CLC calls for more trades to be added to the shortage occupation list

CLC calls for more trades to be added to the shortage occupation list

29th June 2023 | Hudson Contract

The Construction Leadership Council is calling for more construction roles to be added to the immigration shortage occupation list to counter what it describes as a skills crisis in the industry. In effect, this would mean lower salary thresholds, around £400/week, for imported bricklayers, joiners, plasterers, roofers and other tradespeople from overseas who want to work in the UK.

Back in March, the last time the CLC requested trades be added to the list, Hudson Contract’s managing director Ian Anfield was quoted in the trade press as saying the move would make no difference. In his view, small firms – which employ the vast majority of trades – would not have the time or resource to go through the bureaucracy of becoming government-approved sponsors, recruiting abroad and then being responsible for people sticking to their visas. And even if they did, they wouldn’t find many takers at £400/week.

In response to the CLC’s latest move, Ian added: “As an industry, we need to work together to solve skills shortages. The best way to do that is to train our own, providing good jobs and pay which compete well with other industries. We do not agree with filling the market with cheap foreign labour. To suggest we bring people in on £400/week seems regressive and if it worked, which it won’t, it would bring rates down for all and make our industry unattractive to homegrown talent.

“Because training takes time, we would urge the government to allow firms to use CIS to bring in highly skilled and well-paid self-employed labour in the short term.”

The CLC wants these occupations added to the shortage occupation list:

  • Architectural and Town Planning Technicians
  • Bricklayers and Masons
  • Business and Related Associate Professionals
  • Carpenters and Joiners
  • Construction and Building Trades
  • Elementary Construction Occupations (General Labourers and Ground Workers)
  • Mobile Machine Drivers and Operatives (Plant Operatives and Piling Rig Operatives)
  • Plasterers, Dry Liners and Ceiling Fixers
  • Road Construction Operatives
  • Roofers, Roof Tilers and Slaters
  • Sheet Metal Workers
  • Steel Erectors
  • Welding Trades

In March, Hudson urged the government to use CIS as a tool to re-open the labour market.