I would like to confirm that in no way is this agency connected to or associated with the NFB or its members. The NFB did receive an approach from Montbretia, which sought to offer its services to member companies. However, we dismissed the approach. Any method of employing workers on site that does not provide for correct and current health and safety training and certification cannot be endorsed. This includes the provision of language training as well as ensuring literacy and numeracy skills.
What this case does highlight, however, is the need for a clear strategy for welcoming foreign workers into the legitimate industry. The estimated 40,000 immigrants expected to arrive in the UK each year after European Union enlargement is an important opportunity for UK firms to address their skills shortages.
The government has not yet responded to the training challenges this will bring. We believe the DTI and the Construction Industry Training Board should engage in dialogue with employers' bodies to ensure that the correct training is provided and funded.
Barry Stephens, chief executive, National Federation of Builders