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EU Migrant Workers Construction Brexit

EU Migrant Workers Encouraged to Stay by Construction Workers

FMB reports that construction workers are encouraging EU workers to stay in the UK, highlighting the quality of there workmanship and value to the industry

The Federation of Master Builders in-depth studies and research provides positive reading for EU workers, with bosses of small and medium-sized (SME) construction companies yielding the following statistics:

• 94% of firms describe the quality of EU workers they employ as ‘good’ or ‘very good’.
• 85% of construction SME employers that employ EU workers say that these workers are important in allowing their business to maintain and expand its workforce.
• 76% of these firms say it would have a negative impact on the health of their business if any of the EU workers they employ returned to their country of origin, now or post-Brexit.

These reports come with only a year until Brexit and raises further concerns over how the loss of valuable EU construction workers will impact the industry.

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said:

With exactly a year to go until ‘Brexit Day’, our research demonstrates the extent to which the UK construction industry values its EU workers. More than 90% of firms describe the quality of their EU workers as ‘good’ or ‘very good’. What’s more, three-quarters of firms that employ EU workers think it would have a negative impact on the health of their business if these individuals returned to their country of origin, now or post-Brexit. The UK construction sector is more reliant than most on migrant workers from Europe – at present, 9% of our construction workers are from the EU. In London, this rises for nearly one third. Given the severity of the skills shortages we already face, retaining these workers is business-critical.

Berry concluded:

Our research sends a strong and positive message from the construction industry to its EU workers. We’re now calling on the Government to step up and help us convince our EU workers that they are needed and warmly welcome. Ministers recently announcement that those who have lived in the UK for five years, or those who arrive from the EU during the transition period, will be able to apply for settled status. This is a huge step in the right direction, and what we were calling for, yet we question how well the Government has communicated the news. We’re already seeing EU workers return home for financial reasons, or simply because they don’t feel welcome, so time is of the essence. The Government and the industry must do all that they can to put positive messages across to our vital and highly-valued EU workers.

For more information please visit the Federation for Master Builders website.

What are your thoughts on these findings? Are you working in Construction and have a view on potential the loss of EU workers as a result of Brexit. Please share your comments below.

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