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16/10/2017

Brexit will blight government infrastructure projects, claims study

Words: Laura Edgar
Infrastructure construction / iStock-95396741

The results of a survey suggest that more than 80 per cent of construction workers think Brexit will prevent government infrastructure projects from being delivered.

More than 50 businesses gave feedback to a Birmingham City University study on the view of people working in the construction sector to see how they think Brexit will affect jobs, projects and industry.

Of the respondents, 86 per cent expect to see a rise in the demand for skilled workers, while 92 per cent think freedom of movement is beneficial to the UK’s construction industry.

It also suggested that 86 per cent thought leaving the European Union would lead to many government infrastructure projects not going ahead, with 88 per cent believing the UK relies on skilled labour from Europe.

Marwan Mohamed, a recent built environment graduate from Birmingham City University, led the study, alongside Erika Pärn, lecturer in architectural technology at Birmingham City University.

Brexit: Measuring The Impact Upon Skilled Labour In The UK Construction Industry was produced as part of their final year dissertation.

It has now been published in the International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation.

Mohamed said: “This research deals with a topical, historic and unprecedented matter that is currently shrouding the UK construction sector.

“It concludes that the UK construction sector relies upon EU skilled labour, that there is widespread industry opposition to Brexit, and that many within the sector believe Brexit will reduce the supply of skilled labour from the EU rather than increase or enhance it.”

The study makes a number of recommendations:

  • Retaining free movement by remaining in the European Economic Area.
  • Retaining current workers through increasing wages, providing guaranteed overtime and reducing physical exertion by expanding the use of technology.
  • Creating more apprenticeship opportunities.
  • Improving the image of a career in construction to appeal more to young people.

Pärn said: “The publication of this work has not only grabbed the attention and interest of academic audience, but also seeks to engage the industry awareness and generate debate on this pressing matter affecting a plethora of the built environment professionals.”

Image credit | iStock

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