Figures from RICS revealed that the construction jobs of 176,500 EU nationals (8% of the UK’s construction workforce) could be under threat if the UK loses access to the single market following the EU referendum Brexit vote.
Some 30% of construction professionals surveyed believed that non-UK workers were important to the success of their business, with 20% of respondents stating that apprenticeship schemes were not effective at all.
Jeremy Blackburn, head of UK policy at RICS, said: “These figures reveal that the UK construction industry is currently dependent on thousands of EU workers.
“It is in all our interests that we make a success of Brexit, but a loss of access to the single market has the potential to slowly bring the UK’s £500bn infrastructure pipeline to a standstill.
“That means that unless access to the single market is secured or alternative plans are put in place, we won’t be able to create the infrastructure needed to enable our cities to compete on a global stage.
“As the industry’s professional body, we are working with government and industry to develop that skills base, building vital initiatives – such as degree apprenticeships – in our sector to drive the talent pipeline forward.”