Seven construction groups have jointly called on the U.K. government and employers to secure the industry’s migrant workforce as the government negotiates with officials in Brussels over the country’s withdrawal from the European Union in March 2019.
The withdrawal, known as Brexit, likely will end the free entry of EU workers, potentially hitting the industry hard.
In a survey cited by the associations, 12.6% of construction workers were non-U.K., with 5.7% coming from Eastern European EU countries. Half of London’s workforce was found to be foreign.
The groups include the Federation of Master Builders, Association for Consultancy and Engineering, Build UK, Civil Engineering Contractors Association, Construction Products Association, Home Builders Federation and National Federation of Builders.
While seeking to continue attracting migrants, the associations also urged the industry to be “more ambitious” in planning to increase indigenous capacity.
A separate survey revealed that health-sector workers seeking to move to the U.K. fell by nearly 90% since the Brexit referendum in June 2016.