Brexit: measuring the impact upon skilled labour in the UK construction industry

Marwan Mohamed, Erika Anneli Pärn, David John Edwards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to present an understanding of the potential impact of Brexit upon the UK construction industry. Specifically, the work analyses the construction industry’s reliance upon European Union (EU) skilled labour and seeks to determine the potential impact that Brexit poses upon EU skilled labour entering the sector. Design/methodology/approach: A perceptual questionnaire survey was used to elicit responses from construction professionals using the two techniques of opportunity and snowballing non-probability sampling. Summary statistical analysis of Boolean and Likert item scale data accrued was employed to elucidate upon respondents’ perceptions. Findings: The majority of survey participants either “strongly agreed” or “agreed” that the UK construction industry relies upon EU skilled labour and that a career in the sector would not be attractive for foreign skilled labour post-Brexit. Future research proposed includes: predicting future trends in labour supply and demand and deriving new policies to address skills shortage imbalances that may be created by Brexit. Originality/value: Original insight into an historic and unprecedented moment for the UK construction industry is presented. The work also provides pragmatic recommendations to policy makers and Higher Education Institutes to prevent the risk of Brexit further exacerbating skilled labour shortages within the industry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)264-279
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Brexit
  • Skilled labour
  • Skills shortages
  • UK construction industry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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