UK becomes a hotspot for skilled Indian real estate and construction workers; as the workforce deficit looms

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London / Mumbai, April 22, 2023: The overall Construction industry in the United Kingdom is forecast to increase to revenue of 476.6 billion British pounds until 2027. With 239.4 billion British pounds, the construction of buildings is forecast to remain the biggest segment in the UK market, according to industry reports.

On the other hand, the UK’s construction industry has been continuously facing numerous skills shortages. According to the Shortage Occupation List created by the UK’s Chartered Institute of Building, between December 2022 and February 2023, there were 41,000 job vacancies. Considering the shortage of manpower in the sector, the UK is emerging as a bright spot for Indian skilled real estate and construction workers who may witness huge immigration opportunities.

Opening on the prospects for Indian immigrants searching for opportunities in the UK’s construction industry, Yash Dubal, the UK visa and immigration expert and Director of the UK immigration law firm A Y & J Solicitors said, “In my professional opinion, the UK realty sector continues to thrive, especially in house building, as the Government has committed to build 300,000 new homes per year by the mid-decade. However, Brexit has caused a shortage of labour in the industry, as builders from Europe, particularly Eastern European countries, could previously work freely in the UK.”

Mr Dubal added, “With the recent addition of new trades to the shortage occupation list, I predict that we may witness more European workers entering the UK realty development industry. While it is possible that skilled workers from India and other countries may find opportunities in the UK’s realty industry. I remain interested to observe if this route will be utilised by Indian construction workers and to see how they may contribute to the UK construction sector.”

NAREDCO, an apex body of India’s real estate developers, which also undertakes skilling trainings for over one lakh industry workers annually, affirmed the fact that with India’s strong expertise and potential to produce skilled and efficient real estate and construction workforce, it can become a major supplier of skilled workforce for the global real estate and construction sector including the UK.

Rajan Bandelkar, National President, NAREDCO said, “With the likely free trade agreement of India with the UK and structural changes in the UK’s visa framework, the immigration prospects for the skilled real estate workforce exploring employment opportunities in the UK might increase in the near future. The UK’s real estate industry has a deficit of skilled personnel and India has a large skilled workforce; both in construction and management sides of the real estate industry. If the UK gives a smooth access to skilled real estate workforce through visa relaxations to address its manpower challenges, it would pave the way for skilled Indian workforce in the construction sector to bridge this deficit and seek the UK as a preferred immigration destination.”

Bandelkar added, “India’s real estate industry is far more evolved globally with a massive base of skilled labour and managerial talent with ample expertise. The Indian real estate and construction industry’s workforce draws its expertise from large scale real estate and construction projects being undertaken by the real estate professionals in the country with due support from the Government and industry bodies like NAREDCO, which has been training over one lakh workers annually for the real estate industry. India is set to become a global hub to supply skilled manpower in the real estate and construction industry.”

The number of new construction is predicted to grow significantly, reaching 200,000 new private housing starts in 2027.

In response to five occupations being added to the Shortage Occupation list, a spokesman for the Chartered Institute of Building, said: “We are pleased that today’s budget states that the Government has accepted the MAC interim recommendations to initially add five construction occupations to the Shortage Occupation List.”

“The construction industry continues to face numerous skills shortages, resulting from a mixture of lack of new entrants, to skilled professionals reaching retirement age.”

“This is why migration continues to be a necessity for construction, helping dampen the harmful effects of having a volatile labour market.”

James M. Butcher, Director of Policy at the National Federation of Builders, said, “Construction faces a vacancy rate higher than the all-industry average; so it is fair to say we are in a worse position than many other industries.”

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