Sector skills council for construction claims there is no applicant shortage

The sector skills council for the construction industry claims there is no shortage of applicants to the industry, despite comments from the lead on government’s migration policy that migrant workers would be needed to help get London ready for the Olympics in 2012.

David Metcalf, the government’s adviser on migration policy told Channel Four News last week that foreign workers would also be needed to meet government’s ambitious target of three million new homes by 2020.

Metcalf, chairman of the new Migration Advisory committee, – which will decide on a points system for migrants – said: “It is possible that we can’t get enough workers from the British labour force and the EU and will need workers from outside the EU. The government may ask us to look at it.”

A spokesman at ConstructionSkills told Personnel Today: “There is no shortage of applicants to the industry, in fact with the introduction of new initiatives such as Programme Led Apprenticeships and the new Construction and Built Environment Diploma, the diversity and choice in available pathways into industry is better than ever.”

He said that migrant labour has always been a feature of the UK construction industry and is being used by some employers to meet their skills needs. “We recognise that migrant workers have a role to play in filling short term skills needs associated with increased demand, but we believe it isn’t a long term solution for the industry,” he added.

The sector skills council for construction has estimated that the 2012 Olympics in London will create 33,500 additional jobs for the sector.

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