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NFB calls for extension on overseas construction workers

3 October 2018

Low skilled does not mean low value, says the NFB, which has called on the government not to restrict immigration for the construction industry.

The National Federation of Builders (NFB) is calling on the government to allow 'unskilled' labourers in construction to continue to come to the UK after Brexit.

The new skills and income-based system for immigration proposed by the government will create an additional barrier to building work, says the NFB, which wants the government to consider an exemption for those in the construction industry or at least an extended transition period.

Prime Minister Theresa May has said she will unveil the new skills and income-based immigration system as part of her post-Brexit plans.

Under the proposals the "new skills-based system will make sure low-skilled immigration is brought down and set the UK on the path to reduce immigration to sustainable levels,” the Prime Minister said when speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on 2 October. She said that “free movement would end once and for all" when the UK leaves the EU.

The NFB is concerned that many jobs within construction fall under the low-skilled bracket and this will have a damaging impact on the construction industry.

The Government is fully aware of skills shortages faced by the construction industry and the NFB is keen to see more details on how the system will work, which will be outlined in a White Paper expected later in the autumn.

Richard Beresford, Chief Executive of the NFB, says: "The new skills-based system will create an additional barrier to building. The NFB would like the government to consider an exemption for those in the construction industry, or an extended transition period.

“A transition period would allow the construction industry more time to recruit the skilled workforce it needs. If the government wants to meets its target to build more homes it needs to understand that low-skilled does not mean low value.”


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