Redundancy spike prompts committee to remove QSs and project managers from skills shortage list

Quantity surveyors and property and construction project managers from outside of the EU are set to be barred from competing with EU workers for jobs in the UK, because of the leap in redundancies in the sector.

The Migration Advisory Council yesterday recommended that QSs and project managers for “property development and construction” be removed from a list of occupations where the UK is suffering a skills shortage.

The council, which advises government on shortage occupations to inform the points-based system for managing immigration, yesterday published the results of a review of where shortages lie.

According to government figures the number of construction managers out of work has risen by 575% in the last year, from 835 to 4,794. The number of unemployed quantity surveyors has risen 561% from 130 to 730 in the same period.

The government now has to say whether it accepts the recommendations of the committee.

Professor David Metcalf, chair of the committee, said: "These latest recommendations take account of the impact of the worldwide recession on the UK. We have looked critically at the evidence regarding the occupations under review and made recommendations which balance the needs of the UK workforce against those of employers."

The shortage occupation list is devised by considering whether the occupation in question must be sufficiently skilled, whether there is a shortage of workers and whether it is sensible to fill any shortage with workers from outside the European Union.