New report highlights key skills shortage: with a need to recruit 11,000 new people per year to meet Government housebuilding target of 300,000 homes

Evidence submitted by SME House Builders to APPG, as industry experts consider the impact of Home Office proposals, and provide recommendations to address the issues raised

Download the full report here:

All Party Parliamentary Group for SME House Builders Report

The APPG is chaired by Andrew Lewer MP (C Northamptonshire South), pictured above

George Kieffer, Chair Haven Gateway Partnership is an industry member of the APPG

 

APPG Members have produced recommendations to ask the Government, including:

• To set both the skills and salary thresholds lower than are currently envisaged in the white paper. They may subsequently be increased over time once their impact has been measured but the UK construction industry cannot simply absorb the ‘shock to the system’ of implementing them as envisaged (even accepting that there will be some transitional period).

• To have a recognition of house builders’ skills and importance to the UK economy as part of the post-Brexit immigration and visa system. This could take the form of them being classified as ‘skilled’, or a new sub-category focussed on construction workers. It is clear that there are concerns and that it is felt that the sector needs to be given a protected status – as has been accorded to other sectors – in new immigration arrangements post-Brexit.

• To extend the proposed ‘waiver’ for low-skilled workers to come to the UK to work for 12 months to (at least) 24 months, again lessening the shock to the system.

• To incorporate some allowance within the rules for overseas construction workers who are self-employed to come to the UK to work – perhaps setting some retrospective earnings threshold such that if they fail to meet a minimum target, they can be required to leave the country.

• To minimise the costs and administrative burden on employers of checking the employment and immigration status of workers. SME house builders and their supply chain are not the Border Force and should not be seen as an unpaid extension to it. Businesses should be consulted on how the new rules will work and their views should be listened to and acted upon.

 

For further information, please contact the Secretariat to the APPG, Andrew Cumpsty, at andrew.cumpsty@hotmail.co.uk