The UK construction market suffers from labour and skills shortage, and for this reason foreign labour is the only long-term solution for the construction industry to survive. . For this reason labour costs and skills have been, and remain, an important factor in its competitiveness in markets…
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"The use of foreign labour is the only long term solution to overcoming the skills shortages in the construction industry in UK"
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It is generally recognized that the industry needs to work on its image" (The construction industry 2001, p. 14). Among other dimensions featuring in this domain are the state of supply and demand for labour and the structure of employment in the UK. Critics (Ellinor 2005) admit that the nation getting older and foreign labour is the only long-term solution for construction industry (CEDIA UK 2005). Cumulative changes in the demand for labour and the structure of employment-in the macroeconomic arena provide the basis for a transition that is brought about acutely by the contingency of the crisis in the macro-political arena, during which labour-importing states like the UK seize the opportunity to achieve the rationalization of the labour market they have already been hesitantly reaching for. Economic disparities between territories sending and receiving migrants include differences in earnings, livelihoods and living standards (Gilbert 2003). The problem of labour shortage is long term: "and will not be solved unless the industry can reach out to a new generation of potential workers" (The construction industry 2001, p. 14). The rationalization, the replacement of denizens by foreign migrant workers, has political and security as well as economic motivations. Employers recruit skilled migrants because the skills are not available in the UK, and they employ less-skilled immigrants because British-born people - if they are available - are not willing to do the work" (What might be the implications 2007).
The UK construction industry is already facing labour scarcity, an impact tacitly acknowledged by the authorities. With the changing economic environment, such factors as imbalance between supply and demand mark construction building in UK (Ross & Marton 2007). In spite of this situation, increased competition has enhanced the need of new technological innovations and economic improvement within the industry to satisfy the needs of the market. It is one of the most important infrastructure requirements, which is essential for the expansion of opportunities and plays an important role in making or breaking the competitive positioning (Industry Must Modernize 2007).
Free movement of labour will help the construction industry to overcome labour shortage and ensure supply of foreign workers. The most important is that: "The 'journeymen' concept is widely established in the UK construction sector, and the engineering construction workforce have historically been flexible in regard to geographical mobility" (The construction industry 2001, p. 14). Economically, socially and financially, foreign labour will help the industry to respond to buyer needs and improve its performance. Recent years, the remarkable feature of construction industry in the UK is great imbalance between supply and demand. The basis for advantage is the fact that the industry can stay ahead of the market when firms are more sensitive to and more responsive to demand, and when supply, in turn, reflects or anticipates demand (Roder, 2003). Socially and economically, foreign labour will become a burden for both construction companies and the government.
The balance can be achieved when the demand sets the quality standard and gives firms a better picture of buyer needs at an earlier time than is available to rivals. In contrast to UK workers, foreign labour ...
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