59% of existing EU construction workers ‘would be ineligible’

Report reveals the extend in which key sectors would face shortages under new immigration plans.

Man shovelling bricks

59% of current EU migrants in the construction sector would have been found ineligible under new government immigration plans, new think-tank analysis has found.

As reported by 24housing, the new system will only allow those who gain enough points through skills and qualifications to be granted a visa.

As announced by Home Secretary Priti Patel, the launch of the new system will assign points for specific skills, qualifications, salaries or professions.

Only those who have generated enough points will have access to a visa.

The think tank IPPR has analysed government data to estimate the share of EU migrant workers in the UK who would be deemed eligible for a skilled-work visa under the proposed system.

The research found that, in total, around 69% of EU migrants currently working in the UK would be ineligible for a skilled-work visa if the future immigration rules were to apply to them.

This is because, based on their occupation and earnings, they would not have enough points to secure a skilled-work visa.

The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has already hit back at the system, saying it will “hamper” the construction industry’s capacity to deliver.

The analysis also found that women tend to have lower eligibility rates than men: 36% of men would be eligible for a skilled-work visa, compared with 26% of women.

On reports, Marley Morris – IPPR associate director for immigration, trade, and EU relations – said these proposals constitute the most “dramatic upheaval in immigration policy in a generation”.

To manage this shock to the labour market, Morris suggests the government should consider three things:

  • A transition period for employers to adapt to the new rules and manage any skills shortages
  • A broader understanding of skills in the immigration system, so that employers are able to fill jobs that require training and that are essential for future prosperity – such as in construction and social care
  • Fair rules for business in the new system – rewarding those providing good-quality work while tackling under-payment and exploitation among unscrupulous employers

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