Unite, the UK’s leading construction union, has today (Friday 24 July) given a cautious welcome to the Talent Retention Scheme (TRS) designed to be a ‘one stop portal’ where the industry’s workforce and employers can be matched together.

However, Unite said that it would be monitoring the scheme, funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, in the weeks and months ahead to see that the TRS is not abused by ‘rogue’ bosses that plague the industry.

The scheme is based on the original TRS agreed by the coalition government, following Unite pressure, to support the aerospace industry. 

Today’s announcement is essentially a job site where employers post vacancies cutting out recruitment agencies and intermediaries, such as ‘umbrella’ companies.

Unite national officer for the construction industry Jerry Swain said: “We are giving this scheme a cautious welcome. If operated and managed correctly, the TRS can be a major force in retaining the talent and skills at all levels that the construction industry so desperately requires.

“Construction, with more than two million workers, will be a major force in getting the post-pandemic UK economy back on track. We must do everything we can to retain our highly-prized skilled workers.

“However, we will be keeping a weathered eye on the TRS as it rolls out. We will want to ensure that what is offered is genuine employment and not simply another scam that further casulises our industry.

“We need to understand that a casual industry will never retain its talent.”


Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on:  020 3371 2065.

Please note the numbers above are for journalists’ enquiries only.

Email: [email protected]

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Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.