The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has warned that constructors will struggle to deliver infrastructure projects unless the Government ensures that the building industry can retain the 177,000 EU nationals it employs. The EU workforce makes up about 8 per cent of the industry and RICS has announced that a tighter policy on immigration from outside the EU risks exacerbating the current skills shortage in the area. RICS argues for construction professionals to be added to shortage occupations list, making it easier to recruit from outside the EU. Some 30 per cent of construction employers said that non-British workers helped their ability to be successful, according to the RICS survey. Jeremy Blackburn, Rics’ head of policy, said that leaving the EU in order to control immigration may mean “we won’t be able to create the infrastructure needed to enable our cities to compete on the global stage” and could bring £500 billion of infrastructure projects to a standstill. RICS also called for the Government to address the passporting of professional services such as surveyors and other skilled staff. It said that their ability of professionals to have their credentials recognized across Europe was “hugely important to the investment in and occupation of commercial property, and in the footprint of such firms in major cities”.
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