FMB says immigration could help address sector skills shortages


THE Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has welcomed reports that the UK Government is planning to loosen immigration rules to help tackle skills shortages in the construction sector.

With the construction sector requiring tens of thousands of new entrants every year to meet demand, FMB chief executive Brian Berry revealed the organisation and other industry stakeholders have called on the Migration Advisory Committee to review the Shortage of Occupation List and include more trades such as bricklayers and carpenters to help boost economic growth.

He added, “In the recent FMB State of Trade Survey, 48% of small builders reported being in favour of increased immigration provided this was underpinned by better investment in skills training. With core skills in short supply, as evidenced by the fact that around a third of FMB members are struggling to hire carpenters and bricklayers, this is causing 60% of jobs to be delayed, curtailing the ability of the building industry to grow.

“While immigration will help grow the construction sector, there still needs to be investment in UK-based training to train the next generation of builders.”