According to the Employers’ Federation of Building Societies (FPSC) in Romania, the country currently has 377,000 workers in the construction sector,
But the Romanian government’s plans to build large infrastructure projects with EU money would require 600,000 workers.
The labour deficit in the construction sector is the result of intense immigration towards Western countries. Local construction firms should increase salaries in order to attract skilled staff, said Acvatot general director Calin Bichir, reports Economica.net.
The UK Home Building Workforce Census covered 37,167 workers on over 1,000 of the federation’s members’ sites. It revealed that 19.7% of workers on house building sites come from overseas.
Overall, Polish workers stood for 1.53% of the workforce, Lithuanians for 1.32%, Irish workers for 1.25%, Bulgarians for 0.86%, and Indian workers for 0.58%. Other non-EU countries represented in significant numbers included Albania, Moldova, Nigeria, Jamaica and Ukraine.
Romanians are heavily represented among non-UK workers across all trades in the home building industry. They make up 47.8% of overseas workers in demolition/ groundwork/frames occupations; 51.5% of overseas workers in brickwork occupations; 54.8% of non-UK workers in carpentry occupations; 32.8% of non-UK workers in roofing occupations; 34.4% of non-UK workers in plumbing occupations; 31.9% of non-UK workers in electrical occupations; 33.8% of non-UK workers in finishing trades; and 25.2% of non-UK workers in management and professional roles.
The federation said access to overseas workers was essential to achieve the government’s target of building 300,000 homes a year by 2025, and requested a permit system that would allow the recruitment of workers from overseas, in addition to asking for the status for existing employees to be secured.
“The results of this census clearly demonstrate the reliance the industry currently has on non-UK workers. […] Whilst the industry is investing heavily in recruiting and training young people leaving our schools, colleges and universities, continued access to overseas workers is absolutely essential,” Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the Home Builders Federation said.
This situation is clearly one in which a greater (or indeed any) co-operation between the UK and Romania could result in significant benefits for both countries, both in terms of employment and the construction industries in both countries where affordable homes are sadly lacking.
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