The Immediate Future of the Construction Industry post Brexit

Hard_hat-xlarge_trans++UgehH7knIs2mL4LO-crfgrm5ABRJzibfCXpIGScgB6s Image via : Telegraph

Following a tumultuous and unprecedented period of time in British politics, it rather seems that the dust is starting to settle and a clearer path is coming into view for the construction industry.

A recent insight article from industry specialists Glenighan suggests that the new prime minister has a crusade to provide more housing to help young people get on the housing ladder faster. The concepts of starter homes and extending rights to buy to housing association tenants are high on the deliverables manifesto. This coupled with potential changes to planning reforms particularly increasing the supply of development land should ensure that the building industry continues to grow in a robust and practical manner during the foreseeable future.

What is less clear and far murkier is the uncertainty regarding leaving the EU itself. This subject is excellently summarised by this Dehavilland factsheet. For the regular construction industry, the ongoing forecast for new builds continues to be buoyant and this article predominately concentrates on large civil projects especially joint ventures. The key overriding issue under scrutiny though is Skill Shortages.

With skills shortages being one of the biggest problems facing our sector, the prospect of the UK leaving the single market and significant changes to immigration policy are cause for concern. The quote from Brian Barry, Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders noted the reliance of the sector on migrant workers and commented it was the “Government’s responsibility to ensure that the free-flowing tap of migrant workers from Europe was not turned off.”

It rather seems the bullish claims made by our new prime minister cannot guarantee the status of EU nationals currently residing and working in the UK, creating significant uncertainty in this area.