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13th December 2018

Equipping construction with the skills for the future

In June 2018, the UK government commissioned the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to carry out a full review of the composition of the shortage occupation list (SOL), to explore what skills are most in demand as the UK prepares to exit the European Union.

The UK SOL consists of all occupations that are currently going through the shortage of skilled workers. The occupations that are in high demand in the UK and need to be filled immediately are then authorised by the MAC.

With the latest Construction Skills Network report suggesting that over 158,000 jobs will be created by 2022, it is crucial that the construction industry has readily available skills to take advantage of these opportunities. However, there are fears that changes to immigration policy, post Brexit, will have a significant impact the recruitment of labour.

These concerns are justified given migrant labour plays a critical role, particularly in London and the South East where they make up a larger proportion (52% in London compared to a national average of 12%) of the construction workforce.

This is why we want CIOB members to contribute and share their knowledge and experience of the skills landscape. As the Mace chief executive and skills lead for the Construction Leadership Council Mark Reynolds said, this review is the first step in developing a detailed picture of those occupations where we face the biggest challenge.

In order to gather this picture, we have partnered with Build UK, the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA), and a number of other leading trade bodies to find those occupations that are in greatest demand. The reasoning behind this is also to ensure a consistent approach from all of industry and ensure that government has a complete and accurate view of the industry.

With the uncertainty around Brexit and its impact on skills, it’s crucial that our industry has a sound evidence base for our skills system. Please take 5 to 10 minutes to fill in the following survey and share your views and experiences: and help us to influence the future of the built environment.

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