Responding to the publication of the SNP’s General Election manifesto, Gordon Nelson, Director of FMB Scotland, said: “The SNP is right to criticise the Tories' plans to increase the levy on skilled migrant labour as such an increase would be very damaging to construction SMEs. The industry is suffering from a severe skills crisis and to combat it construction firms will, at least for the foreseeable future, need access to migrant labour without having to overcome enormous financial and bureaucratic hurdles.”
Nelson concluded: “Similarly, we share the SNP’s concern that the Skills Immigration Charge could be extended to EU citizens post-Brexit. EU workers have come to form a vital part of the construction industry’s workforce and not just in London, but also in Scotland and throughout the UK. If the Immigration Charge was to be extended in this way, a Conservative Government would effectively be obstructing the ability of construction SMEs to recruit non-UK labour. This would be disastrous for the industry and a huge blow to both Westminster and Holyrood’s ability to deliver on key infrastructure and housing targets. SNP MPs must make the argument to whichever party forms the next Government that access to skilled migrant labour will be vital to the Scottish construction industry’s prospects."
Notes to editors
The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) is the largest trade association in the UK construction industry representing thousands of firms in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Established in 1941 to protect the interests of small and medium-sized (SME) construction firms, the FMB is independent and non-profit making, lobbying for members’ interests at both the national and local level.
The FMB is a source of knowledge, professional advice and support for its members, providing a range of modern and relevant business building services to help them succeed. The FMB is committed to raising quality in the construction industry and offers a free Find a Builder service to consumers.