As I am sure you are aware, on the 24th of December 2020, the EU and the United Kingdom finally agreed a post-Brexit trade agreement which came into effect on 1st January 2021. Since the 2016 Brexit referendum, the construction industry not only had to navigate and
plan for the many challenges that the industry were expecting to face in the coming years, but also be in a position where so much was unknown.
Since the 1st of January, the new legislations have been affecting the construction industry as a whole and at The Shore Group we have certainly been affected and are still adjusting to this and the impact on our business, staff and clients.
Brexit and The Shore Group
Something we have already discovered to affect us on a day-to-day basis is the restrictions to our Eastern European labour force who we were working closely with in the past. Many of these workers have gone back to their home countries and have not returned, both due to restrictions with COVID-19 and also due to the new EU working legislation put in place by Brexit. We also believe that some airlines have gone so far to take advantage of this situation by manipulating flight prices, making it extremely difficult for those trying to return to the UK.
At The Shore Group, we have still been very happy with the significant demand for British labour overseas in the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark in particular, but we are facing huge challenges with the workload in the UK. With 37% of London’s workforce coming from EU countries, we need to think of ways in which we can fill the new gaps in our pre-existing workforce.
How are The Shore Group mitigating the labour issue going forward?
Due to the decrease of international workers, we now have a massive opportunity to support and re-train many of our UK residents who might currently be looking for a job due to COVID redundancies. There is an abundance of opportunities within the construction industry and we should think of Brexit as a major opportunity to recruit and empower our UK residents who are looking for work. The Shore Group are looking at undertaking a national recruitment drive and have invested in a product which will help us re-engage with our current data-base whilst also finding new people to work with us (more information to come soon!).
The construction industry has changed drastically over the last few years, and with the increased demand, salaries are more attractive now than they have been previously. There is a huge market which is available for those who are looking for a career move or are starting their careers in the industry.
An incentive that The Shore Group are looking to get behind during this critical period is the UK Apprenticeship Scheme. The Shore Group has worked closely with apprentices in the past, and in each of our offices we task the leadership team to connect with colleges to enable a flow of people back through for apprenticeships. Apprenticeships are a system which people can enter into without too much experience and the speed of how you can progress in it is faster than people think. If you are willing to put the effort in, you can move up the value quickly. The opportunity is there for people in the UK to take. For young people currently, finding work is going to be more difficult and competitive than ever, so entering an apprenticeship scheme is a great way to fast track a career in this growing industry.
The Brexit legislations put in place this year have certainly challenged us, this is set to continue in the months and years ahead. However, overcoming these challenges by empowering and recruiting our UK residents and young people is a key way in which we can turn this situation into a positive and make an positive impact on the damaged UK economy. If you are interested in a finding out more about The Shore Group’s recruitment incentives, or are looking for work in the construction industry, get in touch with a member of our team today who will be very happy to help.