Brexit – Are Construction Workers Leaving or Leaving their Options Open?

RESULTS from a survey of 10,500 construction workers has revealed that one in three EU nationals have considered leaving the UK because of the Brexit referendum.

The survey, led by recruiter Randstad, revealed that the potential drop in construction projects, subsequent funding, and availability of jobs is the biggest driving force influencing the 39% who are expressing concern. This is followed by uncertainty over trade deals with the EU (19%).

A no-deal Brexit raises the prospect of delays and cost increases, as employers could face difficulties in getting vital EU workers to UK building sites, threatening timing of projects. With seven percent of construction workers in the UK and over a quarter of London’s construction workforce coming from other EU countries (ONS), plus the £10bn (15%) of incoming building materials from the EU, it’s clear that the UK construction industry is heavily reliant on the EU for its resources.

Results revealed:

  • Over a third of EU nationals have considered leaving the UK due to Brexit
  • One in four believe EU nationals will leave due to a drop in construction projects
  • One in five construction workers have considered leaving the country amid Brexit uncertainties
Owen Goodhead, Managing Director of Randstad Construction Property & Engineering

Owen Goodhead, Managing Director of Randstad Construction Property & Engineering said: “It’s interesting to discover a disconnect between what the wider population think are key issues for EU nationals working in construction in the UK, and what those individuals actually believe.

“Where UK workers believe complications around visas are the main problem driving EU nationals away from the UK construction industry, the reality is that it’s the potential drop in projects and jobs which could cause workers to explore other opportunities.

“This valuable insight can help employers get ahead of the curve while there’s still time, by preparing for a post-Brexit industry – the key is to listen to the current workforce, focus on retention strategy and to ensure robust contingency plans are in place.”

Randstad has compiled a report following the survey containing tips and guidance for construction employers.

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