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20% of EU construction workers considering leaving UK after Brexit

House builders in the UK are facing a significant skills and workforce shortfall as EU staff and contractors consider moving elsewhere to work.

Nigel Lewis

The UK’s house builders could lose up to a fifth of their workforce after Brexit, a leading recruiter has claimed, dashing the government’s hopes of building 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s.

Global firm Randstad canvassed over 10,500 EU nationals working within the UK construction industry and found that a fifth have considered leaving as industry uncertainty continues over how the UK will leave the European Union.

The research also found that nearly 40% of EU construction workers employed in the UK were worried by the downturn in the new homes market that may follow.
Randstad claims this is because house builders may incur higher costs if import tariffs are raised; the UK construction sector brings in building materials from outside the UK worth £10 billion every year.

Post brexit

The report also claims that as the country gets closer to withdrawing from the EU employers and employees are becoming sceptical of the future health of the industry’s workforce and materials supply.

“It’s interesting to discover a disconnect between what the wider population think are key issues for EU nationals working in construction in the UK, and what those individuals actually believe,” says Owen Goodhead, Managing Director of Randstad’s construction recruitment division (left).

“Where UK workers believe complications around visas are the main problem driving EU nationals away from the UK construction industry, the reality is that it’s the potential drop in projects and jobs which could cause workers to explore other opportunities.”

February 11, 2019

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