MPs have demanded the creation of a new body to protect architects and other built environment professionals from the effects of Brexit
A report by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Excellence in the Built Environment said today that the decision to leave the European Union (EU) ‘presents huge risks to the UK construction sector’ and therefore to housing and infrastructure growth.
The group said that the government’s focus on bringing down immigration risks a shortage of EU workers in construction and architecture.
The group’s chairman, former MP Oliver Colvile, said: ‘Brexit presents huge risks to the UK construction sector and, as a consequence, to our ability to deliver the homes and infrastructure that we urgently need.
’It is hard to overstate the importance of locking in construction to the heart of the industrial strategy and taking a proactive and comprehensive approach to the challenges facing the construction sector in mitigating the risks.’
The report said that unless there was a dramatic downturn in the economy, the sector would need to draw on EU workers over the next five to 10 years.
The industry is already facing skills shortages due to demographic changes, it said.
A new single body is needed to ‘provide strategic oversight for skills, training and attracting new talent for the whole of the built environment, under dynamic and visionary leadership.
Such a body is vital ‘if we are to pull off a huge step change in training and build up a more diverse and inclusive skilled domestic workforce’, according to the group.
This should be supported by friendly policies, the use of the government’s own procurement programme, along with financial incentives and tax breaks.
‘Brexit presents huge risks to the UK construction sector and, as a consequence, to our ability to deliver the homes and infrastructure that we urgently need,’ the report concluded.