How will Brexit hit construction recruitment in London?

There were reports this week that Brexit is already having a big impact on recruitment to the NHS. There has been a drop of 92% in the number of EU nurses applying to work in the NHS since the referendum. At the same time there has been a 68% increase in the number of EU nurses leaving the NHS. It will be a while before we are able to get similar figures for the construction industry but the impact could be just as dramatic. Around 5% of nurses in the NHS are from EU countries. In the construction industry the percentage of workers from the EU is higher, around 8% nationally.

As the table below shows very large numbers of construction workers in London are from the EU. Just the Polish and Romanian construction workers add up to almost 60,000.

Country Construction workers in London
Austria 279
Bulgaria 6,625
Croatia 291
Cyprus 509
Czech Republic 214
France 2,507
Germany 1,766
Greece 987
Hungary 685
Italy 730
Latvia 1,509
Lithuania 10,955
Poland 27,178
Portugal 1,220
Republic of Ireland 7,485
Romania 29,475
Slovakia 306
Spain 2,111

(Figures taken from Greater London Authority Labour Force Survey)

If the number of EU construction workers leaving was anywhere close to the levels seen in the NHS it could cause major issues for the construction industry in London. There are already shortages of skilled workers in a number of trades such as bricklaying and carpentry and large parts of the construction trade in London are propped up by EU workers.

Construction makes up around 3% of the workforce in London. However, the construction workers employed in London make up 11% of all UK construction workers. This means that London already pulls in a lot of construction workers from across the UK as well as from further afield. With the length of time it takes to properly train new construction workers it could be several years before a meaningful number of new construction workers can trained up.

 

Fixing the construction recruitment gap

If there are going to be less skilled construction workers available in London then finding the right workers for projects is going to be harder than ever. This is where a specialist construction recruitment company like RedRock Recruitment really comes into its own. We have access to many construction workers who are not on the general market and keep in close touch with people we have placed on fixed term contracts. Therefore we are ideally placed to fill construction recruitment gaps in London.

If you are struggling to recruit construction workers in London then give our team of specialist construction recruiters a call on 01992 807911 and we will be happy to help.