Industry responds to Migration Advisory Committee report on EEA migration
Industry bodies have responded to the Migration Advisory Committee’s (MAC) final report on migration from the European Economic Area (EEA) in the UK.
The National Federation of Builders (NFB) welcomed the report, which highlights the value of migration to SME builders and the construction industry. However, the NFB warned that shortage occupation lists must be responsive and visas for self-employed workers need to be clear and comprehensible.
Commenting on the report, Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB, said: “A lack of skilled workers stifles industry growth and the capacity to build more homes. We welcome the report’s recommendations, including a review into the shortage occupation list and the sponsor licensing system for SMEs. Abolishing the cap of migrants under Tier 2 visas and reviewing shortage occupation lists would signal a positive step but, with the MAC avoiding any recommendation for self-employed workers, the Government must provide clarity to a vital part of the construction industry”
Build UK also urged that ease of access to migrant workers in the construction industry must be made a priority, and suggested that the current proposals for tiered visas would make it more difficult for UK businesses to recruit tradespeople from abroad to plug skills gaps. Their communications director, James McLarin, commented: “UK construction must have access to skilled people to create the infrastructure and homes that build communities. The Migration Advisory Committee’s proposals would place too high a bar on skills and vital projects could lose skilled tradespeople.
“The industry has committed to recruit, train and retain home-grown talent but a clear and sustainable migration approach that focuses on key occupations and appropriate skill levels is urgently needed so we can bridge the gap”.