Homegrown talent vital to post-Brexit Britain's construction sector, says NFB

As Prime Minister Theresa May officially triggers Article 50 signalling the start of the official process for the UK to leave the European Union (EU), the emphasis now must be on encouraging more homegrown talent into the construction industry, says the National Federation of Builders (NFB).

The letter for beginning Brexit was delivered to European Council president Donald Tusk today in what May deemed an "historic moment from which there can be no turning back".

The UK will have two years to negotiate a comprehensive exit agreement with the EU which will, among other things, regulate the UK’s access to the single market. The UK will officially leave the EU on March 29, 2019, regardless of whether an exit deal has been agreed or not.

The National Federation of Builders (NFB) believes that securing an inclusive exit deal with the EU is fundamental to a prosperous future for the UK’s construction industry.

With 35,000 new workers needed each year to cope with current demand, and just 20,000 apprenticeships started in 2015, the industry faces a shortage of skilled workers that needs to be addressed.

The Government should work towards an exit deal that helps the industry encourage more British people to undertake construction careers, whilst also adopting a flexible visa regime for construction workers once Britain has left the EU.

Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB, said: “The construction industry is undergoing a major skills crisis and remains heavily reliant on skilled workers from the EU, who make almost 10 per cent of all construction workers in the UK.

"That is why we need to foster home-grown talent and attract more people from all backgrounds to join a career in construction.”

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