SMP fear post-Brexit construction skill shortage

SMP fear post-Brexit construction skill shortage

The Society of Mortgage Professionals (SMP) has claimed that there could be a labour shortage in the construction industry following the outcome of the EU referendum.

Some 12% of the construction workforce originates from other EU states, but the SMP believes that post-Brexit immigration policy may hinder the ability of the industry to enlist more.

Lee Travis, the head of professional development at the SMP, said: “We are in total agreement with the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) that the construction industry acts as a weather vane for the property market.”

The FMB has reported that almost two-thirds of smaller builders are struggling to find bricklayers and more than half are having difficulty sourcing carpenters and joiners.

Lee continued: “There is a huge skills shortage in the United Kingdom and the prospect of not having easy access to EU migrants post-Brexit could mean that this gap is set to widen.

“Ideally, therefore, we would like to see some official assurance that EU workers will remain in the UK after the split.

“Although no one can predict what the medium- to long-term effects of Brexit will be, we cannot afford to lose momentum at such a crucial time for the UK housing market.”

The House of Lords economic affairs committee recently revealed that the construction industry needs to build as many as 300,000 homes a year to address the current housing crisis.

Lee concluded: “Any barrier to achieving that objective must be removed.”

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