Focus on skilled labour following Brexit

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) report, which sets out a series of recommendations for the new immigration policy post-Brexit, would cripple the construction industry, according to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

According to the report, which was published on September 18, EU workers coming to the UK should be given “no preference” for visas after Brexit.

The Migration Advisory Committee also recommends that it should be easier for higher-skilled workers to migrate to the country, and the government should scrap a limit on highly skilled workers altogether.

Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, said: “Today’s report makes very worrying reading for the tens of thousands of small construction firms across the UK who are already deeply concerned about the skills shortage. Its recommendations ignore the pleas of construction employers who have called on the government to introduce a visa system based on key occupations rather than arbitrary skill levels.

“Instead, the proposal is to apply the Tier 2 immigration system to EU workers, which would be disastrous for small and micro construction firms. Even if tweaked and improved slightly, the Tier 2 system would not make provision for ample numbers of low skilled workers to enter the UK, and these are people the construction industry relies upon. For the government to make good on its construction and house building targets, it will need sufficient numbers of labourers as well as civil engineers and quantity surveyors.”

However, the report said there was no evidence that increased European migration has damaged life in the UK.