"There are concerns that a reduction in the number of so-called ‘lower skilled’ workers that are eligible to work in the UK could produce problems for the industry."
Specialist lender Oblix Capital has warned that the Government’s plan for a new UK points-based immigration system could threaten the growth of real estate in the country, due to its current dependence on workers from the European Union.
Under the new policy, individuals hoping to live and work in the UK will be awarded points according to characteristics including whether they have a job offer in place, their proficiency at English and expected salary. Immigrants will need enough points (70) to be eligible to apply to work in the United Kingdom.
20 points will be awarded to any applicants offered a “job in a shortage occupation”, as outlined by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC). The list does not currently include any construction roles; without the 20 points that would be allocated in these circumstances, it will be much more difficult to meet the total requirement of 70 points.
Rishi Passi, CEO at Oblix Capital has warned that due to the wages earned by some construction workers – in particular manual labourers – the UK could struggle to meet future housing demand.
He said: “We welcome that the Government has adopted the MAC proposals to reduce its salary threshold for 20 points from £30,000 to £25,600. However, there are concerns that a reduction in the number of so-called ‘lower skilled’ workers that are eligible to work in the UK could produce problems for the industry.
“We are currently experiencing a construction skills shortage, and this morning’s proposals could exacerbate the issue. We are expecting initiatives to support roles in agriculture and the NHS, among others and, if the Government is hoping to build one million homes in the next five years, we may need similar support to find the right people with the right skills to help achieve that goal.”