Belfast Telegraph

Concerns over migrant workers in UK construction industry

Brexit could worsen the skills crisis facing the construction industry, it has been warned.

The Federation of Master Builders said firms have been heavily reliant on migrant workers from Europe for decades.

Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, said 12% of British construction workers are of non-UK origin.

He said: "The majority of these workers are from EU countries such as Poland, Romania and Lithuania - and they have helped the construction industry bounce back from the economic downturn when 400,000 skilled workers left our industry, most of which did not return.

"It is now the Government's responsibility to ensure that the free-flowing tap of migrant workers from Europe is not turned off.

"If Ministers want to meet their house building and infrastructure objectives, they have to ensure that the new system of immigration is responsive to the needs of industry.

"It's no exaggeration to say that a few wrong moves by the Government could result in the skills crisis becoming a skills catastrophe."

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