Rent-a-quote British politicians should take a leaf out of Ireland's book when it comes to welcoming skilled workers from Eastern Europe
Talking to a number of Irish contractors as part of my research for this week’s special issue, it is clear just how out-of-date the country’s construction stereotype is. It’s politically incorrect to say so, but you know the one I mean: boozed up labourers working on sites in the UK, creating the empire.
Rather, these are highly professional outfits. And little wonder as Ireland possesses one of the best-educated workforces in Europe. They are the new bosses: British contractors and consultants could do far worse than try to poach some of these bright young things, particularly as many have grown up working in a fast-developing PPP market.
It’s also clear how they embrace the eastern Europeans that come over to help fill their own skills gap on site. None of these fears of allegedly uncontrolled immigration we have been having over here in recent weeks. Just last month, Irish contractors held a job fair in Warsaw to actually encourage Poles to join their workforces. I got the impression that these contractors really respected the eastern Europeans, helping them build their cities and roads to 21st century standards, and that maybe some of our politicians should consider taking a similar approach before shooting their mouths off.