After Brexit, with many European Laborers returning to the EU, the UK construction industry has been facing a serious shortage in workers. The crisis has now led the government to consider bringing foreigners to the UK to include them in the construction workforce so that housebuilding can get a boost.
In order to achieve this, construction workers such as bricklayers, plasterers, roofers etc may soon be added to the “shortage occupation list”. The construction industry is pushing hard to make sure it happens.
What is Shortage Occupation List?
If an occupation is listed in the shortage occupation list, companies looking for foreign employees in that occupation can acquire visas for them if they are paid the lower threshold of £20,840 a year. For a skilled worker visa, the salary required is £25,600.
What do the experts say
The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) says that one-third of its firms are struggling to find construction workers, causing a delay in more than half of the building jobs. Previously, it had mentioned that labour from the EU should not have been cut off after Brexit, without first considering the skill shortage in the UK. Recently, the FMB said that the proposal to loosen immigration rules for labourers can give much relief to the construction industry.
Appreciating the idea of easing immigration rules, the Home Builder Federation (HFB) stated:
“If we are to increase housing supply and deliver the government’s housing target, it is essential we have continued access to skilled labour from abroad. The industry is working hard to ensure that there is sufficient depth in the home-grown workforce but in the interim, access to foreign labour is required to plug capacity gaps.”
Government’s Plan of Action
In February, the Home Office commissioned Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to conduct a review of the shortage occupation list, asking for a response by the month of May. However, MAC has been instructed to do a quick review, specifically for the fields of construction, hospitality and retail.
A government spokesperson said:
“We work closely with the Migration Advisory Committee to ensure our points-based system delivers for the UK and works in the best interests of the economy, by prioritising the skills and talent we need and encouraging long-term investment in the domestic workforce. This includes reviewing the shortage occupation list to ensure it reflects the current labour market. The MAC has published its call for evidence and we encourage all interested parties to respond.”
How Aristone Solicitors can help
If you have skills that can be used in the construction industry, this may be the best time to migrate to the UK. From start to finish, our experienced immigration solicitors will provide the support and consultancy you need to understand your position and choose the best possible course of action. We’ll ensure your application is backed by the complete and compelling evidence necessary to ensure a prompt and positive outcome.
For more information or to discuss your case in more detail, book your obligation-free consultation with our specialists today.