Construction Leadership Council publishes No Deal Brexit plan on labour and skills

Brexit construction

The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) has today published a contingency planning report which outlines a series of recommendations for businesses in the sector concerning labour and skills in the event of a ‘No Deal’ Brexit. 

While the Government has been clear that EU citizens currently living and working in the UK will still be able to continue to live and work here following 29 March, a No Deal Brexit will generate uncertainty which could be especially damaging for the UK construction industry which currently employs more than 165,000 EU citizens. 

The recommendations set out in the report are backed by over 100 industry leaders. They have been established by the CLC Skills Workstream to ensure the construction sector faces as little disruption as possible in the event of a No Deal Brexit. 

The key recommendations of the report are:

  • The construction industry should proactively provide information to its EU employees about how to secure ‘settled’ or ‘pre-settled status’ in the UK, as well as helping to provide any additional evidence that may be requested by the Home Office for the application.

 

  • The CLC and industry will promote the Government’s guidance to workers in the sector more widely, including introducing information centres at some major UK project sites.

 

  • Government and industry to work together to ensure that all of the eligible EU citizens currently living in the UK and working in the construction sector are able to register for settled or pre-settled status.

 

  • The Government needs to review the proposed future migration system to ensure that it is fit for purpose for construction and to avoid dramatic labour shortage in the construction sector:

  • Reduce the required qualification level for a skilled worker to NVQ Level 2 to reflect the industry skilled status.
  • The salary threshold for a skilled worker to be set at the median level, which is significantly below the £30,000 currently proposed.
  • Adjust short term worker visa to 24 months to allow the industry to meet its short term workforce requirements.
  • Ensure in the event of a ‘No Deal’ Brexit the mutual recognition of qualifications across the EU and UK is prioritised.

 

Mark Reynolds, Chief Executive of Mace and CLC Skills Workstream lead, said:

“With the UK’s construction sector already facing a significant shortage of skills and labour, construction firms must act now to minimise any potential disruption in the event of a No Deal Brexit. 

The construction sector needs to work together to ensure that our 165,000 EU employees are supported in securing their right to work here after Brexit.   

“We’re also sending out a strong message to the Government to work closely with the CLC to overcome the challenges we as a sector will face so that we can deliver on the infrastructure improvements and homes that have been promised across the country.

“We are calling on Home Office Ministers to meet with us to discuss our report and the changes that our sector needs to avoid significant disruption.”