Benefits claimants will be given training in sectors deemed most at risk from labour shortages

The government has announced plans to bring in more British workers into the construction industry to plug gaps left by overseas workers.

Work and pensions secretary Mel Stride said the UK had relied on foreign labour “for too long” and the government was creating a skills ‘bootcamp’ for unemployed Britons to be given training for roles in key sectors facing shortages including hospitality, care, manufacturing – and construction.

Benefits claimants will be given training in under-resourced sectors with Stride saying that a taskforce to create recruitment schemes for industries with staff shortages had been created.

sunak workers

Prime minister Rishi Sunak has said the government wants to see more British workers plug skills gaps in sectors such as construction

It consists of ministers from the Home Office and Treasury and also includes the Department for Education and the Department for Business and Trade.

Stride added: “This is a huge opportunity for the thousands of jobseekers within our domestic workforce to move into roles that have previously been filled by overseas workers.”

Earlier this month, the Construction Industry Training Board said predicted output levels between now and 2028 meant 251,500 workers – the equivalent of an additional 50,000 a year – were needed to cope with hotspots such as private housing, infrastructure and repair and maintenance such as retrofitting and meeting net zero targets.

Last year, the Home Office announced plans to relax visa rules for building occupations to bring in more foreign workers for trades, including roofers, masons, carpenters, joiners and plasterers, in order to resolve labour shortages.

Earlier this year, Building’s Building The Future Commission report recommended government introduce a “government-sponsored audit by a cross-industry panel of all education standards” including apprenticeships to make sure they strengthen the capacity of the industry.