New data from the FIS indicates that 30% of members are already experiencing labour shortages and 62.5% are concerned for what the New Year brings.  FIS is hosting a workshop on 1st December at Midday with experts to review and advise on how members need to prepare for the new points based system.

In a recent survey FIS asked members a number of key questions around the new points based system.  Concerns are amplified in the larger specialist employers, where 40% were currently experiencing shortages and 74% believe the new system will have a negative impact on their business.  Other interesting data revealed that respondents relied on labour gangs/agencies for an average 11% of the workforce, this again rises for the larger businesses.

FIS CEO, Iain McIlwee stated “The figures presented by Noble Francis at our AGM show that we have already seen an exodus of EU workers and this snap survey has not allayed our concern that we could be facing a real challenge in the New Year.  Clearly the difficulty is that these are unprecedented times and making sense of any data is difficult.  Will COVID restriction soften and ease travel concerns? How hard will Brexit be? What will the impact on currency be here and across Europe? How will this impact rates here and abroad and how attractive will that make UK versus other possible work locations?

We need a crystal ball to know for certain what people, who do not necessarily have deep roots in the UK, might decide to do.  But, when we need the UK to be primed to Build Build Build, the Government have taken an unnecessarily hard line on construction workers, which could come back to bite us by shortening labour supply, impacting programme and driving wage inflation.  More of a staged approach would be better for industry, particularly given the huge dent in training and recruitment activities we have seen in 2020 due to COVID.”

FIS is attending a roundtable on the 4th December with the Home Office and colleagues across construction.  We are still gathering information to feed in, if you wish to feed your views in, please contact or phone 07792 959481 or you can still add you results to the final survey here.