The housebuilding industry could be required to train one British worker for every overseas worker hired, under plans mooted by Labour’s Shadow Housing team – of which Stockton North MP, Alex Cunningham, is a member.
Industry data estimates that around one in five workers in the housebuilding industry are from overseas, the vast majority of these from within the EU. Research of the Department of Education reports that two in every five construction vacancies were proving hard to fill due to difficulties in finding applicants with the appropriate skills, qualifications, or experience. Only 80 construction apprentices from Stockton-on-Tees were taken on in 2017/18 despite high levels of housebuilding across the borough.
I am passionate about tackling the skills gap and ensuring that local people can access employment opportunities in the borough, which is why I’m delighted to be working with my Shadow Housing colleagues to develop the “Britbuild” initiative.
It is clear that housing developers, which have recorded large profits, need to take more responsibility in the employment and training of local people. It is also vital that we train the next generation of construction workers to ensure the country builds the homes we need.
Labour’s “Britbuild” initiative would take the lead in kickstarting industry investment in better training and jobs.