Report: Romania, top country of origin for UK home building workforce

Romania is the most prominent foreign, individual country represented in the UK home building workforce, according to a recent census of the country’s Home Builders Federation (HBF). Romanian nationals made up 7.29% of the surveyed home building workforce.

The Home Building Workforce Census covered 37,167 workers on over 1,000 of the federation’s members’ sites. It revealed that 19.7% of workers on house building sites in the UK come from overseas.

Overall, Polish workers stood for 1.53% of the workforce, Lithuanians for 1.32%, Irish workers for 1.25%, Bulgarians for 0.86%, and Indian workers for 0.58%. Other non-EU countries represented in significant numbers included Albania, Moldova, Nigeria, Jamaica and Ukraine.

Romanians are heavily represented among non-UK workers across all trades in the home building industry. They make up 47.8% of overseas workers in demolition/ groundwork/frames occupations; 51.5% of overseas workers in brickwork occupations; 54.8% of non-UK workers in carpentry occupations; 32.8% of non-UK workers in roofing occupations; 34.4% of non-UK workers in plumbing occupations; 31.9% of non-UK workers in electrical occupations; 33.8% of non-UK workers in finishing trades; and 25.2% of non-UK workers in management and professional roles.

The federation said access to overseas workers was essential to achieve the government’s target of building 300,000 homes a year by 2025. It requested a permit system that would allow the recruitment of workers from overseas, and asked the Government to secure the status for existing employees.

“The results of this census clearly demonstrate the reliance the industry currently has on non-UK workers. […] Whilst the industry is investing heavily in recruiting and training young people leaving our schools, colleges and universities, continued access to overseas workers is absolutely essential,” Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the Home Builders Federation said.

The survey is available here.

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