Minister says construction firms should be taking on 'our own people'

Higher education minister David Lammy has said that the construction industry should try harder to take on UK workers rather than those from overseas.

The former skills minister was speaking at conference hosted by the Built Environment Skills Alliance in central London this morning.

David Lammy
Lammy: firms should "not solely rely on skills that come from other places”

He said: “Companies should take on our own people into this sector and not solely rely on skills that come from other places.”

Lammy added that bringing the right amount of skilled people into construction is vital to cope with big-ticket jobs such as the 2012 Olympic Games, Crossrail and a host of public sector jobs, such as schools and hospitals, which the government has speeded up to combat the effects of the downturn.

He also told delegates that people thrown out of work because of the downturn should be able to get retrained on a series of quick-hit course. He said: “There will be people who lose their jobs but that doesn't mean their skill sets can't be recalibrated for another sector.

“We want a series of courses that are short and renewing skills in a relevant and flexible way.”