In a move designed to address gaps in the UK’s labour market, the government has expanded the shortage occupation list to include a range of construction jobs. This will allow bricklayers, roofers, carpenters, plasterers, and other building tradespeople from overseas to enter the UK with relative ease. The decision has, however, raised a few eyebrows, with critics saying it’s time the country invested more in training its domestic workforce.
This move, according to government officials, was essential due to the increasing demand for these professions in the country. This decision will make it easier for employers to hire foreign workers for these roles, thus helping to meet the demand.
The newly added roles include:
- Bricklayers and masons
- Roofers, roof tilers and slaters
- Carpenters and joiners
- Construction and building trades not elsewhere classified
The changes have been welcomed by industry insiders, including Suzannah Nichol MBE, Chief Executive of Build UK, who said, “It is vital that construction is able to fill vacancies and quickly address shortages around particular roles, so we welcome the news that five occupations will be added to the Shortage Occupations List which will help the industry continue to deliver the schools, homes, hospitals and infrastructure that we need.”
However, the decision has also led to some backlash. Critics argue that the government should be doing more to train domestic workers, thus reducing reliance on overseas labour. They believe that long-term investment in training could provide sustainable job opportunities for the British workforce and foster economic growth.
The Workers Union Says…
Our government’s decision is expected to have an immediate impact on the construction industry, potentially speeding up several key projects that had been delayed due to labour shortages. Time will tell if the critics’ concerns come to fruition, or if the government’s action alleviates the pressures faced by the industry.