News that Polish workers are returning home is a blow to construction. What we need now is a brilliant plan to improve home-grown talent...
Oh dear, oh dear the Poles are going home. It’s been nice having you. Actually, if you Polish plumbers, chippies, bricklayers, roofers, flooring and more besides hadn’t left your Mum’s, and other halves and little-uns, our building industry would have been in a mess.
Mind you, we’ve been here before... in a mess for blokes I mean. Let me tell you what happens. First, you spend hours and hours on the phone trying to find a decent putter-upper who is available now, tomorrow or Monday.
Then when you get some blokes and they get messed around on site they clear off. Then the price goes up, then you take blokes who are iffy, then the quality goes squiffy. Oh don’t go back home dear Poles. But they will, they are, they are off.
Now then, I have got the answer. I will introduce it when I become prime minister, no president no king. I will invent an outfit called “The New Construction Industry Training Board”. It will train wonderfully all the tradesmen and craftsmen and staff and bosses.
And, wait for it, my NCITB will not charge one penny. It’s the exact opposite. You will be ever so well paid to come and be trained. Oh come on, I hear you cry, where are you going to get the money from? Easy. For training plasterers we put 5p m² on plasterboard, same for dry liners; same deal on flooring, roofing tiles. We can have plumbers galore from 5p per m on plumbing tube and baths and loos carry a smidgen of uplift... hell so too bricks.
Then with all that money coming in via source materials the British building industry gets its trained labour force. And, while I am at it, my new NCITB will pay staff to come to learn how to manage building contracts, manage programmes, manage those contract documents, manage cock-ups... except that we won’t have any because we are all so well trained.
Dear Polish plumbers, thank you for coming and thank you for giving us a bright idea. Now then, where do I apply to be prime minister, president, or king?