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Brexit and Construction Recruitment

12th January 2021

EU Workers in the Construction Industry

Back in October 2019, a CITB report outlined how the construction workforce in the UK is still mainly British, with data showing that non-UK workers in the construction industry make up about 14%. However in London this is as high as 54%. It went on to report that just over half of these non-UK workers were from EU countries. In terms of numbers, this is 14% and around 311,000 people. In this blog, we’re considering the impact of Brexit on Construction Recruitment.


What is changing?

EU Nationals who have residency in the UK before 31 December 2020, can continue living and working in the UK so long as they apply for (and successfully obtain) Settled or Pre-Settled Status, under the EU Settlement Scheme (the Scheme). The deadline for applications under the Scheme is 30 June 2021.

With effect from 1 January 2021, new visa requirements will apply to all EU and non-EU nationals alike. This means that from 1 January 2021, EU nationals who are not eligible for, or do not already hold, Settled/Pre Settled Status will require a work permit (or another visa permitting them to work) to be employed in the UK. There will be minimum skill levels and salary levels which must be met.

What will the impact of Brexit be on Construction Recruitment?

The short answer is that UK companies will almost certainly experience higher project costs, with demand for labour being higher than supply levels.

In this paper written for the IEOM Society, a survey found that 82% of respondents thought that the construction industry relied on EU workers. The same percentage believed that access to skilled labour would be reduced post-Brexit.

There is also the ongoing concern of a generally aging workforce, so the question of what can be done to encourage more people to consider a career in the construction industry must be considered.

Bromak’s Response

We have always worked tirelessly to ensure that our client’s vacancies are filled with the most suitable and skilled candidates for their roles. We have built exceptional relationships with our candidates meaning that we can go back to the same tried and tested workers and trust that they will deliver results of the highest standards to our clients.

When we do source new candidates, we advertise across multiple job boards and social media platforms – giving the jobs visibility and resulting in us registering thousands of candidates each year. Our happy candidates also give lots of referrals to their colleagues in the industry!

In addition, we work very closely with our sister company, 3B Training. This partnership means that we can upskill lower-skilled candidates and deliver training to large groups of people (safely, and where possible with the current coronavirus restrictions).

We firmly believe that our dedication to candidate satisfaction and commitment to sourcing new candidates will mean that any disruption and potential reduction in workers available from the EU will be minimised.


Staying Compliant

Making sure that candidates have the Right to Work in the UK, wherever their country of origin, has always been a priority at Bromak. We have robust processes in place with the Recruitment Team ensuring they have obtained a candidate’s Right to Work documents before they commence an assignment, and a dedicated Compliance Team verifying these documents. We have always been sure that our stringent processes ensure we are working within the law and protecting our clients.

We will continue to check a job applicant’s right to work in the same way as now until 30 June 2021, in line with Government guidance and are assessing our active placements to identify EU nationals and beginning the process of enquiring if they have settled status/pre settled status.

Get in touch

If you would like to discuss your recruitment needs going forward or have concerns about candidate availability post-Brexit, feel free to give your local Bromak office a call where one of the team will be happy to help.

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