A working group convened by the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) to examine actions needed to ensure that the sector faces as little disruption as possible should there be a no-deal Brexit has issued a series of recommendations.

The group examined in detail the specific skills and labour issues presented to the sector by this scenario, taking on board comments and concerns from private businesses, trade bodies and other organisations.

The No-deal Contingency Planning Report, which can be found at www.constructionleadershipcouncil.co.uk, includes a number of short- and medium-term recommendations and actions.

The CLC notes that many of these are likely to still apply if the UK does secure a deal with the EU.

Mark Reynolds, the CLC Workstream lead, said: “It is clear that a ‘No Deal’ has the potential to be extremely disruptive to the UK construction sector, particularly in regard to its access to skilled labour and the supply of materials and services. More than 165,000 people from the EU work in our industry.”

The highest concentration of EU citizens working in the UK construction sector is in London and the South East, he went on, where the need for new homes is the most acute.

Although the Government has made it clear that EU citizens currently living and working in the UK will be able to continue to live and work here by applying for “settled status”, the CLC is concerned that a no-deal Brexit will generate uncertainty and may make it less likely that EU workers already in the sector will want to stay.

The Government needs to review the proposed future immigration system to ensure it is fit for purpose for construction, the Council argues, and it should reduce the required qualification level for a skilled worker to NVQ Level 2 to reflect the industry skilled worker status.

Last reviewed 5 March 2019