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News & opinion

14 JUN 2018

Removal of doctors allows for built environment growth

The government has announced that it will be taking doctors and nurses out of the Tier 2 migration cap, allowing for other high skilled migrants to apply for those visa’s and ensuring that our NHS is able to source much needed medical professionals without red tape of migration quotas.

This is potentially welcome news for the built environment which has a growing skills shortage, however more detail must be given on what sectors will be regarded as a high priority within the migration visa tier system.

The government must also address the growing need for low skilled and unskilled workers especially within the construction industry, or its plans for growth, especially in infrastructure, could be severely under resourced.

RICS has highlighted that approximately 30 percent of the current UK construction sector is over 50 and with nearly 8 percent of workers being from the EU, the construction sector needs support from the Home Office to source some of the estimated 230 thousand new workers needed while a domestic long-term workforce is created through education pathways including T-Levels and apprenticeships.

Government has made efforts to create a pipeline of built environment talent through apprenticeships and the creation of a Construction T-Level with a Design, Surveying and Planning Pathway. Currently, we are one of the few sectors with apprenticeship growth following the apprenticeship levy.

The announcement by Skills Minister Anne Milton for £22million fund to boost skills in the construction sector is a move in a positive direction. The fund is not only welcome because it encourages more people into the industry including adult learners but also allows 'learners to apply their knowledge in a real world environment' by creating on-site skills hubs. Those interested in hosting an on-site skills hub, expressions of interest are being taken now.

In positive signs for the industry, a report released by Ofqual on certificates awarded, Construction, Planning and the Built Environment had the biggest quarterly change percentage from certificates awarded in the Jan-Mar quarter last year, with 322,650 certificates, though only one certificate from the sector was present in the top 50 qualifications, with IT and communication technology being the dominant qualification sector apart from Math and English.

For those interested in the planned Construction T-Levels, the proposed curriculum framework for the Design, Surveying and Planning Pathway is still open for comment through consultation.