Responding to a Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) report released today (Wednesday 9 June) stating that 216,800 extra construction workers are needed by 2025 to meet the UK’s building needs, Unite national officer Jerry Swain, said: 

“Over the coming years, construction workers will form the backbone of the country’s plans to meet its climate obligations and the need for more housing and faster, greener transport links. 

“The CITB is right that these challenges will not be met unless tens of thousands of new construction workers are trained in the next few years. 

“The industry cannot hope to meet this need unless employment standards in the construction industry are cleaned up.

“The construction industry treats workers as if they are part of the gig economy.

“The effect of this is that many construction workers are bogusly self-employed, leaving them with no job security or career prospects. 

“With this type of treatment, it is hard to see how future workers will be attracted to construction.

“Recent reports from the Construction Leadership Council and the Electrotechnical Joint Industry Board have highlighted that the lack of direct employment is disastrous for apprentice training. 

“It also removes any hope of career progression and stymies the industry’s capacity to invest in training the future generation of construction workers. 

“There needs to be not only a radical change in how workers are employed but also how they are treated. 

‘It cannot simply be a change in employment status, we must create the opportunity for career progression from the shop floor.”  


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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.