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Fri December 03 2021

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CITB research exposes lack of Brexit preparation in HR departments

9 Jul 18 Research from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) reveals that the industry is being slow to prepare for post-Brexit labour supply.

The CITB found that while one in three construction firms are already feeling the impact of Brexit, not much was being done about it. It said there was “an urgent need for industry and government to collaborate on Brexit-related skills challenges”.

CITB’s new paper, Research into migration in the UK construction and built environment sector, found that while a growing number of employers are attributing staff shortages or a decline in workload to Brexit, less than a third have taken action as it approaches, or even plan on doing so.

The report, which updates CITB’s 2017 migration research, found that:

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  • One in three construction employers are feeling the impact of Brexit, up 9% from last year
  • Nearly half expect the recruitment of skilled workers to become more difficult over the next two years, while just 4% expect this to get easier
  • Less than a third has taken action as Brexit approaches, or plan on doing so
  • Only 8% of surveyed employers who have started making Brexit contingency plans said they will increase training.

CITB’s data was collated from 244 migrant workers, 400 employers and 50 recruitment agents. The data will inform CITB’s work with employers, the Construction Leadership Council and government in developing a plan to secure the skills the industry needs for the future.

CITB policy director Steve Radley said: "With Brexit approaching, construction employers are expecting the recruitment of skilled workers to get harder as they anticipate restrictions on access to migrant workers. However, few employers are making firm plans to address this and instead are focusing on retaining their existing migrant workforce. 

"This green paper highlights the need for a twin-track strategy - investing in the domestic workforce while enabling employers to continue to secure the vital talent of migrant workers. With an estimated 158,000 construction jobs to be created between now and 2022, it is critical that industry works together to deliver its part of this strategy.”

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