There are a lot of short memories in the industry – or are they deliberately short? In London, after the Second World War, there were many Polish tradesmen left behind – only a few could speak English but they were excellent tradesmen, and we got by and they did a good job. We then had Irish workers and influxes of West Indians, Sikhs and many others. All of which had a positive influence in the industry.
If language is the problem there is usually a gang leader who can adequately explain the requirements of the project. As far as safety is concerned, the initial induction at the site by the gang leader should be adequate.
You mentioned the Portuguese workers on the Home Office headquarters. I would guess that they have been brought in to do marble works or tiling and there is a strong likelihood that there are not enough trained craftsmen in the country to do this work. Are the unions trying to disrupt the project for their own ends?
Peter Whitbread, via email.