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Migration and Construction 2018: The role of Eu & non-Eu nationals in the UK Construction & Built Environment Sector

This project, conducted in partnership with IFF Research and City-REDI, University of Birmingham, was concerned with identifying the role of migrant workers in the UK construction sector. The project was funded by the Construction Industry Training Board, who published the findings of the project on their website.

The project had three elements:

  • Assessment of migration policy developments and review of literature on migration and the construction industry (conducted by Anne Green at City-REDI);
  • Analysis of quantitative (Hoime Office and ONS) data on international migration and detailed analysis of the chartacteristics of migrant workers in the constrution sector from 2007 to 2017 (conducted by David Owen);
  • A survey of employers and migrant construction workers conducted by IFF Research.

The project identified the marked growth in numbers of migrant workers in the sector and their changing geographical origins. In particular the recent growthg in migrants from Romania and decline in Polish workers was highlighted. Half of construction workers in London are international migrants, but the migrant share of the workforce is much smaller beyond the south-eastern corner of the UK. The construction workforce is ageiong, and this applies to both the UK-born and migrant sections of the workforce. Migrant workers tend to be concentrated into the 25 to 49 age range, and into a limited range of occupations.

The research was repeated in 2019. The quantiative analysis was updated to the end of 2018 and a new survey conducted.

2018 CITB reportProject Team:

David Owen (Principal Investigator)

Project duration:

January 2018 - May 2018

Project funder:

Construction Industry Training Board

Full report 2018

CITB report 2018

Green paper 2018

Report from 2017 research