CLC calls for easier access to overseas construction workers

The Construction Leadership Council UK has published its report of shortage occupations in construction and its updated guidance.

The CLC has provided stakeholder evidence to the Government’s Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), detailing shortage occupations that could be considered for inclusion on the Shortage Occupation List of the UK’s Points Based Immigration System, as well as potential roles to be added to the Skilled Worker route.

The CLC’s Movement of People Working Group compiled a comprehensive report, detailing its recommendations, an evidence base, the actions industry is taking to increase the domestic workforce as well as other ideas to help tackle skills shortages.

The CLC recommended the following occupations for inclusion on the Shortage Occupation List:

• Bricklayers and Masons

• Carpenters and Joiners

• General Labourers

• Ground Workers

• Piling Rig Operatives

• Plant Operatives

• Plasterers, Dry Liners and Ceiling Fixers

• Retrofit Co-ordinators

• Road Construction Operatives

• Roofers, Roof Tilers and Slaters

• Scaffolders, Stagers and Riggers

• Steel Erectors

• Thermal Insulators

The CLC also recommended that Building Safety Managers be included in the Skilled Worker route and proposed alternative ideas for making access to overseas workers easier – including a clearing house model and widening the Youth Mobility Scheme to all European Economic Area countries, making it easier for young people to come to the UK to work.

Commenting, Co-Chair of the CLC and Group Chairman and CEO of MACE, Mark Reynolds said: “The CLC is committed to building our domestic construction workforce and championing construction as one of the best career choices for new entrants but the fact is we are still currently facing chronic shortages. A dynamic immigration system allows us to bridge gaps in workforce need and meet the people requirement for the sector’s pipeline of work. That’s why we are calling for the inclusion of these occupations in the shortage occupation list, to help make it a little easier to access the right people, at the right time’.

James M. Butcher, Director of Policy at the National Federation of Builders, and the report’s lead author added: “Construction faces a vacancy rate higher than the all-industry average, so it is fair to say we are in a worse position than many other industries. The occupations we have recommended are based on a solid evidential base for the sector’s need over the next five years. If we are successful in getting these occupations listed, we’ll work hard to ensure construction companies know what they need to do to engage with the immigration system, which is why we are also launching new CLC guidance on how to do that. I’d like to thank all the organisations who participated in this rapid review and encourage the Government to listen to our recommendations."

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