Government needs to heed Migration Advisory Committee warning about skills shortages, warns FMB

Posted On: 
29th May 2019

The Government must include key construction roles in its Shortage Occupation List following the Migration Advisory Committee’s recognition of skills shortages in the construction industry, according to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

In a report out today, the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has recognised the important role the construction industry plays in the UK economy and that construction will require careful consideration in a future immigration system. The MAC has included construction as a sector that has a number of roles in shortage that don’t meet the skill criteria to be included in the current Shortage Occupation List.

Commenting on today’s report Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “We are pleased to see the Migration Advisory Committee’s recognition of the vital importance of the UK construction industry, the high numbers of EU workers in this sector and the increasing struggle of construction employers to find skilled workers. However, it is shocking how few construction roles were recommended to be added to the Shortage Occupation List, due to not meeting the arbitrary definition of skill level.”
 
Berry concluded: “With 64 per cent of construction SMEs struggling to find bricklayers and 59 per cent not being able to find quality carpenters, skill shortages continue to plague the industry. The Government should now act on the MAC’s advice and acknowledge these shortage areas in the future immigration system. If it does not, our shared ambition to address the housing shortage will not be possible.”