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A quarter of London’s construction workers are from the EU

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The capital's Mayor Sadiq Khan warns that a hard Brexit could impact home building
A quarter of London’s construction workers are from the EU

Almost 100,000 of the capital’s construction workforce are from the European Union, according to new figures released from the Mayor of London.

Sadiq Khan warned that a loss of these skilled EU workers in the event of a hard Brexit could have a seriously detrimental effect on home building and other construction projects in London.

The report set out that of those working in London’s construction sector – the workforce behind building much-needed new infrastructure, affordable homes and office space in the capital – 95,000 are from the EU. The Mayor said he is hugely concerned about the impact Brexit could have on the housing industry, with the government refusing to guarantee the status of EU workers currently living in the UK.

Breakdown of workers

His ‘Housing in London’ report shows there are 350,000 people who work in London’s construction sector, of which just over half are from the UK, while 27% are from the EU. The remaining part of the workforce is from other European countries (3%), while 14% is from the rest of the world.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “London is in the grip of a serious housing crisis – and fixing it is going to be a marathon, not a sprint. While we are working to train up more Londoners to have the skills to work in construction, you can’t escape the fact that a ‘Hard Brexit’ could leave a quarter of the skilled construction workforce in the capital high and dry which would have a crippling effect on our plans to build the homes Londoners so desperately need.”

Mark Farmer, CEO of Cast Real Estate & Construction Consultancy, said: “It’s very clear that the construction industry is far more reliant on migrant labour than anywhere else in the UK. To safeguard against this, London will require at least short to medium term continued access to EU migrant labour and early protections given to its existing migrant workforce.”


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