for £2bn Severn Trent water work

Barhale/Doosan JV lands another place on AMP7 lots
6 days ago

Further redundancies at failed Welsh contractor

Trade debt owed by Jistcourt due to be revealed next month
6 days ago

Bid race starts for £17m Canterbury link road

Sturry Link Road from A28 to A291 will include a 250m long viaduct
6 days ago

More contractors suspended from Prompt Payment Code

Galliford Try, Ferrovial and Alun Griffiths among firms not paying on time
7 days ago

Track maintenance crash reveals design flaws in rail kit

Driver of road-rail ballast distributor could barely see track
6 days ago

Lendlease names new London construction chief

Promotion for finance head Claire Pettett
7 days ago

Contractor services